A month has passed since I shared about this series I'd dreamed up. When I came up with the idea for This Is How We Met, I wasn't sure what to do with it. Yes, I wanted to counteract my decades-long resentment of Valentine's Day. But I wondered what a whole month of love stories would do to me.
There are times to avoid romantic comedies and books. There would be no hiding from my blog.
I chose the first round of guest posters with care and crossed my fingers. As excited as I was to host their TIHWM stories, I feared submissions peppered with phrases that would be ripe for a singles drinking game. Would they feel compelled to lob unwanted advice to us singles? Would they prescribe a Way to Get a Spouse?
Well, you've read the stories. You know my fears were in vain. I read the comments and Tweets and saw how these stories encouraged singles and reminded the married of those early dating days.
I remained true to my word: I celebrated the love that is in my life already.
I marked Valentine's Day like any other. My parents sent me a nice card. The family I work for gave me a bag full of goodies, including magically delicious sugar cookies. There were a few messages from friends. A sales guy from AT&T hit on me when my phone had a minor issue. (No. That Is Definitely Not How We Met.)
A couple of hard days happened as they are wont to do. Suddenly it bothered me greatly that a certain guy kept making an appearance in my Facebook and Twitter feeds. And then a friend happily got engaged and my cousin had the cutest baby ever and a family member, under the guise of encouragement, emphasized how my brother is happily married and gee isn't that so great.
That's the complicated nature of life. One moment we are fully content and the next it crumbles and we are left asking why and when and how.
My mind can't help but wonder on those days what it would be like to walk in your shoes for a day because surely they're more fabulous than my own.
Over the years, I've learned I'm not incomplete as a single. A husband will be the icing on the cake.
As I read submissions, I nodded my head as the interactions played out. I'd read the last sentence and a happy glow would surround me. With some, a prayer would stir and the Holy Spirit would do His part. And always, always in the back of my mind, I'd wonder when. When it would be my turn. Why it hasn't happened yet.
Days come when I doubt. I look around at my life, marvelous in so many ways, and think about how it's not how I imagined it.
I say to God, "this is not enough."
I have my pity party and then I get back to the business of living.
We all have something we want. I could give you a list of 10 things easily.
To be clear, I don't want your individual marriages. I want my own. My love story is yet unwritten. At least I think. It's entirely possible I've already met him. Or that I'm about to.
This series helped me fight to believe, not only in myself but in the possibility of romantic love. It can happen in an instant.
It could be friendship set on fire or striking up conversation with a stranger in a crowd of thousands or bending over to tie a shoe.
That's the beauty of TIHWM: the unknown becoming known.
Whatever happens, I choose to believe there's a greater purpose in my story. Because it's not my story alone but that of my friends and family and even those of you in this lovely blog world of ours. God is at work.
These stories have inflated me with hope. They pushed the shred of hope forward, out in to the light. For me, for my other single friends, and maybe for the person struggling in their marriage.
On hard days, I remind myself that it only has to happen once. Each TIHWM story reminded me of that truth.
I'm glad this series will continue because I have a feeling I will need that reminder again. Perhaps you will, too.
What have you learned through TIHWM?