Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's a Love Story, Baby, Just Say Yes!

Since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share my love story with you. I promise to not be too ooey- gooey ;)! Let me start by saying that I don't buy into the whole commercialized idea of "you HAVE to have someone on February 14th or you are a loser and need to be consoled." Even since I've been married, I hate the idea of "singles tables" at banquets, etc. I just don't believe that if you're single, it means that there is something wrong with you and you need to be "helped" or "pitied." People are single for all sorts of reasons, but that doesn't mean they aren't loved. Anywho... I'll climb down off of my little soapbox there and get on with the story ;).

I think that one of the reasons I feel so strongly about "singleness" is because I was single (not married) for what felt like a loooong lifetime. I attended a Bible college where it seemed like everybody was getting married, but I graduated and still hadn't found "the one." I taught in a couple of different schools and waited a couple of years, and still... no one! I ended up in Sierra Vista, AZ working for a church as a teacher and secretary. After a couple of years, I got laid off from that job (there were no funds to support my job), but I still felt like God wanted me to stay there in Sierra Vista. I could have taught somewhere else, but I just felt a strong leading to stay there, find another job, and continue to attend church there. A couple of years went by, and still... no "true love" for me. It was around this point that I finally just gave in to God and told Him that whatever He wanted to do with my life, whether I ever got married or not, I was ok with it. I stopped desperately seeking for someone and tried to just be still and wait for what God had for me. Yes, I still got very lonely and impatient sometimes, but for the most part, I tried to stop yearning for what I didn't have and live in what God had for me at the time.

One Sunday in August of 2008, I looked up from playing the piano and almost fell off the bench... in the back of the auditorium there was a "new guy" and he was cute! I've always had a thing for redheads, and this guy had bright red hair and gorgeous blue eyes... and the sweetest, I mean manliest, shy smile I had ever seen. I had butterflies in my stomach and my face got all red and hot. I might have even found a way to take a picture with my phone so I could show my sister the new cute guy. No, I'm not a stalker... I was just very smitten! I soon realized, though, that this guy was really young, too young for me. I decided to just be his friend, though, and tried to make sure he was included in all of the activities we had at church, etc. The more I got to know this guy, the more impressed I was... he was smart, and funny, and kind, and thoughtful, and dependable, and faithful, and loved God... and so good looking.... and too young for me. I even tried setting him up with a couple of other girls (*cringe*). We became really good friends through texting and talking and spending time together at church activities. Somehow, we ended up texting almost every day. I still did not want to admit I had feelings for him, though, or that he possibly had feelings for me. Finally, I talked to my pastor's wife about it and asked her advice whether she thought that I should just leave it alone since he was (in my mind) too young for me. She told me that the Bible doesn't say anything about age difference, and I should just trust God to lead me to what He had for me.

On April 6, 2009, I was texting my "friend" and he was teasing me about this baseball player that I supposedly had a crush on (I didn't!). I told him that I didn't want him to think that I had a crush on that guy and he asked me why... I told him that if he didn't know I wasn't going to tell him (brilliant, right?). Then, he told me "If it helps, I do have some feelings for you." What???? Wooo hoooo! ;) We ended up going to dinner a few days later, and from then on, we spent every spare minute either together, talking to each other, or talking about each other. I have to admit that I was a little wary at first... I wasn't sure where this was going to go, I still worried that he would think I was too old, I didn't want to get hurt, I worried that once he really got to know me he wouldn't like me, etc. But my new boyfriend won my heart by being the sweetest, most caring, most thoughtful guy I had ever met. He cared about ME and my thoughts and dreams and likes and dislikes... he was fascinated by my personality... he liked the things about me that others had made fun of or tried to change.... it wasn't too long before he had completely stolen my heart.

Before long, we knew that we were "the one" for each other and decided that we should get married. We actually decided this a couple of weeks before we had an official "proposal" or even a ring... it didn't matter to me, though! I was just deliriously happy to be marrying the man that God had picked out just for me! (He did get down on one knee with a ring, though, a few weeks after we decided to get married) On July 3, 2009, I became Mrs. Nathanael Caudill. It has been the best 2 1/2 years of my life! My marriage to Nathanael has been one of the biggest things in my life that God has used to change me and help me grow as a Christian. Nathanael encourages me to be kinder, gentler, less critical, more giving, more relaxed, and less stressed.  He has taught me so much about what it means to be a real Christian, a real follower of Christ. We've had some trials (his year-long deployment, major turmoil in my family), but they've just brought us closer and cemented the bond between our hearts even more. I love him more today than I did on the day we got married because I see that the man he is in public, the good man who works hard and tries to follow Christ, is the exact man he is at home, day in and day out. I'm so proud to be married to Nathanael Caudill.

I'm so glad that God made me wait. I would wait another 20 some years if I had to if it would mean that I got to be with Nathanael. I'm so glad that every time my path turned and twisted, and plans that I had fell through, and "sure things" didn't come to pass, that God was leading me to be in the right place at the right time to meet Nathanael. Our love story reminds me that, no matter what, God's way is ALWAYS the best way. Now, when we go through trials, and things aren't working in my timing or according to my plan, God reminds me that His way is best, and that He will give us His best when we wait on Him. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. We can't know the plans God has for us, but they're good plans, and if we'll just be patient, and wait on Him and His timing, we'll receive great blessings!

I hope this wasn't TOO mushy... I always love telling our "love story!" Not just because our love thrills my heart, but also because I love remembering how God worked in my life and showed me, once and for all, that I can always trust Him to do what's best!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

P.S. I'm participating in a link-up party over at Keeping up with The Cantelmos... go check it out!

Keeping up with the Cantelmos

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