Yesterday I started to tell you about Ryan and my love story. This is part two, you can find the first part here.
So after Ryan had told me his life story and was feeling vulnerable, I stopped his apologies and said, “No, you don’t understand!”
|Ryan's photo. He's not so fun and deleted the others.|
And I proceeded to tell him my life story.
They were parallel.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some of the parallels:
We both made huge cross-cultural moves when we were young children which really changed who we were (him from India to the US, me from suburbs-of-NYC New Jersey to rural half-the-school-are-cousins South Carolina). Even some of our childhood anecdotes were parallel, like how we were the last in our peer group to know the idiomatic definition of "gay" and strange play with neighborhood kids we'd both engaged in. We both grew up in nominally Christian homes, and had parents that came from a former Catholic background (both of my parents, for him his mom). We both had formative events happen with God when we were around 13. We both were depressed when we were around 16, his prompted by his move back to India and mine by a combination of tons of life events. We both struggle with similar weaknesses. We both were no stranger to online relationships; we both had been engaged to someone in another country who had betrayed us!
And about a month before we met, Ryan had had God tell him that he was ready now, and to start searching for a wife.
You see, Ryan had been in process. Ryan was my cookie man! (If that makes no sense, do read part one.)
|One of my fave pics of Ryan!|
For the next week we probably talked like seven hours a day. Then on July 5th we officially became a couple. (Which was basically my idea, as Ryan likes to tease me about. He says he would have waited a few more weeks, but I was over eager.)
The seven hour a day talk sessions continued a while but we settled eventually into a more normal two hours or so. We each are not sure exactly when we fell in love with the other, but agree it was probably within the first two months. We also both have discussed how we knew for sure that God intended us for one another and falling in love only sweetened the fact we were meant to be together. One event I attribute to falling for him was when he excused himself from the microphone (I am on the phone, but he uses an internet number and calls from his desktop) to go to the bathroom and I heard him singing to himself on the way. Anyone who knows me well knows I sing.... incessantly. I totally sing as I walk around the house. And I could picture us someday, a singing married couple just singing as we did dishes or something.
By spring of 2011 we were already talking of getting married. That's when we started discussing if he should move to the US or if I should move to India. At first, we never talked about me coming to India, because it was sort of assumed he'd come to the US. After all, he has lived over here before. But when we started looking into it, it was just not practical. Seriously people, our government makes it nearly impossible! There are so many ridiculous hoops we'd have to jump through before we could legally marry.
India, on the other hand, would let us marry first and then jump through hoops. It's not an easy process, but we could have each other through the process. When I first seriously brought up that I thought I should move to India, Ryan nearly cried. (Should I mention that? Men don't typically like to admit tears. But it is so moving!) He was overcome because I would be willing to do that for him. Apparently his ex-fiancee had never even considered moving to where he was, even when they ran into snags in Ryan's visa process to come to her. I was shocked and told him of course I'd come to him, the point was that we were together, not where we were...
And then God confirmed that I was to move to India. That's between Him and us.
|Lydia and I camping|
So now that we knew we were getting married and I was moving to India. And the next question was "when?"
Late last August best friend Lydia and I went on a camping trip for a weekend, and then were bridesmaids in my college roommate's wedding. Lydia and I have a very close, spiritual friendship where we try to encourage each other to pursue God, so I decided to try to use this time apart from our normal lives to ask God the burning question: Should we marry sooner or later?
I didn't get a direct answer on the trip. I did have a great time though. Lydia and I had adventures in rain storms, swam under waterfalls, and were beautiful bridesmaids delighting in our friend's happiness. But we had no cell reception up in the mountains and I didn't have a cell phone at all at the time and so what happened was I had three days of no communication with Ryan. At all.
|Lydia and I with the bride, Sarah|
But I missed Ryan. Oh how I missed Ryan!
So I called him up right away... and we talked for like two minutes. But then he had to get back to work and it would be hours until he was free to talk...
I tried to go to bed... but the missing of him was like a burning coal in my chest. So I stayed up, even though I was exhausted, just to have a few minutes with him.
When I finally got him on the phone, I burst into happy tears.
Ryan asked me, knowing about the question I had asked of God, if I had gotten answer.
And I realized that I had. Just spending three days without Ryan had me in the mess of tears. "Sooner," I told him, and as I did, I felt peace invade my body. "Sooner, definitely sooner."
|A recent photo of Ryan.. on yak, from his recent vacation.|
So a few weeks later Ryan and I were reading the Bible together. Not asking any particular questions or seeking anything other than just God. I was praying silently as I flipped through my Bible's pages, praying to find the right passage God wanted to show us that day. And I felt definitely drawn to Genesis 24. I didn't know why, it seemed surprising to me, but I just started reading. The page I landed on was halfway through the chapter, in the story of Rebekah being brought to Isaac.
It was the morning after Abraham's servant had arrived, and his prayers to find Isaac's bride were answered by God so directly. And this servant was excited and ready to head back to Canaan.
“But we want Rebekah to stay with us at least ten days,” her brother and mother said. “Then she can go.”
But he said, “Don’t delay me. The Lord has made my mission successful; now send me back so I can return to my master.”
“Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her.
And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”
And I read it and was stunned. Ryan didn't picked up on it right away, so I had to go back and repeat it. Then he saw it too.
This is probably the only place in the Bible that is this relevant to Ryan and my story, and God directed me to read it while we were together, just two or three weeks after I'd asked "Should we marry sooner or later?"
|Ryan, recently ice skating.|
How would that translate? Well, we still don't know.
One thing I do know is that as I tried to think about our wedding I felt myself getting obsessed, and realized I could take it too far. And I prayed and released it to God, asking Him to be my wedding planner.
So we know God brought us together, has directed me to move to India, has directed both of us to marry sooner instead of later, and He will be my wedding planner.
All those are important truths as Ryan and I pursue our marriage. They are comforting Truths Ryan and I have to pull out to grow our faith as we stare at the obstacles in our way.
Which sets us up for what else I'm planning on addressing this "serious week".
This, while part two of our love story, is by no means "the end". It was funny, when I told Ryan on the phone yesterday that I had put up part one, he said, "But our love story isn't over yet!"
And he's right. So while tomorrow won't bring "part three", this blog in general will continue our love story as our lives progress. So stay tuned. God's not done writing this one...
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