Many of you have already heard that I am engaged to my sweetheart, Jeremiah Smith. And many of you have met him, so that saves me writing an entire blog introducing him. (This picture is from New Year's Day after a long crazy night of Scattegories.)
Jeremiah and I have known each other for almost our entire lives. Our mums are friends since high school and my brother Ryan and Jeremiah have been best friends for as long as I can remember.
The two of us were always friendly and played on the beach together during vacations, but I always regarded Jed as Ryan's friend, so I never thought too too much about him.
Many of you know that I was in Arizona from 2005 to January of 2007. Upon my move back to Massachusetts I was not in the best of places. I had been in graduate school at the U of Arizona in Tucson. Tucson had its bright moments, but there many disappointments and heartaches there as well. I really felt like God was telling me to go home to Massachusetts, but at 25 I had a hard time believing that going back to Mass (a state that I really don't like) where I had absolutely no prospects and would have to live at my parents' house was the best thing to do.
I pretty much sat on a couch for 2 weeks and thought, prayed, and agonized about my decision to move home...and then my Dad flew out to Tucson and he, Zucca, and I drove back home. It was a truly humbling experience. I just felt like the Lord was telling me to go, and to trust him regardless of how bleak the future looked, much like Abraham had to do. I'm really grateful for my dad coming out to rescue me. I had developed into someone who wasn't very good at asking for help, couldn't be vulnerable and when I was completely broken, my father stepped in and was strong for me. And even though my mom didn't come to Arizona, she was at home praying for us and holding down the fort while waiting for me to come home.
The first few months were rocky. I didn't do much but sleep, eat, pray, and watch Law and Order...the original not SVU or CIS. I think I developed a bit of a crush on Jerry Orbach, I'm not gonna lie.
In addition to watching Law and Order, which is very therapeutic, I started to attend a women's Bible Study with my mum at my very dear friend Jean Bishop's home.
Throughout the next few months I started to get my bearings and God really blessed me with friends and encouragement. I interviewed for and accepted a job teaching at my high school, Notre Dame Academy. I now teach there as an AP Biology, Biology, and Chemistry teacher.
And then, and then came Jeremiah. (look at his fantastic face)
When I first moved home I wasn't interested in socializing at all, but after a few months I wrote him and email because I knew he was living in Mass and he always seemed like a lot fun. Over the past few years I had spent time with him and Ry, and the two of them cracked me up, more than I as the cool older sister, would have admitted. We played phone tag for awhile and eventually got together so that he could give me a guitar. Both of us are passionate about all things music, so we had much to talk about. Because I was just going to over to see Jeremy, who I had know forever, I didn't do anything about my appearance. I planned on being there long enough to get the guitar and then leave. Well 4hours later we had laughed so much, eaten Thai food, and I had succeeded in stringing the guitar incorrectly a bunch of times. From there we hung out intermittently. Once we even had a long discussion about how much he loved being single and about how I was never going to get married.
Angie, one of the women from my Bible study emailed me one day and told me that she had found this great single Christian guy for me. Coincidentally, it was Jeremiah. And it was about that time that everything changed. I will spare you the intricate details of how everything changed. It involved a lot text messaging, going to (music)shows, hiking, and driving around listening to music.
Here we are well over a year later and I am so thrilled. I never thought God could have made my trip back to Massachusetts so rewarding. I have a great job, spent a year laughing with my dad and driving my mother crazy with my messiness (just kidding mum), found a fantastic Christian man who was so obviously made for me.
Song of Solomon urges its readers, "Young women of Jerusalem, swear to me that you will not awaken love or arouse love before its proper time!" Song of Solomon 8:4
A lot easier said than done.
We live in a world where sex is glorified as the end all be all of existence. As women, being loved and cherished is so important to us, and if we don't feel as though our needs for these things are being fulfilled, we seek out that fulfillment in romantic relationships.
But Isaiah 54:9 says, "For your Maker is your husband- the Lord Almighty is his name-." God has designed us to yes, yearn for love from a man and to want relationship with him. We were made to be man's helper and he our protector.
But there's only room for one God in our lives. By seeking him first above all things, we are strong in him and the knowledge that we can never earn his love. Filled with God's love and the knowledge that he made us in his image, we can then appreciate the imperfect humans in our lives. Rather than fixating on what it is we want them to do for us, we can determine to serve them and honor God through our relationships with all of our friends and family. Then we can just love them and appreciate them for who they are and what they bring to our lives.
Because I have learned to give God the number one role in my life, I wasn't looking to be fulfilled by another person. Instead I was just content to find a companion, a partner who loves the Lord and also wants to honor him as we make our way through this life. I would venture to say that Jeremiah is perfect for me. We laugh all the time. Even our arguments serve as fodder for inside jokes later. He understands the good things and the annoying things about me. He considers it his task to honor and love me as Christ loved the church.(Ephesians) He also is pretty long-winded in his writing, so he will understand why this Blog post is so long, and he might even read the entire thing.
I know from the bottom of my heart that the blessing that is Jeremiah in my life is the result of prayer, trust, and prioritizing God. God has guided us every step of the way, helped us to honor him and one another in our relationship, and he will be with us in the future as we prepare to spend the rest of our time on earth together.