Today is a big day for family vdV. This weekend is quite important to us as a whole as well.
Tomorrow is a special day as it marks the two year anniversary when I met the man who is now my beloved husband. I had just returned to Tenerife, Spain where the ship was docked in between the 2009 Benin field service and the 2010 Togo outreach. I walked on board the ship and passed a group of new faces on their way out. My roommate Sandra asked if I wanted to go directly out and meet some new friends she had acquired for us while I was back home. As I sat at the meter bar, a favorite place for all of us on the ship in Tenerife, I felt so out of place. Besides my roommate there were no familiar faces, and what was worse, all those unfamiliar faces knew each other and were having a grand old time.
There was a cast of characters at the table that night.
The cute Dutch guy caught my attention. He said his name but I knew from living with other Dutchies the past year that I would likely not get it right on the first day so I smiled once introduced and then just sat back and observed. He was loud, and his accent was strong. He had a thick, heavy laugh and everyone was entertained not necessarily by what he was saying, but in the manner he presented himself. The Dutch man with the striking blue eyes and name that was hard to pronounce had a captive audience, and I was part of it.
First impressions soon turned into budding friendships for all who were at the table that night. We went everywhere together, this new group of ours. We talked about the fun we would have once we got to Africa, dreaming of adventures to come. While we walked I often found myself paired with the blue eyed Dutchman, and I found myself not minding this at all. I had to look at the friendship with him as temporary though, with all of them actually. They all had plans to leave the ship within the first months of us arriving in Togo, only Sandra and I would remain through the whole year. An unfortunate reality of living on the ship is saying goodbye to friends all the time, a reality I wasn't a fan of.
Soon we started sailing and I got to see how the Dutchman came alive at sea. He was all business, walking around the swaying ship with a sure and steady gait. He had been asked before we ever left the port if he would stay on for the rest of the year. This happened to be a direct answer to his prayer the night before so during the sail now we talked even more about what was to come, seeing as we would be spending the whole year together. At night our group laid out on the top deck of the ship surrounded by the darkness of the sea being out done only by the brightness of the stars as we sailed to our new home.
I prayed and prayed those days for God to reveal his plan. I held what I wanted most as loosely as I could, knowing God would be faithful and show a way if this relationship was from Him.
I could keep going and going with this story, actually it's hard to stop because this flood of memories is overwhelming at best. The past two years are impossible to sum up or explain in words. What is amazing to me is how different life is now for me and my blue eyed man whom I now proudly refer to as my husband.
This weekend we also celebrate me still being pregnant. At 34 weeks today our unborn baby's lung and brain development have reached big milestones and if it were to be born now it would likely be able to put up a great fight to prove how big and developed it is and come home quickly. We know God orchestrates every circumstance, this one is just so special to us. The fact that we don't have a 29 week preemie right now is nothing short of a miracle.
This post is simply one for the record. Putting down on paper these thoughts helps me reflect on Gods goodness and the special two year anniversary of a night I will remember forever.
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."