It’s my husband’s birthday today. That makes it a holiday, because as far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best days ever to have happened. In its honor, I’m rerunning our story. Love stories aren’t always the way we expect them.
I’d love to hear yours.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, in the midst of one of those full-blown college girl frenzies caused by (of course) college boys, I cried out to God. I had no choice, which is how most of our best cries to God work out.
The text went something like this: “OK, Lord, I’m done! I’m done picking out guys. Clearly, I don’t do it right. Each and every choice I have made has been wrong, dear sweet Jesus in heaven. I don’t even know.” (And, don’t get me wrong. They weren’t bad guys. I never went for the “bad boy” vibe. Just no. Ain’t nobody got time for that. But they were not the guys for me.)
“God,” I thought it best to add. “This is the kind of man I’m looking for” (here I listed the specific attributes I wanted), “and if he’s out there, I’m leaving it up to you to find him. I quit.”
Yes, I did give God a list of my qualifications for a man. I’m not sure why I thought he couldn’t figure that out in his own. But I definitely remember what I heard next, in the quiet after my rant. Not audibly, as in heard this voice in my bedroom, which would have been a little creepy. But when you hear from God, you know.
“OK, deal. It’s about time, really. But you already know someone who meets all those criteria. Have you thought of him?”
No, I hadn’t. Probably on account of I was a junior and he was a freshman with Coke-bottle glasses and an ROTC haircut. And a girlfriend back home. That boy had been friend-zoned right away.
That was near the end of the school year, and friend-zone guy and I went home to or respective states, and we wrote letters. Yes, those things you printed on paper with a pen and needed a stamp and a mailbox for. (We were, after all, pretty good friends.) I sent one letter with the sticker you see here:
It was just a fun sticker. Although, in fact, that was one of the worst summers of my life, and chocolate would definitely have been welcomed.
He sent it. A box of chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but homemade fudge, without nuts (just the way I like it), made not by his mother but by him. I think that’s when I fell in love. (Plus, somewhere in there he dropped out of ROTC, grew curly dark hair and a beard, and got contacts. Those things helped. A girl’s got eyes, after all.)
Three years later, I married Mr. Fudge Guy. Hey, if God says he’s the guy for you, AND he bakes fudge, I do not argue.
The course of true love never did run smooth. (Thanks, Shakespeare. You are almost always correct.) Sometimes it’s paved with college tantrums, desperate prayers, hippo stockers, cancelled stamps, and even fudge. His parents’ was paved with war and bath towels mailed from an army base with an engagement ring attached. My daughter, who will celebrate her first anniversary this spring, found her way through banjos and homemade soap and rain storms during church picnics.
One never knows.
In any case, it has been a good road. What’s your story? I’d love to hear it?