We started out as semi-typical college students. I lived on campus, B commuted. We were at different schools doing our own thing.
College was a rough adjustment for me. It didn't help that I had missed freshman orientation for the fair. I literally left the fair and went straight to school. I remember sitting at our dorm meeting and being completely overwhelmed by the amount of people. I looked around and saw friendships already forming and memories already being shared. I felt alone, like an outcast. Lucky for me I knew my roommate (which was a huge blessing) and I wasn't too far from home.
I cried a lot the first couple weeks, mainly at night, when the hustle and bustle of the day faded away. I had a hard time sleeping so close to the ceiling, listening to sirens, car horns and breaks outside my window. I missed the soft quiet of home. I missed my parents, my dogs, my familiar bed.
I eventually became acclimated though. I adjusted to living on my own. I joined some groups, tried out for the choir and made some friends. A couple weeks in to school my schedule filled up and I had little free time. B's schedule was similar.
He entered into an accelerated nursing school program right out of high school (which is truly amazing! Hardly anyone does it). He passed their entrance test and started clinical his first day of school. He had class six days a week and drove to Cleveland every Monday. He was overloaded! By the time the semester was over B had developed a hernia and had surgery over Christmas break. He also got mono. I too got really sick, right before Christmas break.
We reevaluated what we were doing. B hated nursing school. He felt like God had led him down that path (getting in and all) and he knew it would get him a good, stable job. But B was miserable in nursing school, his body actually shut down. He took the next semester off, devoting time to praying and figuring out what God actually wanted. I needed a break as well. I was just as busy as I was in high school, barley allowing myself to rest. With B's help, I prioritized my life. I trimmed down my commitments and I finally had free time.
B and I were able to spend more time together. We grew a lot closer, and I was blessed to be able to grow closer with his family too.
Home started to feel different. It’s always hard to live on your own and come home to a different way of life and rules. I had seen that adjustment with my sister, but this was different. My parents and I had been really close. We had spent a lot of time together while my sister was away at college, just the three of us. But we were no longer on the same page.
I was a different person when I came home that summer. My outlook on life had changed, my priorities had changed, my heart had changed.
B and I had started talking about getting married before that summer. We felt like God was telling us to get married. I had never been so sure of anything in my life.
This frightened my parents. They saw the numbers. We had only been dating for one year, we were only 19 years old, we had no full time job, nor money to support us, we had the rest of our lives ahead of us.
I knew (most of the time) that God would take care of us that he would provide for us but I couldn't back it up with a game plan.
We seemed crazy to the world, down right stupid. Young crazy, uncontrolled love. Our craziness attracted a lot of opposition. We had no answers, just reasons. We had no plan, just a conviction. We felt alone. At a time in our lives meant to be joyful, we felt distressed. When we were meant to feel hopeful, we felt hopeless. Our friends and family thought we were nuts and urged us to reconsider, to wait.
Your brains aren’t fully developed till your 25, how can you be sure?
You haven’t even finished college, just wait till after you both have graduated.
You have never dated anyone before, don’t rush into things.
You have your whole life ahead of you.
You're supposed to honor your father and mother.
This isn't a smart decision.(never said but always insinuated)
How are you going to live? How is he going to support you?
Just spend more time together, go on vacations, no need to get married now.
Establish yourself in the work force first, get your feet under you.
You're just kids.
Wherever we went, we met opposition, we met questions, concerns and judgments.
But God was calling us to get married and we knew that in a year, with or without support, we were going to. It’s a scary thought. Honestly, although I knew in my heart that this was what God wanted I cried a lot over it. I pictured walking down the isle with no one there to support us. I pictured future Christmases alone. I felt like this decision, this "supposed to be" happy decision was tearing my family a part. I felt again like an outcast, but this time in my own home. I felt misunderstood and alone. I questioned, God is this really what you want? How can that be?
And I always felt him say 'Yes, wait and you will see.' My only comfort was found in Jesus.
He too was rejected for doing the will of God. He too was misunderstood. He too felt alone.
I’m not saying I’m like Jesus. I’m saying, I wasn’t going through anything Jesus himself hadn’t gone through. We weren't alone, though it often felt that way. Jesus was no stranger to what I was going through or to what B was going through.
In him we trusted (most of the time), and we took a huge leap of faith.