Thursday, December 27, 2012

"God blessed the broken road..."

I have so much to catch up on here, but today I want to write about meeting the man of my dreams.  I've written the short version on the blog before, but I want to "get down to the nitty gritty." (Say it with a Spanish accent and name that movie)  In two days Tyler and I will celebrate 8 years of wedded bliss and this morning the events that lead up to that perfect occasion have been swirling around in my head.  So here I sit, neglecting the organization that should be happening in my home the day after Christmas to write it all down.  I may have to do it in parts...we shall see.

When I was a little girl and we would sing "I Wonder When He Comes Again" {a really sweet and hopeful song about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth} in primary at church, I used to worry that the Second Coming would happen before I got to kiss or marry anyone. :)  I was always a flirtatious, boy-crazy kind of girl, but this was a genuine fear of mine.  I wanted more than anything to get married to a wonderful man someday and to be a mom.  I was, like, 7 or 8.

When I was fifteen, I received my patriarchal blessing and within my blessing there is a paragraph that tells me to "pray daily for guidance" toward the "choice son" that I would marry.  Because of the work and position I had in the pre-earth life, Satan would "present many counterfeits".  I was told there would be a season of confusion, presenting me with a trial of faith, but that if I remained prayerful then I would overcome and be guided.  I vacillated between fervent, absentminded, out of habit, and with all of my soul kinds of prayers for years.

Want to hear about my season of confusion?  The long, dramatic story follows.

I met a young man, T,  just after graduation from high school.  He was kind and good and wonderful and loved me.  My family adored him.  We spent every moment together.  I went to college 12 hours away and still we remained crazy about each other.  He would be leaving on a mission in the spring and it was agreed that I would faithfully write, but date other guys, while he was gone.  I faithfully wrote, I dated others, but it seemed there was no one to match the standard he had set. 

No one, that is, until I met C four months before T was to end his two-year mission.  I thought that C was kind and good and wonderful and I knew he loved me.  My family didn't like him {at all}.  We spent every moment together.  He hadn't yet served a mission, but was preparing.  I had always wanted to serve a mission and was feeling the tugging at my heart to really give it some thought.  I wrote to T to see what he thought about the mission {left out the part about C} and got a very supportive, loving letter in response.  T really was a great man.

Finally, in April{I think} my worlds were going to collide; T was coming home from his mission, he didn't know about C, and I was getting ready to submit my papers to serve a full-time mission.  Talk about a "season of confusion"!  That was a really difficult time for me.  My family didn't understand what I was doing {EVERYONE loved T}, people tried to talk me out of the mission, T wanted me to give him some time and a fair chance.  I knew, though, that T wasn't the man for me forever.  He had been so good for me in so many ways, but I knew that it was the right thing for ME to serve a mission.  

C and I dated until it was time for me to leave for my mission {October 2001 - Hawaii Honolulu Mission}.  I had THE BEST mission.  C and I wrote, but quickly into my mission, T wrote me a letter and we started corresponding pretty regularly...kind of like we had when he was serving.  I was more into the work than the boy drama of my life and so it was a few months before I realized I hadn't heard much from T.  In June I wrote him for some help with a family member who was struggling and got the response that he was engaged and would be married in the next couple of months.  It was a blow...for an afternoon.  And then I remembered that he wasn't the person I was supposed to marry and I got back to work.  I knew that I would always hold a special place in my heart for T; I would be grateful for what I learned from him and from our relationship.  But I also held on to the promise in patriarchal blessing that I was being guided to THE man for me.

Sometime toward the end of my mission, I got a letter from C.  He was serving a mission as well and apparently needed to get some things off of his chest.  In the letter, he admitted to a slew of lies and half-truths he'd told me while we were dating. I was shocked. They were about really lame things, too.  I forgave him quickly, but wasn't sure what that would mean for anything in the future with us.  My family had been right to distrust him.  I was kind of ticked.

I got home from my {amazing and wonderful} mission in March of 2003.  I was s-c-a-r-e-d of boys for the first time in my life.  I was nervous to talk to them, to be around them...and heaven forbid one of them would try to hug me!  I was an awkward returned missionary with a capital A.  I didn't know where I fit in, I didn't REALLY fit in anywhere, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to fit in.  Slowly, the flirtatious part of my personality began to seep back in.  But it was slow.  I dated, I was set up on bad dates, I went to the single's ward...

