I’ve dreamed of getting married for my whole life, you probably know that.
For years, I tried in vain to find “the one”.
I had lots of failed attempts to make things work with the wrong guys.
I knew what I wanted, but I knew changes needed to happen first.
I left my home and started a new journey in Stillwater.
It was tough, as I knew almost no one.
I didn’t think I wanted to, but I went to church.
It was the best thing I ever did.
I made a myriad of friends, Thomas being one of them.
I can’t remember our first conversation (neither can he!)
He was a friend, but we weren’t close.
We were too different. (so I thought)
I was interested in other guys. He was interested in other girls.
Nothing worked for either of us, but we persisted.
We continued trying in vain to find “the one”.
I felt hopeless. So did Thomas.
Each of us just wanted someone to give us a chance.
Then one day, something changed.
Thomas saw a light in my eyes that sparked something in his heart.
He had his own “what ifs”.
He was scared. He felt hopeless.
He just wanted something to work. He wanted to feel love in his life.
He confided his feelings to a friend.
She told him to go for it.
So he did.
He sent me a Thanksgiving day text.
I was utterly confused (and disappointed).
We came back from break, and he sought me out.
With a trembling voice, he asked if I’d go out for coffee…or frozen yogurt…or ice cream.
On Friday, or Saturday, or even Sunday. (He would be there all weekend!)
I didn’t want to, but I said yes to Friday.
He left, promising we’d secure our plans on Wednesday.
I left, lamenting about my weekend plans to Rebecca.
She told me it was just a date. (She dated him once herself!)
She told me a date doesn’t equate marriage, just an evening of my time.
I told a few other friends.
They sang his praises.
I changed my attitude. God softened my heart.
I got excited.
God turned my sorrow into joy.
I felt hopeful for the first time in a long time. (So did Thomas!)
We went to dinner.
We talked the whole time.
It was too early to part ways.
We went to the lake (it wasn’t that cold outside!)
We walked and told our stories.
We saw a shooting star, and internally hoped it was a good sign.
I still had my fears, but I shared them.
He didn’t care. (He kissed me to show he didn’t!)
We made it official right there!
Life was great!
Then we were apart for a month.
His grandpa died.
Mimi was slowly dying.
We talked nightly.
It sustained us through that month of longing.
It set us up for our future.
He helped me through student teaching.
I helped him through his tough class.
Then Mimi died.
He stayed with me that night to comfort me so I wasn’t alone.
I knew then that I didn’t want to lose him.
I got a job.
I graduated, and I didn’t know where the summer would take us.
He found something close to me. (I couldn’t believe it!)
He loathed the job. But he loved getting to see me.
We made the best memories that summer.
He learned more about my life and my family.
I was certain we’d make it.
He started his senior year.
I started work.
I hated being away from him during that time, but the weekends were great.
We continued making memories.
Then reality hit—he needed an adult job.
I promised my support of whatever he pursued.
We knew we could make it.
We knew we were ready.
He got a job, but it’d take him to Arkansas. Somewhere else eventually.
I didn’t want that. I wanted him close. I was mad.
He wanted a good future.
I knew he would thrive. I supported him wholeheartedly.
It was tough, but we did it.
That cold night in December, much colder than the year before.
He took me to the Shrine. I knew what was to come, but I said nothing.
He asked me the question I’d waited forever to hear.
I cried. I shrieked. I was in shock.
I said “YES!”
Life was good.
Then we spent another month apart.
Mother Nature conspired against us, lessening the time we’d spend together.
I was in a wreck. He hated being away from me.
Somehow I survived.
He came back, and we eventually celebrated his graduation and my first year of teaching.
He moved to Arkansas.
Reality set in again.
We were the farthest we’ve ever been from each other for the longest amount of time.
Weekends sustained us.
So did nighttime phone calls.
Arkansas was good to us.
I loved it more than I expected.
I was happy for Thomas.
School started again, and the stress returned for me.
Dallas beckoned, and Thomas accepted.
I wasn’t happy, but I knew it’d be okay.
We trusted each other, but we trusted God more.
He moved, again.
I reluctantly bid Arkansas adieu.
We found a new normal, yet again.
This time, it meant more time apart than ever before.
Nightly calls continued.
School continued, punctuated by events reminding me of all that awaited us.
We were showered by love (and gifts) so many times.
We found our first home (an apartment).
Now school is done.
I found a job, though not what I expected. (God provides, right?)
Thomas is in the apartment.
Everything is getting closer.
The white dress, the flowers, everything.
It’s all for us.
It’s our time.
The two will become one.
The distance will end.
Nightly phone calls will end.
Living separate lives will end.