In celebration of our upcoming anniversary on Saturday, I thought it appropriate to share a little love story, our love story. We like to think our story is a great picture of the way God works in our lives. It’s about how God will take the wrong path you walk to get you to the place He wants you to be.
I have to set up our story, with a little story of my own. Before meeting Nate, I had relocated to the area moving me two hours away from my home and my family. I moved to the area because of a “boy.” I could say this was a stupid decision, but it was the best of my life. I was in an insecure, unstable relationship that would change me in so many ways. The relationship began to unravel before I ever arrived in my new city. The week before I went, I recall expressing to a co-worker, “It doesn’t matter if this doesn’t work, God wants me there for a reason.” I chose not to back out on the move. In the back of my head, of course, was the hope that this relationship would survive. This family, the “boy’s” family, blessed me in so many ways. The single mother of the three children had been in a battle with cancer. It began with breast cancer and moved throughout her body, including bone cancer, lung cancer, and brain tumors. I spent many weekends being support for my friend, his siblings, and their mother. I spent many nights in the hospice house until the loss of this amazing woman. After her death, the relationship inevitably died as well and we went our separate ways.
After this relationship, I spent much of my time in and out of meaningless “relationships” and built walls around my heart and lived my life with my cold, cold mind. I had found a job upon graduating college and was living the life of a single twenty-something female. I was an independent woman with no intent of settling down any time soon. A friend I met through work mentioned several times she wanted me to meet her brother. Her idea was that we would be good “party buddies.” Months went by and timing did not allow us to meet.
In March 2003, God’s plan rolled into place just as He had planned. I met Nate on Monday while he was in town for a job interview. He would be graduating in the spring and was making a stop by my town for a possible job offer. We met for lunch and went on our way. He was pleasant, actually, quite pleasant. I laugh about the ride back to work. His sister called and told me she wasn’t sure what I did but he was ready to marry me. That made me smile. Little did I know, within the next five days, I would have my life laid out for me.
He called on Wednesday and I saw him again on Thursday. He had come back in from school to have some medical tests completed on Friday. We spent hours talking and laughing…and believe it or not, I felt a twinge in my heart. The next day at work I received a phone call from his sister, she told me if I didn’t hear from him for a few days, she wanted me to know why. The doctors had just found a brain tumor.
That was my moment. That was the moment, I knew. God put me in his life. There was a reason God placed me in my previous relationship and that was to be able to deal with this now. After taking some time to deal with the news, Nate allowed me an opportunity to “get out” as he called it. I knew I was there for a reason and I wasn’t going anywhere. Over the next couple of weeks, tests were run and the doctors searched for answers. The biopsy itself was too risky. And then it happened; by the grace of God…it was gone. There was no explanation. The tumor never came back.
This traumatic event is what linked us. But, contrary to my belief was not the reason we were together; it was just my sign to stay. In a short period of time, the walls around my heart came down. Within eight months we were married and began our life together. Over the course of the next year, we would challenge each other’s beliefs in God and salvation. Through these challenges, we came out very different people, with a very different God than we had served before. We met people with the same beliefs. Each step of this road and each step of our roads before each other, God used to get us to a place of spiritual support we never knew possible.
Six years later, I am amazed at the husband and spiritual leader he has become. I have watched him grow and stand up as the true head of our home. I am amazed at how God changed me to be submissive and respect my husband as I am called to do. (And unless you know me, you may not understand what a feat that is!) Our walk has been hard, especially through three years of pregnancy. Our faith holds us together through it all. We truly see how God’s hand has been on us the entire way.
I love you more than I can show you. I thank God for your honesty and humility. Thank you for always being who you are. Please don’t stop hugging me, because I really need it. I love you for giving me the breaks I need when you come home. I love you for playing with the babies when I don’t think I can do it any more. I love all your quirks, mispronunciations, made up words, and how you can’t say “th” and instead say “f.” I can’t wait to see what the next year holds for us… let’s hope not another baby yet… I would like a break!
I’m expecting a guest post from Nate later in the week… we’ll see how that goes! BTW- this picture was taken several years ago. I chose the picture because this TOTALLY embodies our daily relationship and why I've been pregnant, nursing, and/or both for three years. He really gets on my freakin’ nerves with the breast grabbing!