A lot has changed in life since my last blog post, but it’s finally time to bring it up to speed. From my perspective social media can be a scary place, and so I wanted to live this part of life before sharing it with the world. In short, since my last post I have met and married a gentleman.
My initial heart:
What I mark as the beginning of our story is my Christmas of 2018. At the time I had been living in New York for a year and frankly I was at a very lonely point in life. As a single woman in my mid 30’s I had learned that these points come and go. There were times when I was completely content in my singleness enjoying everything that God was bringing me in life, but that was not all the time. There were also times when the loneliness felt unbearable and I would repeatedly pray for contentment. My prayers would go something like the: “Lord, help me to fully believe that you are enough. Help me to believe that I’m not missing life because I don’t have a partner to share life with. Help me to know that your timing is right, and if it is your will I will meet someone in your timing. Lord I love you and I know that your love is enough, but please bring me contentment with my current position in life.”
That particular Christmas I had very mixed emotions. I loved spending time with family and seeing my nieces and nephews growing, but seeing their happy families also exacerbated my loneliness. I spent my nights in my parents basement bedroom with a few tears as I flipped through dating websites trying to decide if I should give it one more try.
While I decided to give online dating another try I was not optimistic based on past experience. I had basically given up on ever getting married. I am sharing this because things weren’t all great and easy, and they won’t always be. Life has a lot of pain and challenges, even if it is based on something that may seem trivial like loneliness.
Meeting my husband:
Fortunately, my time of online dating was short. I messaged a few guys, but there was one that stood out. He actually attended the same church as me and shared an enjoyment of the outdoors. We e-mailed a couple times and made plans to meet for coffee at the public market in January. But before that meeting occurred, I had lunch with a friend from church and asked if she knew him. I was in luck! I left with a near certainty that the guy I was meeting was a close friend to her family. She also told me a little about him, both good and bad, but it left me with a sense of relief. This time I was going to a meeting with a stranger knowing that he wasn’t an axe murderer or something.
We met the next day in the 20 degree temps. It was cold enough in the coffee shop that I never actually took my winter coat off. We chatted for a while and he accused me of spying based on my insider information. Then we made 2 laps around the market, walking by the shops until I was nearly too cold to function. That day we started a text thread that is still alive. We met up for walks in parks, dinners, and beers.
The next big decision point for me came when we decided to go to church tomorrow. Up until that point I was still having a couple random dates, but for me going to church together also meant that we were exclusively together. This whole concept of going on dates with multiple people seems to me to have been created by online dating. It’s a balance of trying to get value while paying a membership and wanting to invest more deeply in a single relationship. So I went through a very weird time of having a single date with the other guys I’d been talking to before ending those relationships and solely pursuing the man who is now my husband.
That was the beginning of entering into and adjusting his habits by filling his “buffer” seat at church. He did his best to sit in the same seat every Sunday which he thinks is the perfect spot for sound and viewing without too many distractions. He was also known for trying to keep a single seat buffer between himself and the next church goer, whether it was a friend or stranger. So, we sat together that first week and shared with our common friends that we were “together”.
Things progressed and he dove headlong into my hobby of rock climbing. I greatly appreciated his zeal to pursue it, but at the same time I was worried that it was only to impress me. Eventually he convinced me that he really was enjoying it and trips to the climbing gym became a regular occurrence.
The next big step came with a trip to IA for him to meet my family. He came to the farm played with my nieces and nephews, fed the cows, and saw where I grew up. I suspect that this gave him a little perspective on how I became the person that I am. It was really sweet to see my little nephew cuddle up next to him to have a book read. It was sweet both to see my nephew take to him so strongly and to see how he interacted with my nephew. At the end of the weekend I asked my sister what she thought of him. She wouldn’t say a lot, partially because she knows I value her opinion too much, but she did tell me that she liked the way that he looked at me.
After this we continued to find adventures and get to know each other more. He went on my family vacation to the lake, and I went a bluegrass festival he attends each year. Over the next few months we were spending more and more time together and learning more about each other.
I’m going to skip the engagement story because we seem to have different recollections about how exactly the days events played out, but he proposed to me the weekend before we left for Christmas vacation and I said YES! This made Christmas entirely different from the previous year. We were filled with happiness knowing that we would soon be officially starting a life together.
This brings us to Christmas, the next 6 months deserve a blog of their own. The teaser, we planned a wedding, canceled a wedding, got married, sold a house, purged and moved. COVID has affected everyone, so my next blog will tell you how it affected us.