The problem with this post is that if I wrote down all the words I have in my head and my heart, you would get tired of reading before you were half-way through. But here we go…
This is Juan Rafael and myself after he asked me to be his wife. I have a fiance! Those words don’t quite roll off my tongue yet, but they will. This man is my fiance!
And I know what ya’ll are thinking… 2 months?! You’re crazy, woman! I know. But when have I ever done things by the book? So let me share my heart with you.
The first thing you need to know about Juan is that he is not the man of my dreams. If I had dreamed him up, I never could have imagined someone so perfect. I tell him every day that he is much more than my dreams. He is my gift and he is my miracle. It still surprises me that he’s not an angel.
A few years ago he was in a terrible motor cycle accident and didn’t make it out alive. Literally. He was dead for 30 minutes. He has noticeable scars on his right eyebrow and left hand. When I first heard this story, I already knew he was the man God created for me, but hearing that God shocked his heart back to life, that’s when I really knew he was my miracle.
I often tell Juan that when God created him, he took a rib from his side and created me, just like God did with Adam and Eve. I can’t explain it any other way. Our dreams are mirror images, as are our hearts.
Before Juan and I met, we were both called separately to Costa Rica for the same purpose. God called Juan to be a pastor, but told him to stay in the U.S. a little longer because God wasn’t finished with him yet. God called me to work in ministry in Costa Rica too, but God also said to wait a little longer before going. And then I met Juan. (Yes, to answer your questions, I am still going to Costa Rica! But now it’s “we” who are going together after we are married.)
And before I had the chance to tell Juan Rafael about my dream for Costa Rica, he sat in front of me and told me his dream; it was an exact replication of mine. We both see the brokenness in the Costa Rican (and Central American) church. There is very little room for grace and because of the countries’ Catholic roots, many Christian churches are just as religious and driven by money and power rather than the love of God. Our passion is to see real love and unhindered passion for the Lord catch fire in Central America. It’s a big dream. That’s why we believe God has such a great plan for us together.
As if it weren’t enough to be united in heart, mind, and spirit, Rafael and I have everything else in common as well. We have both studied communications — I studied in the university, and he has practical knowledge from working as a radio host since he was 16. He is talented in every part of communication studies — editing, design, broadcasting via radio and television, singing/rapping, writing scripts and poems and metaphors. He is incredible. Did I mention he’s a writer? He’s a writer. A very good one too.
He loves trying new foods and new places and meeting new people. He loves anything artsy and anything with a story, especially movies. He can rattle off favorite movie directors and all the films they’ve ever done. His favorite movie is Pans Labyrinth, but he loves anything that is beautiful. He finds the simplicity in life and falls in love. He discovers the depth of life and shares it with me. He was born 30 minutes from the coast in Honduras and therefore loves the ocean as much as I do. He notices the stars and clouds and beauty of nature like I do, and he’s happy spending time doing exciting things or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood.
One night we were talking on a friend’s balcony and he looked at me with one of his deep, brown-eyed looks and asked, “Do you want to dance with me?” And so we did. We danced right there on our friend’s balcony to a song he created with the rhythm of our feet and the hum of his lips. This is his forma de ser (way of being), and I’m in love with it.
Juan Rafael is a sharp dresser, a healthy-eater, an active person, a man with manners, a gentleman, a good son, a loving brother, a world-traveler, a lover of Dr. Pepper, camarones (shrimp) and culture, a Honduran man, a singer, a pastor, a prayer-warrior, a man of God. But he is definitely not the man of my dreams. He is so, so much more than I could have every imagined. He is more than my dreams.