Thursday, March 22, 2012

Who Coulda Known

Looking at the calendar today, I realized that it has been three whole months since I got engaged! Wow. While the time has absolutely crawled at many points since then, I still am a little surprised that it's been a whole quarter of a year that I have been planning a wedding and getting used to the idea of actually getting married!

I really don't stop enough to think just how weird this really is for me. I have gotten used to it pretty quickly, but in reality, this is a huge, totally unexpected place for me to be in my life right now, compared to about a year ago. Before last spring break, I had never been in an official "relationship" with anyone. I did not get asked out a whole lot, and when I did, it was usually either that the timing was not very good for me or I just did not have an assured feeling about it. I spent a lot of time wondering if something was wrong with me, or what I was doing to keep men away. When I really started following Christ, I left behind my more cynical man-bashing ways but was still not seeing tons of results!

Then, completely out of nowhere, I found myself introduced to someone totally new, which I did not expect. I kind of had thought that I would likely one day end up dating someone who I had known for a while and had been warming up to for some time, and that we would be friends who decided to take it to the next level. Wrong! I walked into one week in Panama City Beach as a single girl attending a conference (which I highly recommend in every way), and walked out a not-so-single girl who was spoken for and was pretty much dating, even though it was not made official until about a month later -- at my self-guarding bequest. I probably spent time with this guy a couple times a day, with varying degrees of one-on-one communication and hanging out, for a max of about five days. How in the world does this happen?!

I am the last person to expect myself to be on the marriage path during my final semester of college. My prior plans were to graduate and probably find a way to go overseas long-term, especially having loved my time in Bosnia. I expected to be joining a dating website if I did not meet anyone by age 30, and just resigned myself for the most part to wait and wait. I literally bet one of my best friends $1,000 that I would not be the first one of our group of friends to date someone or get married, which was an assertion that she very boldly stuck to for no reason that I could see. Amanda, sorry... I am not paying you. We didn't shake on it.

Thinking about it all really goes to show how little you can predict about your life. Our stories are very different and creatively written by God, who loves us enough to give each of us a different adventure rather than blandly copying the same tale over and over in this epic. I mean, my senior year of high school, here is what I thought I would be doing:

1. Going to an ivy league university
2. Studying journalism
3. Hopefully getting a job in New York or something equally chic
4. Out-earning my male coworkers
5. Having an artsy and highly intellectual boyfriend who read poetry and played the piano

Here is what I did instead:

1. Went to a public university in my home state (go bulls!)
2. Studied International Studies and some in Ancient History & Business
3. Prepared a job wherever the freak someone will hire me
4. Went overseas to France for fun, and Bosnia for Christ
5. Met an all-American guy who both plays basketball and the guitar, and is a better balance between sensitive and more typical "masculine" qualities, and agreed to marry him

All in all, I came out of it with less debt, more experiences, a more open mind, a stronger faith, and a fella I couldn't have dreamed up being better for myself. :) I mean, when we first met, we discussed Flight of the Conchords, Freaks & Geeks, and Old Gregg. If that was not a divine match, then I really do not know what could be.

I am thankful for the twists and turns my plans have taken as God has held the reins. They are far better than I imagined. I hope I can hold onto that as I embark on a new stage of life as a college graduate and a wifey. Let's just say, I am not planning on having seven babies and moving to India, but apparently I can never tell what will happen...

I hope you see the exciting ways that your life has exceeded your expectations and that you await more adventures coming your way!

Love, Lara

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