Vanilla or Chocolate?
So le fiancé and I began pre-marital counseling last night. We both wanted to do this so that we could be as prepared as possible to enter into the covenant of marriage. We are thrilled to have wonderful mentors in a married couple in our small group, and the husband will be officiating our wedding. It’s such a great way to open up and truly enter into this stage of our lives with Christ at the center.
Our first session was filled with telling our life story highlighting the most significant and important relationships. I had 15 minutes. 15 minutes? Are you crazy? How was I supposed to fit 32 intense years into 15 minutes? Where do I start? How do I explain where I came from, what I endured, and how I came out on the other side—in 15 minutes. What do I highlight? What do I keep out? What were truly the defining relationships and moments in my life? Think about it. How would you do this? What events and people truly shaped you whether in your walk with Christ or in life in general?
Needless to say, my story took a tad more than 15 minutes. As I sat there and opened up, I realized I had told so many parts of this story so many times that it wasn’t hard. I wasn’t embarrassed or ashamed. Le fiancé knew it all. The couple in front of us knew some of the sordid details, but I was among family, so the words flowed freely. I think everyone else was more exhausted listening than I was telling it. When I finished, it was good for me to know that nothing was new to le fiancé’s ears.
And then he began what he described as his more “vanilla” story. Ya know the old, grew up in the mid-west, two parents, house, one brother, dad built the family business variety. Its strange to hear the vast differences in our childhoods. As I sat there I envied him. How I longed for vanilla. For a house and meals on the table with my family and vacations and well ya know, the so-called American Dream.
Then I realized, my chocolate, vanilla, rocky-road of a life was unique. Each moment, each obstacle, challenge, triumph was for a reason. It shaped me, molded me—it was each of the significant events and people that led me to Him and him.
Had I not experienced each of those things my path would have led me elsewhere. I would be a different person—a different story. This marriage is the merging of chocolate and vanilla into a totally new flavor that we get to build together. It will be a mix of both of our lives, and our stories are just a chapter in the book we now get to write together as a married couple.
So, I thank my lucky stars and my Savior in heaven every day for allowing me to walk in light and darkness, for the struggles and obstacles, for the opportunity to live this crazy, mixed up, wonderful life that I have lived for the past 32 years because it has led me here. I am so happy to get the chance to start anew and have my happily ever after Winter Wonderland.