At an activity in the single's ward, I was approached for a date by a really nice guy, A.  He wasn't like other guys I had dated, but he was super funny and we had a lot of fun together.  We spent tons of time together, but suddenly he was breaking things off because one of his {girl} best friends had realized she had feelings for him and he felt like he should give that a chance.  A blow, but I thought, "whatever".  This was just before C would be getting home from his mission and I thought maybe it was good to not be in a relationship when he returned, though I had no idea what that would mean.

C got home and things were still kind of weird with our letters and I was still kind of hurt/ticked about the previous lies {even though I said I'd forgiven him} so I thought I would just go to his homecoming and see how I felt from there.  But he called me the night he got home and said he wanted to see me.  I was a bumbling mess around the opposite sex for months after I got home, so I was kind of surprised.  But I went.  It was nice-ish, a little weird, and when I went to leave he tried to kiss me and I turned my head.  He got the cheek/ear and it was super awkward.  I was NOT going to kiss someone their first night home from their mission; I hurried out of there as fast as I could.  The next week he asked to take me out for ice cream.  Still very unsure how I was feeling about him, I went.  But he was really handsome and charming and so there was a part of me that was kind of excited too.  After ice cream, we were sitting in his car when he tells me that since he was an older missionary {went when he was 20, almost 21} he had to be more serious more quickly than other returned missionaries about finding a wife {inside my head I was screaming WHAT?! while I tried to just nod and appear had been home for a week!}  He concluded the conversation with, "And I know you're not supposed to be my wife."  I was MAD.  Not because he didn't want me to be his wife {though my ego was a tiny bit bruised}, but because I didn't even know if I was going to allow him back in my life, and there he was proclaiming himself too good for me.  I got out of the car, reeling, and went to rant to my sister {we were roommates in a condo at the time} all about the bizarre events of the night.  A few weeks later on Christmas Eve, I got a call from C telling me he had a present for me and asking if I would come over.  We'd ended the bizarre evening on good terms as far as he knew, so I thought, "what the heck."  He bought me a cool jewelry holder on his mission {we just used it for one of the wise men in our nativity this Christmas} and as we sat on the couch he observes, "This is our first Christmas together."  I realize that I was often screaming inside around him because in my head I was saying WHAT?! again.  Then he wanted to go for a drive.  Why did I say yes?  We parked and talked and then he wanted to kiss me.  I did not say yes.  We drove home and that was the last evening we spent together.

A few months later, out of nowhere, I got an e-mail from A {remember him?  wanted to try a relationship with his girl best friend?}  Apparently he was a free man and wanted to see if I were a free woman.  I wasn't sure what to think about it all, but thought I'd give it one date.  One date quickly and easily turned into many, many more.  I loved his family, my family liked him, we had a lot of fun together.  We traveled several times and could stay in the same room without any worry of being unchaste and I thought that was awesome.  My mom thought that was a red flag; she said that my toes should curl when he kissed me.  

A and I began talking about "when we get married", "after we're married"...but there was no proposal or ring.  He invited me to his family reunion, I bought a car only after we had decided what we could afford with our combined incomes, we started casually looking for apartments.  But one day I realized that I had never received an answer from God that this was the man for me; I asked him if he had received that answer and he said no, but he felt like it would come with time.  I told him we should fast and pray about it.  I started my fast the next morning and by the next evening when we went out I had my answer.  He was shocked because he didn't know I meant that we should fast about it right away, but we both cried and said we felt the same way, that we should break things off.  It was weird because there didn't seem to be a good reason to break up; we just weren't meant to be together.  

I jumped back into dating, but I had a hard time the first week or so.  I HATED dating.  I hated the games and nuances of it.  I was tired of it.  My dad had told me at one point that he was worried I was looking for Nephi and he was dead :)...but I knew I was never going to lower the standards of what I expected.  I went to A's house one tearful evening and asked if he thought we'd made a mistake, but he assured me he thought it was right for us to break up.  My ego was kind of mad at me for doing that, but it was good for me to have that assurance.

***Story continued on next post...meeting Tyler deserves to stand on its own***


Kristen said...

Come on don't leave me hanging!!

val said...

Even though I know most of this story you left me hanging!

Madsen Family said... better finish and soon!

Jessica said...

Can't wait to hear the rest.