Many years ago, there was a conversation between a girl and her grandmother that went like this:
Girl: When I get to be 32, I hope there is a magic potion that I can pour on myself to stay 32 forever.
Grandmother: *chuckles* Why 32?
Girl: I don’t know. It’s my favorite number switched around. And I think good things happen at that age.
Last December, after discovering I could graduate from App with just one more year of classes, I made the (challenging) decisions to resign from my job, apply for financial aid, and register for 6 classes in the spring semester. Shortly after, I got the email notification that I qualified for a full scholarship from the North Carolina Education Lottery. What a blessing! With that money, I was not only able to pay for all 18 hours of the spring, but also the 3 additional classes I needed to take in the summer. The second glorious financial aid letter came again in July, letting me know that part of my fall tuition would be taken care of. Now, here I am, two short months away from graduation, with a small (and hopefully manageable) balance on my account.
While financial aid enabled me to go back to school, it was my then-boyfriend that supported me from the beginning, giving me the idea that it was actually very possible for me to earn my degree. Wes convinced me that I was too smart and too motivated to not finish what I’d started so many years ago, and most importantly, no matter what the cost was to us as a couple, we would figure out a way to make it work. When I would spend entire weekends writing papers and designing newsletters, Wes selflessly did all the cooking and cleaning without seeking any recognition or gratitude. He simply found the things that needed to be done for us to survive and did them.
And, speaking of Wes…
The serious conversations about our future together began early in the year. As our relationship progressed, so did our inability to see our lives without each other. On the most special day of my entire life, the months of effort Wes put into surprising me with some of my most beloved friends and family were on display. When I folded up the note he gave me to read and looked up through my tears to see him on one knee, my whole world stopped. There truly are no words to adequately express what that moment feels like.
As of today, we are 46 days away from our wedding. MY WEDDING!! I am a woman who honestly believed I would never find someone to spend my life with, and now I am less than two months away from marrying a man I couldn’t live a day without.
September of this year brought more good news. It took Wes almost a year to convince me I should come back to ASU and complete my undergrad, but it took only a few months for me to believe I should continue my education and pursue a master’s degree. The admissions department at West Virginia University decided to give me a chance, and offered me a spot in their Integrated Marketing Communications program. I will begin classes in January 2014, just three short weeks after I graduate from ASU, and cannot wait to see what opportunities this program will bring me.
Last weekend, Wes and I joined a church. I JOINED A CHURCH! The last time I was an official church member was 17 years ago when my family collectively joined Pole Creek Baptist Church. While PCBC was a terrific experience that provided tremendous relationships, I was only 15. In my adult life, through all the cities and towns I have lived in, I have not been a part of a church that I felt like I could find a significant place in…until now. I am so excited to become a servant to not only Oak Grove Baptist Church, but to be among couples and families that will inevitably strengthen my relationship with Wes, my community, and my Savior.
I haven’t written a blog in a long time. In fact, my last blog post came after a particularly frustrating week of realizing how surprisingly costly wedding expenses were, yet also realizing that the budget isn’t the most important part of the day. The most important part of the day, in fact, is that I will walk down an aisle and marry the man God created for me. Tonight, however, warrants a new post. Tonight, when my beloved Boston Red Sox won the 2013 World Series, I needed to take some time and reflect on everything amazing that has happened to me this year. I am on my way to college graduation. I will be married in a month and a half. I was accepted to grad school. I joined a church. My absolute favorite sports team is on the field at Fenway Park, right this very moment, celebrating their Game Six World Series victory. “My cup runneth over” is a biblical statement that simply doesn’t do justice to the overabundance of blessings I have seen this year.
Tonight, as I think back to the conversation I mentioned earlier, when I told my Mamaw I wanted to stay 32 forever, I can’t help but assume that she remembered my wish. From heaven, she has helped make my wish come true. While I know I can’t stay 32 forever, what has happened to me and what has been given to me will stay with me the rest of my life. When I was a kid, I said, “I think good things happen at that age.” Now that I’m here, I KNOW they’re not just good things. They’re SPECTACULAR…PRECIOUS…LIFE-ALTERING…INCREDIBLE things.