Years ago I sat in my dear friends living room pouring my heart out to her. I had just come out of a four year relationship that was incredibly damaging and I was broken beyond anything I had ever known. I was hurt, angry, lost, confused, but mostly, I felt unlovable. These evenings on her couch continued for three months. Every week I would go and sit with her while she prayed with me, spoke truth back into my heart, and reminded me of my worth in Jesus Christ. As my heart began to heal, I asked her how long would I have to wait for the man God has for me. She told me, “sometimes we have to wait a while because the man God has for us isn’t ready for us just yet.” So I resolved to wait.
Looking back over the last 5 years I can see just how little “waiting” I actually did. Once I figured my heart was healed enough, I set out to find myself again. This launched me into a season of searching. Not waiting. Searching for what I wanted in my future spouse. Searching for who God really is to me. Searching for my purpose here on earth. I fought against my upbringing. I wrestled with the church. I tested scripture. I got angry. I shared beautiful moments with friends. I cried. I laughed. I messed up and I learned.
Then I met Jaymes and everything began to make sense. It wasn’t him who I was supposed to wait on. It was me. I wasn’t ready. I needed time to become who I always knew I was supposed to be. Sure, I may have been able to do that alongside him had we met years ago, but I am so thankful we didn’t. I am so thankful God had Jaymes wait for me. It’s been a long time running and searching and doubting and it feels good to stop. To breathe. To see God’s plan unfolding right before my eyes.
No, there is no ring on my finger and I can’t fully claim him as mine just yet, but there is something about this man that feels like home. He feels like peace and purpose and security all wrapped into one. Yes, waiting is hard, but I urge you to continue to wait, because somewhere out there is a girl or guy who is searching and learning and becoming the man or woman God has always longed for them to be. And you may never see all they went through to get to you, but trust me when I say, they will be eternally gratefully you waited. I know I am.
Thank you for waiting, my Love! I am eternally grateful and I love you so very much!
As promised in my last post, here is the beginning of the story of why I am now living in North Carolina. This is not your typical love story by any stretch of the imagination. We didn’t meet years ago. We haven’t been friends for a while and just now realized we had feelings. He didn’t come to my house and pick me up for dates in the early months of dating. We weren’t even in the same country when we got introduced, but that’s getting ahead of myself. To really do this story justice, we have to go back almost two years ago.
I was busy pursuing my own life and had broken up with my ex, but hadn’t really gotten over the relationship or given myself space to have closure. It was in this season of life that my sister, Megan, and my brother in law, Jared, tried to set me up with one of Jared’s friends from the army post he was stationed at. I didn’t even give this poor guy a shot. I didn’t look at any photos of him and immediately said, “No thanks! I am good for now and I like being single.” Well, a year later (March of 2020), they tried again. It was at this time that I found out they had asked him also a year prior and he also shut it down real quick. When Megan came to me again about this guy, I still wasn’t super into it and both Jared and this guy where serving overseas on a deployment. I was living in Montana and was so very happy with my life there. I had finally gotten closure with my past relationship and was feeling so alive and free and great about my future.
Megan and Jared began to push both Jaymes (that’s his name J) and me to at least write to each other. Covid had just shut down the nation and the boys weren’t really doing anything in the Middle East. Both Jaymes and I had time to kill, so we agreed to friend each other on Facebook. We didn’t write or make any other moves. A few days after we friended each other, Megan asked me if he had written. I said no and she looked at me and said “It’s the 21st century! You write HIM!” She is a little pushy sometimes. But I agreed and wrote this to him…
“Hey!! Just wanted to introduce myself since who knows what my sister and brother in law have been telling you. I’m currently living in Montana and working at a guest ranch! It’s amazing out here! I love to travel, I love children, I love new places and new people, and I love good food!
Anyway, just wanted to say hello! I hope training or whatever you’re doing today goes well! I know you all would much rather be home so I’m praying answers for a return date come soon!”
Ok, quick disclaimer before you remark on all of my !!!!!! … I always end sentences with ! when I am typing on my phone. I am an overly enthusiastic person who loves to talk loud and has lots of emotions. Now… back to the story.
