In 2015, my mother was chosen as a delegate for our Field’s reorganization session. When she arrived in Brasília for the event, she met a close friend’s mother-in-law. They began chatting, and my name soon came up as did the fact that I was newly single (I had just gotten out of a relationship 3 months before). My mother’s new friend was soon telling her the amazing qualities of a boy who had also arrived just a few minutes earlier. My mother immediately began trying to get out of the conversation explaining that I had recently gotten out of a relationship, that I wasn’t in the mood to meet anyone new or start another relationship so suddenly, not to mention that I was determined not to date guys younger than me. Oh, but not to worry then! The boy is four years older than her! “It will be fine!” the friend said.
When my mother came home, she told me what had happened and that she had given her friend permission to give my number to this ‘boy’ who I learned was named ‘André’. I wrinkled my nose.
- First of all: I wouldn’t allow myself to start a relationship so soon, so why waste his time?
- Second: I always hated things that were arranged. I liked things to flow naturally (I saw someone, he saw me, we start talking). The moment someone began saying, “You need to meet so-and-so. I’ll introduce you”, I wanted to run.
- Third: I preferred to give my phone number only to people who I had already had extensive conversations through other social networks and was already comfortable with.
In all honesty, I wasn’t in the least bit interested in meeting someone, but I was curious to know who this André was. After, unsuccessfully, trying to find him on social media, I left it alone and forgot about the whole thing.
And what was André thinking about all of this?
When Sirlei, our mutual friend, suggested that he should take my number and talk to me, André hesitated. He knew who I was, had already seen me at a conference that had taken place earlier that year. But the reason he hesitated was that his ex-girlfriend has the same name and last name as mine! This fact made him a little…uncomfortable, and he wondered what others would say if they knew. But the family he lived with in Brasília kept nagging, and so he finally gave in.
November 16, 2015, at 12:45 pm
The fateful day on which he sent me a “Hello, good afternoon” on Facebook Messenger, to which I would reply two hours and 37 minutes later, just to be polite and with a prejudice that I had allowed to form in my heart.
I took a look at his profile picture: black T-shirt, sunglasses in a style I had always disliked, mustache, extremely straight hair parted down the middle. At that moment, I thought: “Well, I hope he’s someone with a good heart and personality.”
We started talking, and I stalked his Facebook. I saw all the photos, and by the end, opinions began shifting. Our conversation flowed in a manner so light and unpretentious that, suddenly, day after day, there I was answering and making things up so as not to stop the conversation. Our conversation didn’t last long on Facebook. He already had my number, and I was soon comfortable with him using it.
After many, many conversations he said he would come to my graduation, which I had mentioned was coming up. I froze from head to toe and started to worry. I am very shy whenever meeting someone for the first time, and I was already wondering how our conversations would be in person. Then I was terrified at the idea of him asking me to date him. We had talked for such a short period of time, and I had come out of a relationship only six months before!
I spoke to my mother and asked, “What if he asks me to be his girlfriend?!” She just turned to me and said, “Simple, if you don’t want to just say no”. I started thinking to myself: we met a short time ago, it hasn’t been long enough since my previous relationship, people will think I’m crazy if I date him now. That’s it. I hope he doesn’t ask, but if he does, I’ll explain why I can’t right now. Okay? Okay!
February 18, 2016
I didn’t sleep at all the night before my graduation. In the morning, I went to the hairdresser who put my hair in curlers. His bus ended up arriving late, and my parents and I had to go from the salon straight to the bus terminal to pick him up. There I was, jeans skirt, old T-shirt, hair full of hairpins and sunglasses. If he was expecting a beautiful girl all put-together, he was disappointed. When he came off the bus and greeted me, I thought, “It’s over.”
We all got in the car and asked him to drive. I had to literally invent topics to involve him in the conversations. I’m glad he brought food, lots of good food from Bahia. When we didn’t know what to talk about, we ate.
That day, we got to know each other a little better, but the time to sit and talk was limited. Late afternoon the next day, at the veranda at home, we talked about relationships. My previous resolutions and objections melted away, and I accepted.
July 16, 2017
We were invited to be part of our friends’ wedding in Brasília. We carried out our roles as bridesmaid and groomsman, but then André disappeared at dinner time. During the dinner, several keys were distributed to the single girls in the audience. In the midst of the wedding decor, there was a bouquet of flowers encased in a glass box that was closed with a chain and lock. The girls lined up to try their key at opening the lock to retrieve the bouquet.
One of my friends had gotten a key, but suddenly turned to me and said she wasn’t feeling well. She gave me the key and asked me to go with her. We took our place as the last in line. My key opened the lock, and then there he was! André proposed, and it was then that I said the second “yes” in our story.
September 2, 2018
On September 2, 2018, I said the third and best “yes” accompanied by an “I do”. We sealed our commitment with God’s blessing, and, as Larissa would say, had an intimate ceremony with 500 guests.
I believe that the word that would define our entire story is LEVITY. That was something about love that I learned from André: LOVE IS LIGHT. Love doesn’t suffocate you. It isn’t heavy, quarrelsome, or jealous. And it doesn’t leave doubts. I was afraid of getting married because I had never felt secure in a relationship. I was afraid to say the wrong thing. But insecurity and fear were quickly repelled by love.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.1 John 4:18
André arrived in my life, embraced, and accepted me. Day after day, he did everything he could to make my days peaceful and worry-free. He committed not only to me but to my family. He didn’t become just a son-in-law but a son, and that becomes clearer every day.
I wouldn’t add or subtract a single day from our story. When he came into my life, I was more mature and so was he. We have also matured together since then, and I can say with all certainty that it was worth waiting 23 years to meet the love of my life.
Living, growing, dreaming, and building together is wonderful! But it’s only possible when we make God the center of our home and look to Him for the necessary strength for each day. Always pray for yourself, but NEVER stop praying for your spouse as well. Prayer brings us closer to God, and that means we grow closer together.
With love, Mr. and Mrs. Caires