Now, this little girl had a very vivid imagination, as well as a thirst for adventure and a flair for the dramatic. Playing with dolls was great, but raising children in the wilderness was half of the fun. Fancy tea parties certainly had their place, but pretending to be a panda bear making a daring escape from the zoo was far more exciting.
Walking down the aisle in a white dress was amazing, but what would it be like to embrace something more than an oversized Dora The Explorer doll dressed in an improvised tuxedo at the altar? She imagined it must be fantastic.
Time passed, and the little girl grew. Instead of acting out stories and adventures, she left off playing and took up the art of writing. The stories that were forever swirling around in her mind found their release through the scribble of a pen, the pressing of keys. When she wasn't writing, her nose was most often pressed in a book.
Stories... there was a magic about them. And as she spent the days creating and shaping characters and plots, she couldn't help but wonder how her own story would play out.
What would he be like? How would she meet him? Was there even a him? She understood that having a significant other was a privilege, a gift, and not something to be taken for granted.
The years slipped by faster than she anticipated. Autumns faded to winter, and winters gave way into spring. It was a bittersweet day when she turned eighteen - the official end of childhood and beginning of adulthood. Even though nothing evident had changed, there was a mentality shift, and she wondered what the future held.
At the end of summer, she went on a missions trip with her church. This was a trip she had been on twice before, and it was something that she always looked forward to. It was a good time of work, fellowship, worship, and spiritual growth.
Saturday and Sunday were spent driving to Dinuba, California. Monday morning, she got up early and worked with a handful of guys to stack trays before going to work in the peach plant for the rest of the day. That evening at dinner, she found herself sitting at a table with a young man she had gone to church with several years before. Their families had been friends for years, but they had never spoken more than a handful of words to each other in that amount of time.
The next morning, they worked together in the peach field. Their crew of four was the best at laying out the trays of wet fruit, and they all had fun working together. That night, she found herself sitting next to him. The conversation started out with them talking about the effective method they had for laying out trays, but it soon took a more personal turn and before they knew it, two and a half hours had gone by and it was time for bed. They bade each other goodnight and went their separate ways.
The rest of the week went by rapidly. Mornings were spent working in the field, afternoons in the warehouse or plant, and evenings were spent relaxing and enjoying conversation. She spent much of her time with her new friend - they worked together throughout the day, and most evenings were spent together or in the same circle. The more time she spent with him, the more she enjoyed his company. The days passed all too quickly, and before she knew it they were saying goodbye. He went home to Washington, while she returned to Oregon.
In the weeks that followed, they kept up a healthy email correspondence and strengthened their friendship. They talked about their faith, the things that were important to them, hopes and dreams for the future... anything and everything that came to mind.
Three weeks later, he visited her for the weekend, at the end of which he asked her father if he could get to know her more intentionally.
The answer was yes.
In the five weeks since then, they have sent each other a copious amount of letters and emails and have spent countless hours on the phone or texting, getting to know each other and trying to ascertain if there were any deal-breakers or obstacles. So far, everything has proceeded smoothly, and they feel that there is no reason to not continue pursuing this relationship to see what God might have in store.
*switches out of story-telling mode*
Ladies and gentlemen, I am incredibly happy to announce that I am in a relationship! Allow me the grand pleasure of introducing you to my boyfriend, Andrew.
I must confess, despite the fact that it has been over a month, this all still feels so surreal. It's true that over the years I have anticipated, looked forward to, perhaps even daydreamed, about being in a relationship, getting married. But it was always something far off, something in the distant future. I'm still wrapping my mind around the fact that I have a boyfriend. I have an amazing man in my life, who I care about and who cares for me, and we are getting to know each other to see if a marriage between us would be a wise and God-glorifying decision.
How crazy is that??
It is absolutely and totally crazy. And wonderful. And amazing. And so very exciting.
I don’t know how my story will end, but I know that I love this chapter that I’m in, and I’m excited to see what the next chapter holds.