When I was in my early/mid 20s I bought a piece of art from an Andy Warhol exhibit. The piece said, “the idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting.”
That became my anthem as I waited for my husband to come into the picture. Waiting meant anticipation and excitement. Waiting meant I would appreciate the very thing I had been waiting for more than people who didn’t have to wait as long.
Waiting became less exciting the older I became.
Soon after turning 27, I had a breakdown in a Ugandan hut with more snot and tears than tissues could keep up with. I bawled to my mentor Rozy about how I felt let down by God (I thought He said my husband was coming but where was he); I also hated that I cared so much about being married when people around the world were suffering. “It’s selfish and small-minded,” I said with tears pouring down my cheeks. “I want to care about bigger things.”
Rozy rebuked me and said it wasn’t small minded to desire marriage, noting that often times couples can accomplish more together.
Six months later I was crying again, this in my counselor’s office. The ache for marriage was overwhelming, all-consuming, a thorn in my side. I dated guys but none of them felt right. My counselor said she thought I was a little depressed but also assured me it was normal, biological even, to desire a mate. She told me I would know when he was the one. (My response? “Fairy tales aren’t real.”)
The same day I was crying to my counselor about being single, my future husband was on a plane to Zambia. We had met 3 months prior. This fact continues to blow my mind. I already knew him!
Six months after my tear-filled counseling session, Justin asked me out. What followed was 2.5 years of on again, off again as we figured out the nuances of our relationship. Early on he was overcoming addiction. Later, I was paralyzed by fear.
Nevertheless, there was something about him that captivated me.
6 or 7 months into dating (the third time), Justin would scoop me in his arms and declare, “I’m going to marry you!” with a big smile on his face. “Oh really?” I would respond. “How can you be so sure when I don’t know if I want to marry you?”
I knew I loved him. I didn’t know if I wanted to marry him. Where was that feeling of ‘knowing’ my counselor promised?
At the end of December 2016, when I was 30 years old, I decided to stop waiting for that feeling to come and instead make a choice. I would marry him.
Cue the BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE (apart from following Jesus.)
Marriage is everything I hoped, cried, prayed, and dreamed it would be. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night because I’m so happy. I milked my single years for what they were worth, but at the end of the day, I was made to do life with a partner.
Everything is better with Justin by my side. Grocery shopping, going to movies, traveling, lazy Saturdays, falling asleep at night, sitting in coffee shops, driving, dancing at weddings, making decisions, dreaming about the future, and all the other high, low, or in between moments life has to offer.
I’ve loved finding our rhythm together as one. Fighting doesn’t feel like fighting anymore because it’s no longer a jolt that disrupts everything; instead our fights weave in and out with ease.
Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, of course. The last few weeks brought some low moments – I got into a car crash, leaving my car totaled and my body bruised, followed by a bout of food poisoning that had me crying (and puking) into a trash can.
Justin was there every step of the way — showing up at the scene of the wreck, dealing with insurance, searching for another car, changing trash bags, rubbing my back, bringing me dry toast and lemon water.
In good times and bad, Justin is always there and I am forever grateful.
When I was in my early/mid 20s I thought the longer I had to wait for marriage, the more I would appreciate it.
Turns out I was right after all.