With a world surrounding us, of casual relationships, live in loves and child pregnancy...no, finding the "love of your life" with one date, just doesn't happen anymore. Too bad. For I have always admired those few couples I have met, that said the only person they have ever kissed was their spouse. That the only person they ever wrote a love letter to, was their spouse. That the only person they ever had any kind of sexual relationship with, was their spouse. How special would that be? As I look around at this great big world of broken hearts, untrustworthy individuals, fatherless children and diseases running rampant...I think that would be pretty darn special. Like a gift.
Well, my hubby was not my first boyfriend. He wasn't my first kiss or date, etc... He wasn't the first boy to make my heart melt, or the first guy to buy my a dozen roses. He wasn't the first young man to take me down to the lake for a drive (which is where most dates ended up, in our college town. Just being real and honest here.) He wasn't even my "ideal" of a guy, back in the days when us girls would write out our list of who we were going to marry, how many children we would have, and what those children's names would be. Sorry Kev, but you just don't look like my John Stamos posters.
No, Kevin may have not been my "first" love, but I thank God everyday that he is the man God chose for me. Remember people, God really knows what we need more than we do. I needed this teddy bear of a man, who loves me no matter what, who will stick by me even in the hard times, who has a forgiving heart, who loves unconditionally, who puts God first and who totally just "gets" me. Whew! I just plain love the guy!
I was telling someone just the other day, that it is almost funny how serious we all took life when we were younger. The world would end with a broken heart, a rumor spread or a bad hair day. I look back at some of the choices I made in dates and "thank the Lord" that I didn't end up with one of them. I think I only had one past boyfriend, that even believed what I did spiritually. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!! Was it desperation for a date, a little rebellion against the parents, or just that need we all have deep down to be liked? Whatever, it was, I was in over my head, and only by the grace of God did I survive it all, with my heart in tact.
That being said, except for a box of memories, my past is pretty much in the past. After all, it has been 20 years since I even dated anyone but my hubby. As I said before, only one of those guys I dated, was even worth remembering. But, I still keep a few memories just because, they are a part of my childhood, my youth, my growing up days. They are a poster of memories of "what not to do" when my own daughter starts the dating frenzy. (Lord, help me!) Truth is, the likelihood of me even running into most of them is slim...remember, I graduated from an International School in another country, and then there are a few others from college, but they didn't run in the same circles as the hubby, so...
All is good, right?
Well, like I said, I wasn't my hubby's first gal either. In fact he dated one girl for quite a long time in high school and one year in college. They broke up when he felt called into the ministry, for she wasn't where he was in her spiritual walk, in fact church wasn't a big priority for her family at the time. So, he transferred to a Christian university, which is where we met, became good friends and eventually dated.
I remember when he first told me about her. I was looking through his wallet and there were several pictures of her. He didn't try to hide them, wasn't embarrassed that I saw them there. He was honest. You could tell, she meant a lot to him and it broke his heart when she didn't believe the same things he did. He kept the pictures there for a long time, as a reminder to pray for her. I had always heard nice things about her. I had seen plenty of pictures of her. I even knew what house was hers growing up, but it never really bothered me. After all, the way I figured it, he left her to follow a different path, a path that I happened to be a part of.
Move forward a few years. Kevin had taken a group of senior adults to a Gaither Vocal Band concert in another town. When he came home, he told me I would never guess who he saw. He was right, I never would have guessed. It was his old girlfriend. She went up to him and said, "Kevin, I bet you never would expect to see me at a concert like this (meaning Christian.)" That moment, believe it or not, was the first time I felt a little funny about the whole situation. Maybe it was the mood I was in, maybe I was feeling ugly and at my wits end, taking care of two young children all day, maybe I wasn't feeling good enough at this minister's wife business... but for whatever reason, that night I had a few questions for the Lord. Those "what ifs" just kept popping up. What if she had been at a different stage in her relationship with the Lord...
God, quickly shut that book and allowed me to move on.
Move forward. We moved back to Kevin's hometown a few years ago. Now, if I am being totally honest, it isn't always easy to move back to the place where your spouse grew up. Thankfully, my husband was a well liked guy, not too many bad memories floating around with his name stamped on them. But, if I'm honest, it did cross my mind as to where the "ex" might be these days. I have often wondered what it would feel like if we just happened to run into her at Wally World.
Move back to a few days ago. I was on facebook. I was writing something a on friend from church's wall, when I look down and there she was. I couldn't help myself, I went to her profile and read what little I could read about her, without being her friend. And then I did the unbelievable... I wrote her a note and asked her to be our friend. (my hubby and I share a profile.) She accepted in 4 seconds. And then I sat there, nervous, as to what she might write me back.
She was sweet. She told me about her beautiful family. I saw the pictures and she has three little boys. She is very happy. She found her special "love" in life too. And then I realized, that this life we are living is so much bigger than us. God has a plan, and among the broken hearts and busted dreams of what we think we need and want in life, there is a well thought out story, already proof read and signed by the Heavenly Father.
No, my hubby and I might not have fallen in love when we were sixteen, with one glance and lived happily ever after. We may have made some wrong choices, while growing up. But it is so nice to know that we have a Father who has been watching over us, throughout all the curves and U-turns in our journey. I believe our past can only make our future stronger when we realize where we have been and we know where we are headed.
Truth. I think I might even like the ex girlfriend. She sounds like a lot of fun. Who knows...we are fb friends now and she only lives a small town away.
For those who haven't seen it before, thought you might enjoy seeing a picture of Kevin and I in 1990. We had been dating a year. Cute, huh?