He wasn't my dream man. Not the one I'd stayed up high school nights thinking of. I had a list, a long one. We'd all made them. "Qualities I Want in an Eternal Mate" Of course, mine went way beyond internal qualities like kindness or character and spilled right over into every last detail.
He would be tall and dark and handsome. A love to dance was a must. Play an instrument? Bonus. He would have a college degree and wealth, well, of course he would have that. Good taste in clothes. You know, all the very important things. Oh, and he would come into my life like a tidal wave and sweep me off my feet with his romanticism.
We met when we were serving missions for our church. Though our families lived merely two miles apart in Utah, we had to travel to New York to find each other. He was young and cute. But, as missionaries are strictly forbidden to date each other or anyone else, we fell into friendship. This was all right with me, because he wasn't the one. That one, I thought, was waiting for me at home. Instead, my friend and I joked and teased and talked on the phone. I went home six months before him, sure that I would be married before his mission ended.
The one at home turned out to be anything but. The tears of disappointment washed him from my life and out of my heart. I was ready for a fresh start. And, then he came home.
Suddenly, I saw him in a new light. Not dark, but still handsome. He didn't dance and was about as musical as, well, me. There was no huge bank account or college degree to hang on the wall. Somehow, the list didn't seem so important any more. He might not have those qualities that seemed so important to my 16 year-old mind, but he had so many more. After twenty years, I know what's truly essential.
He's honest and kind. He works hard. He loves our kids. He fills his church calling with loyalty and strength.
He loves me. Unconditionally. Through thick and thin (mostly thick). He puts my needs before his. Every time. He is my husband. The love of my life. My very best friend. He is the one.
(I'm extending my giveaway a few days. If you'd like to enter, click here. Winner announced on Friday!)