We had prayed about it for three days.
The control freak in me was showing its ugly head; I was in love with him — now how could I keep him? We’d been together for three months, and he was talking about a wedding two years down the road when his residency was over and he would be placed at a church somewhere. Except, I had just been accepted into a Master’s program at seminary. In my head, two years down the road would like like two broke kids trying to get hitched with a low-income church position as the sole source of income and a year and a half worth of school debts to pay off. And I was in love with him.
So I marched into his room the night that I was accepted into the Master’s program and asked him to tell me what to do. I told him that I would marry him in spring 2017 or I would marry him in two years at the end of the residency, but he needed to set a pace and tell me what to do. He said we’d pray about it. And we did. For three days.
“Do you remember when you said that you’d marry me in spring 2017 or at the end of the residency?” he had asked me that third night.
“Yeah,” I nodded, sitting down on his mattress.
“Well, how does spring 2017 sound?”
Some might say that knowing when your wedding is going to be and knowing he has to propose to you sometime between the now and then is the least romantic love story of all time.
Because every single time he picked me up or asked me out on a date or invited me over for a movie, I was on the edge of my seat, checking my reflection and freshening up before seeing him, dressing up, holding me breath, squeezing his hand tighter. Every single moment was exhilarating.
Until I started to doubt. Until the thoughts that maybe we would just get comfortable crept in, and I began to wonder if the way my stomach flip-flopped every time I saw him was more of a warning to not live a life expecting something good to be around the corner.
The night he proposed, I was getting ready for what I thought would be “family pictures.” I texted Hannah, overwhelmed with the feeling that was settling in: he wouldn’t be proposing tonight, either.
Hannah had known Lane would be proposing in time to plan a December wedding; I asked her what it felt like to get your hopes up, thinking, “This could be it!” only to have a proposal-free night.
She said, “Patience. And enjoying getting to be – you.”
Little did I know, he was upstairs trying to calm his mom down so that her tears wouldn’t give it away before we could get out to the beach.
It was me and him and the tide coming in on the night he asked me to spend forever with him.
He kept his word. He followed through. The ending we had talked about came full circle.
And the deafening reality is that God has already told me how the story ends, and yet, I always seem to doubt at the last minute; I forget what He told me He planned; I convince myself that the good He promised isn’t coming. And sometimes I don’t even make it out to the shoreline where He’s waiting to give me His immeasurably more because I’m too busy running at the thought that He isn’t going to follow through.
Greg waited four years to give his love to someone. He knew his own worth, and he knew how much his love would be worth to someone some day, so he didn’t just give it to anyone. I gave him such a hard time for months before we started dating because of what I thought were such unreasonably high expectations. Because the lonely had wrapped itself around my ribcage and made it hard to breath for so long; I had molded myself into the role of “second-choice”; I was irreplaceable and never enough. In my head, I was going to be the last girl Greg would ever choose.
Except, God promised an immeasurably more. And He is a beautiful storyteller and a redeeming romancer.
Oh, all the times my impatience sent me running even when I knew that more was coming.
Here’s to believing; here’s to staying and patience and beating the doubts that bully us out into the lonely.
Here’s to sunsets and white sand and the tide coming in.
There’s an immeasurably more coming.
I said it when my heart was bleeding, and now I get to say it with a cup over-flowing: there’s an immeasurably more coming.