When Paul asked me to marry him two months ago (to the day), my "YES!" was said without any reservations. June 5th was the first time we shared "I Love You" and I am so glad we waited. I remember telling Paul that I hoped sharing "I love yous" with one another would always feel that good. He assured me it would just get better, but I think I was a little skeptical.
How could it possibly get better than this?!
One of our prayers when we first started dating was that love wouldn't be awakened until it so desired (Song of Solomon 2:7). My NIV study note says "love is not to be artifically stimulated;
utter spontaneity is essential to its genuine truth and beauty." Let me tell you, our love has been awakened. :)
And it's beautiful.
Because our love was based around a commitment to spend the rest of our lives together, it has grown immensly and I am so much more in love now than I was when he popped the question. I honestly didn't know I could feel this way about anyone and I don't think I've ever understood love in this light before.
When I was in Chile, I had committed to writing a letter to Paul each evening. Although I had hoped Paul would do the same, I didn't mention it. When I was able to check my email for the first time, I had a few emails waiting for me. Paul had written out our "would-be-phone-conversations" and sent them each day. The first night I was gone, he felt like the Lord asked him to commit to me in a new way. Instead of relaxing in front of the tv, he typed pages to me
about his daily adventures and thoughts, exploring new ways to learn how to love me better. It
was so special to read my letters aloud to him upon my return.
Since we've been in the same place (give or take a week here and there), Paul and I have enjoyed serving one another, finding pleasure in making the other person happy. Cooking dinner, doing dishes, offering to let the dog out when we're in the middle of watching a movie, etc. There are not adequate words to describe how it feels to GET to do these small things for him.
And the things he does for me... WOW.
The last night at camp, Paul came to my cabin and woke me up at 1am, took my hand, and led me to the dining hall where we got out choclate dip and strawberries - a delicacy anywhere, and especially after exhausting days of being dust-covered and sleep-deprived.
Paul pulled me up on stage twice in front of 300+ people and encouraged the campers to wait for the right one. Tears welled in his eyes as he told them about me.
This man loves me, honors me, and esteems me. I am so humbled...
As we drove home from camp together, we finally got a chance to debrief the conversations we had with campers. He told me had led a camper to Christ a few hours prior, right before he got on the bus to go home. I grabbed his hand and turned to him, saying "I did too!" With windows down and Hillsong playing in the cd player, we sat in silence for a few minutes, laughing and delighting in our perfect match and the way God has already chosen to use us as a team to
further His kingdom. It was our goal from the beginning to disciple people together, and we're evangelizing, too. And we're not even married, yet!
Last week, as we were pulling out of the church parking lot after a meeting with our wedding coordinator, we ended up at the Guler's home because he had a surprise for me. Remembering my dream to someday ride in a convertible, Paul had arranged to borrow their 40 year-old shiny red Datsun and chauffered me around the lake and through the hills of Longview. It was a hot summer evening and we cranked the tunes and rode around carefree.
He often looks at me and says "I am so lucky." We both know it's a testament of God's faithfulness and our patience to hold out for each other.
As September 19th draws nearer, and the harder it is to leave each other each night (or for a week here and there) we are mindful that love is patient. :)