I wanted to believe it could be true. I so did. It was the stuff fairytales were made of. It was a story grandchildren would surely want to hear told over and over again. It was – my story. Well, up until that point anyway.
The boy and I had met 10 years prior as attendants in a wedding – he a friend of the groom and me of the bride. There was an instant connection and a weekend full of laughter and dancing and fun. And then it ended. He returned to his life and me to mine. Strangely enough, though we lived several hundred miles apart, we would end up speaking every few years. Once we even bumped into one another while both visiting a city near our small home towns (that would be noted in my mental “this cannot be a coincidence” file).
The timing was never right for anything to move forward in any kind of romantic way though – one of us would be involved in a relationship, there was work for him, school for me. Then there was the day he called to tell me he had become a “born again Christian.” I hung up the phone thinking “I was born a Christian. This guy has clearly gotten involved in something crazy. Guess that’s the end of that.” Then a few years later I became a born again Christian. Ah…life is funny.
So, fast forward 10 years, a handful of phone calls and an even smaller handful of face to face visits and there we were: I had just graduated college and he asked if I would move to be closer. I all too happily (and quickly) obliged. Despite comments from concerned friends and even some red flags I had seen over the years – my heart wanted what it wanted. And that was A Love Story. So I went…
It didn’t take long for me to get a very clear message. You know how people say, “Oh, she can’t see the truth. She’s got rose-colored glasses on.” I tell people, “God loved me too much to even let me put the rose-colored glasses on!” I think it was literally within the first week that the 10-years-in-the-works fairytale started to crumble. I remember trying to convince myself that maybe this was what it was all about. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe a woman’s role in a marriage (even though the proposal would come later, we were talking about it very quickly upon my arrival), was to be the quiet, behind the scenes, stand-by-her-man helpmate. And that. Was that.
God quickly showed me, as lovingly as He could, “Michelle…if you want to be married, you can be (because He knew how I desperately, desperately did. It was all I’d ever really wanted up until that point, in fact. I was convinced that the purpose of my very being was to be a wife and mother).” God continued, “…but it will be like this.” He wasn’t pulling any punches. Though I hadn’t ever been married, I knew enough to know that once you dived in, Love was not a FEELING, but a CHOICE you had to make every day with your spouse. God was showing me that I had a serious decision to make.
To be continued…