"Rebecca, will you marry me?"
The words had escaped Chris' lips several excruciatingly long moments before and I STILL was unable to speak. This was it. The moment that I had waited for, dreamed about since I was the age my own daughter is now. A man proposed to me. I had a ring-with MY name on it. Lots of diamonds given for ME. Without a doubt-there was someone who loved me and wanted to marry me.
Seeing that ring, hearing the words that Chris said, being lost in a moment that I had longed for since my very first memory; all these things experienced at the same moment made me momentarily lose my resolve to wait for something better. I could have it all right now. If I wanted to.
But did I want to? I couldn't read Matt well at all, so I had no clue what his intentions were and where his interests lay. I had to decide if I wanted to take the chance of waiting for who-knows-how-long to fall in 'better' love with someone or to make my wedding dreams a reality with THIS man. A genuine kind of guy. Kind. Loving. Thoughtful.
At such a time as that, when emotions are running high and my mind and heart were screaming at each other-I sat stunned, speechless, and debated what I should do. Deep down in the crevices of my heart I wanted to exclaim "YES!" then fall into his arms and melt. I seriously contemplated it. Emotions can be nasty little tricksters, and they were in that moment. My emotions told me that if I did say yes-my life would end in a fairytale. My mind needed a bit more convincing. This was, after all, the man that I had put out of my life so easily just a few weeks back. Surely that couldn't be REAL love. Just yesterday I had wanted MORE for myself.
The ticks of the clock were echoing in the distance and I was stuck in this surreal moment unable to free myself from my thoughts, when Chris brought me back to reality with a confession. And reality hit HARD. He told me that he couldn't let me say 'yes' until he had told me something that was very important. He told me that he had lied to me about something-about saving himself for marriage. That he loved me SO much he didn't want to hurt me and knew how important that detail was for me. He didn't want to give up on our relationship because of his 'mistake'.
It was then, in that very moment, that it all became blatantly obvious what I should do. What I NEEDED to do, for my own good.
As good as we humans are at convincing ourselves of untruths and rationalizing things out to be 'okay'...I was graciously given the kick in the pants I needed to realize that no. Saying yes to a man when he asks you to marry him is NOT part of a fairytale if
1) you would have to change him.
2) Meanwhile, you would have to settle
3) You STILL needed convincing.
4) Oh yeah-and he has betrayed you from the moment you met.
For once, my mind and heart were in total agreement. Chris was a part of my past, but couldn't be a part of my future. Never again would I question that decision, nor did I ever regret it. I was thankful that Chris had been a part of my life-but I was SO VERY THANKFUL that I had been saved from making the worst mistake of my life.
For as brazen as my Mother can be, and all the countless times I cursed that attribute, it wasn't but a few short weeks later that I thanked the Lord for it. She invited Matt over for supper to our house and he said yes.
It would have been the VERY first time we had been together outside of church. Again, I wondered if he was coming looking forward to seeing me-or if he was coming, looking forward to fellowshipping with a family from church. Regardless, I was nervous and excited all at once. Supper was had-though I don't actually remember the food. Or eating it, for that matter.
Once the food has been consumed (with or without the taste) and the table had been cleared, Matt and I went up to my bedroom to talk. Now-remember-my bedroom was the attic...so there was much more room than just the BED (hehehe). Besides that, my parents are foster parents and have had a whole gaggle of young children running about their feet for more years than I can even remember...so the only QUIET, calm, and conducive to conversation place WAS the attic. Which is, as stated previously, where we went.
Hours passed and we talked about life, church, expectations, church membership, doctrine, farming, college, kids, my family, his family. I don't know that there was a topic that we didn't talk about albeit briefly. Scattered among the conversations were my freakishly uncontrollable body convulsions. Whenever I get nervous, my body starts to shiver and there was a LOT of shivering going on. I was thankful that it was colder weather and so it could be a somewhat realistic excuse. I don't know how I would have explained the shivers in the middle of summer heat. Golly. I just shivered thinking about it!
Eleven o'clock came before we were ready to say goodbye, but so we did. Matt still had an hour and a half drive ahead of him. Mom and I both walked him out the door, into the darkness of a near-morning. We waved goodbye and shared how delightful a time it had been, then Mom went in and Matt drove away. My eyes followed his truck until the inevitable turn that took him from my sight. Sigh. What a great night. What a FABULOUS night. Talking to him had been so wonderful. He really WAS as great as he seemed. He was smart and responsible and admirable and respectable and devoted and mature...all at the same time.
I slowly turned and made my way inside, a smile playing at my lips. My heart full.
I walked into the kitchen, where my Mom was, and said to her...
"I am going to marry him someday."
She laughed and so did I, but I knew in my heart, mind, and soul that-mark my words- I was right.