I while ago, I shared a little about Kyle and I's first "date". If we backed up a month to February of my senior year in college, we would land on Valentine's Day. The most awkward day for singles and the almost annoyingly loving day for couples. As someone who is married, I never found much excitement in this day, even though I would be lying if I said I didn't get a little sad to not receive chocolates. Ones in which I would later complain about since I would eat them all. (And they say woman are confusing?!)
Well, six years ago, I received something from Kyle. I was in East Lansing (the home is MSU, our major rivals who completely killed us on the courts last night, by the way), at a concert with some friends. I remember Kyle calling our friend, Chad, to see when we would home, because he had something to drop off. I was awkwardly inquisitive about this, but Chad kept his mouth shut and we continued to enjoy the concert.
Later that evening, we pulled into the driveway and Kyle's Dodge Ram pulled up almost immediately. He was in his sweatpants and winter coat, holding a small bag. I probably looked like one of those girls on the romantic movies, with my hands folded, swaying back and forth with my head tilted to the side and eyelashes fluttering. At least that is what I felt like. Somewhere between flattery and confusion.
He handed me the plastic bag, full of candied hearts and a small note tied to it. "Happy V-Day, Love 1315." 1315 was the infamous home he and his friends lived in (just picture a college house with too many males, let's just say I never used their bathroom.) I thought it was really sweet, but couldn't figure out why he couldn't have just given it to me the following day. He had a big smile across his face, making me question if the "1315" was covering up his intentions.
(I came across this gem recently, an 80's prom party right around the time of Valentines Day! We look so young!)
Exactly one year later, I stood beside a hut in rural Uganda. It was early morning, and as I watched the sunrise, I repositioned the solar charger in hopes that it would give my phone enough juice so that Kyle could call.
He was back in his hometown at the time, going on medical school interviews and working at a lab. We had been dating 10 months, and hadn't seen each other in almost four.
The previous November, Kyle came to visit me in South Africa (over Thanksgiving break, missing the UM vs OSU football game. For us wolverine's, that is a huge sacrifice :)! The picture below is of us in Kalk Bay, South Africa, the same night I knew I would marry him.
We often talk about how different we were then. God was working in both of our hearts, preparing us for the other. We just didn't know it. It seems obvious now, looking back at life circumstances, 'mistakes' and decisions that moved us into our future together. The Lord really does make all things good.
I still have the small bag of candied hearts that he placed in my hand back in 2007.
Sure, Valentines Day may be the Hallmark holiday of them all, but it's fun to use it to look at the past, our present, and our future. To devour too much chocolate, complain about it later, and be thankful for where we are. I may not be the biggest fan of the candied hearts, but I'm couldn't be happier to be with the person gave them to me.