When I use to ask my married girlfriends how they knew their husbands were "the one," they'd always reply, You just know. It's weird, but you do.
Liars, I'd think. There's no way. But there is.
I think I knew early on that Ty might be it, but the timing and apparent mountains that separated our lives seemed so big. So vast. To know it was him all along seemed like shooting an arrow at a target deep into the black hole.
But that day, in that booth, I knew. It was him. It'd always been him. The one I said, "NEVER EVER EVER" to was the one who swooned and waited and captivated my heart.
It wasn't fuzzy. It wasn't fairy dust. It wasn't a lightning bolt or a giant neon arrow blinking at me.
And while our love is pleasurable and enjoyable and beautiful, that feeling is not what holds up our marriage. If it was, we might have failed a long time ago.
It was a choice. A choice to run hard and fast in the direction that God had cleared for me. A choice to look up. A choice to look around and see who was running next to me. And a choice that said, "We run faster and better together than we do apart. And you're a hottie."
A choice to love, through sickness and health and abundance and poverty.
A choice to fight and break and mend, together.
We made a choice to love.
He's the best thing that's happened to me. And I'd do the whole thing over again with no hesitation.
He walked out of that recording booth. We wrapped cords and walked to the truck. I don't remember if we walked in silence or if he was making small talk and I wasn't really paying attention. But as he started the engine, I blurted out, Ok, I'll marry you.
He stopped. He looked. And with the biggest goofiest grin you can think up in your mind, he laughed out, Really?!
And with a grin equally as big and a heart full and about to burst, I replied, Yes, really.
Hey, I know you don't want to talk to me, but we don't have to talk. I wrote this worship song and it needs a girl vocal on it. Will you come sing it please? He asked.
Sure. But no talking.
I'd just recorded the lead vocals and he walked into our makeshift booth to sing his harmony over it. As he began to sing, my mind froze for a moment in time. I logged away every detail of that moment.
The black boom stands that held the microphones, bent at just the right angle for his stance. The fuzzy walls we rigged up to keep the outside sounds from hitting the microphones. The picture frame he joking hung one night. This could be a picture of our future baby girl, he said in half jest.
No. No it was most certainly not going to be.
I remember him hitting the highest note of the song when I made the decision. Like something straight out of an unconventional fairytale.
There wasn't an accompanying angelic choir or glitter descending from the heavens, or even a feeling. It was a decision.
He loves God fiercely. I love God desperately.
He sings. I sing.
His heart is for the Church. My heart is for the Church.
He loves compassion ministry and I love compassion ministry.
He loves me. Adores me even. And I can't shake the feeling that I might love him too.
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Two months later, due to the 2008 recession, I lost $10,000 in student loans allocated to my Junior year of college. I had no idea what to do. My parents and I crunched numbers all night to see how much we could scrape up, how many jobs I would need to get and hours I needed to work in each to make this next year happen.
But there was no way. I know thousands lost abundantly more than their college tuition but I was crushed. And confused. And aimless.
So I came home. Against everything I felt, all the possibilities my life in Michigan had created for me, against the love I thought would last forever, against the friendships I would likely never be able to keep, I came home.
My dad talked me into taking a year at home and starting the degree program our church was hosting. Ok, I said. I guess until I can get my feet beneath me.