I am shaking my head as I start to write this. I am coming to this after a rather interesting turn in a conversation I just had with a friend. If said friend is reading this, do not worry I am not here to pick you apart or hold you up for public ridicule. The truth is, the attitude you expressed is common, and sadly, I have heard it from many sources, some much closer to me.
The "interesting turn" came when I was joyfully telling this friend that Ryan has happily gotten to leave his job. This might sound strange, but Ryan prayerfully and soberly came to the decision to leave his job in May. It was not a job he enjoyed, but that is not the main thing prompting this life change. The truth is, he is showing me how much he loves me by leaving this job.
Ryan and I intend to marry, and unfortunately American me comes with American sized debts. We've done the pros and cons of living in each of our home countries, my America and his India. And we have both come to the almost unanimous conclusion we must start our life together in India. It's a complex issue, and too private to be discussed here. But India by far makes more sense for our own particular situation.
But in order to marry him, I'd come in on an Indian Tourist visa, and then have to convert it to a more permanent status, a complicated process that takes about a year. During that year, I cannot work in India. That might seem like a huge burden and process, but the truth is it is a lot better than the process we'd have to go through in order to get Ryan to the USA. And we'd be able to go through that headache together, as a married couple, while the process the USA requires must take place before the wedding.
So we realized we'll be facing a year where I cannot work in India. And so we looked at my debts, Ryan's paycheck and it didn't take a lot of math to realize he needed a better paying job. I wanted him to wait to try to leave his current employ. Being unemployed so long does not give me any real faith that leaving jobs is a good idea. Not without the other one lined up.
But as I said, it was a prayerful and soberly made decision. And Ryan did talk to his bosses a lot, and, well, to make a long and personal story short, Ryan and I are both convinced leaving his job is for the best, and is even a leap of faith we pray will be rewarded.
Anyway, so after I told my friend about this wonderful step in Ryan and my life together, she suddenly unveiled her worries to me. "Are you sure he's legit?" she asked, and revealed her fears about Ryan to me.
Ryan and I have not met in person. Probably many of my blog readers don't realize that. However, when you realize that I've been unemployed our entire relationship and while Ryan made an okay amount of money for India, it is far, far less than minimum wage in America, you realize we don't really have the money to fly back and forth a lot. Indeed, Ryan has saved up enough for about one very discounted round trip ticket, but I don't have my passport yet. And we're not sure who is traveling to who yet. God has been vocal about many things in our relationship, but we're not quite sure about His guidance in that area. We've gone back and forth in plans...
Ryan and I talk daily. Sometimes it's just for five or ten minutes. Other times it's for seven hours. It's usually at least forty-five minutes. I know him very intimately. I trust him utterly, and God's been very present in our relationship. I have no doubts whatsoever. As I jokingly tell friends and family, "God's done everything but point a giant neon sign at each other telling us 'this is the one'".
I will tell you all about the amazing story of what God did to bring us to each other, but not today.
My first reaction to my friend's pronouncement was "wow." I have heard similar sentiments before, but not from her. I thought for a minute. Then I smiled.
I told her to talk to Ryan himself. That's the thing. The most painful, frustrating thing for me. I have to hear the fears of the unknown from family and friends.... from people who I know would throw these fears out the window if they'd just take the time to meet and get to know Ryan. My friend Lydia actually interrogated him when they first talked. He passed. He's totally open to meeting people from my life. He's really not scary.
See the thing about being poor, in love, in two different countries, and sure God is leading you to marry, and soon is this: there's a definite possibility the first time we "meet" might be the same trip we marry. Which means that I can't assail anyone's fears by putting Ryan's hands in theirs. They either have to take the time to learn to love him from phone calls or internet chats... or they put a wall up between me and them. Please note, I don't put this wall up. It grieves me quite literally. I am not cutting anyone out.
And if I was rich, Ryan and I would have met a year ago. Everyone in my life would know and love him. And this wouldn't be a problem now.
I'm honestly not insane. I'm not even 'following my heart', which the Bible and experience has taught me is decietful. While I do love Ryan utterly, even before I did, God whispered to my spirit that He'd put Ryan and me together. And I chose to love him even before I felt it. This isn't insanity. But it is faith. And quite truthfully, many people will never know the difference.
It takes courage for me to post this now. I hate people judging me and I know that some probably will... but I also believe God chooses who to guide to this blog and so I trust He'll be with me regardless of fallout.
I am not upset at anyone, least of all my friend. I am honestly touched she loves me that much. I am however, hurt when people tell me that while they do reserve the right to be 'concerned' for me, they refuse to get to know the person they blame their concerns on, my Ryan. (My friend did not say that.) My Ryan is wonderful enough to stand up to anyone's scrutiny. Not perfect, and maybe some people might not like him. But he is loving, and trustworthy, and not scary at all. :)