On my 23rd birthday I met my husband. I thought he was straight up stupid!
My friend, Andrew, told me he knew the PERFECT guy for me. I didn’t believe him. He said, “Really Bethany, he is JUST like you and you two would be perfect together.” Andrew invited me to his house for my birthday. I walked across the road with a bowl of cereal and sat on Andrew’s living room floor while the guys played video games. Some were out back. I brought my dog Jordy with me. I’m not sure at what point I realized Jordy was out back with the guys but I heard them laughing so I went outside. I thought I saw my (one day husband) teasing my dog by pretending to throw the stick for him only to hold it behind him as the dog went running. He swears to this day that never happened. After later marrying him I saw him throw the stick a million times for our dogs. He would fake throw it and the dog would run, then he would throw it in the opposite direction and my dog LOVED it. He said it was extra running for her which she loved. Maybe that’s what he was doing back then. I didn’t give him a chance to see. I rolled my eyes, called my dog, and left my birthday get together with a completely different guy.
I dated that completely different guy for awhile. Too long of awhile. Over the next year my one day husband started to grow on me. I saw that he was kind, loving, and exactly what Andrew said he was. But I was dating someone else, so he and I just built our friendship. Meanwhile, the man I was dating nearly destroyed me. My only thread of hope was my friendship with my one day husband. My boyfriend who quickly turned into my fiancée was very wounded. His wounds turned to anger and sadistic behavior which he took out on me daily. I nearly lost myself in that year. My one day husband kept my one foot on the ground where the other one was being pulled under the earth slowly burying my existence.
My mom had a 4th of July party that year. She invited my fiancée who invited my one day husband and me. My nana was invited too. We had a huge picnic, sailing on the lake, skiing, and napping in the hammock. Nana sat next to me at the picnic table by the water where she very seriously told me that I needed to stop dating my fiancée because HE (my one day husband) was who I needed to be with. Hmm. I didn’t think of him that way. I was already half buried to death by my fiancée. After that day I looked at things differently. He and I would ride bikes and work out at the gym together every week. What if…..my life could be different. What if my best friend could be something more? What if my destiny hadn’t been decided by one quick roll of my eyes and choosing the wrong man to walk away with?
I broke up with my fiancée. Nana was right. Andrew was right. The perfect man was right in front of me. I wasn’t destined for a life of abuse. I was destined for more. I had decided. Now I just needed to convince my best friend to fall in love with me like I was falling in love with him. It really wasn’t up to me. God had plans beyond my control. I’m pretty sure He orchestrated the whole thing. He was looking down on me as I made that original split decision to roll my eyes at my one day husband. Had I only given him a few more minutes. But I was impatient with life. God may have put his head in His hands at that moment. He had presented me with the perfect man, even put him in the life of my neighbor Andrew. But I wasn’t ready to believe.
I prayed one night that God would give me a sign. I prayed he would lead me. I drove to a local park at midnight and stared up at the sky and prayed to be saved and loved. My one day husband drove up a few minutes later. He came to find me. I knew. I believed. God must have thought, “OK this girl REALLY needs me to put this man RIGHT in front of her.” So He did. Put him right there as an answer to prayer.
We married in the woods on our favorite path a little over a year later. My husband restored my soul. I believe God worked through him and with him to teach me what real and unconditional love is. I know what it feels like to be loved. Truly loved. My husband saved my life. He has been my continuous foundation. God gave me a miracle that I cherish still, 20 years later. I’m not sure some days how he does it. I am quite the complex person. Yet, he loves me through it. I’m sure he may want to pull his hair out some days, I would too if I had to live with me. But he has grace, and humility, so I don’t feel like I’m a burden.
I truly love this man.
I thank God for bringing him to me over and over and over again until I finally could see that my husband was to be my destiny. A destiny with a beautiful daughter and a marriage that would stand firm in God’s promise. He brought my husband to me that night at the park. My husband has shown the way God wants his children to love in how he loves me. My husband is a testament to the truth we should all live by. I guess he isn’t so stupid after all (sometimes I still do roll my eyes at him though).