“God only gives you what you can handle,”
and, my personal favorite, “Everything happens for a reason.”
I like to modify the last one a bit to “Everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is not apparent at the time.”
My name is Carla (Petrich) Smith, and in about a month I will be embarking on a new and exciting adventure. Now, don’t get me wrong, between my dad being in the military and moving 5 times before I graduated from high school, moving 10 hours from home for college, and a short stint at a job that was not a good fit for me in North Carolina, I have had plenty of adventures in my life. But nothing I have experienced will be as new to me as this. I am getting married!!
Let me give you some background on how I got here and get back to the clichés I was rambling about earlier. I left my job in North Carolina to move back to the Midwest, where I had spent most of my life to work as an engineer in a tape manufacturing plant. Glamorous, I know. If the short time I spent in North Carolina taught me anything, it was that I had no idea what I was doing with my life, no matter how much I convinced myself otherwise. I now lived in a small town in Iowa with a population of just over 10,000 people.
After spending a few months enjoying the single, carefree life of a twenty-something, I decided to sign up for a paid membership on CatholicMatch.com. I have no idea what made me choose that day. Maybe it was the Easter discount, maybe it was boredom, maybe it was hope. After all, I did have several friends with successful marriages that started with relationships on CatholicMatch. Shortly after signing up, I found myself in the group chat room. Out of nowhere, a cute 25 year old from Oklahoma sent me a personal chat request, think Facebook chat but on the CatholicMatch site. I will never forget the first conversation we had, mostly because he won‘t let me. But, I must have left an impression because we continued to chat on the site over the next few days. This led to hours of late night phone calls. Eventually, I got up the courage to ask if he wanted to meet in person, in dating site lingo “face to face.” He agreed to come to Iowa.
Our first face to face was supposed to be a long weekend, it turned into 10 days. I then went to Oklahoma to see him a few weeks later followed by meeting his family a week after that. He came back to Iowa in August. We had always said we were going “all in” from the get go and after a few months we would determine if we were supposed to be together forever, or go our separate ways. When he was here that August, we booked plane tickets to my parent’s house in September. The plan was to have him meet them and ask permission to marry me. Everything went well, minus some lost luggage and we got engaged on September 11, 2011. It was the three month anniversary of the first time we met in person. From there, things get kind of hectic.
Wedding planning in Iowa with my fiancé in Oklahoma has been crazy. He now, thankfully, has moved to Iowa. Life can definitely throw some curve balls, but I know that everything will work out because of that same cliché I started with “Everything happens for a reason, even if the reason is not apparent at the time.”
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