I wrote and sent this message with very little hope he would respond quickly or with much to say in his response. But, much to my surprise (and this would be the first of many surprises over the next year) he wrote me back less than an hour later. And, not only that, with a longer message than mine and with questions for me! I was shocked. I let my sister know he had written and that began a series of messages that would be sent back and forth over the next four months. Yes, four months. Like I said, not your typical love story. He was in the Middle East for the first three months of our talking and then one month in North Carolina before we ever saw each other in person.
Covid had all but shut down the ranch I was working at and I had loads of time on my hands. Jaymes was just waiting around for orders to finally come home, so he had plenty of time. Even though we had all this free time, our days where nine hours different from each other. My day was his night and visa versa. For this reason, the first month or so was just messages. No phone calls. No Facetime. But I didn’t mind. Not having any sort of physical distraction allowed us to open up quickly with each other and dive in deep to conversations that in person may have been a bit more difficult to navigate. We would send novels to each other and stayed up way to late to be able to have real time conversations over messenger. Oh, have I mentioned that for the first several weeks of us chatting, I had only one photo of him. This one…
That’s it. That’s all I had to go off of. He didn’t have anything on his Instagram account and his Facebook had only very old photos of him. So that photo was the only recent photo I had of what this man looked like. Of course, I had a million photos on both Instagram and Facebook so he had many to look through of me.
I will never forget our first phone call. We would always call either late at night or super early morning for me, so I was usually really tired sounding and kind of out of it for the first few minutes of the conversation. Our first phone call was some time in the middle of the night for me. I remember hearing his voice for the first time and my heart skipped a beat. I loved it. I loved everything about it. He sounded kind and funny and strong. We talked for over an hour that first call with no awkwardness or hesitation in conversation. It felt so natural and easy and wonderful. After that first call, we called once almost every day. We had sent a few selfies to each other by this point and I had heard his voice… now I wanted facetime. We were now about a month into this relationship and I told him I would like to facetime. It was super early for me, so I set an alarm so I wouldn’t miss him. I was in my pajamas, with no make up on, and my hair half slept on, but he didn’t seem to mind. When I answered and saw his face for the first time (outside of photos that is) I couldn’t help but become a smiling fool. I remember saying “Oh my goodness! You’re so cute!” And he was! Big smile. Bright and kind eyes. And a voice that I melted for.
These phone dates would continue over the next several weeks and months. Very little sleep was had. Many moments of laughter and joy were shared. More selfies were sent as well as an occasional video of me dancing in my kitchen while doing dishes. He had asked me to be his girlfriend by now and I knew I was falling hard for him. I wanted so badly to finally see him in person. He was now back home in the states and out of quarantine. I began looking for flights and dates and we had talked about me coming to see him. Megan and Jared lived near post and so I could stay with them when I came. I had most everything figured out.
Covid up until this point had been a blessing. It gave us both so much extra free time to pour into this growing relationship. But now that he was stateside again, all of the covid restrictions for travel and the army restrictions for covid began to put a halt to us seeing each other. I was determined to make something work. I found dates that would work for him and myself. I found a flight. And I was just about to purchase it. It was the beginning of June at this point and the Black Lives Matter movement had begun to get out of control. The riots had worsened and city after city were being looted. I was at work one June morning and had the tickets pulled up. I texted Jaymes the dates one last time and I got a text back, “Don’t buy them just yet. Things might be changing on my end. Not sure yet.” Disheartened I wrote back, “Ok, just let me know when you know!” Later that day, he called me at work (which he never did). I didn’t answer but texted, “At work. I’ll call when I’m off.” No response from him. As soon as I got off work I called him. “Hey what’s up!” I sounded chipper but a little worried also. “Hey. We are getting deployed again. Not sure where we are going. Don’t know how long we will be gone. I cannot take my cell phone and I have to be at company in five minutes. I’ll talk to you when I can. Bye babe.” I barely had time to say, “Ok, be safe! Bye babe.” Before I heard the click on the other end…
To be continued!
