Wednesday, November 28

Our Love Story (prt 4)

Let's Dan had returned from his sister's wedding, and immediately asked me out for the following weekend.  He may have never known about the engagement that had happened while he was gone, if I wasn't such an open book.  It can be a blessing for sure.  I can't hide anything...I cannot lie.  My children know about Santa and the tooth fairy (may be a little sad to some of you).  I've never been good at keeping secrets, but have done my best to be open and honest always.

Anyhow, as you can guess, I told him the entire story.  And honestly, after that it wasn't the same between James and I. We'd talk akwardly on the phone.  But the relationship died after that...couldn't go back to just being friends, apparently.  I still feel sad about the heart-break I caused in him.  I hope with all of my heart that wherever he is, he is happy and has found the love of his life.

Dan and I continued dating as often as our schedules would allow, and I was beginning to wonder if I  should be looking anymore for my future husband.  I was in a hurry-especially because whoever this guy was was keeping me from serving a mission.  I had my papers ready to hand in and continued to get the same answer to my prayers (marriage is next).  I fought it, was scared to death of marriage knowing the hardships that had followed both my biological parents, and the hardships I had to endure as a product of divorce.

Two months after the break off with James, Daniel set up a romantic date at a dim-lit restaurant.  We had spoken of marriage, but by the time he popped the question, I had practically been ready to move on-and it came as a big surprise to me.  As a result, I hadn't had time to think about it if he were to propose, and was not confident in my ability to make a good choice especially after the last experience. I told him I needed the weekend to think about it, and that I'd have an answer by Monday night when he came to pick me up for Family Night.  He was understanding, though I'm sure a little taken back with my response.  I was determined not to repeat mistakes.

So, during the weekend, I pondered, prayed studied my scriptures and was just full of anxiety at having to make such a life-altaring decision.  Sure I was an adult, but there were some issues not yet worked out from my childhood that caused heart-wrenching anxiety on my part.
Monday was approaching all too quickly, and I was still at a loss as to what to do.  It seemed the anxiety had overtaken any logic, and clouded my ability to listen to the spirit.

Daniel came to pick me up.  He asked immediately what I thought.  I told him I did not know.  He went a bit pale at that he was at his most vulnerable (not to mention having been rejected in such a large way in a past relationship)-and...I didn't know?

I asked my Dad to please give me a blessing-I had bugged the Lord enough, and I needed a definite answer or I was NOT going through with it.
Dad took me by the hand and led me upstairs.  He sat me down and asked what was the matter.  I will always remember that day.  I had a close relationship with my Father in Heaven and had for many years...but had never been able to get past the wall that was between me and my Dad to form any sort of good relationship.  I recognize now how similar our personalities always were which was grounds for conflict.  He told me to pretend he was Heavenly Father and to look him in the eyes.  He said words like "I love you.  I don't know anyone who has been better prepared for marriage and motherhood."

A warmth and love filled the room at that moment.  "Sometimes in life, it is necessary to walk a few more steps into the dark in order for the light to be revealed."

He asked if I was ready.  He placed his hands upon my head, and a rush of undescribable warmth, peace and a feeling of love washed over my entire being.  The words that he uttered gave me an unmistakable answer to my many pleadings.

The Lord had heard my prayers and pleadings, and had answered them most assuringly.  I now had what I needed (His approval in my decision), and could confidently move forward.

I went downstairs, tear-stained face (no dry eyes after such an experience).  Dan seemed a bit nervous, and really mother had been trying to comfort him best she could.

I stood there-not sure what to do. My Dad told me to kiss him.  So, I went up, sat on his lap, kissed and hugged him and told him I'd love him forever.

He asked if I was ready now and pulled the little black box out of his pocket-got down on one knee and said something like "Rachael Maria are so beautiful through and through.  I know I could never find anyone as good.  Will you be my wife?"

"YES!"  I said without hesitation.  We hugged and kissed, and began celebrating.

I can't say I didn't experience marriage anxiety after that.  Because I did, pretty much every other day of our engagement as well as on the day.  But because I understood that God was my back bone in this, I decided from the moment I was engaged that I was going to follow through with the marriage.  And on the day I was married, I once again promised myself I would follow through no matter how difficult times may be.

I have been tempted many times (having struggled greatly with depression and anxiety among other things) to leave.  It only takes a small moment of prayer to be reminded that God is there and is going to help me keep my promise to myself and my love.  We have worked through many things together.  Marriage is hard work.

And I can say from the bottom of my heart now that he is THE love of my life-and he is certainly right for me.  We have created a beautiful and amazing family together, and I KNOW that if we continue to put the Lord first, we will continue to accomplish great things hand in hand.

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