This column is a combined effort by my fiance and me, written before our wedding on Nov. 23.
I like to read; therefore I get a few book catalogs. One day I noticed an ad for a new book, Anything But Simple: My Life as a Mennonite. I checked out the author’s blog and found posts about her trip to China. I love learning about other countries, so I started following her to get the whole story. After a while, I realized I connected with her writing and commented from time to time.
One day, I was looking at a picture she had posted of herself, and it hit me, You need to ask this girl for a date. After some thought, I told God, “That is ridiculous. She just recently started college, which is a dream come true for her; and she’s never even met me. It’s never worked out for me before, so why even try and face the possibility of rejection, considering all the odds that are stacked against me?”
As I wrestled with God about it, it seemed like he brought the story of the children of Israel to my mind with the question: Will you trust me to take care of the giants and possess the land, or will you let the giants scare you into disobedience and be left wandering in the wilderness for 40 years?
Knowing what God wanted me to do, and not wanting to wander in the wilderness, I finally decided to email her and ask if we could date.
Hi, Luci, he wrote, Putting my desire in writing both scares me stiff and excites me to no end, all at the same time.
Oh, great, I thought. Just exactly what I don’t need. I had no interest in meeting Ivan. He was too old, too conservative, too “other.” He would never fit into my world.
If only his letter wasn’t so insanely honest and heartfelt and tender. I called Mom, sobbing because Ivan thought I was an answer to his prayer, and I was going to have to break his heart and rock his faith.
Mom sympathized, but Dad took Ivan’s side. “I think you should give him a chance,” he said. “You could at least meet him before you decide. Why not invite him out to our house for a few days over spring break?”
And so I did. “I don’t think this is going to work,” I told Ivan the first day. I didn’t want him to get his hopes up. “You’re more traditional than I am.”
My head was full of preconceived ideas of who Ivan was, what he believed, what he wanted in a marriage. By the time our few days together were over, he had pretty much turned all those ideas upside down.
He was honest. Original. Kind. Open with his emotions. Passionate about missions. He prayed with me, and his prayer touched me deeply.
As we parted at the airport, I watched her leave, thinking I would never see her again. As I flew home I tried to prepare myself for the crash that was sure to come after she officially said no.
In Pittsburgh, I checked my email. There was a message from her already and, miracle of miracles, she said yes. I crashed all right — into cloud nine.
It took a few days until the reality soaked in.
Reality is still soaking in, I guess. We praise God for his leading and trust him to guide us through the thrilling, terrifying, breathtaking process of becoming one.
After the honeymoon, Lucinda J. Miller will move to Maryland with the love of her life and become Mrs. Kinsinger. She is the author of Anything But Simple: My Life as a Mennonite and blogs at lucindajmiller.com.