Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Girl Who Changed My Life (and is still changing it) Forever

I don't know why I'm doing this now, but it's long overdue. I really ought to be sleeping, since I have a job that starts at the unearthly hour of 4 am, but I can't sleep with a restless mind.  Check that: A mind that is overflowing with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for sending into my life the most incredible girl that I will ever know. I kid you not when I say that just minutes ago, as I was lying snug in my bed, I just started crying for what might seem like no reason. I hardly cry at all, as those who know me best will agree. Oh, but there was a reason for this one, but it was a good reason. It's the same reason that's been in place since October 29, 2011, when my life began to take the greatest turn for the best that it's ever taken before. That "reason" is a certain Anna Marie Hansen. And yes, she is that "most incredible girl" that I just mentioned, if you hadn't already figured that one out on your own. Not a day has passed since I met her that I haven't thanked God for bringing her into my life, even on that first day when we talked for 4 hours, and I left feeling like I'd just gotten reacquainted with a long-lost friend. Yep, we hit it off that well the first night. To this day, my only regret from our initial encounter was that I didn't hug her when I wished her a good night. Luckily, we've shared many hugs since then that I feel confident have filled in that one gap. It's not everyday that someone walks into your life and changes it in a profound and lasting way. Anna has done that for me, and she is still doing it one day at a time.

Before I met her, I thought I was pretty good guy overall; I tried not to do anything stupid, I treated my fellowman with respect, I spent time with family, I worked hard at my job, I stayed in shape by playing basketball and exercising regularly, I attended all my Church meetings....things like that. Still though, there was a gaping hole in my life which had never been filled in before, and you could attribute that to fear, lack of desire, lack of effort, or just plain laziness. That area was dating, something I never took seriously, even though I knew in the back of my mind that as an RM, I should have been more serious about it. That's why what happened on October 29th still amazes me. My childhood friend Ben had become friends with Anna that semester while they were in the same family home evening group. After getting to know her some, he determined (I now call it revelation) that Anna should meet me when I came to Rexburg on a visit at the end of the month. The initial aim of my visit was simply to spend time with Ben and my other close friend Aaron, and partake in our weekly fall ritual of Oregon Ducks football that Saturday. Well we did, but the Lord had other more important plans in mind for me. When Anna came into the lounge that day, and this is her account of the story, I turned to look at her and my mouth promptly fell open. I'm still somewhat surprised that she didn't turn and walk right back out of the room. In fact, she said that she was quite flattered and felt good inside. Must have been divine intervention on that one, because I easily could have been perceived as yet another of the many "creepers" who roam the streets and apartment complexes of Rexburg in an often desperate search for a significant other. I'm not going to open the can of worms on that sideshow, so don't ask.

Back to square one: I can honestly tell you that when my eyes first beheld Anna Hansen, I felt she was the prettiest girl I'd ever seen. I know that more and more now as the days go by. Not only that, but I knew she was completely pure, worthy, sincere, and humble....and this was before I'd even said one word to her! Well to make a long story short, it was the beginning of a friendship that now has us happily engaged and preparing with excitement for our wedding in the Reno Nevada Temple on August 4th. I didn't see this coming AT ALL back in early October, and anytime before that, but the Lord did. He has given us numerous experiences that have prepared us for one another, and He will be the foundation of our eternal marriage. Eternal!! I can't fully comprehend the significance of that word! To know that I will be spending forever with my very best friend is really what caused me to randomly start crying this evening. She is the love of my life, my biggest fan, my spiritual superior, my shoulder to lean on and cry on, my voice of assurance when things are tough, my whole universe. Everything that Anna does, she does for others. There is not a selfish bone in her body. For a guy that can count on one hand the number of dates he's been on, I consider myself pretty darn lucky that I've got her in my life now. I am a better person in every way because of her; because of her, I know more than ever before what it really means to honor the sacred priesthood authority which I hold, and I do that by honoring and respecting her for the angel and choice daughter of God that she is. It's not easy being in separate locations right now, but we know that it's only a blip compared to the number of days, months, and years that we'll be together. They say that everyone is superior to you in at least one way. Well, in the case of my Anna, she is superior to me in pretty much every way that matters. There is nobody in this whole universe that I would rather share the journey with.