Do I?

It was a Wednesday night, four years ago. When I was about to hit the bed after a long day at work, I got a call from my dad. It was quite unusual for him to call at that time. What was he going to say? He didn’t take too long to get to the point. There was a marriage proposal for me. The boy’s parents had heard about me from a common friend and they thought I would be a suitable life partner for him. That’s how it typically works in our culture. My dad went on to say a little about him. He mentioned his name and employer, and he said he is a spiritual person. This was not the first marriage proposal I was hearing from my dad. They didn’t work out for some reason or the other. So, I didn’t take it too seriously this time either. But I had to give him some answer. So, I said I would pray about it.

Then I quickly opened his Facebook profile on my phone. There wasn’t much activity on his Facebook page, but he had a profile picture. He was a guy with curly long hair and a pleasant face. A man with long hair. Hmm… Not exactly my taste. But I didn’t want to conclude anything yet. I made a note of our one mutual friend and decided to talk to her. Just as I closed the page on my phone, I whispered a prayer that if this is the person I should marry, then it would happen; if not, I prayed that it would somehow be stopped. With that, I slept.

The next morning, my dad e-mailed me his picture. Well, in this one, he had short hair and a pleasant smiling face. I was hoping he has short hair now. I also reasoned that his profile picture on Facebook is probably not up to date, since he did not seem to be active on Facebook anyway. Then I called our mutual friend and asked her about him. She said they were colleagues and he is a very nice person. Well, that didn’t help much with my decision. At least, I didn’t yet have a reason to say ‘no’.

Soon, I got another call from dad and he asked if it would be fine for me to meet him and talk to him on Saturday. What? In two more days? I was not sure I was ready for it. I could see that my parents were very excited about the marriage proposal. They had their reasons. The boy’s family had said that they would not take a dowry, which is traditionally a huge amount of money the bride’s family would have to pay the groom’s family at the time of marriage. That was proof that they are not money-minded people and they respect people for who they are. Finally, I agreed for our meeting on Saturday. Well, I had to, because I didn’t have a good excuse!

I did not yet have much reason to be as excited as my parents were, but I continued to pray. As you can imagine, I was nervous about the huge decision that faced me. I had always thought that I would ask a lot of questions before I would agree to marry a boy. I wanted to find out everything about him before I would say “yes”. Here was my time to do what I had always wanted to do. Or was it? On Friday, when I read my Bible, I realized that marriage is not about finding someone who would fit into my expectations, but the process of me weaving into his life. That was a game changer for me. I decided not to take my notepad to the ‘interview’, after all. I would let him talk and see how it goes.

After a restful sleep on Friday night, Saturday morning dawned with an air of anticipation. My parents, my aunt and I drove to a friend’s house, where we had agreed to meet. After a few minutes, the boy and his parents arrived too. I had guessed it right. He had short hair. I sighed in relief at that. Then, they said Daniel and I could talk in privacy and get to know each other. We moved to the next room and talked about our interests, jobs and common friends. It turned out that we had a lot more common friends. After a chat of about 15 minutes, we walked out of the room and went to where our parents were getting acquainted. I took a seat next to my mom, and she whispered to me, “Do you like him?” I said “yes”. As soon as I did, I looked over and I saw Daniel nodding a yes to his parents as well.

Had I just made a life-changing decision? Yes, I had. I barely knew anything about him. But I made up my mind to love him no matter what. After all, love is a decision more than an emotion. After a couple of months of courting, I pronounced at the altar, “I Do.”

Wedding

I’ve been married to Daniel for more than 4 years now. We love each other, though it is far from perfect. We continue to grow and learn together in this journey of life.

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