Here it is. The love story I have waited to be able to write my entire life. There hasn't been a day that I haven't spent a portion of time daydreaming about that 'life event' that seemed so far from my reality.
I imagined him to show up in a coffee shop on main, book in hand.....sit down next to me....and this overwhelming euphoria of finality would wrap around my body. And I would KNOW that he was the one. My waiting time of independence, swiping left, scanning the aisles, "Imma-do-me" and self-fulfillment would now be over.
Obviously, this is not at all what happened. I moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in July of 2014. I received two job offers within a day and decided to decline the position as a flight attendant for SouthWest Airlines. I accepted a job at a homeless shelter downtown, knowing this career path would lead me to stability, which is exactly what I knew my life was needing, at the time. My roommate and I looked at two apartments, in one day, and decided within the hour that the second place was it. We moved in on my birthday and started a whole new life in a brand new, spunky city filled with my dream of men in cute shoes on bicycles, covered in tattoos and beards. I went to work, gym, chipotle, and home to netflix in bed. This was a wash, rinse, repeat for my life for about 4 months. Occasionally I was going on dates and cutting them short due to my lack of social-butterfly wings and declined invitation for conversations about the weather.
There was one day, in particular, that sticks out to me as "the beginning" of our story. It was late November.... I was sitting with my friend Neal, in Sunday school, and he mentioned the name Garrett Lanier. I responded that I had no clue who he was talking about, although I knew my home-teacher's name was something close to it; I had never put a face to the name, before then. He followed with, "you know exactly who I am talking about Brit, he's your future boyfriend." I laughed and realized he was talking about the guy sitting two seats down. One who was clean shaven, Elder's Quorum President, soft spoken, and probably the kind of guy my parents pray I would bring home one day. Again, laughed.
Saturday January 17, 2015 I had cried myself to sleep while texting my sister and mom, complaining about how hard it was to see everyone else getting boyfriends and husbands and starting families, all things my heart had desired for so many years. I started to question what was wrong with myself and what I had done to deserve such a sadness of lonely standing, I started to wonder why it was becoming so easy to imagine my life without a future spouse and family, and that I had settled with the path of being alone, self-relient, and independent forever. I went back and forth and finally said a prayer, on my knees, begging for comfort, optimism, and a better understanding. One I knew I had studied and learned my whole life. That the purpose of life, the whole entire reason we are here on earth, is to gain a physical body,exercise agency and fulfill our potential as His children. We will experience both joy and sorrow, and make choices that will shape our eternal character. The goal of our earthly test is to return to our Heavenly Father as a more intelligent, more mature, and more compassionate being—to be more like Him. I decided to delete all bad distractions out of my life, to put away hard feelings I had felt for past heartbreaks, and to start opening my eyes to people who I normally do not see (notice).
I decided to respond to my home teachers and invite them to come and visit me, after many times of canceling and declining requests to visit. I sadly realized that I was denying service from others and not allowing my home-teachers to fulfill their callings. They came to stop by my house and shared a short message with me and closed with their extension of anything around the house I may need fixed or worked on. As I sat on the carpet, I stared at Garrett, and my mind started to wander onto what a future would look like with a guy of his standing. He would probably be respectful, and open my door, and make me laugh, and get along with his mother, and would throw the football with my little brothers, and hold my hand in public, and kiss my forehead, and tickle my back, and goes to church every Sunday (...all three hours), and most likely participates in service activities, and wants children one day, and could hold a steady career, and got straight A's, and would bring me 'just-because' flowers, and be able to hold a conversation with my father.
And then I realized............those are all of the qualities, I had written down as a 13 year old girl, about what I wanted in my future husband; I had completely forgotten. For so many years my wants and requirements in a future companion had been skewed and distorted by worldly desires and my heart had been broken, and strung alone, and fragile and hardened. I had finally reached a day where my heart belonged to no one else but myself; all pieces were, at last, found and all holes had been filed.
Garrett and I texted that night and got onto the conversation of guns, somehow... being from Texas and guns correlate. We went on our first date, to the indoor shooting range, the next day. I beat him in a target game and realized this guy was just as, if not more, competitive than I was. Afterwards, we went to hot chocolate and fell into a deep conversation about our family dynamics, education. future goals. and personality traits. I invited him over to watch The Bachlorette that night, and to my and every girl's surprise, he said yes. He tickled by back for two hours and there I was falling quickly for a guy who lived 600 feet from my house, a guy who had been right in front of me, a couple aisles over, for months.
Within a week we were on our second date. He made me a mexican dinner from scratch, got me my favorite candy, a movie, and set up a fire in the backyard. I waited and waited for him to kiss me, while talking about our childhood in front of the defusing fire....and finally at the last hour of our date, it happened. We had our first kiss; our last first kiss. I was taking multiple bathroom breaks to text my mom and sister saying "he is it. I just know it. this is my future husband." I knew after two dates that this man was going to be the love of my life and father of my children, one day.
We were meeting each other's families, taking road trips, and setting plans for future holidays all within in a couple months. I had never felt more at ease, in any relationship, with a human being before. Everything was falling together so easily that doubt or question never crossed my mind even for a split second. Discussing our future and marriage came just as, talking about our weekend plans, did.
We were engaged on July 2, 2015 while walking through downtown Salt Lake at the LDS Temple grounds. We celebrated our engagement in the Bahamas, with my family through the month of July.
I can honestly say the rock of our relationship has been our families. Being able to spend time with the Lanier's and sharing Garrett with my family has created a comfort unlike any I've felt.
Garrett and I will be sealed for all time and eternity in the Gilbert, Arizona Temple on October 10, 2015. Everyday spent with him feels as if the best day of my life, but I know it is only getting better from here on out. There is NOTHING better in this life than being in love. I now am able to fully understand the timing, as I look back on the question marks and why's, Having someone who loves me for my flaws, strengths, weaknesses, scars, pains, quirks, phobias, obsessions, and so much more is the most wonderful blessing I have ever received. I pray, in gratitude, every single day for this blessing and plan to never stop humbling myself to the format of doing so.