Yesterday I left work just as the sun was going down. With the daylight savings time it gets darker earlier and I wasn’t used to it seeming so late when I leave work. As I drove I was listening to my sisters piano music and humming along. I put my hand on my stomach where the slightly noticeable baby bump now sits and waited hoping to feel something move. I felt so happy.
I remember another day, very similar circumstances. It was exactly one year ago. We had just turned our clocks back then too. And as I left class at UVU I wasn’t prepared for the cold wind and the darkness already settling in on campus. I walked to my car feeling more alone than ever just knowing I was going home to an empty apartment and a cold bed.
My roommate and best friend had just gotten married, it seemed all my friends had gotten married and left me behind. I ached with loneliness. I remember wondering how I was going to survive the winter without drowning in the cold darkness.
I went home and pulled up facebook. There, bright as day for all the world to see was a picture of Ryan, my ex boyfriend who I was still so in love with that I couldn’t breathe at the thought of him. He was with a girl and he was engaged.
My stomach heaved and the room started to spin. The hurt and betrayal that I felt left me helpless in my agony. I thought I would never be happy again. After all I had given him, all that we had experienced in our two years together and he was capable of walking off without looking back and marrying a girl he had only known a few months. I thought of the last time that I had seen him just a few months before. He had held me in his arms for hours and promised me that he would stay in touch, that he would give me a little warning before he started to date someone so that I could get used to the idea of him having a girl friend. We had promised we would not let our friendship die just because the relationship had.
Anger formed a tight ball in my throat and then as it dissolved I started to cry. I sobbed for hours until the sun started coming up and morning was fast approaching and I knew somehow I had to face the day…
Funny how much can happen in a year. As I drove I marveled at the peace and happiness I was feeling. I marveled at the contrast of how I felt on that day and how I felt now. I had just received a phone call from an immigration attorney. We had discussed our case looking for every possible way to speed up the agonizingly slow process of bringing my husband to the United States. At the end of the conversation we had no solutions. The estimated time of more than a year seemed to be the only way to get through the system.
I thought of Joseph, the feel of his arms when he hugs me, I thought of how much I wanted to just look into his eyes and to see his smile when it wasn’t fuzzy and contorted by the poor internet connection. I thought of our baby, and of the approaching day that I will give birth…possibly without him here. I tried to think of who I could ask to be with me at that time if he doesn’t make it and my mind came up blank. I JUST WANT JOSEPH! And yet, I feel peaceful. I feel happy. I can hum along with the music and I even feel joy. I wondered why and then the answers poured in so fast I couldn’t hardly contain them.
Joseph loves me, infinitely, eternally, and passionately. He is so committed to me, to our marriage and family, and to the gospel that it almost frightens me. Somehow I found a man who was everything that I ever wanted, and miraculously he wanted me too. And in finding that kind of love the loneliness not only faded, but the memory of it faded also. All those years since I was a 16-year-old girl watching my sisters and my best friends get married and wishing it was me, through the long lonely days and nights during the interminable 16 years that followed seemed but an instant, now that I had found him.
The heartache, disappointment, despair and betrayal from past relationships faded into the background and all I feel, all I know, is that every second of it all was worth it because it brought me to Joseph.
I used to tell my roommate that all I needed to be happy was a ring on my finger a marriage certificate on my wall and a baby in my stomach. Now I have all three, but I have something else too. I have a good man who leaves me speechless with his kindness. And most importantly I have a KNOWLEDGE that God has a plan and he is working it. He hasn’t forgotten me and he WILL and HAS blessed me.
So if Joseph doesn’t make it in time for the birth of our first child. I will take a deep breath, I may shed a few tears, but I’m going to be alright because I know that any sorrow that I feel now can be made up so quickly and so fully that even the memory of it fades into the background. This time that we spend apart, even if it’s a year or more, won’t be so hard because even 9,000 miles away with an ocean between us I know that I have a husband, who is faithful, and devoted. I know that since he isn’t here with me I have a Heavenly Father who I know will step in and fill the void. So we are going to be ok and that’s why I can smile, I can sing, I can listen to our babies heartbeat for the first time and feel only joy.
But I wonder if I could feel such peace, if I could have such trust in Heavenly Father, if I could have such love for Joseph if I hadn’t experienced something else first. What if I hadn’t loved someone who could not or would not commit to me? Would Joseph’s devotion mean as much? What if I hadn’t felt loss, anger and heartache in relationships before? Would the happiness I feel now be as poignant? If I hadn’t struggled and pleaded with Heavenly Father for so many years wondering in moments of weakness if he had forgotten me, would I still marvel at the beauty of his well crafted and perfectly executed plan when it unfolded before me and would I have learned a meaningful lesson about trusting him with every detail of my life?
I think not. I think everything happens for a reason, and I KNOW that nothing can hinder Heavenly Father’s perfect plan for me. If Joseph needs to be here for the birth of our first child, he will be and the how doesn’t even matter. US immigration is not so powerful that God can’t touch it and make things happen according to his will. And if Joseph doesn’t make it…
Well it wouldn’t be the first time that I longed for something that I didn’t get or had to wait for and I am confident that in future days I will look back with gratitude at all that we learned from the experience and marvel at how our Father knew what was best for us. I know he loves me. I am his daughter, and as I carry this child inside me that often recited phrase is coming to have much deeper meaning.