Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Josh Dennis

I wonder how different my life would be if I had married Josh Dennis...

When I was in forth grade I met this boy named Josh. My parents were looking for a new church and when we visited the one that we would eventually end up attending, I went to Sunday school all by myself. There were lots of little boys and girls who went to Abundant Life, which is the school to where I was transferring. It was the end of the summer and our teacher had us go around and say our names and what school we went to. When it was my turn, I said I went to Abundant Life. Josh immediately spoke up, "You do not!" My face got all red and I got all flustered and was so embarrassed I thought I might cry as I tried to explain that that was where I'd be going when summer was over. I felt like everyone thought I was lying.

A few Sundays later I sat next to a boy named Gray. He was nice to me and talked to me and we drew pictures on the bulletin. Josh started making fun of me and accused me of liking him. I did not like Gray and I was really embarrassed because now everyone would think I did.

School started and Josh was in my class. I don't know when I fell in love with him but it happened sometime that year. I loved Josh. He had glasses and was skinny and he sort of became my friend. Sometimes he would pick me to be on his team. Sometimes he would talk to me. In sixth grade he would sit his desk close to mine and we'd play cards under the table. (We never got caught.) We both always passed the spelling pre-tests so we always got to go out into the hall while the class took the spelling test. In sixth grade, he called my best friend Cristen and asked her to ask me if I'd go out with him. I said yes. But I found out the next day that he only asked me because his friends made him. So I cried a lot and broke up with him.

Over the next few years I loved him off and on but all the way until 10th grade I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to marry Josh Dennis. I'd get a boyfriend and forget about him, then we'd break up and I'd remember him. I realized somewhere along the line that he wasn't interested in me, but I still wondered, and hoped. We called him the Grumpster for awhile, because he went through a grumpy stage. He always slouched in church and grumbled.

We went to the same college and my mom and brothers teased me about that. They joked that I'd probably become best friends with him at college and we'd get married. By then I knew that was silly and I didn't want to marry the Grumpster anyway. Since we've been in college we have become friends of sorts and we talk whenever we see each other.

For about 8 years of my life I was in love with this boy. That's almost half my lifetime. I wonder then, how different life would be if I had been right when I was a kid and I did marry Josh Dennis.

From the Josh Dennis Era, I experienced several more boy eras when I was in love with different boys. Two or three that were seriously serious. So how then, does anyone ever know when they've found real love? Sure, an easy response would be that I was young and you grow up and know more about love. But in ten years I'll be more grown up than I am now and I'll know more about love. And ten years after that the same. So what am I supposed to do? Wait until I'm fifty before settling down? Maybe love isn't so hard to find, maybe there's not one person you're supposed to love. Maybe there's just one person you choose and therefore you stick it out and make it work, since you chose that person. Maybe I could marry someone now and I'd be with them the rest of my life. But theoretically, I could not marry that person, marry someone else years later and be with them the rest of my life.

What if I'd married Josh Dennis? We're both Christians. Not likely that we'd get divorced. I bet we'd have serious problems because we have nothing in common really. But won't that happen anyway, with whoever I marry? Supposing there is a "One", and supposing I did marry the "One", can't I safely assume there will be serious problems in that relationship, too, to have to get through?

And how exactly does one know this one is the "One"? If anyone gives me that crap about "just knowing" I will delete your comment. That's a bunch of bull. I can give you five names just off the top of my head of people who can dispute that ardently. You can say that God reveals it to you. How do you know its God? Or, what if you are in a place in your life where you are unable to hear God clearly? I could argue a good case that God makes the right thing happen if you are focused on him and your heart is truly set on obeying him. (But you non-Calvinists are gonna have a hard time accepting that one.) I'd like an opinion. Preferrably from married folks.

And Josh Dennis, if you are out there, somewhere, googling yourself, and you come here... You always knew anyway so I'm not embarrassed. But don't worry. It's over.

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