Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Letters, Lightsabers, and Love: Chapter 3

Levi and I married each other in June of 2012 after only six months of head-over-heels, foolish-about-each-other love. Our story, like every love story, has its own unique and sweet moments and timings. We continue to marvel at the way God orchestrated our lives to bring us together, and though it included pain and trials for both of us, we wouldn't change anything about it.

Everything that happened and every way that we grew led us to this moment.

Now we start in on Chapter 3 of Letters, Lightsabers, and Love. The baby steps are done, and the waiting begins for the real talking...


Chapter 3: The Week that Made the Difference

I stepped off the train in the bright morning sunlight. I was smelly and more than a little tired, but one thing made all the difference: I was back in Kansas City where a loving family and friends awaited me.

As I trudged up the stairs and walkways out of Union Station the fluttering excitement in my stomach grew into full-fledged joy. I stepped out the front door of the Station and my sister was waiting for me on the curb. I'd never been so glad to see her in my life. Already I could feel the weight of that place lifting off of me.

We drove through the maze of city streets, hopped on the highway, and headed out to the suburb where my parents lived. We exchanged pleasant chit chat and scrolled through my sister's phone to find sweet driving tunes. I didn't bring Levi up in the conversation because, well, we'd only exchanged a few structured communications, and I didn't even have a real e-mail back from him yet. I decided to wait on that.

Being home slowly melted down the walls I'd built up around my guilt, and being away from my current situation let me finally deal with things and see with a level head. I didn't need to cry and huddle with my family members. I just needed time to sit on my bed (or the toilet--you know you've done it) with the most calming and refreshing reading in the world to me. For me, it's The Bible. For some people it's Sudoku.

I spent my time laughing with my family, watching Doctor Who together, seeing movies, catching up, and basking in the good vibes of being home. I went with my parents to a church choir practice for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service, and it opened my eyes. People who had watched me grow up were talking to me and treating me as if I was an adult.

And then it occurred to me: I am an adult. I am a woman who is closer to 30 than 20. And by more than just one year, too... I am in control of my choices and my actions. Though I let myself be pulled along before, I had the option to behave as an adult. Not as a sad post-grad who wishes that the good ol' college days of partying and sleeping around (none of which I was or had done--not sad, had never partied or slept, well, anywhere).

No. I was going to behave like an adult. I was going to carefully weigh my impulses and make wise choices. I was going to maintain appropriate friendships and relationships. I was going to avoid those people who encouraged me to behave in a way that I did not wish to behave. And I was going to realize that the world I lived in would naturally ridicule those choices and think of me as lame or boring. That some people would think I was uptight or stiff because I would go have "fun." I wouldn't go out drinking every weekend night and stumble around telling everyone how much I loved them and how we should totally hang out sometime--again, not that I'd done that anyway.

There's a reason people stop doing that as they get older. And it's not because they stop having fun. It's because they realize that a hangover and maintaining surface-level friends isn't actually fun. They reach an age and discover that they wake up in the mornings feeling crusty, groggy, and sucked dry of joy. They see a child play peek-a-boo or have a tickle fight and remember what pure happiness truly is. So they give up the wild partying, but don't pick back up the silliness of childhood.

Which, by the way, I have found to be an essential and precious part of my marriage to Levi, but I'll talk to y'all about that another day.

Anyway, after all of that thinking and processing and praying, it was suddenly Christmas Eve/Day and I was finally healed. I sat in the choir loft on Christmas Day and cried while the pastor preached. My mom held my hand and slipped me a tissue, not really knowing why I cried, but knowing that it was for a good reason.

I spent the day after Christmas helping my parents set up their Wii and playing Mario Kart (oh, man, was I addicted), munching on yummy Christmas leftovers, and figuring out my own cool presents. The thought of Levi wasn't even on my mind; although, even now, I don't think that was a bad thing.

Two days after Christmas, I was checking my e-mail in the afternoon when suddenly I had a notification from eHarmony telling me that I had just received a communication from a match. I thought, "Wait, I don't have any matches," and I logged in to eHarmony to see what was going on.

Levi had e-mailed me. A real e-mail. Suddenly, I remembered Levi. The nice guy I'd started talking to. I took a deep breath and opened the message.


It might seem strange to have a whole chapter of the story not include Levi and myself, but this chapter was an essential part of the story. For some mysterious reason (to be revealed in the next chapter) Levi had waited to e-mail me back for a week, and it turned out to be a much-needed week of solitude, reflection, and healing.

God's timing is pretty amazing sometimes. And surprising.

Next Chapter (Chapter 4: E-mail Numero Uno)                          Previous Chapter (Chapter 2: Baby Steps)

1 comment:

  1. Ok Mary Beth, you are killing me with anticipation about the letter! Not nice ;)

    I have always loved your willingness to be open and honest with your writings and oh so very clever! You have a gift.

    Those are my random thoughts, I hope all is well in MN with your sweet hubby of almost 4 months! Now go write the next chapter!!!