We all share the miraculous physical beginnings...two become one and a soul is conceived...and the cells divide with precise timing, orchestrated by the Grand Conductor, a silent symphony of greatness. Our uniqueness is developed with each multiplying moment. We enter a broken world through pain and searing joy....It's the beginning of our story, and even as children we write it out with each breath we take.
We grow. Our legs ache as kids. "Growing pains", the older ones say. We grow up and out and around and sideways and front-ways. We go to some type of school. Home school, church school, public school, boarding school, dirt floors in huts, open fields in farm land. Tests are passed, grades are received, the tassel is turned.
I turned my tassel and went east; Home was west. The words in my story were hard to find some days. Some chapters are dog-eared and stained with late night coffee at Krispy Kreme. Some have perfect circles of dried tears, splattered with solitude and seeking. But one chapter? Yeah, that chapter is one I could read over and over again. It started with Barney-the-dinosaur-purple-scrubs, worn by my junior-year self, walking in bold white shoes to my dorm room. I pass a dark-haired boy-man. He nods his head and smiles. I bolt up the stairs to my small dorm room and proclaim:
This is the man I'm going to marry.
I didn't know his name, who he was, or why I thought this. He looked like a Gilbert to my Anne Shirley-self. I joined a Christian group on campus, and he was there. In a striped, Joseph of many colors sweater, he presented a powerpoint presentation on his trip to Africa. Seriously? My major was in nursing, and he was there birthin' those babies.
This beginning took almost 2 years to get past the first page. My guard was up; I couldn't dare let on that I "liked" him. How could he even "like" me? I went out of my way to avoid running into him, for fear of turning 3 shades of red and possibly vomiting from nerves. The snack aisle in the college store was a great hiding place one day, as I saw him across the lawn headed my way. With hair in disarray on top of my head and sweat still staining my arm pits from a gym visit, I crouched behind fritos and made sure I was invisible.
Then one night, on AOL instant messenger, my darling sister broke the news to him that I kinda liked him. Lo and behold, he kinda liked me back. We went to Chili's on our first date, played pool for a bit afterwards, and the beginning began. Two young college students soon graduated and turned into newlyweds about 18 months later, with nothing but naive visions of blissful married life. My Anne Shirley-self had met her Gilbert, and just like Anne, I was in my own little dream world of how life was supposed to be. Little did I know what awaited me: such joy and blessings and life... but also smudged paragraphs and words written hard and scribble scrabble all over like a tantrum.
We grew up and grew together....what I like to call: The Growing Years. Little did we know what the next chapter held.
To be continued...