Around this time last year, I was getting ready to head to Cuba with a group of girlfriends to celebrate my birthday. I had been single for four years outside of dating people sporadically and didn’t have a problem with it one bit. I loved my life as is and didn’t question when I would settle down or with who. At that time, Nate and I had a completely platonic friendship and he was actually really sick with bronchitis prior to me leaving. I remember picking up some travel size toiletries from Target and getting him some cough drops and Vicks to drop off to him since I was out already. I stopped by his place really quickly to drop off his medicine and he had a wrapped gift for me sitting on the bar. Even as friends, he was so thoughtful. I opened my present, we laughed a little bit and I rushed out because I could not afford to get sick prior to my vacation! I had very little connectivity in Cuba and although we were used to talking daily, there were sometimes 12 hours in between my responses due to lack of wifi. It didn’t bother me, but I think secretly, it was killing him LOL.
As soon as I got back to Houston, I had to pack for a work conference in Dallas that I’d be at for two days. Nate asked to take me to dinner, which still wasn’t out of the ordinary for us, but I simply couldn’t fit it into my schedule. I was on a high from how much fun I had in Cuba and honestly, just with how much I was enjoying life entirely. I was ready to celebrate! My boss had stopped to buy me champagne and we had dinner reservations later that evening since it was my actual birthday. Once we checked into our room, I was stopped in my tracks. I had a bucket of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a small cake, balloons and a gigantic bouquet of flowers all set up. I was really feeling the love! Smiling from ear to ear, my boss says “open up the card, it’s from your sister!” and what was inside read “Happy birthday, love Nate”. What?!
I had so many questions! How did he know what hotel I was at? When did he arrange all of this? Were my boss and my sister in on it? But most importantly, that moment opened my eyes to how special Nate had made me feel from an entire different city without expecting a thing in return. It may have been a small gesture, but it spoke volumes – especially when I had dealt with men who’d text me happy birthday the day after it was over. I couldn’t get over the fact that he’d gone to the lengths he did to surprise me and make sure I knew he was thinking of me on my birthday even if I wasn’t sharing it with him and at that point, my feelings for him began to shift. Thinking back, I’m shocked at how long our friendship remained innocent allowing us to truly build a friendship and know one another beyond the expectations of dating.
Since this time last year, I agreed to be Nate’s girlfriend after being single since I was 23, became engaged after dating him for six months and signed off on the lot that we’ll be building our new home on. A year after his sweet initial birthday gesture, he surprised me with a birthday brunch and made sure my favorite people were there (not to mention, I complained the entire drive to the restaurant). As I was opening gifts, he surprised me again with a birthday trip to Hawaii! I’d be lying if I said Nate wasn’t exactly the man I hoped to end up with. I guess after being forced to miss me in Cuba, he wanted to be sure he wouldn’t miss out on the chance to celebrate me on my birthday ever again.
I can’t help but marvel at how vastly my life has shifted from only 12 months ago. I always thought I would need time to prepare myself for changes like this and accept them mentally first, but that wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t have bet that I would be engaged or even in a relationship last January, yet here I am about to get murrrrried to the perfect man for me. Nate doesn’t desire to be praised publicly, he doesn’t even know I wrote this. I’m only sharing this because my life’s a legitimate testament to not recognizing your forever with your eyes, but instead with your heart. A testament to not even expecting it.
God is real. He knows what you truly desire. When I began to quit trying to make sense of how everything would work together in my favor, things really began to flow in my life according to what He wanted, while in alignment with what I needed. You may not be able to make sense of how you’re going to get it, or why you haven’t gotten it yet – but when He sees fit to make it happen, you’re going to be floored at how He does it. We doubt what will happen for us because we can’t see it for ourselves but when it happens to you, you’ll understand exactly how much your world can do a 180 when you were least expecting it in business, in relationships or personally. Even when we thought we may not get it, we have to remind ourselves we deserve it.
Find solidity in exactly where you are today and know that your life is just a few months away from granting you what it is that you genuinely long for.