I remember thinking when I was little “How will I know when I’ve found ‘the one?’” There are so many people on this earth, how am I supposed to know when I’m in love and who I want to spend the rest of my life with? It wasn’t like when Ben and I started dating I knew for sure I wanted to be with him forever. I remember in the beginning questioning whether or not I even wanted to do the dating thing, because in the real world not too many high school sweethearts end up getting married. There was eventually going to be a breakup…or we would get married. At sixteen, it was a lot to think about. I knew there would be a year where I’d be left behind to finish high school while Ben moved on to college, and with that came the fear he’d meet a girl and be hit with “this is the girl I’m supposed to be with.” I’ll admit to having daymares about Ben coming home to tell me he’d met someone else. How awkward would that have been?? But of course as the year went on and Ben came home pretty much every two weeks to spend the weekends with me, I knew he wasn’t going anywhere. I think Ben has been sure of us since even the first few months…I’m not sure how often he had thoughts about breaking up, or even if he had them at all. He’s been in it for the long haul all along. And of course I no longer have those terrifying thoughts and am just relishing the feeling of being engaged; the promise of forever stretching out in front of me.
So I’ve been thinking about my younger self with all my worries about “the one” and have been formulating an answer that I would have wanted my younger self, and other young girls now, to know. When you’re little, you dream about all the things you want to do when you grow up: going to college, getting married, finding a job, buying a house, having kids, traveling….and the list goes on and on depending on how adventurous you are. In our little girl minds, we picture our tall, dark, and handsome mystery husbands doing all these things with us. For me, I stopped picturing this mystery husband and starting picturing doing these things with Ben and this is when I knew Ben was “the one.” He wasn’t just a boyfriend anymore, someone to take me out on dates and enjoy feeling loved and appreciated with…he became a much more permanent figure.
Now, when I graduate college I know that Ben will be sitting in the audience cheering and clapping for me. On my wedding day, I’ll be looking into Ben’s eyes and pledging my life to him. When I’m looking for jobs and enduring those awkward interviews, Ben will be encouraging and coaching me. Buying a house becomes exciting and a lot less scary with Ben. When I meet my newborn for the first time, Ben is the only person I want there to share that precious moment with me. As I add to the list of places I want to see and things I want to do, I know that Ben will always be there to keep me company. Unless God decides to take Ben home earlier than I expect, I plan on experiencing all of life’s amazing milestones with him at my side…and I cannot wait for all our adventures.