Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Milk & Honey Story (Love Story Part 4)

You might want to read this post first for a little context. :)

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As girls, we are often told that when we meet "Mr. Right" we will "just know."  I didn't know.  I was seventeen... At the very most, I was expecting to have a pretty cute boyfriend for the summer and maybe a little longer... Someone to make me feel good about myself, and take me on fun dates, and to hang pictures of in my dorm room.

Then a year passed.  And, then another.  And, even, another.  

By the time we were Juniors in college, Jeff and I had been together longer than ANY couples I knew, and I just expected that we would be the first to get married.  After all, I had worked the hardest for it.  We had been "Biblical" about our relationship, and "obedient."  I'd prayed a lot about it.  And, God had even changed my heart and given me a real DESIRE to be a wife... above and beyond any of the other hopes and plans I'd had for my life at the time.  We had been through three years of long distance, a lot of changes and personal development, and; well... it was just TIME.  

As spring of that year rolled around, the first of my best friends had gotten engaged.  That was OK, because they'd been together about as long as us, and both of them were graduating in December.  I could deal with that.  But, by the time the next two got engaged --- both of whom I'd watched actually meet & start dating --- I was beginning to lose my patience.  It was MY turn!!  I felt entitled to a diamond, and a husband, and a happily ever after.  I deserved it.  It was my plan, and I'd worked hard to put it into action.

That summer, the pressure became too much for Jeff.  He loved me, but... he didn't know that I was supposed to be his wife.  (He might say he never actually said this... But, it is what I heard loud and clear.) I was really heart broken.  How had I spent the past almost four years of my life with someone - in a long distance relationship no less, only to find out that he doesn't KNOW if I'm "the one"?  I felt lonely, and frustrated, and hurt.  

After a month of "solitude" working at a camp in Missouri where cell phone access/communication was limited.  I thought, for sure, I would have a peace.  But, God continued to be silent.

When I got home, Jeff and I decided to "take a break."

This was NOT the direction I'd planned for that summer!

I made him promise me during that break, that we wouldn't get back together until he "knew."  But - unfortunately for me - God doesn't really work that way.  It isn't about my time line or my expectations. 

Although we ended up "back together," that fall semester of 2005 (my last at Clemson) was one of the hardest and driest periods of my life.  I felt God wouldn't give me ANY answers --- he wouldn't tell me that it was TIME for Jeff and I to get married; but he also wouldn't let me just move on and give up.  I cried a lot of tears that semester.  I felt stuck.  Should I move back home to be closer to him?  OR, should I go on some wild adventure and let him figure things out on his own?  

If I'd been the author of this story, I'd have let me go ahead and get engaged that summer.  I had learned A LOT about trusting the Lord, and about trusting Jeff.  I had also learned not to put my hope or identity in how Jeff made me feel, or how much he loved me.  I had grown.  I had done the hard work.

BUT... God is the perfect writer.  

We got engaged in December of 2006 - almost TWO years after my heart first started yearning (and expecting) it.  We were married that summer.

And, it truly was PERFECT TIMING.  

Trust me, it is easier to say that now - that the waiting is over. (At least that type of waiting.)  But, it's true.

I didn't have the huge engagement celebration with every one of my college friends on the night he proposed, like I'd imagined.  (Although most of them did surprise me two weeks later in a gas station bathroom on the side of the interstate... But, that's another story.)  And, I didn't get to shop for bridesmaids dresses and flip through wedding magazines with my roommates.

BUT, I did get to plan my wedding with my mom.  And, still, that season is one of the sweetest, most wonderful times in my relationship with her.  I couldn't have done that if I'd been at Clemson.

I DID know myself, and my God better.  I WAS more ready.  

So today, in the midst of a little "wilderness," I remember my "land of milk and honey."  

God's plans are NOT my plans.  But... Thank Goodness!!

I'd make a mess of things if it was all up to me! :)

(I hope you find some encouragement in my little - and I know it is in the grand scheme of things - story... There are lots more POWERFUL stories of "Getting Real" here.)

6 comments:

  1. I love your story! Thanks for sharing...

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  2. Hello! I just came across your blog from the "getting real" post and I just had to tell you that your golden is adorable. I completely relate to your post, even though I'm not married, I am going through a similar situation. You just have the cutest blog!

    Sarah

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  3. This post really resonated with me - thanks for sharing your story. I admire your patience, and your joy in how everything turned out.

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  4. What a great story.. thanks for sharing, I think a lot of us can relate!!

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  5. Hi! Of course you posted this amazing story today and of COURSE I read it =) My boyfriend and I just celebrated our 5 year dating anniversary last week .... And of course I too have been agonizing on the "when is it gonna be my turn?" for two years also!!!! Your story has just brought me such a sense of reassurance that a) I am not the only girl out there anxiously awaiting the love of my life's promise for life and b) That I am not the only girl in the world who didn't get engaged afer a mere 18 months of dating (yes, that is several of the young women in my life)! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am still holding out for God's plan - but I am confident that it is there.

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  6. aw, i love your story! I love how God writes our love stories, if only we let Him! I am so thankful for a wonderful husband & it took me 11 years of total singleness...sometimes i was soooo tired of being single & so frustrated with not finding MY mr. right. But God did bring Him into my life & it was perfect timing! I try to remember that w/ this whole baby fever thing. :)

    I love love love that picture! You look gorgeous & i love your dress!

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Your comments are what makes this thing fun! I LOVE to hear from you and do my best to respond to everyone! THANK YOU!


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