Maybe I was just being delusional. Fooling myself. But I was starting to believe I really was gonna marry that guy.
Mom and Dad were due to arrive any minute, and the churning in my stomach escalated to a full-blown panic attack. I had to convince them this was the best place for me to be. I was still rehearsing my arguments when their van pulled up.
“Mom, Dad! Isn’t this great?” To me, the barns and guest houses dotting a landscape of horse pastures and rolling hills was perfect, but instead of agreeing that it was wonderful, Mom got her pursed-lip look.
I had moved from campus to the farm three weeks before, and felt like I had landed in a soft patch of heaven. To make things even better, there was Daniel. I hadn’t known he lived at the farm until I got here, and he still didn’t know I existed.
To say Mom and Dad were against the move would be an understatement. Why would I want to relocate 30 miles from campus, commuting and putting all that wear and tear on the car when I could be in the dorm? Their idea of university life didn’t gel with mine. They envisioned sororities, campus activities and football games. I wanted horses, wide open fields, peace and quiet.
Anxious to convince them the farm had been a good decision, I chattered away like an idiot. “I’ll have so much time to study, it’s so peaceful out here, and it’s cheaper than staying on campus if you consider the meal plan, even when you figure in the extra gas…”
I stopped in mid sentence because Daniel emerged from the barn and strolled our way.
“Mom, Dad, this is Daniel, he works on the farm,” I mumbled, suddenly tongue-tied.
“I’d shake hands but I’ve been mucking stalls and I’m covered in manure. Be sure to tour the guest houses, they’re pretty impressive. I’ve got some fencing to repair, or I’d show you around.” Daniel flashed the smile that had mesmerized me the first time I saw him before ambling toward the pasture.
Mom’s lips tightened and Dad put a steadying hand on her back.
“Did he have something to do with your wanting to move out here?” She asked.
“I didn’t know he lived here. And he’s not just a farm hand, he’s majoring in physics, he’s really nice…” I started yakking away again and then stopped short. What came out of my mouth next was totally unexpected. I don’t even know why I said it.
“I’m gonna marry that guy.”
Mom’s eyebrows flew up and Dad tightened his grip on her back as if she were some exotic hothouse flower that needed his support to keep from wilting.
Believe me, Mom is anything but an exotic hothouse flower. Instead of wilting, she said, “Has he asked you out yet?”
She raked her eyes over my cutoffs, my recently-pierced belly button, and my hair that she always thought looked stringy. I knew exactly what she was thinking: You’d better fix yourself up or he won’t ask you anywhere.
I need to point out here that my mom is religious and is always spouting cliches like, “God has a plan.” So she didn’t know how to respond when I said, “Daniel hasn’t asked me out yet, but he will. God has a plan, and I believe that plan includes Daniel.”
The funny thing is, although I said it to shut her up, as soon as I said it I felt like it was true. Maybe I was just being delusional. Fooling myself. But I was starting to believe I really was gonna marry that guy.
This all happened three months ago, and now I’m seriously screwed. Daniel never did ask me out. So much for my, I’m gonna marry that guy declaration.
But that’s not what I’m talking about when I say I’m screwed, and Daniel is the least of my current worries. The thing is, I got a speeding ticket because I was running late for class, which is no big deal in and of itself. Except that I missed my court date, and now my driver’s license has been revoked.
I didn’t tell Mom and Dad when I got the ticket, but I had to tell them about losing my license. Mom’s reaction was predictable. “You’ll either have to move back to the dorm or drop out for a semester and come home. You can work on getting your license back, then re-enroll.”
No way was I moving back to the dorm, and no way was I going home, but Mom and Dad weren’t about to pay for me to lay out a semester and live on the farm. My options looked severely limited, but I said with more confidence than I felt, “I’ll work it out. Don’t worry.”
Then, throwing out another one of my mother’s favorite sayings, I said, “Remember, Mom, God works all things out for good.” That might not be exactly how the quote goes, but it was enough to convince Mom to let me try and work things out my own way instead of being yanked out of college.
After sorting through every potential solution short of driving without a license (although that possibility flickered through my mind), I lined my class schedule up with Daniel’s. I was hesitant to ask him at first, being something of an introvert, but I didn’t have much choice if I wanted to stay on the farm.
“I’ve got a problem,” I said before taking the plunge. “The thing is, I lost my driver’s license and might have to drop out of school unless I find a way to class. And it just so happens my class schedule coincides with yours…”
“No problem,” Daniel interrupted. “You can ride in with me.”
On the days my classes ended before his, I hung out on campus until he was done, which helped my grades because there wasn’t much to do except study.
We got to know each other during those 30-minute rides. He had fallen in love with the farm for the same reasons I had; the horses, wide open spaces and sheer beauty of the place.
This all happened 18 years ago. I graduated with a major in Animal Science and have a farm with my own horses, now. I haven’t gotten any more speeding tickets (well maybe one or two), and I found out God really does work things out for good. Even the stuff that seems bad at first.
If I hadn’t lost my driver’s license, I might never have married that guy. But I did lose it, and the rest is history.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 9:11