This month is a special month. I met the love of my life eighteen years ago and we were only 18 years old at the time. The pendulum shifts. Soon, I will have known him more years than not knowing him. What a thought.
We were kids when we met, when I really think about it, but he fascinated me. Somehow, he separated himself from the pack, as a deeply thoughtful, compassionate and strong man….yes; at 18 he did all that to capture my heart for these many years.
But it was more than that; it was more than what you might see on the surface. We had common ground on so much, and it began with a common Faith. We met on a Teen Retreat several towns between his home and mine, and watching him teach others about our Faith, lead others to find God for themselves was captivating. In my heart, I knew, not only could he teach me, he could teach his children.
At times, I saw him determined, fearless, yet ready to listen, to hear me, to take my heart into his hands, and cherish it, protect it and love it. It’s what every girl dreams would come to her.
And when it came to me, I admit, I was terrified. Here’s everything I had ever prayed for, asked God for, hoped for in a future, and so much more. But at 18, close to leaving home for college and into an unknown, I pushed him away.
His talk of marriage was frightening. I felt young and insecure. I felt my whole life was beginning, and he wanted to end it by marriage. How I look back at those insecure days with such regret, yet with a more profound understanding as we age with more wisdom and maturity. While I wish I hadn’t hurt him to cut our relationship back then, I understand now, that we are who we are now, BECAUSE of some of those actions.
God had a plan through it all. He saw and knew. I didn’t. I couldn’t have known that this would be the father of my five precious children. I couldn’t see with those 18 year old, immature eyes, that this man, this man before me, was THE ONE He picked for me.
It’s not as though I pictured some other man out there better than what stood before me. I knew no one was better. What I didn’t know, was that marriage wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning. And he was ready to start that beginning. I didn’t understand marriage. I didn’t understand the beauty of the sacrament, the love-giving, life-giving union that God intended it to be. So in that respect, I wasn’t ready for marriage, because I didn’t know what it was.
I say it again, hindsight is 20/20. I can look back and see God’s hand in so many of our moments and how He must have guided us and our friendship so as to get us here….this many years later, with a house full of joy, laughter and children.
It’s a beautiful thing to take the time to reflect on meeting him, my Hero Husband, back in 1993. He was young, but as they say, with an old soul, that contemplated the deep, profound truths of our Faith, as I did, and needed answers for. I had never met a teenager, with not only that depth of thought, but had such clarity on matters of God. That amazed me. He was certain, while I was doubtful and suspicious. I challenged him on most counts and he always brought me one step closer to the truth, and for that, for his patience in bringing the truth to light, I will be eternally grateful.
In a lot of ways, he brought God to me, not only in his explanation of things, but in the way he lived his own life. He was patient and kind. He was loving and compassionate yet firm and determined when called for. He challenged me in my own life. He asked for more from me than anyone else I had ever dated. And that more, wasn’t for him alone. He asked for more to be handed over to God.
Who does that? At 18, who does that? Who invests themselves so whole-heartedly into another person, to be concerned, not just for their body, but for their soul? Who does that, at 18? I tell you, this young man, captured my heart for good on several occasions, but on one particular occasion, I will never forget, it solidified my love for him.
Through our college years, (long distance!) we talked at great length about the pains of my childhood, and how I may never marry considering what baggage I bring with me and to anyone I should call my spouse. I felt as though I would be punishing a husband with all the pain I brought with me, that I could destroy him, the marriage and even our future children, without even knowing it. I even went so far as to call myself, ‘damaged’.
And then, I tell you, he did something, that even now, is difficult to type and think through. It was supernatural. He asked me if he could pray over me. In giving my consent, tears of years past resurfaced, and as I shuttered through his prayers, I had an incredible experience of the Holy Spirit literally feeling like a wave of water washing over me. He asked God to heal whatever pain I was holding on to. He asked me to hand it over. And as I looked at the love of my life, through my reddened, watered eyes, I saw what God wanted for me. I saw He wanted me to see what real Love was like. And I did. I saw real Love. And it was in the one person who wanted healing for me. It was in the one person who was ready to take on the past, and not let it win over me. It was him, it was someone who looked past the pain I brought, and saw my true self, a true dignity as a daughter of God, one who was scared, alone and desperately wanting freedom from the chains of the past.
He trusted God for it all. And I absolutely loved and love him for that. He knew it was too much for him to solve on his own, and that God must have a hand in order to move forward in my life, our life, if it was to be together.
And so, while I have countless other stories of our courtship through four years of college life, it was the greatest day of my life, when my Love got down on one knee and asked for my hand. As you can imagine, I didn’t hesitate in my ‘yes’, for God had shown me, time and again, what Love was, and it was in this man, kneeling in the snow.
Yes, we met 18 years ago on January 13, 1993, and our friendship blossomed into a real and lasting love. It began all rooted on a Teens Encounter Christ weekend. I met God that weekend. I met my future husband on that weekend. And today, today, I sit humbled that He loved me so much, as to give me the gift of my Hero Husband, who has shown me and continues to show me what real Love is.
Copyright 2011 Sahmatwork