3 years.

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3 years ago yesterday we kissed at this kissing well. It’s not just any kissing well. It’s the renowned Davidson College kissing well that, legend has it, predicts a very likely future with the one that you kiss in its presence. Facebook actually reminded me that I posted this picture there along with the oh so witty caption, “Hubby finally kissed a girl at the kissing well. She liked it. I think the odds are good.”

3 years ago I stepped my feet onto the South Carolina red dirt for the first time. We newlyweds traveled to Spartanburg, SC to visit some dear friends who had recently moved back. Barry and Michele (ps. today is Michele’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Michele!!) were expecting their son, Bear, at the time. I remember feeling his strong kicks inside Michele’s belly and marveling. They took us on tours of the upstate by day and we watched an abundance of movies by night. One day we visited a delicious coffee shop and restaurant named Tandem and saw beautiful vistas atop Caesar’s Head.  We walked over the Liberty Bridge in downtown Greenville, and it was there that we first felt the Lord tugging our hearts toward this small, delightful city. On our final full day, Andrew took the reins and drove the four of us up to Davidson, North Carolina to show us his alma mater. I finally got to see the rooms, the lawns, the golf courses, the restaurants that hold so many memories for him and together play such a huge part in who he is today. Relationships come and go and endlessly change throughout life, but Andrew has tenderly held onto a significant number of relationships from that season. It was an honor to follow him along on such a special tour, it was an honor to sit in a rocking chair next to my pregnant friend while we enthusiastically cheered on our silly husbands in their very competitive Davidson College ping pong match (those ping pong tables are still in the same place, by the way).

A few days later we were back home in St. Louis, both Carolinas in the rear view, me freshly “retired” from massage therapy, Andrew jumping back into his Pastoral Apprenticeship, both of us wondering what the Lord had in store for our freshly joined future.

Now, we can see clearly what He was doing then. Now, we know less than 9 months later we would be packing our home and our dog into a moving truck bound for Greenville. Now, we have been to that cute little restaurant more times that we could count, in fact, we can walk there. Now, we take our own visiting friends to that breathtaking view atop Caesar’s Head. Now, that strong little baby kicking my hand is a strong little boy who will be turning 3 in a few months. Now, Andrew and I have added our own strong little ladies to that gathered group of friends.

I praise God that we don’t leave our future up to legend. I’m so thankful that he sees us here, knows us here, intimately. He sees the present pain and weeps with us, he sees our hopes and allows us to feels his embrace, he knows how we’ll be growing in the next few hours…in the next few days…in the next few months…and years. Nothing is a mystery to him. He has drawn near, and he IS nearness.  His nearness is our good. There are stories from the last 3 years that have taken our breath away. There are some hardships that we may have never chosen if left to our write our own stories. But this story that the author of our lives is writing? It’s far more beautiful.

How sweet it is to rest in Him.

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