Thursday, May 31, 2012

Future Connotations

In 16 days one of my very best college friends will be getting married. When she asked me last fall to be in her wedding, we played a little guessing game about what day in June her wedding would take place. She hadn't given me very many details, just: some weekend in June. I wanted to guess because I love seeing what date couples pick. So I looked up June 2012 on the calendar function on my phone and took note of all the Saturday dates for the month. At that moment in time it was nine months before her big day. I noticed that my half birthday, which I don't celebrate anymore, fell on a Saturday this year. So, my guess was this: "Is it June 16th? That's one of my favorite days." Mary Grace thought I was psychic and freaked out and told me, "YES! How did you know?!" I told her that I just had a feeling but more so I would love for her to get married on a day in which I used to always be excited to see. That, and me being from Dayton, Ohio and her from Daytona Beach, Florida, was another reason why I knew we were destined to be friends. :) (She rarely says the city's full name so I just say she's from Dayton with an "a". ;)
Isn't it funny how a day, time, year or place that always meant one thing to you suddenly assimilates a new meaning for someone else? If you've ever shared a birthday or anniversary with someone, then you know what I'm talking about. What about those days or moments that have special meaning only to you? For starters, one big one comes to mind for me right now. Tomorrow marks five years to the day since I graduated from high school in 2007. June 8th is also an important date. It was the day I left for my second and final mission trip with Xenia Christian High School to Baja California, Mexico. Of course, Sevilla, Spain will always hold a very special place in my heart and mind--and I talk about it a lot--, but Mexico was a unique experience for me too. What about the start date of a spring break trip or a school field trip day you always remember? As far as spring break trips go, I'll always remember the week of March 12th-18th, 2011. That's when I really got to know Mary Grace and our friend Amanda on a BCM Spring Break Mission Trip to New Orleans, Louisiana with about 14 other students and 3 leaders. I can't even begin to count how many things we laughed at and shared secret looks about certain things. Or how I, with the help of Mary Grace, woke up our whole van just by the sound of my laughter. She helped pry open my shell another 12 inches during that trip and I will always be grateful that she did. I am initially reserved around people I don't know too well when I first meet them, but thanks to that trip, (plus, going away to college and living in a foreign country) I now stand outside of that shell. Everyone has a unique personality and it's not fair to just keep it to yourself. Be proud of the one and only you! There isn't another like you.
Not all days and places have good connotations in our minds. Along with good days there are bad days. Sometimes one person's birthday might be another person's date of death. Or the anniversary of a car accident. Or the former anniversary with an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse.
On a lighter note, time can be another element that holds individual importance. Maybe you like seeing the clock change from 11:10 to 11:11 so that you can make a wish. Or your go-to number might be 1:11 or 2:22. (For European time keepers, you would only be able to make wishes in the mornings according to these times ;) I personally love 12:16AM/PM because it reminds me of my birthday. What's more, I also just love the number 16. It's ironic because, even my full name has exactly sixteen letters. Regardless if you wish upon a number or not, times are also one of those things that stick with us in good times and bad.
Perhaps you don't remember numbers, days, months or years quite like I do. Maybe you've never had a knack for remembering important days. Try looking at it this way, though: in the future, you might remember your birthday is also your wedding anniversary. Or your wedding anniversary might become the birthday of your first child. Or maybe your first child will be born on Christmas Day, New Year's Day or Easter. Maybe they won't be born in the United States. Maybe you'll get married in another country and in another language. Or you might graduate from college or graduate school on your birthday or the day when the world ends. (Kidding on that last one.) Anyway, my point is that the possibilities are endless. I'm sure once you experience one of those, the day will be forever cemented in your mind.
In about two weeks June 16th will hold a new significance for me. I will probably continue to remember a couple of the parties I threw for some friends when I was younger because I did enjoy them. However, I'll remember a new event, too. June 16th will soon become the day that one of my very best friends started her new life with the man God had chosen for her and I was there to share in the celebration. It's a little early, but here's to you, Mary Grace and Jonathan! I know that God has many good things in store for you two and that He will richly bless you as you both seek Him!
Mary Grace (and Amanda): ICFs forever. <3

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