Thursday, April 4, 2013

a match made in heaven

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road. 
But I got lost a time or two-
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through.
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you.

Every long-lost dream lead me to where you are.
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms.
This much I know is true:
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.

I think about the years I spent just passing through.
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you.
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there, you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true.

Every long lost dream led me to where you are.
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms.
This much I know it's true:
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you.
(-Rascal Flatts)

After many years of waiting and wondering when and how and if my Mr. Right would show up, and after many temptations to settle for less than God's best, I remember God clearly telling me, “Don’t settle for someone good or even great. Wait for someone extraordinary!”

In honour of our 3-year anniversary as an official couple, and for those of you who have always wondered how I met and married my Mr. Extraordinary, this is our story:

I first met Jared at a bonfire in the County, the very same week that my dad passed away. Our mutual friend was Natalie, my close friend from church, who happened to know Jared from her university days. Though Jared and I had grown up only half an hour from each other, our paths had never crossed--until that night. 

Natalie ended up inviting Jared last-minute to the bonfire and we were introduced in the driveway. Except for spontaneously joining him in singing “Hurt” by Johnny Cash around the fire, we didn’t talk to each other at all. Little did I know, it was love at first sight for Jared!  Little did he know, I was immediately wowed by his good looks, his guitar playing, and his Johnny Cash-like singing voice. I couldn’t believe Natalie hadn’t ever thought to mention him to me before!

As I left that evening (with another guy), I was a little disappointed that we hadn’t talked, though it occurred to me that he probably assumed that I had a boyfriend. For the next week, he played hard-to-get, adding everyone from the bonfire to his Facebook friends list—everyone except for me, that is! Once he did add me, though, we ended up talking for quite some time! I remember Natalie specifically warned me not to get him started on theories of personality or he’d talk my ear off for several hours…to which I replied, “What would be the problem with that? I love psychology!”

We carpooled to several more bonfires, had some more late-night chats over the computer and phone, and thus, got to know each other a bit better. A few weeks after we first met, we ended up going to a movie together in Belleville. Afterwards, we had coffee at Tim Hortons, and ended up sitting there talking until 1:30 am.  That was our first “unofficial” date.

At this time, it was still my intention for Jared and I to simply be “just friends,” though I do recall thinking it would be nice if we became something more eventually. I remember telling him that I would want to be friends with a guy for a year, then date for a year, and then get engaged. Thankfully, God (and Jared), had different plans.

A month after we first met, Jared sat me down and asked, “What would you say if I was your Mr. Extraordinary?” Then he told me he loved me. Although it freaked me out, deep down, I knew he was! We sealed the deal with a kiss (to this day, we still argue about who initiated it!) and that is how we officially became a couple.

Jared knew right away that he wanted to marry me, but he had initially promised that he would wait at least a year before he proposed. (I was still in a state of shock over how fast things were moving.) However, this didn’t stop us from starting house renovations, choosing our wedding rings, and setting a wedding date. I told him I wouldn’t hold him to his promise to wait a year, however, he felt it was important that he honour his promise. So it turned out that we had the church and the hall booked, and my wedding dress bought before I even had a proposal or a ring on my finger!

I was hoping that he would propose on our first anniversary, but the day came and went with no proposal. In the following days, we went on several long walks, and each time I was convinced that he was about to propose, but he didn’t--he was just tying his shoelace! On April 30, several days after our anniversary, Jared asked if I would like to drive out back with him to drop off a load of scrap wood from our renovations. I agreed, and again, I was convinced he was going to propose beside the bonfire pit. After all, we had first met at a bonfire. But the moment passed—and still no proposal! Instead he asked if I would like to learn how to drive the tractor today. At that point, I became convinced that he was not going to propose, since he was clearly only thinking about tractors!

I drove the tractor around the field while Jared waited nearby. As I parked the tractor beside him, he held out his hand to help me down off the tractor, but he didn’t let go. As he held my hand, he dropped to one knee. With the sound of the waterfall in the background and my dad’s tractor behind me, he pulled out the ring, and finally proposed! He explained how he was the new man in my life and it would be his job to protect, provide, and cultivate my heart. I started to cry and I couldn’t believe it when he told me he had planned this  moment months in advance. Even though I knew it was coming, it was still the most wonderful surprise. (Oh, and of course I said, “Yes!”) 

We were married a few months after that on August 20, 2011....and the rest is history!

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