Annie has suggested a trip down memory lane for today and I decided to play along. This picture is of me and all of my siblings when I was 18. This is one of the last pictures of all of us together. I think we may have gotten one more at my sister’s wedding but I’ve never seen it so I’m not sure. My brother, Rich (the one on the far right) died this past October at the age of 26 (you can read my eulogy here.)
When I was 18… I remember 18 so well for so many reasons. Chief among them was that I was finally able to smoke cigars and vote legally. Two events I’d been anxiously waiting for with baited breath. Just kidding of course. I never have smoked a cigar and voting legally really wasn’t the high point of that year, though I do cherish my right to vote.
18 really was the year that I grew up. I know I’ve mentioned before that I was an incurable flirt as a teenager. I wasn’t a naughty flirt really. Just a friendly girl with an effervescent personality that was happy with just about 100 friends, boys and girls.
I did however spend a good part of that year pining for a boyfriend. I don’t know why I so strongly felt the need for a guy at that time but I do know that it was hardwired into me. I was boy crazy from the day I started preschool. I’m sure my mother experienced cold sweats every now and then just thinking of how on earth I would make it through life with any kind of purity left in tact.
I worked an after school job at a day care. I drove my muscle car around town. We went to concerts. I visited and decided upon the University I would attend. I planned to work at the Summer camp where my sister had spent a couple of summers a few years before. I spent a lot of time with buddies. Had a short term boyfriend in the Spring. Went to my highscool prom. Suffered seriously with Senioritis and bolted without a single tear the minute that graduation ended. I was extremely happy to be done with highschool.
The day after highschool I went off to Mount Hermon to work on Summer staff. My sister decided to work there again too. And my best friend (ever since Kindergarten) was my roommate.
I was in hormonal heaven with meeting new boys on staff every day. But God was already starting to work on me. One night my best friend was out with a couple of her new friends and I must have been starting in on PMS or something because I somehow decided that though every other night had kept me busy as a bee going places and being with people, I was suddenly convinced that I had no friends and that my best friend was going to get a boyfriend and desert me. I was momentarily mental obviously.
The next day I really did have a talk with God. He convicted me that I was going about things all wrong. I was seeking out a guy to make me happy and give me some sort of fulfillment. I knew right then that I had to come to a decision: Was I going to be happy and satisfied in God alone if He should choose to make me wait 15 more years for my husband? Or if he had planned for me to remain single? Would I be able to love Him and know that He was planning for my good if that were to happen?
I decided, by God’s grace, right then that I needed to stop the ridiculous chase and put my future, especially with regards to a man, into God’s hands. Not one to make hasty promises to God and sign committment cards at every turn I did promise to God that I would never “make the first move” again when I liked a guy. I would, if it killed me, let the guy do the chasing so to speak.
Well, never had I been so immediately put to the test as to whether or not I could keep a promise and never, in my memory, had God acted so quickly on my behalf as I saw him work then.
The very next day I was sitting at the lunch table in the staff dining room with a handful of other people, most of them total strangers, when we all got talking about going on a hike down the railroad tracks through the Redwoods — down to a little nook by a stream called The Garden of Eden.
We all met up at the camp Loading Zone and headed off towards the railroad track. Railroad tracks being the size they are only accommodate two people side by side. My now husband and I just so happened to end up walking together. We talked for over two hours. I immediately went to wondering how old he was (turns out he was 5 1/2 years older than me… Criminitely! An OLDER man!!) At one point I giggled audibly, as my conversation with God from the day before replayed itself in my mind. The second he started talking to another girl that evening I worried that someone else would get their foot farther in the door than I already had.
So, holding to my promise, I did not make a move. I made my sister ask him to come to coffee with a bunch of us.
As you can tell by the fact that I am now married to him, things progressed throughout that summer and the following one. We were engaged a little over 13 months after meeting each other.
I spent the latter half of my 18th year away at college, crying myself to sleep at night because I desperately missed this man that I knew I was going to marry.
So, that’s my 18th year in a nutshell. The growth that I saw God working in me that year was phenomenal. It was all by his grace that I met this man and that God drew us together, that through knowing this man I was drawn closer to God than ever before… I knew that a guy who made me love Jesus more with every conversation we had had to be the guy that God wanted for me.
This is probably my most poorly written post because it’s rather stream of consciousness, not planned out at all. I apologize for that but it was neat to think about that year and how much changed for me in that year… Though I still look back and can’t believe I met my husband when I was a teenager!
Here is my husband and I (that first summer) in my car waiting in the Loading Zone where we all met for that hike that first day…
Awww… and look what he went and posted without even knowing I was getting all sappy over here about him.