You know that picture of a cartoon couple holding hands with the caption "when I first met you I had no idea you would be this important to me"? Well when I first met Haruna and all of the time we were friends, I had no idea that, that guy I used to stroll around the neighbourhood with and that guy I used to go out to eat Shawarma with was going to be my future husband.
There were no tell tale signs; no thunder, no butterflies, no alighting doves and certainly no loud voice from the cosmos saying "this is my son in whom I am well pleased, marry him".
It was pretty random.
A gradual realization that this was one decent guy in my circle who was always helpful, respectful and caring to me and all his friends.
The window of time where we both weren't seeing anyone.
The timing when I was ready to date again.
The experience that taught me the fine line between love versus compatibility, looks versus chemistry, religious background versus Christian character, one tongue versus one language, exposure versus experience, age versus maturity, differences in upbringing versus similarity in values, not being able to choose the family one is born in versus being able to choose the family one is starting, being the child of one's parents yet being the adult they raised.
The change of heart and shift in mind that made me a lot more willing to take chances in deciding who to date because I tossed the mind set that someone was not "my type" when the truth that you would never know if someone is your type until you get to know the type of person they are, set me free.
The awareness that dating is a time to ask questions before it gets too close and personal to scrutinize answers.
The best practice that pays attention to the opinion of friends, family and pastoral care about the person you are dating.
The agreement that time will tell and actions will speak not words.
The quiet witness when I joined in melody with him yet felt a harmony with myself.
The sense that God was guiding me somehow; causing me to stumble on something I didn't know; leading Haruna to speak to my deepest fears; making him hear my unspoken needs.
The unwritten commitment to persevere through every storm and the determination to give to our commitment, our best and our all.
It was in the gathering evidence of the small and random, the slow and deliberate, the routine and mundane that our resolve hardened - not that we were meant to be but that we meant to be!
It was our decision and we didn't put the responsibility of staying together on the signs; the thunder, the butterflies, the doves or the loud voice from heaven just as we didn't credit our being together to them too!