Sometimes I need to take a few moments, step back, and recognize how lucky I truly am. Caught up in the moment I can miss it, but when I look at the big picture, things make more sense.

Today was the first day in over a month that I didn’t see my boyfriend at all. He flew home yesterday for the holiday, leaving me with three unscheduled days to myself before my own holiday flight. He’s not an avid texter, so I get a few texts a day, max. But the ones I get pack a punch. Like a simple “I miss you.” Or, “I love you!”.

I changed my phone lock screen to a picture of us out on a hike. A great picture, really. And when I glance at it I am reminded that he is real, we are real, and that I have something to be grateful for.

From my perspective he and I happened very seamlessly, and I struggle to pinpoint the moment when we went from “dating” to something more. And my emotions have developed just as gradually. I haven’t had the “cocaine-brain” like I did dating other guys.

What’s more, he pretty much fell into my lap. He was the first guy I really clicked with here in Seattle, and things just happened. And I’ve been learning that they happened with someone who is very, very good for me. He has been showing me what it means to love, and to be in a relationship, without fear of rejection or abandonment. I am learning to trust completely again, because he is proving himself trustworthy. What’s more, he loves me, even just my presence, and wants me close by as often as we can manage.

And finally, he meets me on a spiritual level like no boy ever has. The first time we went to church together, he and I walked hand in hand to the front for communion, and stood side by side as we received it. While we were walking back to our seats, he leaned in to me and whispered, “This is why I love you.”

Sometimes, we just get lucky.

Of course, to paraphrase V from V for Vendetta, “I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.” So lucky probably has nothing to do with it.

When my world fell apart in January, solace was a difficult thing to find. But when I found it, it was a tender mercy. One of those mercies came from a youtube video of a talk given at my university, BYU, by a church leader. A phrase that the leader said was particularly powerful for me.

“When you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now but know also as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better.”

Today, I am thankful for God, and for the “something better”s that he’s brought into my life.