Going to the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day has become something of annual tradition…okay, it’s happened twice, but now that I’m married to the man I went to the shore with those times, we’re hoping it will become tradition!
Sometimes joy is a fight…that’s one of the reasons I started writing this blog. I was fighting for joy and learning to find it in God. (And I continue to need God desperately.) But sometimes, joy effortlessly spills out of our hearts as we delight in the Lord and in His gifts to us. And that is how I felt these past two Memorial Days with the man who would become my husband…overflowing with joy!
The first time we went, I was convinced that going to the shore on Memorial Day would be a bad idea…traffic, cold water, crowded beaches, etc. None of this was a problem. We had a great time and enjoyed playing mini-golf on the boardwalk with friends. But for me, the highlight was walking along the beach and hearing him reveal his thoughts about the possibility of a future together. Even though he hadn’t said, “I love you” yet, I was totally “in love,” and I hoped he would be the one I loved for the rest of our lives. But really neither of us knew what God had planned for us. We were waiting.
One year later, so much had happened (including a break up and reconciliation). We found ourselves at the same beach, but in a totally different place. We were not engaged, but we were decidedly headed toward marriage. We’d made the decision to love each other, and were experiencing so much freedom and joy from making that commitment. We would often try to describe our love, using nerdy analogies to outdo each other. I claimed that I loved him so much, all of the memory on his phone wouldn’t be enough to hold my texts declaring my love. Being a software engineer, he told me he calculated how long it would take me to type out “I love you” enough times to fill his phone, and he told me maxing the memory would be highly improbable. After all, his phone held 10 x 2^34 GB of data.
On the beach, he talked about his dreams, and I asked, “Do you know what I dream of?” I used a shell fragment to write our names in the sand, picturing a lifetime of happiness with the one I loved so much. The waves washed our names away, and we walked a little further. He asked me to turn around and close my eyes, and when I looked back at him, I saw this:
I was thrilled! I was so happy to be loved so much and to be so full of love for someone else! It was a beautiful day, and when the sun set, we left the beach and stopped at the same diner as the previous year. We drove home through the dark pine barrens, and he opened the moon roof so I could look at the stars.
A few months later, on August 18, at a different New Jersey beach, he again asked me to turn around and close my eyes. I fully expected to see another math equation about our love. But to my surprise…
There was a gorgeous, sparkling diamond ring at the bottom of the heart. And most importantly, a godly, loving man on one knee.
We were married six months later on February 16, 2013. When I think of the great things the Lord has done for us, I am filled with joy! (See Psalm 126.)
So, readers, there you have it…the reason for my long absence from blogging. And honestly, I can’t say whether I’ll be back on a regular basis. I have a new hobby now : )