I am not a fan of seafood. I used to like popcorn shrimp because you could hardly taste the shrimp. Now that I am a little more aware of health, I just ignore seafood, even at seafood restaurants.
I’m not sure, therefore, exactly why Nancy and I went to Red Lobster for our first date. (This one, on Army Trail Road in Carol Stream, Illinois.) I know, of course, that it probably was because she liked (and still does) seafood. I probably was trying to impress her. Which was interesting because our first date came two weeks after we decided to get married and about a week after our first kiss and about two weeks before we got engaged.
Our story is an interesting one for understanding something about faith, for understanding something about leaps of faith.
When we got married (about 8 months after this first date), we didn’t know nearly about each other as we thought we did. We probably didn’t know as much as we should have. We just knew that getting married to each other was the right thing to do. We decided that all the stuff that many other people do before getting married, before deciding to get married even, could wait. Because we just knew that we belonged. We did, however, decide that we needed to have one date. Just to say we did.
Do I recommend this to everyone? Not at all. Some people need to understand everything before making a decision. They need to know everything they can about the other person. They need to know that they will be accepted no matter what. They need to know that they have explored all the options, considered all the implications, talked through all the possibilities. They need to know for sure that this will work.
We, on the other hand, knew that we couldn’t know everything. We knew, as we sat on a rock after a long walk, that we should get married. It just made sense (to me anyway. I spent the next 8 months wondering whether Nancy would come to her senses and realize how nuts I am and call the wedding off). We had faith in each other, and we were pretty sure that the God we both know had faith in us, enough to bring us together.
We’ve spent the last 25 years getting to know each other. We are far more real to each other than we were back then. We have grown into marriage and grown into adults and parents. Although we don’t try to impress each other much any more, we are thoughtful about caring for each other.
And a couple weeks ago, we went to Red Lobster yet again. There were five of us this time, celebrating Andrew’s 21st birthday. Apparently, it’s a milestone kind of restaurant for us.
Maybe believing comes easy for me, easier than for other people. Maybe, on the other hand, recognizing is what comes easy. At the right moment. On a rock. Alone in the universe with the (suddenly) love of my life.