I wrote this a while back, but my fifth anniversary is coming up in a little over a week, so I thought I would share it again, for those who might be wondering how on earth I ended in Yuma. It goes like this:
My sister was introducing my wife and I to a bunch of people the other day, and each time she did, she added “they met online.” There’s truth to that, but like most things, it’s a little more complicated than if we met on Eharmony, or something of that nature. It was more like this:
I met my wife in 2008, and prior to that, had not been involved with anyone for a number of years. This was largely due to a promise I made myself to not stick my neck out romantically anymore. I was tired of having my guts torn out (the fact that this happened several times was also my fault, but that is a story for another time).
Still, I really wanted to meet someone, and having a family was something I’d always wanted. My parents were gone way too young, and I had longed for the chance to be the dad I never had as long as I could remember.
With that in mind, and with the encouragement of a couple of trusted friends, I decided to try one of those Christian dating sites. I only ended up meeting three women in person in the few months I tried to do it. One woman got her dog’s butt kicked by my Shepherd, Cattle Dog mix. Needless to say, we never got any farther than Starbucks. That one was troubled by my lack of a past–whatever that meant. Probably it was because I had not yet confronted a great many of my issues, and hadn’t gotten much into being transparent. And there weren’t many sparks flying.
The second I met at some North Coastal mall place, and knew immediately she wasn’t for me. Attraction is not everything, but it’s something, and there wasn’t much of that going on at all. I actually ended up getting to say “it’s not you, it’s me.” I felt like every bit of the a-hole I thought I would, but I still said it.
The third try was still in the late-night phone call stage when I began to get a little closer to another woman that had been dating a friend of mine, but they had broken up some time past (outside the 6 month mandatory waiting period, of course. I was not about to break the bro code). She was pretty cool, and that fact that I already knew her was a plus, too.
And then one day, I was about to leave for a vacation to Mexico with a couple of good friends. For some reason, I felt compelled to log onto Myspace, which I had not done in a while. I saw that I had a couple of messages in the Myspace inbox–one regarding a blog I’d written, and the second from a young woman in Arizona that I had never met. I gave her email a passing glance, but did not reply to it.
I went on the trip, and it was pretty awesome. We had this little condo about ten feet from the beach, and for the week we were there, I would usually get up some time before my friends, and spend 30 minutes or so doing my daily reading and journaling out on the condo’s little rear patio, looking down at the white sand and startlingly blue water.
One morning, I remember praying and pleading with God that if He was ever going to make “it” happen for me, that He please do it soon. And I asked him to make it very clear to me what His will was, because left to my own devices, I was likely to make an errant choice, which I used to be famous for. I don’t even think I read my bible that morning–I just prayed. I gave all the built up crap in my heart to Him, because I didn’t feel that I could carry it for another day.
And I told him that I wanted desperately to have just a chance to be the father I didn’t feel I’d had, and the husband I thought I could be if I continued to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
We got back from Mexico a day or two later, and I went back to answer the Myspace email from the girl in Arizona. She lived in Yuma, which I knew almost nothing about. She’d somehow found my page, and thought that based on most of the things I’d written we had a great many things in common. And it’s only a little thing, but at that time, we both had Psalm 139 quoted in its entirety on our pages.
So I wrote her, and she wrote back again. We emailed, and emailed, and then began to talk. We had more in common than either of us had initially thought. We wanted the same things for our lives, and both had the same hunger to know more about Jesus.
It soon became apparent that this was the “very clear” will I had prayed for that morning in Akumal.
The day we met was something that will stay with me forever, probably, and is one of the three most significant days of my life. For all intents and purposes, that was the first day of the rest of my life.
Happily ever after? It sure looks that way for now.
I don’t know if I really even have a point to all this, except to say that I am glad that things didn’t start happening in my life when I wanted them to, when I thought I was ready. My life did not change until God prepared my heart to receive the blessings He had prepared for me. When He knew I was ready.
Anyway, meeting those people yesterday made me think about this, so there you go. If you wanted to know how I met my wife, this is it from my perspective. If you want to know Jen’s, you’ll have to ask her. Forgive me for the gratuitous backfat shot, but the picture was taken from that patio where I finally ran into some common sense.
It really was a life-changer.