I want to tell you a love story. The most romantic love story you’ll ever read, and you’ll be surprised as to who it really is about…
I met E on November 1, 2011. It was a day like any other, except for the fact that I was in a foreign country surrounded by people, places, and languages not familiar in any way to me. Already in a state of hurt and confusion from circumstances not necessarily beyond my control, I was definitely not on the lookout for a “man”…in fact, I had finally (and I say finally because this is a lesson I should have learned long ago) acknowledged to God that I was not a good picker of men.
I’m sitting in the offices of HaChotam, a Christian publishing company in Israel, stuffing envelopes (don’t judge…it is very complicated…stuffing envelopes) when this guy walks in. I’m introduced to him, and that was that. I wasn’t thinking anything in particular. As conversation flows all around me, in a language I definitely do not understand, the next thing I know I’m going to be going to the desert with this strange man in a little over a week’s time.
I see E over the next few days at various church functions. He is kind and translates for me, so I’m not totally in the dark.
Finally, the time comes for the trip to the desert. E is gracious and is concerned about my not having the appropriate clothing for the hike. Now…allow me to clarify something here…E is roughly two or three inches shorter than me, and definitely about 40lbs lighter than me. So, when he sends me thermal underwear so I won’t freeze at night in the desert…it was cute. He’s a guy…he doesn’t know, but he was concerned about my wellbeing. For that I was touched. So, E picks me up to drive down south to meet up with some biblical college students for the two day hike.
In an effort to keep some things private, and to not make you read an novel, let me just say I had never been treated better by a man who had no reason to be kind to me…until the second time E would spend a day with me. But I get ahead of myself.
Two days in the desert in Israel. It was incredible. E and I were able to get to know one another, and, as we drove back to Gan Yavne on Friday, we laughed and talked about how the Lord had lead us to where we both were today. I knew God was doing something in my heart that day, but I was scared. Any girl who has ever had her heart broken knows when something good comes into her life…the fear that paralyzes…it is overwhelming.
I was staying with a kind family while in Israel, and in Israel Friday night is the Sabbath meal. E joined us for dinner that night, and I remember thinking I desperately wanted to talk to him…but I didn’t want anyone to know I might just be “crushing” on this guy I had just met, so I tried to play it cool. I didn’t want to be THAT girl!
The evening progresses in a language I don’t understand, and the next thing I know E has agreed to take me sightseeing later in the week (for the sake of my pride I will choose to not admit to the girlish joy I had at the prospect of spending an entire day with this man…this is me not admitting). E departs for the evening, and I go to bed with great anticipation at seeing him the following morning for church.
After a restless night, morning dawns, and I finally am able to dress in something other than jeans and a t-shirt (maybe I wanted to look nice…maybe). I go to church, and wouldn’t you know…E ignores me! Ha! Ignores me! That jerk…I was highly disappointed. Eventually he does say hello, but not until the very end of the service! The audacity of him! :^)
Again, for the sake of privacy, I will choose to fast forward to the most amazing day of my life…the day E asked me to be his wife.
E picked me up eaaaarlly to drive north for the day. Several stops were on the agenda. Unfortunately for us, the typically dry weather decided to be atypical. The skies opened up and rain poured down on the dry Israeli landscape. Good for Israel…bad for tourists.
As E showed me around all day, I was struck by his continuous consideration for my health and wellbeing…for his thoughtfulness in ensuring I was never hungry or thirsty…for his generosity in taking care of me the entire day. We laughed, we talked, and we shared our hearts with one another. It was truly a beautiful day despite the dreariness of the weather. I learned much about historical and biblical sights, and I learned much about the man with whom I would eventually fall in love…if I wasn’t already in love with him to some degree. I was blown away by God’s blessing in the form of such a wonderful day. As E drove me home, I realized I didn’t want the day to come to an end. We pulled up to my host family’s home, and E gave me two gifts: one of which was a ring. He also gave me space to make my decision. As only a gentleman would do.
I left Israel a day later, and, to my delight, E surprised me at the airport to say goodbye. Again, caring for me in a manner I was definitely not accustomed to, and God giving me a glimpse at the man who could potentially be my husband…a glimpse at his giving nature, his protective nature, and his generous nature…all qualities to be desired in a potential mate.
Well, I did eventually say yes. The enormity of my decision was overshadowed by the excitement of planning a wedding. I would be a liar if I said I never dreamed about being a bride…of being able to buy those bridal magazines, of being able to plan the special day, of going dress shopping (which I found out was not nearly as fun as it may seem), and ultimately saying “I do” to the man who would be my new headship.
Eventually life slowly invaded my “bride” haze, and my fears began to sneak into my heart. I have a fear of commitment. There. I said it. I self destruct relationships. Especially my relationship with God. I’m really good at pushing God away.
No one is perfect. I’m not perfect. E isn’t perfect. But I think I expected him to be…if I expected him to be perfect, and he wasn’t, then I would have great cause to jump ship.
Where is all of this going, you are probably asking? Well, hang in there with me…
love story: part 2 coming soon…