You see, the spring of 1983 was all about letters that were flying across the pole between Finland and Washington state, between two old friends who'd renewed their friendship after about an eight year hiatus. The man who was not-yet-the-Beve and I had reconnected the fall/winter of 1982 in Helsinki and now were in the middle of a flurry of letters.
This edition of my journals was the place where I unleashed all my longings about him. It's fascinating to read the words of this young woman who has no more idea of what the future holds than she understands why her past has been so painful. I read her words and smile. "Relax," I want to tell her. She's just a year away from being married to this man. A SINGLE year. But she hasn't the faintest idea of whether he considers her more than a friend, whether God wants her to EVER be married--let alone to a man such as not-yet-the-Beve. What she does know, what every word conveys, is how much she values this man, how much she believes he's a treasure, whether he ever has anything to do with her. Laced with these very unselfish words are also the deep longings she has that this tall, lovely man does feel as she does. Her hopes, her dreams, her "I think I might just love him," words litter the pages of this edition of the journals.
So I read an entry or two. Then another and another, keeping track with a finger of the first page I'd opened (still wanting to 'do RJD correctly--I'm like that). Then, with a sigh, and because I couldn't help myself, I flipped back to the beginning and read through the whole thing. Now (as you might guess) I really, REALLY, want to waste the rest of my day reading more of these blue notebooks, right up until the moment when not-yet-the-Beve actually becomes THE Beve, and tells me how he feels. I really want to do that. It's such a story. And it's mine.
Isn't that partly why we keep journals? So we have an immediacy with an earlier version of ourselves? We have the opportunity of revisiting ourselves at ages that we might not otherwise remember. I love that. I can know me at 16, 26, and yesterday. And God uses that. He used this journal from the spring of 1983 to remind me of His faithfulness in bringing us together and it's a gift I don't take for granted.
It's a perfect time to remember this, too. May 12th is our 30th anniversary. When we married, we'd already known each other 16 years. But we had know idea how much more was ahead of us, how much bigger and better life would be together. In the ebbs and flows of the last 30 years (and in every marriage there are both, of course), I can say how profound the treasure is that is US. Not just the Beve, not just me, but US together.
The young woman who wrote these words didn't know this, but the self that has wrinkles and graying hair does.
I think about him. I leave it most of the time...and I pray for him. But sometimes I fantasize about what it would be like if he