Jim and Mandy, the couple I married, dated in high school. They were sweethearts and each-others first great love.
I was blessed to witness that coupledom. You see, I went to high school with them. Mandy and I graduated the same year. We went to an average sized high school, about 1600 students, so you “knew” just about everyone. But while we ran in similar circles; the three of us were in marching band together; we weren’t really friends. I do recall, however, Jim and Mandy were one of the marching band “It” couples. It was hard to deny they shared something special.
But is often the case with high school romances, they end. Jim and Mandy were young. They were foolish. They had their whole lives ahead of them. Lots of experiences to have, and mistakes to make. It wasn’t the time for them to find “the one.”
So Jim and Mandy went their separate ways. Jim joined the Navy and moved away. Both married. Both had children – three boys between the two of them! Both Jim and Mandy’s marriages ended. Both ended up back in Buffalo.
And in 2009, they reconnected. To each of their surprise, they found that spark, that love they shared in high school was STILL there.
Not able to deny the chemistry, they started dating. But both, having come from broken marriages, found it hard to be vulnerable. For the relationship to grow, both had to heal from their past relationships and navigate the new norm of raising boys with their now exes. In addition, not only did Mandy have to get to know the new Jim and Jim had to get to know the new Mandy, but Mandy also had to get to know the new Mandy and Jim had to get to know the new Jim. They had to find themselves again. AND, because they each had their respective children, they had to find where they fit into each-other’s lives.
It was hard stuff. And while they moved in together. It was not the time for marriage. While love grew… trust was harder to gain.
You see as time progressed, Mandy was drinking. A LOT. Jim loved her. She loved him. He supported her. But he didn’t trust her. Nor did she really trust herself. Mandy is the first to admit she wasn’t dependable – no one knew if it would be a good day or a bad day, so it was easier not to count on her. So while they were sticking it out, marriage wasn’t in their plans.
Then Mandy got sober. She attended AA and took care of (and began to love) herself. And things began to change.
The foundation of love, respect and trust was built. With her sober for more than two years, timing was FINALLY right. This Saturday, they were wed. Still crazy in love.
It is apparent that Spirit had a role in this. It is also apparent that divine timing definitely played a role in this.
What is also apparent is, divine timing did not occur as that momentary lightning strike. Instead, it was composed of a lot of hard work (and I’m sure laughter and tears) by both Jim and Mandy.
They both needed to evolve individually and as a couple (and now as a family). They weren’t ready in high school, or in 2009 when they started dating again, or even in 2014 when Mandy got sober – rather it took until now. Like the song Mandy walked down the aisle to, God Bless the Broken Road, the obstacles brought them back together.
So next time you find yourself trying to hurry events along, or complaining that circumstances aren’t playing out like you’d like them to. Remember everything happens for a reason and pause for a minute and reflect on what you may be rushing and ultimately missing out on.