January 2012 was a very interesting time of life for me. Seven months out of school, having a particularly tough time at work, recovering from some personal life things, but also experiencing great consolation from my recent Marian consecration. It was a Wednesday afternoon, and my boss calls me out of the blue with a promotion opportunity…in Philadelphia. Annnnndd let the 2 months of craziness begin.
My soul experienced so much in this time of interviewing, discussing things with my boss (who would still be my boss if I moved), discerning if it was the right move, etc. What I ultimately wanted was to do God’s will. And whatever the outcome was going to be, I wanted it to be a stepping stone towards my Vocation. So I had a very distinct prayer (since the more the process got drawn out, the more I wanted to go to Philly). I prayed that if God were to keep me in Boston, he would also show me an abundance of potential spouse material…or bring me to a convent.
It was Friday, March 9th, 2012 when my boss sat me down and told me that, for a number of reasons, I’d be staying in Boston. I’m not really sure what I felt in that moment – there were a lot of emotions. But at least I knew. That Saturday, March 10th, was a funny evening. There was a social event for the Catholic Young Adult Group I was a part of (but had been somewhat absent from for a few months previously, due to all my life stuff) taking place at the apartment I had lived in the summer previously. I decided to go. This is the time of life my former roommates like to call the period of “75 suiters” – a real hoot cause believe me this is not territory I’m familiar with. That night began an interesting episode that I’m sure God had a few laughs at. I’ve never had a prayer answered so literally. Bottom line: I met Kevin that night. He was charming, he made me laugh a lot, I found out he had recently moved from Minnesota and was studying realist art, he was a former seminarian (check), and he was currently in a swing dancing class with my roommate and friend.
So naturally, I met my roommate the following Monday at the end of her swing dancing class “to catch a ride home.” And I convinced her to invite him to any social things we’d be having. And I started attending the young adult group again. And I signed up for swing dancing lessons. Just before May rolled around, I was trying to see where God was leading me in a number of situations, this being one of them. And from the advice of the dear Mother Olga, I decided to pray the 30 day novena to St. Joseph for the month of May. My intention was just for my Vocation of marriage, if that be God’s will. I tried to have a detached heart from what I was feeling, and let God guide me.
And a crazy month it was. I could see God’s hand in everything, through the joys, the tears, and the decisions he was asking me to make. And on St. Rita’s feast day, May 22nd, Kevin called me (said he had been to multiple daily masses around the city that day to try and find me in person haha) and asked me out. Very direct and to the point. I hesitated for a brief moment out of utter shock, then said, “yeah!” (my typical response to Kevin’s big questions). So when we hung up, I walked into the kitchen and dramatically collapsed on the floor overwhelmed with so many things. (Meanwhile, there are 5 women and a baby getting ready to eat a steak & corn dinner wondering what just happened.)
I was soon reminded that the novena was NOT over, though, as some crazy events occurred over the next eight days that I will not go into. It was an intense time, even looking back on it still, but God made it clear that with all the good things he was presenting to me, I had to make the decision and that He would bless it. Saint Joseph had worked some powerful intercession, and on May 31st, at the Mass for the feast of the Visitation (one of my favorites), I stood next to Kevin and already sort of knew I was standing next to my future husband. (And exactly two years following the end of that novena, we'd be up on the altar uniting ourselves in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.)
As Kevin would say, "Romans 8:28."