Love stories begin as an inexplicably propelling feeling and romantic legacies are birthed from the evolution of constantly nurtured decisions of commitment.
As I get ready to exchange vows in the next 96 hours to the man that has unceasingly fought for the protection and nourishment of my heart, I’m conjointly recounting several love walk chapters that have led to the intentional decisions I’ve made.
I’d like to subtly disclaim that the motives for the transparency and rawness of this message are to not only expose a very real aspect of life that often becomes forcefully inundated in our evasive culture, but to also build a tight knit vinculum between all women merging minds and spirits via this medium. I deeply respect and appreciate all lifestyles carried out in numerous forms and in no way imply that mine is the only view or conduct with validity. My duty is to simply share my experiences as a living testimony of what’s possible and true.
The notions of romance, happily ever after and marriage were conceptual learned behaviors from what the media taught me throughout the years. Growing up in a home where a male figure was non-existent, I had no accurate or legitimate mold for a healthy, functional and complete family structure. Daughter and best friend to the most incredible woman, I’m far beyond grateful for the “mother/father” figure I was blessed with thirty years ago.
Always a bit conservative in matters of love, I eventually fell in love for the first time with the man that would eventually become my husband. A man I grew up with, went through puberty with, “became a woman” with, and moved cities with. Yet after thirteen years of intimate friendship, companionship and shared experiences, I sadly discovered some incredibly dark and painful secrets of an obscurely hidden life he lived behind a bright and charismatic smile; a deeply rooted addiction privately carried out. I’ll spare details regarding this matter.
It was a heavy and arduous battle which eventually led to my full understanding that not only was this not my destiny, but also the strenuous character building challenge of letting go was a natural and indispensable part of the testimony my life would become. A deep spiritual reawakening spurted as a result and my heart began to heal. For months at a time I had to continually remind myself what I was worth. I had to remind my heart that a short speck of hurt in the chronological timeline of life with authentic hope for a splendid future was a better trade off than a life-long lukewarm existence alongside a profoundly vilifying companion.
The years passed and I met interesting people, dated a couple of truly great guys, but didn’t quite find what I was looking for in a “life-partner.” After four and a half years of some detours, soul searching, growing in my spiritual walk, identity restoration and purpose definition, I was ready to let my beautiful Creator take the lead.
On December 31st of 2013 I made a vow to myself and to my God that the first three months of 2014 would be solely dedicated to Him, seeking Him, staying focused on my spirit in spite of any distractions and fully enjoying those three months with myself. I made a promise that if “the one” were to cross paths with me during this love sabbatical, he would wait. I internalized that you can never say or do the “wrong thing” to the right flame. So I moved through my decision boldly with no fear remembering that who I was becoming while I was waiting was more important than what I was waiting for.
In the month of February while on a spontaneous trip to Costa Rica with some of my life-long soul sisters, I met a transparent, kind, honest humble and incredibly spiritual man. I felt all kinds of things rushing through my mind and body, but remembered my vow. Through the crowd in which we met, he walked directly to me, began to talk life and requested that we take a picture together. (Thank God we had a Polaroid)
He stayed in contact, but after about a week of constant communication, honesty about my “time” was the only option. I reluctantly explained my circumstance in spite of fear that he would lose interest or think I was strange. Upon my confession, his eyes widened and said, “Just when I thought I couldn’t like you more, you tell me this.” I couldn’t believe it. I was still skeptical and just prayed for revelation. “I don’t want to make another mistake. I don’t want to waste anymore time. I want something real, everlasting, with someone who sees life and purpose as I do. I want a teammate.”
On March 31st at midnight (technically April 1st) he called and said, “I’ve been patiently waiting for you. You are worth it and I knew I would wait the moment I spotted you.” Since the day we met he wrote me messages every morning and every evening reminding me that he was waiting and praying for my time with God. Not one day passed without the two daily reminders. Not once did I reply. And he still waited!
Within a couple weeks of getting to know one another and officially dating, I also disclosed a qualm. I was committed to waiting for marriage to share my body in the most intimate act humanity holds. I shared how I wanted to do things differently; God’s way. I wanted commitment, I wanted purity, I wanted something we could both work for together, I wanted a bond deeper than sexuality, a friendship stronger than kinship and a marriage more beautiful than a wedding. I wanted a man of INTEGRITY. I also wanted God to make a man out of him before I made a husband out of him. And for this… I wanted to wait.
Here I stand one year and two months later, ready to marry my best friend. A man I’m bonded to spiritually and emotionally. A man who has undressed my soul before my body. A man that God set aside and chose for me all along.
So now, before God and all our loved ones, I will audaciously declare, I choose you. To share every bit of me, I choose you. To spend a lifetime, I choose you. To endure the trials and victories of existence, I choose you. To raise my offspring, I choose you. To make Jesus’ name and unconditional love famous, I choose you.
Forever… I choose YOU.
Here are some images from our recent sunrise encounter with the amazing Janel Kilnisan who so geniously documented our engagement sentiments in this series.