The years after my mission were a strange combination of fun, misery, hope and despair. I worked full-time, went to school part-time and dated more than I'd ever wanted to.
I developed an unflattering reputation among my friends as someone who gets guys ready for marriage. You see, after my mission, almost everyone I dated married the girl they dated right after me. One roommate, who couldn't get her boyfriend to commit, actually suggested maybe I should go out with him a few times. This was funny, and I laughed, but it was also really hard. This pattern happened over and over and over again. Sometimes this was a little disappointing, sometimes it was an enormous relief and on one or two occasions, it was devastating.
I'd just had my heart shredded. My most recent loss had disappointed me more than any others had. I didn't know if I could take any more. I was in a very low place. I got in the car and drove up the hill behind Dad and Mom's house to a place not far from where the Bountiful temple would later be built and I prayed. I cried and prayed and poured out my heart to Heavenly Father. I asked him what I was doing wrong. I told him I was failing at finding someone I could spend my life with and that I was through. No longer would I worry about what a guy looked like. No longer would I worry about how much fun we had together or if there was any attraction. Good conversation and really "getting" each other was perhaps a luxury I could live without. I was turning it over to Him. If he wanted me with a nerd, I'd be with a nerd. If he wanted me to be bored the rest of my life, okay, I guess I could be bored the rest of my life. If he wanted me to marry Harvey, I'd marry Harvey.
A little background on Harvey, whose name I've changed to protect a very nice guy. Harvey was someone who'd been in the background for about two years. He was friendly, he was pleasant, he was nerdy, he was shorter than me. But he was a really good guy. He'd liked me for a long time and would always go out of his way to shake my hand with his sweaty one, or he'd sit by me at the college ward, the poster boy for friendly nerdiness. I wasn't attracted to him AT ALL, but as I sat there on that hill and prayed, I asked Heavenly Father to take over. And if he wanted me to marry Harvey, I guessed I would, but please, please, please, PLEASE! make me a little bit attracted to him, so I could stand to hold hands with him...
I went home feeling scared. I wasn't at peace, I wasn't calm. I was terrified that I was going to have to marry Harvey or someone like him. Now that I'd turned it over to Heavenly Father, who knew what was going to happen?
Two weeks later, I met Travis. He was good-looking. He was funny. He was strong in the church. And he liked me. Right away. We were married five months later.
To this day, I'm thankful I didn't have to marry Harvey. (You'll be happy to know, he married a beautiful girl who was shorter than him and they're very happy.) I'm thankful for Travis, who is a dedicated husband, a loving father, a good provider, someone who loves to travel, enjoys a good movie, and encourages me to do things that make me happy.
I love you, Travis. Happy Anniversary!