I said I was going to whittle the story down to 10 points and it seems I have held fast because here I am at the final chapter of our little saga. It has been so long since I last wrote that even I wondered if there would even BE a tenth post.
The night that Matt flashed me down and hopped out of the car for the sole purpose of letting me know his affections really was the climax of our love story. A proposal is exciting to think about-you never know when or where it might take place...but you always have a sense that it WILL when you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. A wedding in inevitable for two people who love each other-there is no surprise there. And our first kiss? I don't even REMEMBER it! The first kiss, even as souped up as it can be in today's society was NOTHING compared to the exclamation of love. No, the pivotal point in our lives was when we shared with one another our feelings, adoration, and intentions. And the REASON that it WAS so special is that we hadn't poured those words out on everybody. They were sacred words. They were deep. And they really MEANT something. Both Matt and I had only been in one previous relationship. We were both radicals in a society that viewed dating as more a flavor of the week than a rich sundae to savor.
I could hardly breathe when he spoke the words "I love you" and honestly, I had no idea what to do. All I could think was "How am I supposed to LEAVE this man?!?" Because too often I speak what I think-it moved from my thoughts to my mouth and off into the night air. Matt said "Knowing that is supposed to make leaving easier, because we know we love each other." HA! Maybe in his book-but not mine! I don't remember how we left. Oddly enough~ I don't even remember if I got out of the car!! But I do remember those words that night. They will never leave me. No kiss, no proposal, no special date could ever compare to that magical moment.
He proposed before Thanksgiving and we were married August 24th of the following year. Nine months shy of 21 years old, I was just BARELY allowed to sip champagne for my own wedding toast! Because of my that, our views of birth control, and of course the 'only your 2nd girlfriend factor'- our marriage was met with a bit of animosity from some. It was just a week or so before the wedding when Matt was taken aside and given 'a talking to' in hopes to dissuade him.
Every relationship has its highs and its lows. Sometimes the HIGH is you being FLUNG into the HEAVENS and sometimes its being comfortably content. The lows could be you teetering on a gravel spitting cliff or just temporarily discouraged. Before we were married, knowing that I was not accepted by some was a pretty low point. But Matt defended me, protected me and stuck BY me. That was the most important thing. It is inevitable for a relationship to have its ups and downs, to think otherwise would be foolish and naive. It is how you HANDLE those ups and downs that really matter-and how they should be handled is TOGETHER. Matt stood by me then and I stand by him now. Always together. Always in LOVE. I am thankful, TRULY thankful that our relationship has been many many more hills with just a few valleys to change the scenery a bit but I am confident that even when we head into a tour of the plains, we will do so together-always clinging to one another. So-while this is the final chapter of our love story transcribed, in a sense it isn't. We have many, many more chapters to write, Lord willing.
It occurs to me that this love story, and my telling of it, may have given the impression that I am a strong, principled, and extremely wise for my age. I thought I had better reveal that for the lie that it is. Looking back I see very evidently the Lord's hand in my life-and it is ONLY because of Him that I am where I am.
God made me horrifically tall-and because of my stature towering over the high school boys, I was not a prime target for their affections. Had I been, who KNOWS where I would be right now.
Had I not been the victim of the immature and foolish Sam Hill, I never would have realized how painful relationships can be. I never would have realized how important it was to protect myself. And worst of all-I never would have been given such a powerful opportunity to realize God's hand in my life at all.
If the Lord hadn't placed Matt in our church, in my life, at the very time that He did, I may have weakened my resolve and 'settled' for a life with a man that wasn't ideal for me, in order to live my dream. I was able to turn Chris down only after I had seen firsthand what I wanted in a man. Perhaps if I had never seen my ideals played out in a living human being, I might not have realized what I wanted-or how important they really were to me.
Time and time again , the Lord protected me from my own foolishness. He prepared the way for me and gave me just want I needed at just the right time. It was through Him and by Him and because of Him that I am where I am.
Thinking upon those things and reflecting on my life, I am confident that the Lord will continue to guide and direct my path-just as He has my parents and grandparents, and just as He will for my own children and grandchildren.
This roller coaster we call life may certainly go upwards and down, spin you like crazy and scare the bajeebers out of you sometimes-but you are still on a track. A track that guides and directs you. One that you CAN'T get off of until the time is right. God is our track. What a relief it is that He had paved the way for us!
Whatever may come of Matt's and my love story- it had a wonderful beginning and it's only getting better with time...