When I was 12, my family was preparing to leave Germany. We'd been there for 5 years-- the longest we lived anywhere. In the nights before we prepared to head back to the states, I lay in my bed and cried. Afraid that I wouldn't be able to make new friends. Worried that I was going to miss the ones I'd made, and suspected that an ocean was wide enough and the military shifting all of us around often enough to lose them for good.
And though I wasn't quite interested in boys yet, (In fact, they were still pretty icky.) I was afraid that I was going to spend my life alone.
That night, I dreamed that "M" waited for me at the Washington Monument in DC, and knew in my heart that I would never be lonely.
I woke up at peace with our moving to Georgia. At the time, I took it to mean that I would easily make new friends in the states and wouldn't lose touch with all my old ones.
The night after our furniture shipped and the day before we were planned to board the plane--my mother was reassigned...to work at the Pentagon.
Believe it or not, I didn't think about my dream at all.
We lived off base for a two years, waiting for a space to open up. I had plenty of friends that I'm thankful to say I'm still in touch with on facebook...even some of the ones from Germany (:
But the summer of my tenth grade year, we finally moved on to post.
I've previously shared how my husband and I met. What I don't usually mention is that his name is Mark.
The very afternoon when I first saw him, I sat beside him on the ride home from school. I didn't know his name yet, but I was determined to find out. (Have I mentioned I can be kind of forward? ...Particularly in comparison to my extremely reserved husband.) Other than saying, "Hi," we didn't really talk. But the next day, he caught up to me in the stairwell between classes, handed me a note, and turned around and vanished. I finally knew his name!
And from there, I can't tell you when we became best friends. We just -were-. It wasn't long after that, that my dream repeated-- and I realized that -M-ark had been waiting for me-- not an hour away from DC! (I'm not used to my dreams being quite so literal, but it's been known to happen.)
Even at 15, I knew that I loved him-- but wasn't ready to admit it to anyone, including myself (Boys were still a little icky. (I was a really late bloomer.)). I'm extremely grateful that my husband is a patient man. We -finally- started dating at the end of the nineties. And knew that we'd be marrying the following year. The next summer, while my mother and I were making my wedding dress, my mother asked me to share how Mark had proposed to me.
I stopped what I was doing, looked up, blinked blankly, looked at Mark, who looked at me, we both blinked blankly, then I turned to my mother and said, "....He...didn't..... (glance at Mark)...We just....sort of...assumed." (and Mark nodded.)
When we spoke to the pastor, he told us that we'd have to set aside 2-3 hours to go through a book of questions with him before we'd be allowed to set the date. We came in for our meeting, he flipped to the first page and asked, "So how long have you known each other?"
I looked at Mark, he looked at me and I said to Mark, "7 years?...8?" And Mark said to me, "About 8. That's right." And we looked at the pastor in unison.
He immediately closed the book and said, "You're obviously not rushing into anything and know each other. I don't have any other questions." And our 2-3 hour meeting took less than 6 minutes.
I have known my best friend longer than I haven't. And am thankful and blessed to be sharing my life with him. And from that love, we've made two of my other beloved favorite people.
Like Jan-Phillipp Sendker's Tin Win, I also believe that love is the only force worth believing in.
When Julia travels to Burma to search for her missing lawyer father, she discovers much more than she expected. Join From Left to Write on February 1 as we discuss The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. All opinions are my own.
I highly recommend this amazing story. Visit the author's website and order a copy of your own!