"My name is Hannah, and I am the worst at blogging consistently."
Y'all: "Hi, Hannah!"
Has it really been that long? It's almost Christmas! Again, I'm the worst. In my defense, life is CRAZY (awesome)! Since I last posted, lots has happened. Let me fill you in.
I started cosmetology school full-time in August. I spend my days coloring (not dyeing, as I was instructed to never say again by some of my loving school friends...), foiling, cutting, manicuring, etc. And I love it. I am so thankful I chose this field. It's creative, fun, exhausting, and always entertaining. Not to mention a great way to make people feel loved and talk about Jesus. I'm almost 1/3 a way through with my hours, I can't believe it!
I'm also not great at transitioning from one topic to another so..
I GOT ENGAGED!
Ty's dad is a pastor, and though I didn't go to his church, our churches did things together and so we kind of knew each other from that. And by "kind of knew," I mean we knew each other's faces. And by that I mean I knew his face because I thought he was adorable; we never spoke! Well, February 2012 I went into Starbucks to study and he was working. We said "Hey" and if I remember right, I think he gave me a discount on my drink. I sat down and maybe 20 minutes later, over walks Tyler and he says "Can I sit down for a minute?" I moved my feet from the chair across from me and he sat down. We talked for the ten minutes he was on break, and I knew I was going to marry him then. The only way I can explain it is that the holy spirit told me, and I knew without a doubt. It was a quiet confidence. (P.S. Tyler is not a flirtatious person. He gave me no reason to think he was interested in that way!)
Now, don't mistake me. It was also really confusing. I didn't really know him. I wasn't in love with him. We were barely acquaintances. But I knew. Over the next couple months we saw each other very rarely. Once at a concert, once at some other event. He didn't talk to me and I didn't talk to him...awkward. Today, he would say that he made the first "move" at Starbucks and it had been my turn, but that's bologna. So anyway, I was frustrated and some things happened and I gave up.
In May, I ran from God as hard as I could. I made some really bad decisions and didn't surround myself with the right people. This isn't really Tyler-related, I saw my relationship with God as another full-time job I was failing miserably at. I couldn't "do" enough and I couldn't make Him happy. (These were my thoughts and feelings, not the truth!) I was worn out from religion that I took upon myself, and I ran.
In September, I went back to church, mostly just to say bye and officially quit. But God had a different plan. He helped me to see that morning that I had been trying to it all on my own, and it was never meant to be that way. He offered me a second chance. A clean slate. I knew I had to take the hand of grace he was offering me. So that day, I cut ties with the guy I was dating, and asked God to show me how to be His child, His way. Because of some of the choices and things I had done, it was a really heartbreaking, difficult time for me. But there was a faith I hadn't had before that no matter what happened, everything would be okay in the end because "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) All the mess, brokenness, distrust, everything I had caused, God was going to turn it into something beautiful. So I held onto that. I should note, in this time of running and dating some one else, etc. Tyler was always in the back of my mind. I knew I was settling for less than what God had promised me.
So a few weeks after I came back, I went to a dinner after church with a lot of people and Tyler was there. We were forced by some "loving friends" to sit beside each other and once again, we barely spoke. It was so awkward! But at the end of the night, I was walking to my car and one of my friends (who happens to be his sister-in-law) pulled us aside and said "You guys would be great friends. just trade numbers and talk to each other!" and we did. We didn't text until two weeks after that, but from then on we would keep in touch every now and then and get to be better friends. And he treated me like a sister! I couldn't tell if he cared for me, or what. It was frustrating and I give him a hard time about it now. :) What the holy spirit laid on my heart and what my eyes were seeing were two opposite pictures. I couldn't see how it was going to work out. Funny how that seems to be the way He works. We can never figure it out! The way I saw it, we were two completely platonic friends. Period.
In January, he fasted (only ate fruits and veggies) for three weeks. I didn't know it, but he was fasting and praying about us and if he should pursue a relationship with me. On January 26th 2013, he told me so and wanted to know if I would be his girlfriend. And he thought I was going to say no because my face was in total shock. But, I didn't (obviously). The rest is history. Some people are skeptical about our age and how long we've been together, but God's hand has been on our relationship from the beginning and we are following His lead. We are so humbled by His love and provision that He blessed us with each other. I couldn't have imagined someone better if I tried, even despite his flaws and shortcomings. He's my best friend, and I can't wait to call him my husband.
I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past year. I'm astounded by God's goodness and love towards me. He is faithful, and His word is absolute truth. He has and is continuing to work ALL things, even the messy, together for my good. Because then, I can glorify Him. I want people to know that I was in a mess. Completely hopeless. And He saved me from it. And since then, He's given me grace every day to sustain me. I've never had to walk a single step alone.
Lord, thank you so much. Thank you for salvation. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides, convicts, and comforts me. Thank you for sustaining me and growing me. You are beyond words, and I hope my life makes you smile. Amen.