Hello lovely people! Many have asked about how I met my husband, so I decided to tell you all about it. You will find the story followed by sideline commentary that has to do with lessons that I learned throughout the process. Actually, this post tells the preface of the story (or the back story), which in retrospect was just as important as the love story itself. I will tell you all the juicy details in 3 parts.
"It all started with a Christian Leadership Conference held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. This conference was specifically for Central American leaders so, as a Canadian, Valerie was not supposed to be present. However, she was was invited to join as a translator. Javier was not supposed to be there either, because two other people from his nation were already going to attend. Two weeks before the event, however, one dropped out and the invitation was conveniently extended to him."
The right place. The right time.
Out of the many, great scenarios my vivid imagination had produced since infancy, not one was as creative as the one that actually happened. Looking back, I realize that only God was able to lead me to the right place at the right time in order to meet the love of my life. Only He can lead our lives in such a way when we submit to Him. When I finally stopped focusing on things that distracted me from getting to know God with all my heart, I realized that He was concocting a great surprise for me. My suggestion for you: follow God’s voice and let Him lead you.
"One day before the event started, rumors began circulating that a tall, handsome young man with a killer smile (Javier) was going to be part of the conference and it was suggested to Valerie that she should meet him. Valerie openly refused to be introduced to him due to the fact that she hates arranged introductions because they feel unnatural and totally unromantic. The whole weekend passed and though people tried over and over again to introduce them, they both felt weird about it so they never tried. Javier even noticed that Valerie would run the opposite way from where he was and would give him attitude when he tried to melt her heart with his secret weapon: his adorable dimples when smiling."
Happily single: Not an oxymoron
You did not read wrong. Before I met the love of my life, I was single (it was not only a status but also the condition of my heart) and very enamored with my life which was full of adventure and freedom. After seeing so many failed relationships around me, I turned to God, looking for a better way. I asked Him to keep me from meaningless relationships so that I could experience what He had in mind when he created love. I had finally reached the point in my life where I was happy with the person I was and all the projects I was involved in. (BTW: confidence and good self-esteem are very attractive. They are a secret weapon to help weed out all the people that are not worth your heart or your time.) It took many, private crying sessions in my room and many gentle but firm “slaps” (like I call them) for my ego to let go and confide in God. Only then was I able to surrender every area of my life to Him. I felt like I had finally found that spot in the arms of my heavenly father where I was satisfied with His love alone. That is why you see (in the story) that I was reluctant to meet this cute guy and risk jeopardizing my peace and balance.
"The conference ended and most people left to go back to their respective countries. Only the staff and a few others made plans to fly out the next day, May 25, 2009. (This date is important; you’ll learn why soon!) There are only two flights that leaves from Tegucigalpa airport to go stateside and most people on staff had gone on the first to Atlanta. Valerie, however, was going to New York City via Miami, so she had to wait in another terminal with three other staff members. Ten minutes before boarding, the tall, handsome young man with a killer smile (Javier) runs to the terminal where Valerie was waiting to board her plane. Neither of them knew they would meet again. Javier was going to Puerto Rico via Miami. Javier mustered all his courage and came straight to Valerie. He introduced himself: "Hi, I’m Javier”. She simply answered, "Hi." He, uninvited, sat next to her and started talking to everyone around them trying to make eye contact with Valerie, who was determined to stay out of that conversation. For a moment, however, she forgot her plan and interjected a comment and that was all Javier needed to start addressing himself directly to her as if they had been having a friendly conversation from the beginning. Eventually, Javier nervously asked Valerie if she would like to stay in contact with him though Facebook. She agreed, thinking that there would be no harm. After all, they would never see each other again. Thankfully for Valerie, the time to board had finally come. Interestingly, one staff member worked with the aircraft personnel to arrange for the conference group to all sit in one section. Javier ended up sitting right behind Valerie. So while they all waited for the aircraft to depart, Javy decides to make a bold move. Without any warning, he snapped a picture of Valerie. She was partly in shock, partly flattered, and partly convinced that this tall, handsome Puerto Rican with a killer smile was a 'church player' that had come to the conference to conquer pretty girls' hearts.
(Some of you may feel tempted to say that I was playing hard-to-get. Let me assure you, that was not what I was doing…)"
Desperate is not attractive
I meet many young people that are in this sort of ‘stand by’ until they meet love. It is as if the universe will magically align once they find the right person. In my limited experience, I’ve seen that success and growth are achieved mainly through hard work and sacrifice, not by getting a new GF or BF. We are all at different places in our lives, but the truth is that when we are busy and passionate, we don’t have time to get desperate. Desperate people take desperate measures. This puts us in the vulnerable position to go for regrettable relationships and to lower our standards (Proverbs 27:7). Don’t wait, this is the time to pour into your own life and to develop your gifts or perhaps even develop new talents.
"They all landed in Miami and planned to have lunch together. Through a series of involuntary events, Javier and Val ended up sharing a table for two. They went through a few minutes of awkward small talk. After that short conversation, Valerie left thinking that Javier was cute but was not a possibility to explore and Javier left thinking that Valerie was pretty and was definitely a possibility to explore."
Passion, confidence, and knowing your identity in Christ are very appealing traits that help attract the right people: the ones who understand their value. I encourage and challenge you to fully jump in (head first ha!) and start your love journey by getting to know the one who “loved you first”: Jesus.