I found his eyes before they found mine.
His nephew had just come up to me with outstretched arms, wanting me to pick him up. I had him on my hip, my free hand setting the table while his sister finished dinner in the kitchen. He was out in the sunroom, holding his newborn niece.
I wanted to observe, to see the way he cradled this tiny newborn in his arms and imagine him as a father himself, but as soon as he met my gaze I knew he saw right through me.
I was all in. This. All of this. A million times, yes.
I prayed for him, or rather, the idea of him, for years before knowing him. But even my wildest dreams pale in comparison to the incredible man he is. He’s everything I’ve fought for my entire life, everything I refused to believe I had to settle for less than. But he is so much more.
I see the same theme coursing through so much of life: brokenness, redemption, salvation. It’s played out prevalently in my life this year. I’m in awe of our God, the masterpieces he creates from the broken pieces. I’m grateful our God is a God of second chances, of futures so much better than you can imagine for yourself. I’m humbled our God knows the desires of our hearts and brings the right people in your life at the right time, never a moment too soon. A God of grace and abundant love.
We owe our set up partially to his best friend, partially to Facebook, and maybe even partially to this blog, but ultimately, all to God.
We have so many mutual connections, it’s amazing we haven’t met before this summer. Its as if we’ve been circling each other for the past decade.
-My best friend’s dad used to teach Sunday School with his mom.
-My dad worked with his best friend’s dad’s, and tried to set my sister up with his best friend.
-Many of his friends went to college with me and he would come to visit often.
-One of my mom’s coworkers used to be his teacher.
-One of my high school teachers paints with his brother in law.
-My best friend dated one of his best friends.
-Ten years ago, We even went to the same wedding, driving in the same car, sitting at the same table, with different dates.
-Craziest of all, he knew my ex-husband even before I did, serving on the same disaster relief team for hurricane Katrina, back when I was still in high school. Then, years later, he saw my ex downtown who told him how he had screwed up and was going to Chicago to get me back for good and marry me.
The list goes on, and on, and on. I like to believe that all of these close encounters, all of these almost connections, and all of the life moments we had apart from one another were all in preparation for life together, to the story we’re building now.
I don’t wish for a second that we would’ve met sooner. I love our stories separate from each other, the seasons of growth and struggles. The memories we can share with each other, the experiences and travels and discoveries we’ve made through our twenties before coming together. These years and experiences all contribute to the strong foundation we are laying now.
He is kind, in ways that few people are kind.
He is genuine and good hearted, with family values and evident faith.
He leads us and prays for us.
He is extremely loyal and protective, and would do anything for those he loves.
He is a committed, amazing teacher, and I can’t wait to see him coach JV basketball this winter
He’s the fun uncle to lots of nieces and nephews and will gladly give up his night to watch them.
He’s a builder, and more than willing to take on any project for friends and family in his down time, always giving his spare time, energy, and positivity to help others.
He’s constant in a world of inconsistency.
He is intuitive and patient.
He encourages me, listens to me, and plans with me.
He lives with me in the moment but dreams with me for the future.
He is supportive of my goals and dream and aspirations: to travel the world, to work on a vineyard, to blog full-time or write a book.
He tells me how he feels and asks what I need.
He’s excited to see me and shares stories about me to his friends and family. On top of all that, he has the most incredible family. He is charming, social, athletic, tall, and a Michigan fan.
We have each been searching for a long time, wanting to settle down and have kids like our friends. We both know the struggle it can be at times to be the single in a room of pairs, one of the few, or only, to not be married and have children.
In all my searching, none will ever compare to the one that found me when I wasn’t looking.
His eyes met mine that day as dinner was ready. The table full of pulled pork, potatoes, bread, and all the Sunday dinner sides. But more than that, filled with love, kids, and family. The good stuff.
Of all the life moments, none compares to the moment you realize you are in love.
And as his eyes found mine, he smiled because he knew.
He’s the love story I always believed in, but never knew how to write.
This. All of this. A million times, yes.