It was a beautiful, incandescent afternoon stroll through Williamsburg in October.
Growing up, I remember so many chilly Octobers – even a few with a coating of snow on the grass and the Jack-O-Lanterns on Halloween. This day, however, was warm. I do love the mild fall weather that we usually have here in the southeast corner of this great state. Whatever the weather that afternoon, it was the people I was privileged to spend time with that made the day special.
Him…the love of my life…
He is my best friend, the one who still makes my heart skip a beat. As we continued on our stroll hand in hand through quaint Colonial Williamsburg, I couldn’t help but think of how our paths crossed just a “few” years ago.
It was my Senior year in college. I had spent the time from my Freshman year through the fall of my Senior year as a football and basketball cheerleader. I majored in Elementary Education and minored in Spanish, so I walked in the circles of my Spanish and Education classes, football and basketball games, cheerleading and dance practice, and working out. Singing in chapel occasionally and playing violin with the community orchestra during the Christmas season were also sprinkled into my crazy schedule. Mike transferred in during our Sophomore year and was a ministry major with an emphasis on voice. He was an athletic guy who also enjoyed working out. He was (and still is) a gifted vocalist, pianist, and guitarist who demonstrated his creativity in songwriting. (He even wrote a song for our wedding, and it still makes me cry when I hear it.)
Our paths crossed because of a series of separate decisions and events with amazing timing. (I believe that timing came from the Lord.) I had always dreamed of being a vocalist in a rock band. I would hold my “microphone” (which also happened to double as my hairbrush) and sing my heart out in my bedroom throughout my childhood. It was never my goal or ambition to make it big. I just loved singing and performing. Besides, my “education major” coursework didn’t exactly offer “singing” as a part of my class load. However, a unique opportunity arose when there was an audition call for one the campus bands, named Fortress. As I considered auditioning for the band my Senior year, I wavered with thoughts of “what if I don’t make it?”. My roommate, though, was so encouraging and pushed me to go for it. What if you don’t try? Regret, that is what happens. (Thank you, Alison, for motivating me!) Needless to say, I was over the moon excited when I found out that I made it. This opened new doors for me, and enlarged and shifted my circle. Not only did I learn a great deal, I was also blessed to get to know so many really amazing musicians and new friends. We performed at a prison, Six Flags in St. Louis, MO, and participated in “Battle of the Bands”. I was able to spend time with some amazing people in the studio as they recorded, which was a completely new experience for me.
The coolest thing about the whole experience, though, was how the new friendships took me down a path on which I would eventually collide with my future husband. He lived in the same house with some of the guys I became friends with. He also worked out at the Sports Training Annex at our college where I briefly worked the front desk as a clerk. He would come in to work out, and we would end up chatting.
Boom! Just like that, our paths collided. The funny thing is that, at the time, I wasn’t looking to get into a serious relationship. (O.k., I will admit that I did have a crush on him from the moment I saw him in the Annex. Those kind, clear blue eyes… But still, I really didn’t want to get super serious with someone yet. I didn’t want to get hurt again, as I had recently moved on from a relationship. I was really trying to trust God with my future.) Mike became my best friend, and after a five month period of time we began dating. He was (and still is) this super caring and Godly man of integrity, and I found that he was the real deal. I just adore him, and it’s difficult to put into words how very thankful I am that he is my husband and the father of my children. We get to do life together, which is such a gift!
The bottom line is this: Fear is a killer. Fear can hold you back from great things and can paralyze your potential. I have to keep telling myself this from time to time. I’d like to say that I never fear “going for it” or the big “scary” circumstances that happen in life. I’m still learning to trust God first, even when life becomes overwhelming and the “what ifs” grow louder. I am so thankful that I stood up and took a risk back then, even when I was shaking in my boots nervous! I think the outcome was pretty great then, and I believe that continuing to walk with boldness will bring about great things in the future.
**Side note: My son, pictured above helped to take the pictures of my hubby and I. I just set the settings and gave him instructions. I think he did a pretty good job!