M.I.C.: The Wait

8:44 AM

(August 2007, Lake Tahoe.)

My husband and I only dated for five months. While we “hung out” and “talked” for over a year and were friends for nearly four, we technically only dated five months. In fact, we were short ten days of the five month mark when we got married.

While this may seem absolutely insane to people, I firmly believe that if you know- you know.

My parents only dated for a short time (compared to couples today), but they say that they went out ever day. Dinner, a movie, hiking, mini-golf… whatever they did, they did it together when they had the time.

It was the same with my husband and me. Most of our dating time was over the summer. I mean, we planned on going to college together when we were barely together. We just… knew.

It may have taken Clark much longer to recognized what I had known since day one, but still we got there.

Waiting to get married was almost agonizing to us. I remember the first time we talked about it. My family was getting ready to make a long road trip cross country, from North Carolina to Nevada, for my sister’s wedding.

I had invited Clark as my date, and while he was not permitted to go on the road trip with us- he was permitted to fly out for the occasion.

The day my family was getting ready to go Clark came over to the house early that morning. We had recently had an argument about a white water rafting trip he had taken with some old friends. One of these friends was a girl, and she out right told him that she was interested in him.

This was not the problem.

The problem was that Clark did not even acknowledge the fact to her that he had a girlfriend. He just told her he wasn’t interested at the time.

Yes, it was a big OOPS. It was even bigger when he slipped it to me. I had known there was a girl, and known there was e-mailing going on, but I never knew he hadn’t told her about me. There was lots of drama, so lets just sum this up and say Clark and I were arguing.

He showed up that morning to apologize. I mean EARLY that morning, like 7am… or somewhere around there.

My family was all in the kitchen as he drove up. My mom made a disapproving noise (knowing well what was going on) and told me to “be wise.”

I walked outside, concealing a present in my pocket if the occasion came, and walked out ready to have it out. I went out all moody, with that disappointed look that women can wear so well that scares men to death. (I promise you, it does!)

Clark gets out of grandfather’s pick-up truck he was driving at the time, and we’re both silent. Finally he starts talking. He starts telling me how he didn’t know and he was so stupid and he just wasn’t thinking.

Then he’s silent for a minute, as if trying to put something in to words or if he’s too afraid to say it. Quietly, he says, “Emily, I know this is crazy because we’ve only been dating for a few months. I know it’s crazy because everyone would say it is… but I just think… I think you’re it. I want to marry you someday.”

I let there be an appropriate silence.

After all, most girls would be incredibly freaked out and there would be a red flag going up saying, “Creeper! Run away, run away!”
However, after pining for this guy for four years (yes, I used the word “pining”), I had been waiting to hear those words for a long time.

Thinking I may have waited too long to respond, I slowly pull the present out of my pocket. It’s a gold chain bearing two rings on it.

“I had this ready for you,” I say to him. “One ring is my grandmother’s wedding band, and the other is a ring my dad gave me when I turned 13. The chain is one my great uncle brought me from Russia. They’re all precious, and all mean something… I want you to have them.” I hand it to him and he’s just in awe.

“You had this ready, ready to talk to me about the same thing….”

We made up, as you can imagine (and obviously know at this point).

As always, let me tell you that everything was NOT picture perfect after that. The thing is, it brought out a whole new dimension in our relationship. It let us both know that we were thinking the same thing, and that ultimately we wanted to be on the same page.

It was a difficult thing for us both to confess, but it made it ten times easier when we did—not even truly planned—at the same time.

I was ready for love, ready for marriage with this man. While I had been waiting a long time, I never felt as ready as I did that day.
I didn’t know all the troubles we had ahead of us, all the challenges that God was going to throw in our path… but I did know that my future was going to be with him. College, time apart, other men and other women… it didn’t scare me. I was just ready. And that made waiting ten times harder.

Even if, by other people's standards, we really didn't wait that long.

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