A few months ago I wrote a manifest—a literal Man-I-Fest. Something I read every night to get the universe to deliver me the man of my dreams.
I asked for someone tall and handsome
Someone who drove a nice car
Someone who liked art
Someone who had the same taste in music as me
Someone who was clean and liked to cook
Someone who could have intelligent conversations with me
Someone who was nuanced when it came to God and religion
Well, the universe is VERY generous. It gave me EXACTLY what I asked for—and I was miserable. What I thought I wanted wasn’t AT ALL what was going to make me happy.
What I found was that I missed the one person who I thought was exactly wrong for me. I missed the first man I loved after my divorce. I missed the one who could make me laugh even in the moments when laughter seemed an impossibility. The one who held me when I cried, told me I was a badass, encouraged me to get up every time life knocked me down. The one who would let me ride in self-pity for a little while and then would say, "okay its time to get back to kicking ass, don’t let this hold you back". The one who could make me so angry and so happy in the same day. The one who was short, drove a truck, and liked country music. The one who was an excellent cook, but always left the kitchen messy. The one who could hold intelligent conversations, but didn’t waste time on them. The one who would let me just talk and talk and talk, and just listen—without falling asleep. The one who was just as excited as I was every time I tried something new. The one who loved God quietly and in his own way with a respect that was not pompous or for show. The one who would listen to me vent and then ask—do you want me to just listen or is there something I can do to help? The one who when he would look at me, the happy and love was so loud that once a couple in a restaurant once came up to us to ask if we were married or just dating. It was a bet between them they said. We never found out who won or why they asked. We knew it was our happy. It was so loud it touched everyone around us.
I learned that I didn’t want someone tall who stood over me, I wanted someone who stood eye-to-eye with me.
I learned that I didn’t want someone who drove a nice car, I wanted someone who was responsible with their time and means.
I learned that I wanted someone who appreciated my talent and love for art and supported me in it, even if he wasn’t necessarily interested in the field itself.
I learned that similar isn’t the same as the same. Diversity in music, activities, ideas, and desires can be a good thing, as long as they compliment each other and are not cause for conflict. I learned that it’s nice to open each other up to new ideas and things and opportunities. It keeps life interesting—even if I still don’t like sushi.
I learned that it’s okay to share the duties. He cooks, and I clean up. I hate to cook, he hates to clean. Win-win.
I learned that while intelligent conversations are nice, so are the silly ones, the pointless ones, the fun ones. And silence can be beautiful too. Cuddly, quiet moments where you just love being in each others presence.
I learned that complementarity in religion is the best to strive for. We believe in the same God, desire to worship him in a similar fashion, while avoiding the damaging habits that are often part of religious culture.
I fought it for weeks. The growing truth inside me. The deep intense longing toward him. He wasn’t what I wanted! Remember?
I did. I recited it every night. All the reasons we were wrong for each other.
I begged God to help me forget him and move on. Find my person.
Longing. I desperately missed him.
But God was working in him, in both of us, in our months apart. As I searched and pushed my hopes into the universe, God was helping him see what he really wanted too.
Our time apart became the darkest time of his life. He had to face head-on the addiction that had been robbing him of the peace he desperately wanted, needed, and deserved.
Our time apart became the catalyst I needed to figure myself out once and for all. The time to find the power to rise up and be. To not fear marriage or men. To know I am strong enough to never allow myself to be treated as less than I am ever again.
It’s always darkest before the dawn. And sometimes the lights have to all go out before you can see the one shining in the dark that you were meant to follow all along.
God brought us together in the beginning—there’s no other way to explain it. Then He separated us to grow and learn, then in His infinite and unfathomable ways brought us back together again. Both of us changed humans. Both of us better, stronger, more determined, more aware of what we really wanted—a future that was finally, and only by the grace and work of God, aligned.
Is our relationship perfect? Of course not!
Am I happy?
Inexplicably. Undeniably. Incredibly. Incandescently.
When he kisses my forehead, I melt. Every single time.
When he holds my hand, I’m home.
When he looks at me I don’t feel like an object. I feel like a priceless work of art, beautiful and adored.
When he stuffs a bag of chocolate covered cinnamon bears in my mail box so I’ll have something to brighten a bad day, I know he listens.
When he sends me a text every morning that says, Good morning beautiful, I know I am the first thing on his mind when he opens his eyes.
When he sends me a butterfly emoji. I know he’s thinking of me in the middle of the day.
When he proposed with tears running down his face I knew he truly meant what he said when he told me he wanted to spend forever with me.
And I knew when I said yes, that I’d finally found my person. The one who was exactly what I never knew I wanted.
With my best friend officiating May 1, 2021, on the rocky shore of a lake, where a light breeze blew, with only our children, parents, best friends, and God as witnesses, I married my person.
My happy has never been so loud as it is right now...