Last week I mentioned that I’d had a dream about working as a missionary nurse years before ever stepping foot in Tanzania. What I didn’t mention was that this particular dream came after a lot of praying about what I was supposed to do with my future. I was a Junior in High School, and I was agonizing over every detail. Nursing school? Gap year? YWAM? Something else entirely? And that’s when I had that dream, so I set my sights on nursing school.
I also left out one tiny detail about the dream itself. You see, the dream wasn’t just of me kneeling in the dirt listening to a child’s lungs. That was the primary focus of it…the first time I dreamed it. But there was also someone standing behind me in that dream. I couldn’t see him clearly, but we were both wearing wedding bands.
A few years later when I was praying about Kyle and our friendship that didn’t seem to be going anywhere I had the dream again. This time, however, the focus was on the person standing behind me wearing a wedding band–and it was Kyle. I never told him any of this, though. So when I arrived at the City of Hope, and it was the place from my dream, AND Kyle was there, too…well, I’m not going to lie. It freaked me out a little!
After all, I had just had my semester in Guatemala. I went to Tanzania without any thoughts of a relationship with Kyle. A few friends who knew us both mentioned that they thought that would happen, but I had no reason to believe that anything would be any different. And, I can honestly say that I was fine with nothing changing.
What I didn’t know, however, was that things had already changed. Right after Kyle’s arrival in Tanzania, he also had a dream. In his dream he was standing beside someone, and they were both watching me work. After watching silently for a bit, the person with Kyle said, “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” And Kyle replied, “Yes. She is.” And the person beside him said, “She’s perfect for you.” And that was it.
I jumped into daily life at the City of Hope. The children in the children’t home stole my heart. The gorgeous corner of Tanzania stole my heart. The friendliness of the people stole my heart. It became my favorite place in the world. I shared a room there with two of Kyle’s sisters, and they became wonderful friends.
In the evenings we’d all join for a time of worship and prayer, and, afterwards, we’d often play Rook to the tune of the generator. One evening, Kyle mentioned these rocks that were a short walk from the City of Hope. He said they have the best view of the valley, and he invited me to go with him to watch the sunrise. So we did. And it was breathtaking. While sitting up there watching the valley transform and wake up it occurred to me that maybe Kyle would ask me to be his girlfriend after all.
Spoiler alert: he didn’t.
So, I assumed that meant he didn’t have any interest in me beyond friendship, and I moved on. Apparently, however, his older sister pulled him aside one evening and gave him quite the earful about taking nice girls on romantic walks to watch the sunrise and then saying nothing! (Thanks, Greta!!)
Because, a few nights later, we stayed up a little later than everyone else in the house. I didn’t think anything of it as we were looking through a Swahili-English dictionary trying to find a word. After reading through all of the “K” words, Kyle abruptly closed the book. He looked at me and started talking. I don’t remember the exact words he said, but I do remember thinking that it sounded like he was trying to gently and kindly tell me that he had no romantic interest in me whatsoever!
When he said the words, “So, I was wondering if you’d be my girlfriend?” I truly started to say, “No, it’s ok!! I understand!”
And then his words finally registered in my brain.
I said, “Yes.”
Next week: Our Engagement Story!
April 29, 2019