For those of you that don't live in Iowa you should know that we were hit by a huge blizzard two nights ago and I am currently 100% snowed into my house. My car is not going anywhere, my dog can barely get outside and my days consist of baking, reading, and watching Top Chef re-runs on Bravo. So, I figured I would take some time away from my demanding schedule to update you on some very important things that have happened lately. I also wanted to introduce you to the most important person in my life. Are you ready for that? This is going to be a long, mushy, awesome story so I suggest you either kindly move along to another more interesting website OR grab a cup of tea, cozy up, and settle in.
You still there?
OK. Good. Here we go....
The last few years have been a complete whirlwind for me. I went through some HUGE life changes, some big losses, I mourned, I rejoiced, I celebrated, I cried. My life has been a roller coaster of sorts from the time I graduated high school until now. Let's back up to last year. If you have read this blog at all in the pas
t you have probably read my "Snow Globe" post about losing my job in Indiana. Let's just say, after that loss I thought my life was over. It caused me to doubt my call to ministry, doubt my leadership abilities and in some ways it even caused me to question my faith. After much searchi
ng, praying and waiting God made it clear that I was supposed to move home to Waterloo, Iowa, my hometown. He didn't give me a reason why. He just said, "Go and trust." To make a long story short, I moved home on May 13, 2009 with no job, no hope of a job, no plan and no motivation.
Four days later God revealed Himself to me in a BIG way. A big 6'4", size 15 foot, handsome, kind smiled, Manicorn kind of way.
This is Casey Douglas Schmidt, the reason I lost my job, the reason I moved home to Waterloo, Iowa, and the reason God told me to wait so many times. When I was lonely and confused and feeling like I would end up as an old maid, God told me to wait. And THIS, this is why. I had no idea the kind of man that God was saving for me. This man is the answer to so many questions, the reason to so many unknowns and the love of my life. He is my future husband. Casey Douglas Schmidt.
We met on a blind date set up by his cousin and my best friend. I have been on many a blind date in my life so I went into this one with a "Well, my life has already gone to crap so if it's bad at least I'll get some good entertainment out of it" attitude. I thought, "I've got nothing to lose." (Bad blind dates always make for good stories at parties. People love a good blind date story.)
Casey called me on a Saturday night. He lived two hours away but called to tell me that he was on his way to Waterloo to meet me. He wanted to take me to coffee the next day. For crying out loud, this guy was moving quick. NOTE: to all of my male readers out there, this was a GOOD move on his part. He totally grabbed the reigns, made a plan and took a huge risk. It stood out to me and I knew that he was serious. This is one of the million things that won me over right away. The man knew what he wanted and he went after it. (p.s. I'm 97% sure that Casey is my only male reader.)
I could go on for days but I'll try to make this quick. We met at Cup o' Joe in Cedar Falls, Iowa. We talked for over two hours. It felt like we had been there for five minutes. Our conversation was not awkward, it was not draining and uncomfortable. It flowed from subject to subject without any effort. As we were talking I remember staring at him and thinking, "Who is this man? I have to get to know him more." I wanted to hear everything about him, learn every fact about his life and hear every passion in his heart. He was the most genuine and authentic person I had ever met. He was unlike any other person I had ever spoken with. Every word that came out of his mouth was intentional, meaningful and so so heartfelt.
I called my best friend after our date and told her that I was amazed by the way he spoke to me. He talked about God in a way that was completely new to me. He wasn't showy or legalistic about it. I remember telling her that it seemed like God was such a huge and intimate part of his life that every story Casey told me, every question he asked me was saturated with his love for Christ and his desire to be a man of God. He was so humble and kind.
And lemme tell ya, the kid is a looker. Let's just say I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw that the most handsome man in the place was sitting, waiting just for me. He's irresistible. Moving on...
Casey and I obviously hit it off right away. We began talking on the phone for four to five hours a night. He drove the two hours to my house once a week and I drove the two hours his house once a week. We were quickly falling in love. After three weeks I introduced him to my dad, at 6 weeks I told him I loved him, after 3 months he moved to Waterloo to be closer to me, after five months we drove to Indiana to meet my friends and on our six month anniversary we were engaged.
Don't get me wrong, there have definitely been trials, struggles and hurdles. But the thing that amazes me, the thing that makes me know this is going to work is the fact that God brought us together. I have been praying for my future husband since I was 13 years old and my parents have been praying for him since I was born. However, my prayer changed last year. My prayer went from, "God bring me my husband. I'm ready to settle down, I'm lonely. I'm ready to love someone." to "God, I give this up to you. I have a desire in my heart that I believe was placed there by you and I surrender it. Take this desire and do with it what you want. You are enough to fulfill me. Bring me my husband in your perfect timing. Help me to wait on you. I give you control. Do whatever you have to do to make this happen or (and this was the hardest part) prepare me for the possibility that his may never happen. I will love you the same either way." That prayer of surrender was not easy for me. I wanted to be in control. I wanted to choose who I was going to be with. But I realized that I had to give it up. I had to allow God to be in control not only of my relationships but also of the very desires in my heart. I had to surrender.
It was not an easy journey. I went through heartbreak, loss and many, many nights of tears and loneliness. But now I think about God's amazing faithfulness, about how He has always provided for me, He has never left me and He continues to bless me even in the midst of confusion and doubt. I look at Casey and I see God's love. I see God in him and I am humbled every time.
I can't wait to be Mrs. Schmidt. I feel so undeserving, so honored and so excited to be able to live life with the most incredible man I have ever met. He teaches me new things every day, he shows me how to live a Christ-centered life, he brings out my passion for ministry and he encourages me to use my gifts and talents. He calls out my beauty and he makes me want to share myself with others. God works through my man every day in ways that Casey is not even aware of. I don't know what makes me deserving of this but I am so so thankful. I am absolutely amazed and forever changed.
And this is just an introduction...