Tomorrow the hubs and I leave for Washington D.C. and I could not be more damn excited. For those of you following along at home, I lived in Northern Virginia/DC area for 5+ years (undergrad plus a year of grad) and it stole my heart. It was the first place I had lived outside of Windermere, and I couldn't have been happier. I ended up there because I followed a boy to college, but along the way...I broke up with him, became Catholic, went to grad school, met Tom, started playing rugby - ! So many experiences that formed me happened in that amazing area. I miss the dickens out of it!
We are headed up there because my amazing mother is running the Marine Corps Marathon. Now this ain't her first rodeo, er, race, but it'll probably be her last since she turned sixty this year and is concerned about her knees. So my big sister will head up, along with my dad and Tom. Also excitingly, I will get to see my good friend Colleen for her baby girl's first birthday, and hopefully see my confirmation sponsor, Meg, whom I haven't seen in several years.
Tom and I first thought we would stay at his old seminary, which is near CUA, and where he lived when we met. Apparently the seminary rents out upper rooms to visitors and we still have several friends in seminary there. It didn't work out, but it did get me thinking. At first, I felt a little awkward at the prospect of staying where Tom used to live as a celibate man. But I talked myself out of it; it wasn't wrong for him to leave seminary, he did in a perfectly respectable way, and we're married now! Still, the taboo persists.
Part of it is that when I tell people Tom and I were friends before we began to date, few believe me. Even my closest friends insist "you must've had SOME feelings!!" Yet the truth is, we didn't. I cared for Tom so much as soon as we became friends, but I regarded him like one should regard a friend's husband - possibly great and amazing, but never even on your romantic radar screen. I dreamed of entering into religious life myself, so that Tom and I could have a holy and literate friendship like St. Frances and St. Clare! Although I recognized that he was the ideal man (in my opinion), I treated him like he was a priest already and so there was no attraction.
When Tom began to question his vocation on his own, I began to fervently pray for him. I developed a prayer life that I had always wanted - staying up late not even counting what number rosary I was on, feeling that I was simply sitting at the feet of the Lord and waiting on Him to speak to me. It was then that I began to question Tom's vocation, but not for my own sake -for his. I felt it was my duty to point out to him some potential problems that I saw.
Slowly, ever so slowly, the Lord opened my heart to what he had for us. Though there were many people who claimed I was in too deep or that I was already in love when Tom wasn't committed, I alone knew that my heart was completely buried in God's will. I knew that whatever happened, God had a plan to sanctify me that would give me deep and abiding joy. That it ended up with us getting married in July of 2011, I could NOT have predicted (I definitely thought it would be way sooner).
So tomorrow, headed back to the place where we met as dear friends, that we approach now as man and wife, I hope that I pause and thank God for choosing such a dear husband for me. I never would have dreamed that the man I regarded as ideal would one day be my darling husband: my cup runneth over.