Friends, this is the final TIHWM story. At least for now. I am so grateful for the people who participated in the series and for the affect it had on me. My writing is headed in other directions and so we bid TIHWM adieu with Brenna's captivating tale.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Two things I swore up and down were off limits, and here, standing before me wearing a blue polo shirt and a pair of Levis was the embodiment of both.
I almost didn’t open the door that Thursday evening in May. I knew deep down that on the other side was my future. But I did open it, and I looked up at him, pass the dimples that instantly weakened my knees and right into his blue eyes. My heart flip-flopped and my first thought was “Crap. I’m going to get married.” I’ve been in love ever since.
******My parents divorced as soon as I graduated high school. I escaped Ohio and found shelter on the shores of a college nestled along Lake Michigan. My dad found love in a Christian singles newspaper ad. It wasn’t long before his new bride reached out to my mom and offered her an ad in the same newspaper. It’s probably not shocking that my mom found love and has been happily and blissfully married since.
I was going to find love the old-fashioned way, like normal people did. This was the late 90’s and this kind of thing you didn’t talk about or admit. I was an intelligent, hard working woman moving up the corporate ladder. I could meet a man on my own just fine, thank you very much.
******My dad’s wife passed away. When he later met his (3rd/ current) wife, this time it wasn’t through a newsletter. It was Christian Matchmaker. During this time I received a promotion and moved out of state. But on weekend visits they encouraged me to “find love.” I resisted.
One trip I went up and noticed my stepbrother acting strangely. He was in the office and in uncharacteristic manner was whispering as he kept the door shut, which was against the rules. I heard the clanging of computer keys and the howling of a DSL line (remember those?!). I barged in only to find him on the computer, online, answering questions such as “If you were a character from the Bible, who would you be?” It didn’t take long to realize he was answering those questions as "Brenna."
He had filled out a profile for me.
He had put a lot of thought into it, though I never would have said Mary. I was much closer to Martha, although if memory serves me I may have said James…so I gave in. What’s the harm? They had paid for it, might as well correct the profile.
******Back in my cozy apartment just miles away from Long Island Sound I would glance through them, occasionally wondering if this is how I would end up meeting my husband. Wouldn’t that be quite the family legacy? I decided I’d keep my options open since there weren’t any prospects at my church.
There was just one area I would hold my ground. I wouldn’t date a Navy guy. I was now living in a town that hosted a naval base and without any disrespect to our armed forces, I had seen with my own eyes the difficulties that dating someone in the Navy brought. Crazy schedules? Constant underways for weeks at a time? Six month deployments? Nope. Not for me.
So when that profile caught my eye, the one from the Naval officer with blue eyes, dimples, and shoulders that showed me he used to play football I had no choice, really, but to move ever so carefully.
We emailed for about two months before meeting. The first time I heard his voice on the phone my hands shook. He was already becoming my friend. His voice made my heart want him to be more.
It was a busy season for him; he was studying and taking qualifying exams. But finally, on a warm May evening, he knocked not only on my door, but on my heart, and I opened both. Three and a half years later we married and I love him more each day.
Brenna is a city-living, tender-hearted wife and mama to three little girls who encourage her daily to seek out the beauty in life. She loves travel, Diet Coke, homemade bread, and Indian food. There is always something cooking in her oven so stop on by. You will most likely find her either shuffling her girls off to an activity or cuddling with her family at home. She blogs about brokenness and redemption at Beautiful Things (http://chicagomama-brenna.blogspot.com) and you can find her on Twitter at @chicagomama