We want to orchestrate life. We want to plan and choreograph moments, aiming for perfection, worrying about any risk that might flaw the moment or scar the memory. We practice our lines, we over-think our appearance, our location, our intentions. But then, in the rumblings deep in our heart, we hear it, the low, loving, chuckle of the only One who can make a moment, an appearance, a conversation perfect. God's laugh is the very contagious sort that makes me stop, smile and join in on the humor. Ah, yes, it is entertaining when we think life is about creating perfection, or worse yet, being perfect. I am thankful for that Fatherly chuckle that reminds me again and again that it is about the journey itself.
Our journey, or this particular part of it, took place in the park downtown. The disappointment for WG was palpable the moment he parked the Jeep. The holiday lights were strung, the candy cane arches were present, the scene was, in fact set, but not turned on. Instead of festive, holiday cheer, there were skateboarders enjoying the empty fountain basins. But WG knew, it wasn't about lights, or Christmas, or ambiance, it was about the walk.
And so he took my hand, and we walked. We talked about his house, and the advice the realtor had given him. We talked about school, and about gift ideas for his family. We talked about families, and silently paused to be gracious for our own blessed life.
He stopped me by the nativity, empty but for a half dozen plastic cheep grazing nearby, and got down on his knee. Even knowing this was coming, even knowing each step that had led us here, I was still overcome and surprised to see this man I love so dearly, down on a knee in the cold November night.
His words didn't come out quite like he wanted them to, and he didn't say all that he had practiced to say, but it didn't matter a single bit. I knew what his heart was telling mine. My answer, of course was of no surprise to him, either, and I wasn't even able to surprise him when I handed him the card that has been tucked in the Bible my mom gave me, in the pages of Ephesians since our one-month anniversary in March of 2011.
He opened the card, the seal signed with his signature and dated nearly two years ago, and read, "Sweet James, Someday, in the not-so-distant future, you are going to ask me a question. my answer is, without a doubt, an unwavering -Yes!"
For all we've been through as 40-something's trying to navigate the dating path, for the struggles along the way that took us out of each other's lives for a time, I had always believed that he was the kind of man I wanted to spend my life with. I knew it a month into dating him, and I know it now.
Our walk together has been far from perfect. We don't say the right things, we don't do the right things, we don't always look to each other like the people we intend to be for the one we love. But that's our journey. And it will be our marriage.
I have waited what feels like a thousand years for this man and for this love.
My dear sweet James, it will not go as planned, it will not go perfectly, but God planned us to be perfect for each other. Yes!