It's hard to believe all that has happened. The other day as we were planning the holidays my Mom said something about the possibility of my sister being married with a baby on the way by this time next year and we all gave her a guffaw. But...The last year has shown me exactly what God can do.
I woke up this morning and read a post that Natalie shared. Years ago, I read along diligently making up one of the 700,000 + visitors to her blog as she wrote about life in New York City with her husband and the Baby they waited so long for. I remember when they left the City and then when she stopped writing and when she closed her blog down all together. I didn't know what was up and I honestly didn't suspect anything, least of all, that she had been miserable for a long long time. Reading the words she gave someone else permission to write about her and then took the time to share gave me pause....It made me grieve for her and consider what writing and blogging have meant and looked like in my own life all these years. It made me think about the cost of what we women give to those in our care and what happens when the life that we knew comes to an end for one reason or another.
The seasons in a woman's life are MANY. While they appear to come and go effortlessly, there is much going on behind the scenes. Much that only other women can fully comprehend. I've finished quite a few of them and written about each one here time and time again. You've watched and listened and wondered and prayed and granted wisdom. Again, I thank you.
Now, it's November 7, 2019. I haven't written a real post in over a year. I haven't written regularly in even longer. Part of me was holding back. Part of me decided I didn't want to spend the time I had to myself here. Part of me wondered where to even begin. Part of me was waiting to see what it was God was doing.
This morning, I read Natalie's story and the familiar fears that kept me gladly putting one foot in front of the other right where I was began to creep in. Making wonder and question and fear. I hadn't even gotten out of bed and my mind was reeling. And then I began to ponder the last year and that's when the words came to me. I asked myself if THIS is what I wanted and if it could be described as "my dream" and if not...what it was I wanted and what "my dream" would be described as. I remembered the summer I told Pastor Larry that what I wanted out of life and to do with my life was "what God wanted for me and what He had for me".
That's what I've had and what has gotten me through at every phase. Looking to God and accepting what it as He had for me and diligently attending to what He filled my hands with.
One year ago today, on November 7, 2018, I woke up and called my Mom. I was in South Carolina preparing to spend my brother's birthday with him for the first time since 2009. I'd arrived the night before after getting dropped off at the airport by the guy I'd spent most of the last 11 days with. We met at church back in the spring and spent the summer hanging out off and on after finding ourselves getting to know each other at various events. We'd gone swimming and hiking and spent time on the beach and cooked for hoards of people and watched movies and he'd come over to my house to play cards with my sister or my Mom. We'd been careful to keep ourselves surrounded by people even though neither one of us saw anything coming to life between us.
He dropped me off. I got on the plane and wondered what was going on and asking myself what it was that I hoped would happen next. That night, he called with news that the Army was sending him to the training he was waiting on and that he'd be gone by the time I got back from my trip, but that he wanted to begin courting me. It was late and we talked to make sure we both knew what those words meant. The next morning, I called my Mom to tell her and to ask her to meet with him. Later that day, I found myself having lunch with my Dad. We ate gyros at Dinos and sipped our Dr. Peppers. I got a call from my Mom when we were in line and she had more to say and more questions to ask. As I nibbled on fries dipped in tzatsiki, I told my Dad about this guy and the direction he was hoping things could go next.
Two days later, that guy got on airplane and started training that would do much in defining his future and also the characteristics of our relationship. It was November and he began calling me every single day. Our time to talk was limited with the exceptions of some Friday nights and Saturday mornings. We had a lot of ground to cover and questions to consider. The goal wasn't to get close to one another, but rather, to discern if we were a good fit for each other. He wanted to see if I was the kind of wife he was looking for and I agreed to see if he was the kind of man I could agree to submit to.
So, we talked. We listened and prayed and read books to help shape our conversations. The days turned into weeks. December rolled around and he decided to come home for a visit. Everyone knew something was up because for all his time in the Army, he didn't usually come home on leave. He came and we had something like 13 days to visit friends and family and celebrate the holidays together. I was filled with so much uncertainty wondering what would happen next and I was still wondering what it was I was hoping for. I had examined him over the phone night after night and now here he was in person.
Two weeks later, I flew to San Antonio with his Mom to visit him. And the questions were over. On that trip, he surprised me and asked me to marry him. I said yes with absolute certainty that it was not only a good decision, but that it was also right.
Boiling the last year down into a series of paragraphs with pictures seems like cheating you out of all the details. I'm torn between wanting each step along the way to have its own post and wanting to pick up from HERE, where we are today. I know I'll be writing about this year for years to come.
It's November 7, 2019. One year ago today...I became aware of what God had been preparing for both of us and both of us for. The thing is...It's not just for us. It's for our families. Our Mothers. Our siblings. Our children. Our children's children. And it's for Him. For His glory and the sake of His name.
I woke up today in the arms of the guy who took and who takes his role seriously. He didn't ask me until he was certain. He protected me every step of the way so that if we had to walk away, we could. He didn't tell me he loved me until he knew he would say those words to me on every single day he has left on this earth. He agreed not to kiss me until the point he was given permission to do so during our wedding ceremony. He calls me "wife" and he is my husband.
I'm here, having received a courtship and an engagement and a marriage and a honeymoon and then a baby and now a home from God. One year later, we're working through things and on things to make sure that our habits and our lives and our relationship are in order according to Him. We grant grace and forgiveness and love and we try to make sure our relationship is a blessing to those around us. We look to God just as we did when we were trying to figure out where it was He was leading us.
One year. So much has changed. I'm still who I was and I still look to Him. I'm still daughter and sister. Now, my house is 8 minutes away. I'm also wife and mother. I traded in my job at the library for role of volunteer. I spend my days keeping house for him and preparing it for the baby that will join us in the middle of winter.
This year, it happens to be his day off. My sister came over for breakfast and a Christmas movie before work. We sipped chai tea, cuddled up in blankets, and she leaned over and put her head on my shoulder. And she asked me about this post. Here it is, sister of mine. Hopefully it will make way for more to follow. I've started getting the words and the story out.
God works in the lives of His people. Always. In and through every circumstance. What we have is Him and His grace and His truth. Marriage is meant to be one thing and in order for it be what He means for it to be, we have to look to Him. It's what I did while I was single. It's what we did while we spent all those hours on the phone and in between times. It's what we did in the 11 days we had together before our wedding in May. It's what we've done every day since then. And it's what we'll do with every day He grants to us.
He does what He wills and teaches us to look to Him. And that's where our assurance comes from. In every season. No matter what. In every role we find ourselves agreeing to.
One year at a time.