We Had No Idea

In May of 2004, Eric and I spent a week walking the same beaches, eating in the same mess hall, listening to the same speakers, hanging out with the same people (specifically my best friends from college), and frequently being photographed by the same girl (Jenny, who took the photos below). We only met once: a group of us gathered one evening in the mess hall, crowded around the coffee station, mixing hot chocolate with raspberry coffee creamer. The kitchen was dimly lit and shadows were cast across his features. I didn’t even recognize him as the same guy later in the week when a friend pointed him out. I absolutely had no idea I had met my husband… 500 miles away from home… and we grew up 35 minutes apart on either side of the state line.

Hundreds of college students were gathered at Cedar Campus that week. In a sea of denim and sweatshirts, I stuck out wearing a pair of bright yellow pants with a Wisconsin Dells logo plastered across the butt. The yellow pants, the freckles, the everything else… it left a lasting impression on Eric. Me? I didn’t give him a second thought. I wish I could go back… it would have been a fun week knowing what I know now.

Fast forward to the year’s end. Clicked on his screen name in my friend’s buddy list just for fun, and I found myself talking to the most awesome person on the planet. Loved what he had to say. Loved the way he made me laugh. Had no idea who he was. He knew exactly who I was. He had been reading my blog on and off the whole summer. He was interested in me. A few hours into the conversation, my friend and I pulled up pictures from the conference and I realized that this screen name had a face… and his face was fine.

Five years later, I look back at these pictures and laugh at how I could spend a whole week crossing paths with my future husband and not even realize it. I have so many pictures of him from that week because he hung out with my friends the entire time. How come I didn’t notice him? Why wasn’t there this big arrow pointing at his head, saying “this is the one, dummy, stop flirting with that other guy and pay attention to this one!” What was wrong with May? Why did I have to wait until January 7th to have dinner with the man who would hold my heart forever? Why did I date that other guy in the meantime? What was the purpose?

I may not know the answers to any of these questions, but it doesn’t matter. Tonight we took our son to the park for the first time, we tag teamed dinner, we managed to get the little guy to bed by 7 and spent the next hour cuddling and laughing our heads off at AFV. We shared mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. I am so blessed, I cannot even begin to comprehend the depth of the Father’s love, knowing I deserve none of this.

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