It's been a long time since the last TIHWM story was shared. Hope you enjoy this bright bit of hope.
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I didn't date much after my freshman year of college. I decided that ending relationships was too hard. I was no longer willing to suffer through that sickening feeling of knowing that it wasn't right. One day toward the beginning of my semester in Oxford, I walked to University Parks and sat under a tree. I felt exhilarated and ripe with emotion as I reflected on the last few months of my life and my recent break up. I told God that I did not intend to date anymore until I had a STRONG feeling that it was time for me to open my heart to someone again. For good. Until then, I promised, I would wait. And wait I did. I made that commitment to God at age nineteen. I was twenty-five when I met my husband, Bryan.
Throughout the rest of my time in college, I traveled and studied English and made friends that are really soul mates. I rejoiced with some who found love. I wondered and, at times, worried about when it would be my turn. I had a few more almosts but didn't waver from my decision. I had toyed with the idea of going to language school after graduation, but it just wasn't feeling right for a myriad of reasons. I didn't have peace about it and decided not to go. I was pretty disappointed. I had deferred my admission to grad school for the sole purpose of studying Spanish abroad. I set that dream aside, believing that I would never have another opportunity to go.
The next year was hard. I felt isolated and disillusioned. College was over, and grad school was looming. I was experiencing my quarter-life crisis. I learned to rely on God in ways that I never had before. Being the nerdy lady that I am, I was excited to go back to being a student. I spent more time in the library than at my apartment and completed two intense social work internships. As graduation approached, the idea of language school in Costa Rica resurfaced in my heart. Within a week, everything seemed to fall into place, including the news that my college friend, Jordan, was going to this language school for the fall. We could fly to Costa Rica together and be buddies on this adventure. I would be living with a Costa Rican grandmother who preferred to be called “Lolo”. How could it not be wonderful? This time I felt peace.
A few days into our time in Costa Rica, Jordan was feeling anxious. She had decided on language school at the last minute, and now she was wondering if she had made a mistake. That week she talked online with her cousin, Shannon, who had studied at the same language school three years earlier. Shannon suggested that she meet some Costa Ricans in order to feel more at home there. Shannon had met Bryan at church, and he was the person she encouraged Jordan to contact. Later that week, we were waiting in the kitchen at Lolo’s house when Bryan pulled up to take us out for pizza.
I'm not going to say it was love at first sight. It was dark in front of the house that night, the distant streetlamp and the moon outlining his features dimly as we greeted each other, but something special did occur. This is going to sound crazy, but almost immediately I felt a sense of safety and comfort in his presence. There was something about him that was inviting to me from that first night. I am an introvert, so for me to feel relaxed and natural with a guy that I just met was nothing short of a miracle. Throughout our conversation, I was impressed and pleased to discover that he was a hard-working, independent guy who shared my sense of adventure. He was also humble and funny. At one point, we were thirsty and couldn't seem to get the attention of anyone who worked there. We asked Bryan if he had any advice. He looked at us with a straight face and replied, “Yes, I like to use the power of my mind.” He closed his eyes and put his fingers to his temples as if subliminally beckoning our waiter. Then he smiled with the most adorable twinkle in his eye. Not a minute later, the waiter walked past. We laughed, and I felt the warmth of a spark. I liked this guy.
Now, almost three years later, I still sometimes can’t believe this is my life. When I finally found him, my heart felt at home. There is no doubt in my mind that God was letting me know it was time to open my heart. He is everything I prayed for and so many things that I didn’t even know I needed. By the way, if I had gone to Costa Rica two years earlier when I initially planned to go, we would not have met. God is faithful.
Kara is a scatter-brained dreamer with a tender heart and a slightly zany sense of humor. She believes that God is love. And that variety is the spice of life. She has a B.A. in English and a Master of Social Work. After grad school, she went to study Spanish in Costa Rica for a semester and fell in love with a Costa Rican. She resides in Texas with her husband and three plants. She believes that we need to hear each other's stories and hopes you are uplifted by hers. She shares her musings on her blog Spring is in the World at http://kararodriguez.wordpress.com/.