The photo above was taken years ago at a wedding my family attended together. Never having a place to put it, I kept it archived on my phone, and would pull it out from time to time because it made me feel all sorts of happy. In this one moment, I feel like the love my parents share was able to truly be captured. When I began writing this post, my mind went straight to this photo, which I am so glad I now have a reason to share with you all.
30 years ago today my parents said “I do” at a Methodist church in Louisiana. All those years ago, my parents made a promise that not only made my life possible, but began a beautiful journey together full of challenges, success, and most of all love.
Towards the end of last year, about 3 months after I moved to the east coast, I had two very meaningful phone conversations with both of my parents. I was going through the growing pains of adjusting to a new place, and needed the comfort of my mom and dad more than ever. It was in the midst of heartache that my parents both on their own felt inclined to tell me the story of how they met each other and fell in love.
Meeting in a small group in Houston, they both noticed and watched each other. As time went on, they became friends, and then actually went on a date at one point. The timing wasn’t right though, and soon my dad left Texas to get his law degree in Virginia. While there was hardly time for either of them to be devastated with the separation, things were clearly not over for the two of them. My mother simply prayed that either her heart would change, or that her situation would change (I cannot begin to tell you how important that prayer has become in my life). Soon after, she received a call from my dad. He was coming back to Texas. And he was coming to see her.
The rest is history.
Evidently, in my dad’s morning quiet times, for some reason his mind always kept wandering to her. He explained to me how he knew so clearly that he needed to go back for her. Back in Texas, my mother trusted that her heart would ultimately guide her with purpose.
Both of these stories were told from very different perspectives at different times. However, I loved most how they aligned in one undeniable way. It took my parents absolute reliance on God for them to find each other. They first had to let go of their plans, and open their heart to His purpose. Out of the 7 billion people in this world, letting go was their first step in finding each other.
I am inspired by this so much in terms of love, but it mostly encourages me to allow myself to pursue the life intended for me, rather than one I am constantly planning for myself. Something as simple as striking a conversation with a stranger next to you on a train, choosing to read in a new park, or even stopping at a particular gas station can absolutely change your life. It’s so important that we don’t know what’s ahead, because we are given the opportunity to enjoy and live in the moment fully. When we allow ourselves to do this, we grow in the direction our heart is intended to lead. There is nothing greater than enjoying every step of the journey.
I am so grateful to have been raised by 2 individuals that came together and love each other so completely. Their influence transcends the advice they give me, because it’s in the lives that they’ve led that I’ve learned the most. What lies ahead of me is unsure, but from my parents, I already have a lifetime of love.
Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
(The verse engraved on the inside of their wedding rings)
I’m grateful to be a continuation of your commitment to each other with Rachel and Lindsey. Our life is built on the love you have, and for that we can never fully express our gratitude. Cheers to you both on this incredibly special day. Love always.