Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Story of Us- Part 3

My dreams of marriage to the exceptional young man were shattered when he unexpectedly broke off our relationship. It remains somewhat of a mystery even to this day as to the reasons why.

It was a difficulty hard to overcome especially since our campus was small and our circle of friends close. I retreated at that point to a few close friends and leaned hard on the Lord. I was lonely, no doubt. I was physically sick for some time. Most of my friends were in serious relationships or married. I was forced to confront some difficult questions regarding my own faith and faithfulness to continue on the path I had promised to follow. It was probably the lowest point in my life.

During the next two and a half years I changed my major to nursing. My interest in medicine had not changed, but I discovered that my giftedness was more in hands on caring, counseling and education rather than in organic chemistry. I also grew to know myself and became completely enthralled with the Lord and His Word. There were many Saturdays spent hiking in the hills of Tennessee and hours of piano playing. I learned to be by myself and came to like it actually.

I decidedly did not date during these years, though there was an occasional interest. I had come to recognize some of the mistakes I had made in giving my heart away so easily the last time. I was not willing to do the same again.

Soon those four years of college came to an end and those closest to me were moving on to jobs, families or grad school. I, however, due to my change of major, had two years left to finish. I had come to college at 18 and I wouldn't be finished until I was 24. Watching my friends pack up their cars and graduate was excruciating for me. Again, I felt alone wondering where my path might lead.

For that summer I had an internship back at my home church. It didn't pay much, but I thought that the experience would be priceless in preparing me for future work. I was to be the youth and missions intern which would entail a week of church camp, Bible studies, and a missions trip to Mexico and Latvia.

The first day on the job I was talking with the youth pastor, Rick, in his office. I was sharing with him my sense of loss and was of course was crying. Then there was a knock on the door. I was slobbering all over myself when in walked a tall, bright blond haired young man with piercing blue eyes. Sean. With the same fire and passion that I remembered, there he stood. He had just graduated from college in Florida and was home in Indiana. He just stopped by to ask, "Is there anything I could do this summer to help?"

We never technically dated. We just spent the next two months working side by side. Looking back we laugh at these instances as we see clearly how from the start God was working and our relationship was sealed. I think the most important aspect about our early relationship was that we got to know each other in the context of serving and spent nearly all of our time talking. We weren't trying to impress each other. Nobody looks good when they've been sweating for a week and have only bathed out of a bucket. Those close to us say they could see it coming a mile a way. We just knew that we had found love and for the first time felt at peace.

Here's just a picture of how our story unfolded the summer of 1995:

The first task of the summer was the get ready for church camp. Of course, I needed him to turn the pages of music at the piano as I sang.

Then there was the great assistance I provided while sitting on pieces of wood in Mexico while Sean sawed for the house we were building. This was followed by a therapeutic hand massage I provided to his strong hands. This is team work at it's best.

There were late talks around the campfire when everyone was in their tent.

Back home we spent many, many more hours of talking and laughing at my parent' s house until the sun rose as we shared our lives and dreams. Sean's dad once commented about how convenient it was for him to go to work at 6 am because his car was already warmed up and ready to go.

Our first kiss was at the end of June on a blanket in a park where Sean first confessed his love and I responded likewise.

Having not slept for six weeks, Sean became very sick. I jumped to the occasion to help him research grad school applications. In the end he had two good options and one of them was a state school about 5 miles from my college in Tennessee. Which one do you think he picked?

When I returned home from Latvia my dad's truck was packed with our belongings. Sean had been accepted to grad school with an assistanceship to pay his tuition and found an apartment.

Life had changed dramatically in the span of 8 weeks, but the Lord had it planned all along. It was His preparation, His purposes and His perfect timing that brought us together. Sean asked my dad for my hand in marriage over Thanksgiving break, we were engaged the next month and married in May.

And so begins the story of us.

11 comments:

Cindy said...

Awww... I LOVE THIS.

A few things... I know why the doofus broke up with you. He wasn't good enough for you, and I bet God spelled that out to him.

Why on EARTH don't I have a single recollection of "Latvia" being part of your life??

What is Rick doing now? Didn't he plant a church or something?

I hope you tell more of your story, like the engagement part.

You forgot to say how incredibly awesome you are and how ANY man would have been blessed to have your heart. I'm glad it was Sean. ;)

Heather L. said...

So enjoying hearing about how you guys met and married!!!

Monica said...

Yep. I went to Latvia. One of the really cool things is that my brother-in-law Mike was on that trip. I had all that time to talk his ear off about Sean and get his feedback. It was very confirming.

Rick is now an inner city missionary here in Indy. His organization is called City Light Ministries. He disciples, trains, employs young men who are on the verge of going to jail. There are on their last chance and he gets them.

In future days there will be more story to tell. I'm hoping to scan in some pictures for these posts first, though. So come back and look sometime.

I'm glad it was Sean, too. I can't imagine my life otherwise.

soccermom said...

I LOVE IT!! Thank you SO much for sharing.

Alaina said...

What a great story! Isn't amazing to see how God works?! I remember thinking Andrew would never get it together and ask me out. :) You've inspired me to write our story sometime.

Sniz said...

I don't know why...but I have tears in my eyes. I loved this story...it is just so sweet when the Lord works in a relationship and brings two people together perfectly.

Shannon Koons said...

You technically didn't date, he asked your dad at Thanksgiving, you were engaged in December and married in May. Sounds strangely familiar... Haha.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I love this love this! What an amazing story. We always see God's hand so clearly on the "other side", don't we?

It's things like this that remind us of His faithfulness so we can trust more and more!

mindi said...

That is so sweet!
I'm glad you found the man God planned for you. Love makes everything worthwhile, it is what life is all about. Love for God, love for family, and love for friends.

Sarah said...

It's a great story. I just love the times when you can see God's hand so clearly. It's such a good reminder (to me at least) in the times that it doesn't all seem so clear.

Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Monica - I agree with Cindy - I feel like I completely missed out on this part of your life! I was being semi-miserable in Joplin, and one day I heard you were getting married to some guy I never heard of ;) And I also never knew about Latvia! It was fun to read this. And after whats-his-name broke up with you and you said most of your friends were in relationships or married I had to smile - I wasn't then and I'm still not! And only one relationship in between . . . wait, actually I'm not smiling because that's really pathetic ;)