Remember how I kept my relationship a secret on the blog until I was engaged? Well, that doesn’t mean that Anthony wasn’t here, inspiring so many things that you read. Before I forget them all, I want to take some time to explain some of the secrets behind the blog, some of the things God had in mind long before I did (and I’ll be doing it Quick Takes style!).
Way back in August of 2012 I wrote about how I feared that if the book got published I’d never get married. I worried that writing about this “worthy woman” would turn me into a fraud the likes of which no man would ever want to marry. But then my friend Hilary (whose words are on the back cover of the book) left this brilliant comment,
I think that writing the book does the exact opposite of setting you up for failure. I think that it will help you find the man that God has in mind for you. This man will admire your strength and wisdom, and will ask to help you out of the coffins of doubt that Satan buries us in. And how awesome is that?!
She was exactly right. It was precisely because I invited Anthony to the book release parties that he asked me out in the first place. Nine months after she left that comment, her words found fulfillment in Anthony, who admires my strength and wisdom and helps me out of the coffins Satan tries to lock me into. It is awesome.
The post I wrote last year about raising our standards got way more traffic than I had anticipated. In it I wrote about how a friend of mine were talking about dating and how impressed we were that a certain gentleman actually called to ask her out. Well, that certain gentleman was Anthony calling to ask me out, not my friend. Even from the very beginning of our relationship he inspired blogs and deep thoughts in me!
Among the other more popular posts from last year was “just don’t say it: Singlehood.” I wrote that post a few days before Anthony asked me out and when it went live on the blog we’d been dating for a few days. I knew he had been reading my blog and decided to warn him about that post before it went up. I didn’t want him thinking that I missed being single after only a few wonderful dates with him!
In keeping with the “just don’t say it” series, the “new relationships” edition was all about the things I wanted to say to people who were hounding me/us with questions. I love the “just don’t say it” series because it gave me ample opportunity to talk about things without being specific about my personal life! (For the record, people still say those things to me/us, even as an engaged couple!)
Also…the “long distance Relationships” edition of the series was written while Anthony and I spent six weeks apart. We’d been dating six weeks when he left for Lebanon for six weeks. I’m telling you, that series was a God-send.
Among my favorite posts from last year was “never Ready.” in which I wrote about how, at least on my own, I’d never be ready for marriage. I knew that if I was ever going to get married, I’d need a whole lot of grace and help from God because loving someone sacrificially like Christ loves us would take work. I wrote that blog after I’d been praying about whether or not I was called to marry Anthony. I ended the blog by referencing John 15 in which Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from Him we can do nothing. When Anthony designed my wedding ring, he made sure to include the vines and the branches in it. (More on my ring in another post.)
Kissing kissing goodbye hasn’t been easy. When I wrote that post it was completely honest, though I left out a tiny little detail. I wrote about how I’d been praying about exactly how long to delay kissing in my next relationship. I wrote, “In a beautiful gift that came from God, one night I had my answer. No kissing until marriage.” That gift from God was Anthony. At the end of our fourth date he told me that he wanted to wait until he was married to kiss his bride. His words that night were more wonderful and poetic than I can do justice to, but his words were the answer to my prayer. How beautiful that God opened my heart to not kissing and then gave me the answer through the man that I will marry.
Our first date was on a Saturday. As I drove to Denver to meet up with him for our dinner date I prayed the rosary. Being a Saturday, I meditated upon the joyful mysteries. The entire drive down (I got caught in traffic!) I kept meditating on the joyful mysteries and how they relate to dating. Out of those meditations and that prayer came “joyful mysteries and Dating.” Each of those mysteries I saw (and see) as a phase in a relationship, leading up to the Finding in the Temple, in which a couple is married. God knew even then and wrote that meditation on my heart as I drove to our very first date. Little did I know that it would be my last first date ever.
What is even more fitting is that we are getting married on the Feast of the Visitation, the second joyful mystery. The picture I chose to go with that blog was of The Visitation. There is absolutely no denying that God and Mary have had their hands in our relationship from the very beginning.
May 31st, 2014, The Feast of the Visitation, the day of my wedding.
Please keep Anthony and I in your prayers!