God shows his love for us in many ways. Something that may not seem extraordinary to one person might appear as a miracle for someone else. On Christmas Eve 1997, that is exactly how I saw things, though not at first. At first I was feeling too sorry for myself to see anything but my own unhappiness.
The holiday season is a popular time for couples to get engaged. I had been in three long-term relationships by the time I was 29, but none of them had ever produced a marriage proposal. I had always considered myself a loyal, caring, unselfish girlfriend, and boyfriends often told me as much after the relationship had ended. I always seemed to be “the one that got away,” and I began to feel like I was special only once the relationship was over. After a while, I started to feel like I just wasn’t worth a lifetime commitment.
At the age of 29, I decided I needed to take my own happiness into consideration. It took a couple years of dating mistakes, but I finally figured out how to respect my own needs and not just worry about the needs of my partner. That’s when, at the age of 31, I met Paul. He was a wonderful person who didn’t expect me to take care of him. He just wanted to be with me, and he respected me for who I was. Everything felt right between us, and I figured I had finally found a man I could marry.
During our second Christmas together, I thought Paul might propose. On December 22, we ventured onto the topic of marriage. Paul said that he did see himself marrying me, but the timing was not good “right now.” I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. So many of my friends had received proposals and engagement rings, but I had never received either. I was at the point where I figured maybe marriage just wasn’t in the cards for me.Read More »