What Came Next...

So, a year later, as I was feeling that God didn't want me to ever get married or give me the things my heart desired, I had this revelation...not audible, but from God's mouth, definitely.  It was Fall again...my sophomore year, and I realized that God made the person I was going to marry...if indeed I would marry.  God knew my heart's desires, and although He didn't have to give me what I wanted, He could.  He's God.  It seemed like a dare almost..."pray for whatever you want in a husband."  I knew that it was an invitation to see God work.  My list was short that day...off the cuff, I didn't write it down or add to it later, I just put 4 things on the list.  It didn't feel like it was supposed to be a list with character traits, just a list of almost silly things my heart desired.  So here is the list:

1.  He be over 6 feet tall
2.  He like math.
3.  He like softball (and I definitely should have clarified this one...softball and not fantasy baseball...that is what I meant to say).  ;)
4.  He would take walks with God, talk to God personally (I had a roommate that did this, it was inspiring to me).

I asked, and then forgot all about the list, until a very strange day in May...

Some more gratitude from the past...

So I wrote before about a boyfriend from the past, and if you are female and didn't know me at the time, then you are might have a small part of you wondering about this relationship and where it went wrong.  I mean, you probably didn't even remember it until I just said something, buy now you are really interested (or maybe it is just me that sits up way to late reading about other people's love life's.  Or possibly not, but anyway, I am going to tell you about how grateful I am that another college student agreed to share a little piece of her life with me one day in the SUB in K-ville MO.  But even more than that, she agreed to share her intimacy with her Creator...it changed my life.

{cut back to Fall 1997, a few months in to my freshman year of college}

I never took myself as one to be "homesick."  Really, I was all about adventure and had been waiting for college and living on my own for years.  I was normally all about making new friends...which had been relatively easy up to this point, basically because the friendships consisted mainly of shopping and talking of boys and the like.  It was very easy to find other people excited about those things.  But that last year of high school things changed a bit, and I became a Christian...life became more meaningful, and with that, so did my relationships.  Two in particular were very hard to leave, number one, the guy I was dating in the previous post, and my dear friend Megan, whom had become a mentor to me, even though she was 2 years younger than me, and therefore still in high school 2 more years.  I learned so much about life from her...I still do.  Anyway, I missed these two people especially, and it was hard, I didn't know it would be so hard because I really didn't have that depth of relationship before.  So after a month in Kville, I was ready to call it quits and move back where my friends were.  I wanted to quit because life was hard and I was lonely.  I am sure everyone was lonely those first few months, but I whined about it more, no doubt. 

During these lonely months, I met this girl, Mandy, at the campus ministry I was hanging out at, and I am not sure how it came about, but we ended up setting a lunch date a few days later to get to know each other.  I was very excited, as I would be spared thinking of my loneliness for a few hours.  When the day finally arrived and I sat down across the table from her, and I was pretty shocked by the words rolling out of her mouth.  She was engaged as of last night.  She was marrying a guy she never dated, but God had "spoke to him" and made clear to him that he was to ask her to be his wife.  At this point you probably think I was thinking she was crazy...but at that point in my life it sounded completely amazing, romantic in a "set apart" sort of way.  Absolutely foreign to the dating regimen I had come to know quite well.  As her story unfolded I sat amazed, listening, seriously amazed.  She spoke of God as if He were right there next to her.  Like hearing His voice was like taking an anxiously awaited phone call.  I hadn't ever experienced God like that, first hand.  At the end of the conversation, this Josh guy sounded like he was probably mounted on a white steed, but God sounded even higher...yet lower, more real, all at the same time.  It was truly an amazing story.  But what happened next was not so amazing.

As I walked back to my dorm room, the weight of the whole thing hit me.  The idea that God really knew more than me, that He wanted me to trust Him in the dating area of my life.  As that thought sunk into my being, I began to see what He did want from me...why He had put Mandy in my life on that day and at this stage of my life.  He wanted me to trust Him.  And with a whole lot of reluctance and a very, very small dose of excitement (at what God had in store), I broke up with the guy I had been dating.  I knew it was what I was supposed to do.  There was not a single doubt in my body.  It wasn't something he or I had done, it was what God had planned, and thankfully, He cleared my head that day to allow me to follow Him.

The days that followed were, of course, harder than the homesick days from before...I wished I could be back in KC with Megan, or on another planet where that guy I had liked so fiercely didn't have a phone number.  But I can say with absolute gratitude that other people came into the story, they loved me when I was a mess, and God pulled me through to see the beauty of following Him.  I look back on that day as the day I learned to hear His voice...it wasn't audible, but it was clear...It didn't seem sane at the time, but His plan was better...not easier, just better.  Thanks Mandy for letting me peer into your story and you relationship with God...that day I embarked on something bigger than me.