I didn't know how much I needed liberation.
Though in a much different context, the words of Lilla Watson, aboriginal activist, poignantly describe my personal road to transformation: "If you've come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
The girl who, admittedly, never gave a Mexican man a second glance will be married to the most amazing of these men by the end of next month.
The girl who only had dreams of Africa and aspirations of speaking Swahili now dreams of life in Mexico and fluency in Spanish.
The girl who thought for many years what she wanted and needed most was a man with a Pentecostal faith, drawn to a man of Catholic faith and finding richness in more traditional expressions of the faith.
The girl who would only consider marrying a man who wanted to "do ministry," in love with a brilliant businessman and entrepreneur whose capability of dreaming, taking risks and making things happen challenges to no end her previous definitions of "potential." This girl, realizing that ministry is about who you are and how you love the ones around you, not where you live or what your position is.
The girl who once believed it necessary to marry a partner of "equivalent" spiritual knowledge and experience, humbled by the revelation of her own spiritual pride, marveling instead in the endless opportunities to learn more about God and experience him through the differences of another, rather than in sameness.
The girl who thought the only acceptable place to live, if one cared anything about the poor, was with the poor, now living in an apartment in the well-to-do Mercer Island; reflecting not a rejection of responsibility to love and care for the poor, but a rejection of the narrowness of expression of that love.
The girl who once lived as if what she did with her life - education, career, ministry - were the most definitive of her value, working in a job that requires no education and receives little admiration from society as a "meaningful" or "serious" employment. This girl, learning here to esteem love and service above resume building.
The girl who agonized over her inability to love God perfectly, learning to marvel instead at the perfect love of God and the impossibility of earning it.
It's no wonder this girl needed to wait so long to have a heart open to receive a man like Ricardo. She wasn't ready for the changes.
I have no doubts, as this girl, that the wait will be worthwhile. It already has been. God moves in mysterious ways.