*I wrote this, and it was a featured member post on BlogHer in November 2013.
We met, by serendipity, on a sunny September afternoon–in none other than an AOL chat room. We only chatted for about 10 minutes. That was that, or so I thought. Michael stuck in my mind and the next day, we chatted again.
Days went by, our conversations got deeper, and I looked forward to our time together. It took three months for us to decide we should move the relationship to the phone, and six months before I would even send him a picture of me. We were taking things very slowly. Still, the connection was strong; from over 700 miles away I knew this was a person who was meant to be in my life.
Going Old School
In addition to the phone calls and chatting, we sent each other letters. Yes, old-fashioned, pen-on-paper, placed-in-a-stamped-envelope, letters. I stalked the mailman almost as much as I waited by the phone to hear Michael’s voice. Our mode of communication was heading back in time, technologically speaking anyway, and I joked about trying to find the nearest telegram office, just in case.
The first Valentine’s Day we knew each other, I stood in the greeting card aisle among all the hearts and flowery words of true love completely stumped. I wanted to send a card, but it was hard to define our relationship.
I mean, what was this?
Unable to decide on one, I bought three cards. Hesitating as I dropped them into the mailbox, I remember thinking that act would surely be the end of it all—I mean only crazy, stalker chicks send THREE Valentines, right?
On Valentine’s Day I opened my mailbox and what did I find – you guessed it, three Valentine’s from him. It was if my tender heart was echoing on the other side of the Mississippi.
Letters Lead to Love
For me, writing has always allowed me to express my true feelings. It’s the same for him. Tucked in my jewelry box is one of the letters he wrote me during that time. Sometimes when I pull it out and read it, I still cannot fathom that a man who had never even held my hand or looked into my eyes was the one who sent it to me. He wrote things in that letter I had been waiting all of my life for someone to recognize in me.
Somehow, from 750 miles away, he’d seen my heart and decided to take a chance and show me his.
And that’s when I knew—this was Love.
Still… It Took A Year
Still, circumstances kept us from meeting each other in person for a full year. At times, I wondered if it was all just crazy, I mean it probably couldn’t hold up in “real life”—right? When the day finally came for us to meet, I was so nervous. I keep going back and forth between thinking I was on the verge of heaven on earth and thinking I needed my head examined.
I spent so much time getting ready. Yet, my heart knew, I already was.
When Michael entered the room, walked across the floor, and took my hand, I knew he was the one I had been waiting for my entire life. Everything, all the heartaches, and happiness prior to that was preparing me for him, that moment, and our happily ever after.
It didn’t hurt that he was even cuter in person than in his pictures—swoon.
How Did Loving Him Change Me, and My Life?
Before meeting Michael, I’d spent a lot of time struggling and searching for acceptance for who I am. Events and experiences had caused me to close off parts of my heart, and insecurity was blocking my dreams. It was like I was living in the shadow of who I truly am. When Michael came into my life, it was as if he’d always been there. A man of strong faith he took my hand and walked me out of that shadow by reminding me that even when I’d felt alone God was always there for me.
And now he would be too.
On September 24, 2013, we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary.
How did it possibly all work out? Only God could do something that amazing.
My message is: Never to stop believing. You never know when, where, or how God will bring that one person into your life that will completely change everything.