One day, a commercial was made. A commercial that I saw and laughed at, then continued scrolling on Facebook. I watched it once, and never thought of it again.
It had been nearly five years since Joshua and I last crossed paths. In the meantime, I had been working toward my Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees to become a teacher. I liked the creative canvas that educating children provided. I had also been through a series of encounters with the Lord. There was a time that I lied to my parents for a handful of semesters about passing some of my college courses, when in truth, I was lazy, restless, and ungrateful. Another time, I flushed at night with fear that the world would end in 2012. I sought refuge in the Lord and returned to my church family in desperation after fueling my rebellious spirit. Then I went to Passion 2012 and experienced Yahweh for the first time as a tangible, real, larger-than-my-opinion God. And I was changed. Branded. Burned. For good. But with this deep love that had been illuminated, came deep struggles and sins that would be revealed and broken. There was a relationship. One that was thought to be the first and the last, but it ended up being just the first one that didn’t last.
Time passed, and wounds were healed, but new fears had taken over for years. The fear of commitment. The fear of love. The fear of my stitches, my bandages, and my scars being broken open again, subject to a pouring of salt into the open wound. But I gave it a try. There were a few friendships that could have turned into a relationship (thank GOD they didn’t, LOLOL) but each one seemed to hurt more than heal. Because underneath it all, the theme was the same as that first blow I had experienced. Every guy was inherently drawn to someone else. (*PSA: God is so good and faithful! Looking back, God explicitly drew me away from each of these guys, even providing a clear breaking point so it wasn’t THAT hard each time….:) ) Talk about Psalm 16-ing!! LOL! Despite the melodramatic writing style here, clearly, I found joy, security, and fulfillment in the Lord BEFORE I met Joshua. I’ll get to that eventually.) But despite the still small voice of the Lord at the time, I read His whisper of Psalm 16 as a passage from Lamentations. Yowza.
You Will Not Abandon My Soul
A Miktam[a] of David.
16 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.[b]
4 The sorrows of those who run after[c] another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.[d]
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I participated in some mission trips in the country and out of the country, each one seeming to help make a way for healing. In the fall of 2013, I was finally finishing up college, preparing for my Internship in the Spring when I felt a change in seasons. Friends I had become close with were drifting away. Long time friendships had ruts that were being revealed, and I had this feeling that the season I was in was quickly coming to a close. I didn’t know what to expect, and I had no idea what was coming. Of course, it would be Joshua and I crossing paths and staying on the same path (finally! LOL) *wink wink*.
And so, I saw the commercial in late October. A commercial for a yard sale. I thought it was kinda cute but I was focused on something else, so I went about my business to never think of it again. A week or two later, after the date of the sale had come and gone, I was out and about doing some photography sight seeing and came upon the garage sale that was supposed to be done and over with for weeks now. There were a few friends I had known for a long time present, as well as Joshua and his roommate Jacob (who officiated our ceremony at the wedding). I hung out for a bit, spoke to long time friends, played some guitar on a pretty Taylor, and then started to head out. But before I went, I was invited back for some shish-ka-bobs those guys were cooking that night. And so it begins. 🙂
There was the shish-ka-bob party. Then there was a pickup of old paint I planned to donate. Then there was stargazing. After that came biking in Baldwin. And then Christmas parties. Then dinner and trivia with friends at Fionn McCool’s. And then Fort Clinch. And the next day, goodbye. See, on the day we went biking in Baldwin, Joshua told me he was moving. There hadn’t been much talk of this “dating” thing, we just accepted that we were hanging out and enjoyed it. (Side Note: I knew I liked Joshua back then. And when we were first married, he revealed to me that he was crushing but knew he was being called to move to Sebastian. These facts moved us to conversation about what would be next.)
But there was something – still that “thing” that hovered between us that held a stark likeness to the earlier years our paths would cross. When he told me he was moving, the same thought that accompanied the departure of us from each other’s lives started to creep in. But oddly enough, this time, it didn’t stay. That feeling of “figures”. Or “Yep, just like last time, on the dot.” didn’t stick around. Instead was a feeling of anticipation, but pretty much a blank slate. That feeling of “there’s more”. So, I rolled with it.
On a chilly January day, Joshua and I went on another one of our “not-dates” to Fort Clinch in Fernandina. Except this was to be the last time for a while. He would depart for Sebastian the next day. When we parted ways that evening, there was a mutual acceptance that we would talk soon… would we?
To be continued…