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My plans to study more than one semester at the Pontifical and eventually do my Master’s in Linguistics at the University of Chile (which is what I’m doing now) made our relationship possible, albeit with lots of time as a long, long, long distance couple.Juan visited my home in Wisconsin and met my family a year ago.This past April, 2 years and 5 months after we met, he asked me to marry him. The story of how God calls two people to marriage is always beautiful and is unique for every couple. At times I have wondered why God would call us to marriage if we are from such different places. If there is one thing I have learned in my life over the past five years, it is that God has a habit of surprising his followers with plans far more wonderful and challenging than they would ever have made for themselves.I took my seat in the second row where I sat next to the other American students, two boys and two girls from the University of Notre Dame.At the beginning of each lecture, the teacher would silence the pre-class chit chat and take attendance, but on that particular day he was occupied with another task in the first couple minutes of class.On one particular day in October 2011 (I am not sure of the precise date), I was making my way to class at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago, Chile, where I was studying abroad for a semester.
We started studying for class together and going on long walks, and our conversation would turn from to what we were interested in and our thoughts on life and faith. Even though we had no idea what the future might hold, with a little faith and a lot of discernment we decided that we would continue discerning a life together despite the long distance and obvious challenges that our relationship presented.
And so, after the Sunday mass on my last day of the semester abroad, we said goodbye with no fixed plans to see each other again but a certainty God was not yet done with us.