Thursday, June 9, 2016

Story #1: Finding Love At Unexpected Times And Places (Part 2)

* It's story time, and we are in the middle of our first "How We Met" story. Go here to read part 1. Miss Mennonite was determined that no bachelor would derail her goal of a bachelor degree in nursing...


But Mr. Beachy was reconsidering his noble intentions of avoiding a relationship. He had tried dating before with less than stellar results. But there was just something about Miss Mennonite- he couldn’t get her out of his mind. So he did what all the young men at that VS unit did- he confided in an older & wiser mentor. Mr. Mentor said ‘let her go home, put some distance between you and see if your feelings remain the same’. Now this was good advice, but Mr. Beachy knew that Miss Mennonite was not supposed to go to college if she was dating so he wrestled with his duty to inform her of his changing intentions before any money was invested.

Then came the first speed bump. Miss Mennonite was about to be scheduled for her last rotation on night duty shift. Rumor was floating through the halls that the staff could now request their co-workers for their last night duty. Miss Mennonite excitedly mused to her girlfriends that she would request her BFF and Mr. Beachy because they had so much fun together on the previous rotation. Off she went to the Unit Leader’s office to make her request. But a last minute case of nerves [or divine providence] caused her to first inquire if the rumor was true. Being told she could request, but it may or may not be granted, she scaled back her request to her BFF only. Miss Mennonite went back to work and never mentioned the change to her girlfriends. When the schedule was posted on the bulletin board, not only was the BFF on night duty… so was Mr. Beachy! It didn’t take long for word to circulate that Miss Mennonite had requested them both. Mr. Beachy had some definite ideas about who should do the pursuing in a relationship and thought to himself “I will not be chased!” He marched off to the office to inquire if Miss Mennonite had indeed requested to work with him. To his relief, she had not. But for the grace of God, their love story very nearly ended before it began.

Miss Mennonite was aware of none of this until later. (Thank God she grew up in a family of boys and was intimately aware of the foolishness of girls who flirt. Tales of such girls’ exploits & laughter around the supper table will cure one of that fate.) She was also blissfully unaware that Mr. Beachy was privately interviewing all her girlfriends to see if they thought he stood a chance. He was very aware of her tenacity to finish what she set her mind to and doubted his ability to derail her single vision.

Thus it was that in the wee hours of the morning, in between rounds on the night duty shift, that Mr. Beachy screwed up his courage and confessed to Miss Mennonite that he could no longer abide by their ‘just friends’ status. The BFF knew the deed had been done when a very rattled Miss Mennonite avoided Mr. Beachy like the plague for the rest of their shift. She was angry & confused. She was so sure God had been leading her to a medical career. What was up with this? To turn him down and stick with her Plan A would mean the death of a good friendship; to accept would mean kissing her lifelong dream good-bye. She wanted both. Why did he have to mess up everything?!! Put your life on hold and call me in 4 years she wanted to say.Oh, the tears & prayers!

In agony, she did what any self-respecting girl would do- she called her mother. Now Miss Mennonite’s parents had seen the budding relationship and were not surprised by the phone call. With great calmness, the mother advised her daughter to go on one date and see what happens. One date is not a lifetime commitment, she said. In theory this is true, but Miss Mennonite knew in her heart that she was at a crossroad- making a major decision whether she would stick with her own Plan A or accept God’s Plan B. A decision that would alter history. Yet the calm reaction went a long way in taming the turmoil. Meanwhile Mr. Beachy was praying fervently that she would make the right choice.

Miss Mennonite took the advice of accepting one date. And Mr. Beachy ‘pulled out all the stops’ to plan an unforgettable evening. As fate would have it, Miss Mennonite had some visitors arrive minutes before the appointed hour. Speed Bump #2. Her guests didn’t know a single other soul on campus –nor their disastrous timing- so she had no choice but to extend good southern hospitality and leave Mr. Beachy awkwardly sitting in front of the girls dorm, fearing she had changed her mind and was standing him up. After that terrible beginning, the rest of the evening was magical.  Miss Mennonite didn’t even know there were such lovely places in the hillbilly Ozarks. And she nearly swooned when he ordered spaghetti!Who does this? Who orders something so difficult to eat with poise on a first date?!  Certainly not the jittery Miss Mennonite. Everything had changed- the man she used to be able to talk with for hours now made her nervous. Yet somehow by evening’s end she knew it would be okay to go with Plan B.

That was 1990. We got married in Nov. 1991. It hasn’t been all roses, moonlight walks and happily ever after. Yes, there has been some of that, but there has been plenty of drama & huge adjustments too –not to each other, but for Miss Mennonite to become Mrs. Beachy. For his people to become her people (Ruth 2), with their odd customs and rules. But 25 years, 3 children and many, many miles later, the ride has been worthwhile.

All because two people fell in love...


Thank you so much, Cheryl, for sharing your story with us. Congratulations on 25 years of marriage! May you be blessed with many, many more.


Rosina said...

Aww, so sweet! :)

Kim said...

I am so glad you shared this story. I am able to read it with a smile on my face and no bitterness in my heart. In fact Miss Mennonite reminds me of myself. I had put myself firmly on the route of becoming a Roman Catholic nun when the Lord ambushed me with my now late husband, who despite our difficulties, left me with a beautiful daughter to raise.

Bethany Eicher said...

I am so glad, Kim! I thought of you this year when I was planning to do this again and hoped it wouldn't be too difficult for you. ((Hugs))

Anonymous said...

Oh goody its storytime here! :) I like how we met stories. M.A.G.