During my second semester at Ricks there was a new guy in my FHE group. He was a surfer from California and we had the instant Californian-in-Rexburg connection. He went out with a few girls, but he and I became good friends and started dating. We got along really well and had a ton of fun together.
He was majoring in Marine Biology. No, not at Ricks College. He'd left his other school to come to Ricks for one semester. Just one. You know, the Semester In Idaho all aspiring marine biologists take time out for.
He said he just knew he had to come. He knew that it was important for him. I didn't know exactly what it all meant. I'm sure at some point I hoped it had something (or everything) to do with me. I was, after all, an 18 year old girl in her first romantic relationship.
He had left a girlfriend at home, presumably with the understanding that their relationship was on hold for a few months. This, of course, was a little awkward for me, but it was his deal.
We only dated for a couple of months but started to get kind of serious. Just at the deciding point things suddenly started tapering off. By the time the school year ended, we said our goodbyes without ever having talked about what kind of goodbye it was to be.
Maybe a month later, during summer vacation in California, my very supportive friends drove with me down to his neck of the woods to attend a huge singles dance. I met him there. We hugged and had a dance. It was the closure I needed. I also met the girl he'd been dating and we exchanged sincere smiles anytime we caught each other's eye.
He and I never kept in touch after that. Just the other night, though, I found him on facebook*. I looked through his public photos and got a vague idea of what his life is like now. He's just as I remember him. In his family pictures I see him, his two sons and the girl I'd met at the dance.
This made me so happy. Like, totally-brightened-my-day happy. Not having found him, but having found out that he married her.
I thought back on that semester. It was an adventurous one. We had a lot of experiences that I can't forget, like the time he left to go home in the middle of Sacrament meeting because he wasn't feeling well, only to pass out in the hallway and end up in the ER for the 4th time in his few months there. And like the discussion we had late one night on a trip with a bunch of friends to a cabin in the mountains. I remember that when I wanted , and probably meant, to say something along the lines of "I'm madly in love with you!" I said something completely different.
The reason I'm writing this all out is because looking back, all the events of that semester make so much sense to me. Besides all the things I learned and the ways I grew, I was kind of witnessing, or even being part of one of the most important decisions of his life. That cold, winter semester really was important for that California kid, and seeing the picture of his family just confirmed for me that our Father does and will help us know what is right for us, so we don't have to wonder in the future, if we will just remember.
I love these confirmations. I've had loads of them come to me through the scriptures, through something someone says or the words to the song that's on the radio just when I start the car**. Most recently a confirmation came in the form of a rainbow. Literally. (which, of course makes a very important experience sound a little silly, but whatev.)
Taking a trip down memory lane was nice, but the nicest was being reminded of how much our Father loves his children and how willing he is to guide us in our lives. I'm so glad he guided me to where I am today and for all the little confirmations he's given me on my way down the road to this place. Not just Poland, but where I am in my life, the things I've achieved, the people who surround me and the experiences I am having. When things are hard, it only takes looking back and remembering, and His peace fills in the gaps of imperfection in circumstance or character that might otherwise allow doubts or fear to creep in. I'm so thankful for the happiness that fills my life because of it.
* I sent him a quick hello and hope that he doesn't think it was creepy and stalkerish. It wasn't. Especially since I've been on facebook for 4 years and only just now looked him up. I'm okay, right?
* Greg doesn't subscribe to the songs in the car thing, but I think it's only because he doesn't pay attention to words and therefore has never had the experience hearing the very sentence he needs to hear from a song.