So many prayers I would pray that included many tears in fear of the unknown. If you walked about my room you would have found folded up pieces of paper scattered in different corners with written prayers that were filled with paranoia. I haven’t completely outgrown paranoia and fear, but I have grown and matured in these areas. My prayers now consist more for others and for opportunities to be more like Him, but I still have a special segment during prayer that God and I put aside for my strong fears of the unknown. Things like: Will I ever be a nicer person? Am I good enough? Am I behind in life? People younger than me are fulfilling their dreams… where am I on the scale to fulfilling mine? Will I be liked after I make certain changes in my life? Am I still fun? What if I can’t get pregnant? Will I be a good mom one day with my sometimes flaring anger? What if I lose the solid enamel on my teeth and my teeth become more brittle… who knows a good dentist?

I know God laughs a good bit at me and with me. We both know that I’m crazy. I think all men and women, in their own way, have a crazy side. You just choose what kind of crazy you want to deal with for the rest of your life. That’s why I think marriage is so funny. You take two crazies, they marry, and then it somehow creates a state of normalcy? I am a better, more calm and less crazy person since God put my Peter into my life. I look back at the fearful prayers about who I was going to marry and I acknowledge that Peter was in my fear of the unknown. I don’t have to fear who I will marry anymore but there are other fears that have comfortably stepped right in to fill that place.

In the early 2000’s, Dating vs. Courting seemed to be trending in Christian culture. I have read so many books with different views about the right way to date/court. Books suggested making a list about what you want in a husband. One book even said God would give me that exact list. I made so many lists about my perfect guy but I specifically I remember the day I threw out my list of the perfect man. I thought, I know what I want in life and in a man but if I believe God and what he says is true about meeting my needs, then God knows what I need in a man… why am I holding on to this list?

In April of 2012 I started a job as a barista at Starbucks. I remember noticing Peter mid-August of that year after Madison Line Records and I decided to part ways. My 10 year old dream of becoming the next LeAnn Rimes came to a halt. I was in a state of loss. I had to come to reality to and realize that I needed to thank God for this even though it didn’t make sense. It was a rough time in life. My dreams of becoming a singer crashed. Friend’s I had for years were no longer friend, they were just liars and I was left seeing how the promises of success were ways to get me to give them what they wanted. I was in a fight. I was fighting depression. I had made it through vocal health issues, I had made it through comparison of others, I had made it through so many other battles… but never this kind. I had put all my eggs in a basket only to see them smashed.

Back to mid-august and Peter. He was something when he walked in his manpris, grey wife beater tank, and Nike high tops. Peter had moved to midtown in May and was a hair stylist at the midtown salon, Dabbles. We started to talk in October of that year and then we went on our first date, November 2, 2012.

Peter and I have never had a “honeymoon” period of our dating relationship. Stuff got real real quick. During our first year God allowed me to see quickly how much loving Peter would entail. Our second year it was Peter’s turn to see how much loving me would entail and I will tell you our darker sides aren’t pretty. We definitely didn’t think we would be in for the rides we have walked through. Maybe for another time I will go into detail but for now we will leave it as our first two years of dating were level tops and deep valleys. We got engaged on November 22, 2014. Our story is weird. Sometimes I wish it would’ve been simple and sweet but I don’t think we would change the effort we had to put into our relationship. Peter and I, now married 1.5 years, can quickly catch the moments we start feeling disconnected and address them before we lose each other to social media, work, exercise, or just other relationships. We are each other’s best friends. He is my polar opposite. I am as right brained as they come and he is as left brained as they come.

Peter wasn’t at all what I listed as my perfect but he everything that I needed. Peter is focused, intelligent, book smart, an eloquent speaker, honest + kind. He is an old man at heart with the love of crosswords and Sudoku. He has a love for healthy food and exercise… more than I do. He believes in marriage as a partnership – there is no such thing as “man’s work” and “women’s work” in our house. He is the maintainer of a clean house and I am the deep cleaner. He loves me like Christ commands, even when I make him upset by buying a $6 smart water bottle at the airport. I could go on about him, but I won’t. I’m not typing all of this to brag about my husband, even though I find him amazing. What I am trying to say is with all the fears of the unknown… I look at my life before Peter and now after Peter and I think what an Amazing God.

My fears are never needed to be fears but I see how our fears are meant to make us lean closer into God’s side and aren’t there to control us. I lived many years and still struggle with letting them control me now. Ps 112:7 says,” She has no fear of bad news, her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” I have this verse posted at my desk to look at when I get anxious and fear driven. Sometimes the verse is calming, other times it makes me feel like a failure because I can’t seem to get my stuff together… which in the end makes me more anxious. One thing remains true, even in chaos, our God is calm. Each story He writes is different and after he finishes all of our stories, even with all our short comings, He looks down and see that “It was good.”