I am a 20-year-old newly-wed who is still trying to discover who she is, what her new-found role as a wife looks like, what part she plays in the world, and what exactly her destiny is. In the last few years, I have grown astronomically, and the circumstances of the past two years specifically, have etched me into an opinionated, passionate, and strengthened young woman. And each day, I come to better understand my worth and authority as a daughter of Christ, and am learning to form a stronger backbone.
This summer has brought forth many changes in my life. To begin with, I married the man of my dreams in July (after a three-year, long-distance courtship), only two weeks before my 20th birthday; and just after I had graduated with my Associates Degree in English and journalism. Immediately, I moved with him to his home-state of Ohio and began a new season of life there.
Originally from a tiny “town” near the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania area, I relocated to an equally small town in Northern Ohio. Ironically, neither “town” can be located on a map and both originated only as a train stop some 100+ years ago. As my first-ever move, I actually enjoyed the transition and have adjusted quite well…although, the locomotive that storms passed our house every half hour, day and night, did take some getting used to…especially at 2:30am when it blows its ear-piercing horn outside our open window and the pictures nearly rattle off the wall.
I was homeschooled from the time I turned 4-years-old, until I graduated in 12th grade. My mother did a phenomenal job of teaching me and my two younger brothers (all at the same time, might I add), and yes, before you ask, we were certainly socialized: weekly co-ops, frequent field trips, lots of community volunteer work, youth group and church activities twice a week, and we even participated on the public school’s sport teams. And in high school, I earned an honors in American Sign Language (ASL) as I studied it for four years and even traveled to Puerto Rico on several missions trips to teach at a non-profit school for deaf children. I was not quite bi-lingual, but I could teach a classroom lesson in ASL and was able to interpret for my pastor in church, as well as all conversations between the deaf and hearing members. I was not quite sixteen when I embarked on my first trip the island, and I was immediately ignited with the desire to travel. On the other hand, college was a little bit of an adjustment from homeschooling as it was faster-paced and the workload was five times heavier. In high school, I was the queen of procrastination, but quickly learned that in college, that would not fly. If I wanted A’s or even B’s, I had to get ahead, and stay ahead. I accepted the challenge and would finish assignments as soon as the classes were over instead of waiting until they were about to start. My hard work and 8-10 hours of studying a day paid off as I graduated with high honors and was on the Dean’s List each semester.
It seems so odd now that all of friends are still in school, and here I am, married with all of that behind me. But I would not trade this for anything: my life here in our adorable little house by the Erie Canal, with my incredible husband, Brian, and the sweet puppy, Myah, he gave me for Valentine’s day.
I have constantly been empowered by my husband as he challenges me in every aspect of life, and is my biggest cheerleader. Since becoming his Mrs. I have learned so many things… and, much to my surprise, I have discovered that I enjoy gardening (both flowers and vegetables), and that I love to cook – both of which I had always thought I hated. Now, both are beloved hobbies.
And, just as the flowers on my windowsill sense the warmth of the sun and struggle out of their buds before bursting into fragrant, vibrant blooms, so I have felt the warm support and love of those around me, have overcome the past frustrations and disappointments…and am now blossoming into the strong young woman I was created to be.