It's been almost nine years since we first sat on those benches. Both of us freshmen. Me with my notebook on my lap trying to come up with something...well...creative for my creative writing assignment, too shy to say something first. Him with his bright blue eyes and contagiously goofy laugh and his gently curious questions drawing me out of my pretend concentration.
We had met that previous week at church but had never spoken and just happened to both be sitting in the same place waiting for our classes to start.
Nine years seems like a long time when I write it out, but it seems to not have taken so long as I expected. Over the years he became my friend, my boyfriend, and my fiancé. Now he's my husband and the father of our baby girl. If you would have told me in that first moment that I would experience so much life and love and learning with this boy on the bench next to me, I would never have believed you. But here we are, and I am so thankful.
Here's a really old photo of us from those days when we were just friends:
Back to the present...
Back then "we" began, and I guess when I think about it, it's really something. How God writes one person's story to flow in and out and through another's. It happens all the time, this weaving, but it's still amazing. So many intricate details coming together just so and so many ways they could have just missed each other.
Me sitting alone with my notebook actually finishing my homework. Him rushing past me, deciding not to say hi because he's late for class.
There are so many of these little details in our story, and if you think back, I'm sure you'll find them in your story, too. Sometimes they are quiet and modest, but they are still there, subtly adding color and flesh to the plot of your life and defining your character.
So often, I glaze over the details, but it's in the details where we find we are not just bumbling around on this random rock of a planet for absolutely no reason. It's in the details where we find meaning. It's where we find hope because we realize that these details that have been nestled into our lives speak of something more than just here and now. There was more going on back then than just two college kids talking on a bench. And that's pretty crazy.
Just like in the stories we read, details are never added in our lives without a reason. That's why it meant so much to me to bring Evie back to this particular spot on our college campus that holds so much significance for us. This spot with its dogwood trees and red brick and old wooden benches. This spot where we had our first conversation and where Mike proposed to me over three years ago. So we can show her one day when she's older that our story, her story, was written with thought and care and purpose by a God who had us all planned from the very beginning.
I believe He does the same for you, too.
I started this blog with this in mind, hoping to be able to keep track of how all these little details will add up one day.
As it turns out, the most meaningful detail is that we actually begin with a He. And even though sometimes details and plans and purposes get fuzzy when seen through our own eyes, we can have faith that He who begins a good work knows how to finish it completely and beautifully.
"God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. 'For in Him we live and move and have our being.'" Acts 17:27-28
*All of the photos in this post are by Sereen Gualtieri, one of my best friends who has been there for me through many a fuzzy detail and who has also been able rejoice with me when many have finally come together. Thank you for your friendship and beautiful photos through all these years and memories!