Ten years ago today, I woke up feeling better.
Actually, I didn’t feel any better at all. The night before, of course, had left me resolved to suck it up and stop being a whiny baby. Sure, I didn’t fit in anywhere here, but I would deal. Sure, I wanted to punch most of the men in the classes I went to (arrogant much, tiny preacher men?), but I would deal. Sure, I felt like I had no idea what I was doing in children’s ministry every time the church doors opened, but I would deal.
I would deal, y’all.
Obey. Seek. Go.
So, I woke up and read my Bible. I talked to God and again affirmed that He was who He said He was, that He is who He said He is, and that He will be who He said He would be.
Knowing this would be enough.
Unlike most Saturdays, which were spent studying, I had something on the calendar that morning. I had signed up to go on a mission trip to Vietnam over Christmas break earlier in the semester, because for a woman who doesn’t know if she’s coming or going, heading out to Southeast Asia on a whim is a grand idea, right?
I knew absolutely nothing about the group of seminary students I’d be heading out there with, about the work we’d do once we got there, or about Vietnam. I figured that at least some of my ignorance would be abated by the end of the day because all of the groups heading out all over the world over Christmas were meeting at the World Missions Center for some training.
I had no idea what I was doing, BUT I knew this was the next thing.
So, I got ready, made my way across campus to the WMC, found a seat, and sat there reviewing notes from one of my classes while waiting for the first session to begin.
While I waited, I overheard the two guys sitting behind me, as one of them talked about Vietnam. Figuring they likely knew more than I did about what we would be doing in January, I turned around and said, “Hey, I’m going to Vietnam, too. I’m Jennifer.”
The guy who had been talking introduced himself, then looked over to the other guy… who stared at me like he was a deer caught in someone’s headlights. Then, he managed to say just two words…
Then, he just continued to stare… until I finally turned back around, thinking what a weirdo.
It wasn’t much of a beginning. And we didn’t even speak more than two words to one another until we were sharing a seat in a minivan driving through the mountains of north Vietnam, where we were very literally forced into conversation given how tightly squeezed together we were. But three weeks later? We had a wedding date on the calendar. (Nothing more romantic than sharing a seat in a minivan, y’all.)
But as I look back, I remember this day with a special smile, knowing that for all the questions I had about what came next, all the worries I had about what my life would look like, and all the answers I was waiting for… God already knew it all. And I’m so thankful that instead of telling me what the “next thing” was for my life, He simply led me right to the one who would be there and would be a part of every “next thing” for the rest of my life.
So thankful for you, Wes, and for where we both were ten years ago today.