Dear 21 year old me,
Today you're going to drive over to Charlotte, Michigan and see the place where Joel grew up. He's going to show you his old church and more importantly, his old home. He's going to reminisce and get that glint in his eye when he talks about listening to Ernie up in that old bedroom and playing catch with his dad outside. He's going to remember Christmas celebrations with his cousins and life in what was an **almost** perfect world for him.
Together you're going to pop into a few old stores and stop by and visit some old friends. By mid-afternoon you'll be playing at the playground that Joel frequented as a boy (and that you'll eventually take your 3 little boys to visit as well). Eventually you'll sit down under a big oak tree to chat for a bit before you head off to dinner, and he's going to work up the nerve to propose.
You're going to say yes - and the whirlwind of a life with this boy is going to begin! You'll head off to Mountain Jacks and enjoy a great dinner, and then use the pay phone to call your parents to tell them the good news. Once you get back to Davison you'll be greeted by excited family members, take a gazillion pictures and endure an awkward yet endearing announcement of your engagement in church tomorrow.
Right now you have no idea what's ahead. If you knew, you'd be terrified...but trust me, the journey is fantastic. Sure, there are going to be rough days. There's going to be days when you wonder what God is doing and if He's forgotten about you. You will often wonder where you're headed and what life will be like when you get there.
You're going to have 3 kids before you turn 30 and you'll get to stay home and raise them. You'll buy a house and outgrow it quickly. You'll experience what it's like to pour yourselves into a ministry and then leave your heart there. You'll develop relationships with some wonderful people and you'll even give homeschooling a shot.
You're going to find yourself in limbo and you're going to get homesick. Your closest sibling will be 3 hours away and you'll only see your parents maybe once a year.
Along the way you're going to discover that God's grace is sufficient, that His promises are true and that there's nothing you can do to make Him love you more. He's going to meet (and exceed) your needs, sustain you on days when you want to quit and provide peace in the midst of the storms that come. You'll learn to lean on Him more than you ever thought you'd need to - only to realize that you've only scratched the surface of what you need to learn and discover about your God.
March 20 will always be a special day for you - it is the day Joel proposed and the day you agreed to become his wife. It's a decision you'll not regret - and life will only get sweeter as the days go by.