So I’m feeling sick. And worried. And praying like I’ve rarely prayed before.
And he arrives.
Relief that I’m able to speak at all.
Disbelief that I’ve got myself into this situation.
Awkwardness like I’ve never known before.
And he’s arrived. I probably behaved proper ice-princess or something. I don’t know. It seemed ok, but more because of him than me, to be honest. And I wasn’t expecting this: I genuinely like him. More than I was expecting. Like, like him. So definitely not an automatic ‘no’. (diary excerpt)
I’d hoped that by the end of those four days, I’d have known what was happening.
No such luck.
Didn’t help that I was planning to go away and serve on team at a Christian camp and so was getting ready for that.We got on well, I wanted a friendship with him, but the idea of putting us and marriage on the same page? No. I wasn’t there yet.
I had tried to break myself away from the idea of an ‘ideal’ in my head but it was still lurking and a blonde English coastguard was not it.
(This is perhaps the one piece of advice I’d take away from our story: don’t necessarily expect your ‘the One’ to come in the skin you were expecting. The rest of our story – it’s our story. I’m not advocating pursuing it, I’m merely giving you a glimpse of how God can, and does, work. But this idea: don’t get too caught up in your ideal. Because I look back at my diary and you wouldn’t believe the prayers and dreams Joel has answered but not in the way I was expecting. He hadn’t considered adopting, has never had anything to do with special needs, his church background is different…so many things. But he treats my sisters with dignity and well (tick), he makes me laugh (tick), he forces me to reconsider things I’ve always believed and check what the Bible says (tick), he’s way more relaxed than I am (tick), he melts my heart (tick)…and the ticks just keep going on.)
Well, I’d spent a few days with her, and there wasn’t anything dreadful and glaring that had come out to end the relationship. Still rather quiet and things were still a tad awkward between us, but that wasn’t greatly surprising really, considering everything. The thing was, not only was I not her ideal “one”, but she definitely didn’t tick many of the boxes I’d gradually compiled into this imagined picture of who my wife would be. Blonde. English. Avid musician who liked playing duets. Quiet and a slightly introverted. Sharing similar tastes in food, music, reading, films, clothing etc. Homeschooled, and determined to homeschool. Reformed Baptist, or at least from a church background similar to what I grew up in. A bit geeky, you know, into sci-fi and willing to give re-enactment a go. Convinced that beards are best. Shorter than me, but not significantly. Younger than me, but not significantly, although that wouldn’t be a problem as I’d be marrying quite young myself.
The list probably goes on. Those are the ones that come to mind at the moment. Reading through it, I’m struck at how quite a lot of those things are mirrors of me. And how many of them aren’t Becky. And how that doesn’t matter at all now.
God is a creator. He doesn’t follow formulae. He delights in being creative. Yes, there are many happy marriages in which the spouses are so similar in almost every way, and there are many in which you’ve never seen two completely opposite people, yet God takes both those sets of people and forms them into a family unit through which great and mighty service is done for Him and those touched by that family. So here we are, Becky and I, very much not meeting many of the “ideals” I had in my head, but if God wills, and Becky says yes some day, we’ll see if the three of us can’t take all those differences and opposites and incompatibilities and mould them into something that God can take and use in ways that we just can’t imagine at the moment.
Blonde? Nope. Joel and I have an ongoing debate as to whether it’s black (it’s not – it’s dark brown, fyi).
English? Nope. Never. Let’s just say I wear a Welsh rugby shirt and leave it at that…
Avid musician who liked playing duets? Well, I think I get 0.25 of a point here. I love music, can’t live without it and do play the harp and piano. For me though, music is an escape into my own little world. So not a duet fan.
Quiet? *dies choking* No.
Slightly introverted? Hmm, maybe a few days a year? At a push???
Similar tastes in:
Food? Well, we both like Mexican…ok, ok, so I’m a health food nut (plus cheese and baking) and was vegetarian to boot. He considers any meal bettered by adding meat and/or fat. So 0.125 of a point??
Music? We overlap on some rap. Some.
Reading? We both like sci-fi. And war stories. He won’t touch my beloved classics.
Films? Animation and sci-fi, yeah, we’re doing ok here.
Clothing? Ahem. I’m the girl who considers hoodies part of uniform or pj wear. Not. every. day. wear. And I live in jeans. And love dressing up. And Joel…yeah, kinda doesn’t…
Homeschooled? YES! At last. Well, for half of my schooling…
And determined to homeschool? Hmm. Maybe. I’ll decide nearer the time.
Similar church background? No. And no.
A bit geeky? I have no idea…am I?!? I like Star Trek and Sherlock – that makes me a geek, doesn’t it?
Willing to give re-enactment a go? Sure, if they give me a nice long flowing dress…and a PROPER sword made of metal. And a bow and arrow. (I still think it’s totally weird though.)
Convinced beards are the best? Nope, no, absolutely not (although Joel’s won me around to his).
Shorter than him? YES!
Younger than him? YES! Does 5 years count as significantly?!
I think I’ve proved the point.
Not. Me. At. All.
And yet the story goes on…
I can see people looking worried at this point, wondering why we’re still together, wondering how on earth there’s a future in this. But most of those? They’re externals. I hope when we actually look at each other beyond the exterior, we can see more.
Continued with: Snapshots Of The Rollercoaster: The Change