So to continue the re-telling of our story, this is the part from when we first met in person at the end of May, til our engagement.
The night we met.
First on camera kiss in Hagia Sof
Our time in Istanbul was short, but amazing. I tend to divide it up into three parts. A day of fun, a day of learning a lot more about each other while being tear gassed and finding ourselves in the middle of internationally watched riots, and then our evening trip to the Asian side of Istanbul where we discussed our possible future.
Shah was ready to make a commitment, but I needed more time. Certainly, right before the riots started, when we were on a boat back from the Princes Islands, Shah told me we’d come back in 20 years and had begun thinking that just might happen, but it was still all too soon. We had a sad evening full of uncertainty about the future. I just didn’t know what to think. I liked all that I saw, but there were still things that I hadn’t had time to see. I had to see if he had initiative on his own to seek a church and I had to see if he had initiative on his own to seek a new life and job outside Iran. It’s kind of funny now for me to remember what my two questions were, because now I know he is a man who takes initiative in all areas, but at the time, I just hadn’t know him long enough.
I didn’t tell him the two things I most wanted to see, but once I returned to the US, those were the two things he seemed to focus on taking care of first. He applied for a visa to Italy to live with his friends who had job prospects for him and he found a church without my prompting. By the end of the month, July 1, I felt that God was telling me that it was time to start the fiance visa process. I tried to tell Shah over text, but he clearly wasn’t understanding. His English has improved drastically since we started talking, but sometimes things just are not clear. So I wrote him an email late at night on July 1st to tell him I accepted his proposal and I woke up July 2nd with the happiest email I have ever read.
When we first began the visa process, my mind set was that I felt like this was the right step and the right timing. I knew that the process could take a year and it was time to begin. It took a few weeks for it to sink in that I really was very happily engaged. I panicked when I first talked to an attorney about how long it would take because Shah could have problems with his Iranian passport, but I heard God say clear as day, while I was walking to my favorite coffee shop that this was God’s perfect time. I was not late in making the decision and neither was I early.
As an aside I’ve been learning a lot about God’s timing recently. I was 36 when I got married, but I was not late in getting married. I got married at just the right time. Also, we always talk about how short life is, but life is not short and neither is it long. It is just the right amount of time.
So we were engaged and the massive amount of paperwork started. We didn’t tell many people. We didn’t make it Facebook official. We waited
I realize as I re-read what i originally wrote, I totally didn’t do that tear gas it’s proper due. That was quite an experience. We were there when the Turkish riots started, when people were being killed by the anti riot measures. They started in Taksim, where we took that photo the first night and just about 2 blocks from our hotel. We were walking back from the boat and our trip to Princes Islands, trying to figure out why the trams weren’t running, noticing people coving their faces with surgical masks and other cloths, and we rounded a corner and saw a mob of 100s of screaming people running towards us. And then we felt the gas. We ducked into an alley to keep from being trampled and found someone who spoke enough English to let us know it was tear gas from the police. We were relieved. And so we learned on that trip, we were good together in times of crisis as well as vacation time.
And we’ll finish this story tomorrow