In case you missed out on Part 1’s post from last week, click here to read it…
Friday, June 6, 2014
I woke up this morning feeling so much better about everything and was so excited to celebrate with my bestie and her soon-to-be husband. Our hair appointments were scheduled in the morning at a salon across town, and before leaving for the salon, her mom – who also happens to be Matt’s godmother – turned around in her seat and said quickly before anyone else got into the vehicle, “Joan…I am only going to say this once, but I’ve gotta tell you…my godson, Matt, is an amazing guy, and I feel like you two have so much in common – you both like running…trying new foods…he’s into science…[another bridesmaid approaches car] Okay, I said it…do with that what you will…”
Saying hello to the bridesmaid, I muttered a quick thanks or something to that nature, and thought, ‘Yes, he is a really nice boy. Some girl will be very lucky to date and/or marry him someday…’
Flash forward to an hour or so before the wedding, and I had another encounter with Matt. He was looking quite handsome in a bright blue shirt, and I remember having that same thought I had had earlier in the day, ‘Gosh, he just looks like the sweetest boy I’ve ever seen. Why did I meet him the day I profess to my parents I am supposed to be a nun??? Ugh…’
He said a simple, “Hi,” and mentioned that he could pull the car to the front of the church after the wedding, so that the bridesmaids wouldn’t have to walk so far in the hot weather. Thanking him for his thoughtful gesture, I said something slightly cheesy as I started blushing like ‘I can’t wait for our mini road trip,’ and when he was out of listening distance, I pulled one of the other bridesmaids aside and said, “Gosh, he is such a sweetheart, huh?”
The wedding Mass was incredible, and despite the fact that I am usually a blubbering mess at weddings – and just in general – I held it together pretty well. And as promised, once we processed out, Matt was waiting patiently in the getaway car for us.
The bridesmaids and I took a few selfies and started chatting about how amazing the wedding was and once that conversation faded, we sat in silence enjoying the stillness of the moment. However, as we sat there, I became increasingly aware of the fact that the sweet boy was now sitting right next to me. Feeling as if though I was supposed to talk to him, I broke the silence by turning to him and asking, “So…what’s your favorite number?” Both of my the bridesmaids shot me a Really, Joan???? kind of look as my idea of breaking the ice was by asking about number preferences. His answer, though, was the first of hundreds reasons why Matt and I quickly became best friends and are getting married in 29 days.
“37,” he replied nonchantly, “what’s yours?” [I gasped]
“No! Are you serious?” I shrieked at him, feeling as if he had to be lying because 37 was my favorite number.
“Haha, ya, why is that so weird?” he asked with a smile on his face.
And then we started talking about why we each liked the number 37, and the rest.. is history. Well, or almost.
Just so this doesn’t end up being a 5 part post, I’ll jump ahead and say that the following weeks flew by, and Matt and I started casually talking after meeting for coffee at the Minneapolis airport (I was still living in Fargo at that time) on my way to Savannah for the Not Alone Series get together (aka meeting with other single Catholic women bloggers I’d never met before!). We had so much fun having coffee together that we also decided to meet at the airport on my return home. After these two hang outs, we knew there was something there.
What that exactly was, though, I was still not sure as I was still discerning the possibility that I was being called to the religious life. My feelings of certainty that I was being called to the religious life were shattered, though, when I met with a priest for spiritual direction after going on a go see (visiting a convent) who asked me the following:
“Joan, I am going to ask you a question, and I want you to say the very first thing that comes to your mind. So…if you had the choice to live in your dream convent or to marry your dream man, which would you choose?” This question caught me by surprise as my reaction was immediate laughter as I knew in my heart, my desire was marrying an amazing, faith-filled man.
It was in this moment that I realized I was letting my past insecurities and fears of relationships numb me to the true desire of my heart that was marriage. Now this was not necessarily a negative thing as I believe that my faith grew leaps and bounds last summer as I was praying more intensely than I ever had in my entire life, but I knew the truth: I was called to marriage. And quite possibly marriage to Matt.
We kept talking and I kept praying about my job situation that was literally making me miserable, so after receiving much encouragement from my family and friends, I quit my job and decided to make the move to Minneapolis to pursue new career opportunities and to live closer to this boy who was becoming my best friend.
The move was an exciting one as I had no place to live or a job when I put in my two weeks’ notice, but through the powers of social media, I connected with two lovely, Catholic women and have lived with them since September. Additionally, I didn’t have a job secured, so I took a leap of faith to move in with total strangers while being unemployed – talk about scary! Thankfully, with the help of my parents and Matt, I was able to make ends meet for the few months I was unemployed, and then a week before Thanksgiving, I got a job offer! I was so excited about finally finding a job that I had no clue I would be getting engaged on Black Friday (a story for another post!).
While there are millions more details I’d love to share with you – to save you from reading a novel (maybe someday) – I’d like to tell you that I would have never ever in a million years imagined that I would meet a man like Matt nor in the way that we met: at my best friend’s wedding! He is truly the man I have been praying for and writing letters to since I started journaling and praying to/for my future husband in April of 2012. He is patient, kind, selfless, hilarious, faith-filled, and when I am with him, I feel like I am the best version of myself.
If you are reading this as a single woman, please know, that I can relate to how you may be feeling if you feel like you are still waiting to find the man you are praying for. I can relate to the feelings of being excited for friends getting married while also at the same time slightly feeling sad that it’s not you getting married. DO NOT DESPAIR. I know it’s said all of the time, and I can remember hearing this thinking ‘Yeah, okay,’ but let me please remind you that God has a plan for your life. Your plan might not look like your best friend’s plan. It might not look like your sister’s plan. Heck, it might not even look like any plan that you’ve ever even read or heard about. But just know that God’s got this, and when his plan says “It’s time,” it will happen.
Thank you so much again for reading our story, and if you think of it, we’d greatly appreciate prayers in our last 29 days of being engaged! 🙂