I have recently moved from Montana to North Carolina. And yes, before you say it, I know I’m a fool for moving away from such a magnificent state. I miss it. A lot. BUT, that is beside the point and the reason for my leaving will be explained in an upcoming blog post. Back to the story… Like I said, I have recently moved to North Carolina and my adorable little round house is partially surrounded by water. I love it here. My boyfriend, whom I will talk about in the next post, brought over his kayak recently and I have been thoroughly enjoying it since it arrived.
Where I live, there used to be a lake. About three years ago, a massive hurricane swept through this area and took out the dam that held the lake. It was devastating. My grandparents live on this lake and we would come here as children every summer for our family reunions. Many memories were made in these waters. And now, as an adult, I am living here at this wonderful lake, although now it is just a series of swampy streams that weave and wind around overgrown brush and boats that washed ashore when the water went down.
The other day, I decided to go out for a short spin around the stream that runs by my house. As I headed out, the sun began to set and the air began to turn chilly. Fog started to roll in over the water and the sky turned vibrantly yellow and orange and navy as the sun sank behind the trees. I headed toward a bridge and, in heading that direction, began to head up stream. As I fought against the current, my heart started to stir with this idea…
All my life I have been told to follow God’s will. I have been told to listen to Him and He will direct my steps. But doing that requires stopping and listening to Him, which, I will confess, I am not very good at. Every time something didn’t pan out like I thought it should, I would make a major change in my life. I thought surely I had misheard the Lord and now needed to change everything. Well, in that kayak, paddling vigorously to go a mere two feet, I decided to stop paddling. My kayak immediately started to go backwards and then, all on it’s own, began to turn around. It was in that moment I realized; maybe all I have ever needed to do was stop. Not change everything around, but rather to stop and finally feel His current beneath me and realize I was in the right boat, and I was even in the water like He said I should be, but I was just fighting so hard to go in the wrong direction.
The fog began to thicken as all of this was coming over me, which added another layer to this lesson. When there is fog, all you can see is a few feet or maybe yards in front of you and the only way to see more is to move forward in that direction. God only shows us a few feet ahead of us for a reason. He wants us to trust that He knows where we are headed and He will keep us safe. The only problem with this is if you are a person who is going non-stop, constantly has her plate full, and no time to breathe, you may think you are doing it all as He has asked. You are in the kayak, like He asked. You are in the water, like He asked. And you are paddling, like He asked. The only thing you can’t know for certain, is the big picture. So why then does it seem like you are continually feeling you get hardly anywhere with all this work you are putting in. How come if you stop for even a second, you begin to go backwards and now you have to work double time to make up for lost distance. What if, your going backwards isn’t going backwards at all, but rather going in the right direction just facing the wrong way? What if all God wants is for you to actually stop for a minute. To feel yourself going backwards and to wait and see if the current of God’s plan will begin to turn you around.
He doesn’t want you to continue to fight every day to only go a few feet. He wants to see you turn around and begin to go with His current because it is in that moment that you will go so much further with very little effort. You will find yourself going miles in the amount of time it took you to go a few feet before. I don’t know where this lands with you today, but for me, this hit hard. For years, I feel like I have been fighting against God’s current. I have tried to make things work over and over again, only to have them fall apart in the end. Does this mean, now that I feel myself heading in the right direction, my life is smooth sailing now? Definitely not! But, I can tell you that in this last year I have had more peace and gone so much further in my walk with the Lord than I have in years. I have had story after story this year of circumstances that literally just worked out. Sure, I put some work in, but not much at all and everything fell into place beautifully with very little effort from me.
I don’t know what your story is, but if you feel like all you do is fight to keep moving forward, maybe God just wants you to stop. To breathe. To listen. To feel the current beneath you. Maybe you have most of your story aligned correctly with God’s will, all He’s asking for you to do is turn around. That’s it. This simple concept was major for my heart and I have felt and seen it played out in real time in my life over this last year. Life will have its ups and downs, but God’s desire for His children is for them to be at peace with Him and not feel like they are constantly fighting to keep up.
So today... Stop. Breathe. Feel the current.
I love you all so dearly!