Sometimes life takes a dramatic turn when you least expect it, unplanned life changes that only the Giver of all good gifts could orchestrate. And at the time we label them as unfortunate events or misadventures.
I was twenty-one, halfway through nursing school, and recovering from a severe back injury that nearly took my life, and resulted in me moving back home with my parents. Nursing school was officially on hold, not very unlike my future plans and my life in general.
After three months of bed rest + mild, self-paced physical therapy, I’d just returned back to work, two part-time jobs that I loved with employers who were gracious to work around my limitations, and I was enrolled part time in school trying to stay as on-track as I could.
If things had gone my way I would have been living four hours away from home, attending a private university and doing clinicals in one of the most prestigious hospitals in the state of Texas. I had a roommate who I loved, we were different enough that we got along really well, but we had like-minded values and priorities, so there was little chance of conflict.
In those first few months after my back surgery I was weighed down with the feeling of being broken – and I was. At first I viewed this brokenness as a curse, after all, all of my dreams had come to a deafening, screeching halt, and all plans for the future were blurry at best. But over the course of the next year I realized the hidden blessing that comes with being broken. It’s when we’re broken that the Master can piece us back together again.
I was working as an admissions counselor at the junior college I’d attended right out of high school. The unofficial school motto was “Ring by spring, money back guarantee.” Earlier that summer I’d been in two different weddings, both of my suite mates had their rings by spring, and weddings that summer. And I was single. Very single.
Being single wasn’t nearly as hard on my heart as that feeling of being broken. And I silently wondered if anyone would ever want a weak and broken wife, and if so, how in the world was I going to find someone like that?
It was the second or third week of school, recruiting and admission work had slowed down and I’d been recruited by the financial aid office to help process scholarship and financial aid forms. That I was in the admissions office that day wasn’t coincidence, it was providential.
I met him that day. The man who, almost two years later, would become my husband.
He was attending seminary across town, and his pastor’s wife (who was also my boss) invited him to the college so she could show him around. Mrs. Ross wasn’t there that day, but I was.
Through a series of unfortunate, life-changing events, I was in the same town, in the same building, and in the same room as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed preacher boy from Missouri.
That was ten years ago today.