The air is turning cooler here in Minnesota, the kiddos are back to school, the leaves are falling from the trees, and my favorite season–yet the one that I was fearing the most this year is upon me in full force.

Now, one might ask why on Earth I would possibly be afraid of a season, of all things…specifically one that I have always loved. I have a few thoughts on that; Fall symbolizes a time when the days are becoming shorter, the darkness is prolonged, the cold air is more prevalent and can result in a desire to “nest” or to stay in side with loved ones rather than to be out and about, it’s a season in which things are dying in preparation for a long period of stagnation and cold–and to be honest, I was looking at the first period of time this year in which I would be facing life (mostly) alone.

See, my world had gotten a whole lot smaller this year, in many ways. My dad had come to stay with me much of the summer, so I had his companionship–but he has since returned to his home in Florida. My dear friend and mentor, Karen, has followed her heart and her dreams and moved from MN to Missoula, MT (and although I’m super proud and happy for her, her absence is certainly felt). My super awesome (and blessedly quiet) next door neighbor Teri got engaged and moved away, leaving me to miss our brief interactions and chats (and to have to tolerate quite a bit more commotion next door). Then the obvious. 6+ months into the grieving process and I just want to call my mama. Like, every day.

But just as it was starting to cross my mind that I MIGHT be all alone and it MIGHT be tough to deal and I was having all this additional anxiety…and worry…and unrest…

I met someone.

First of all, that sentence doesn’t even do this man, or this situation, or the way that I feel about him even the tiniest bit of justice. I truly feel as though meeting him was divinely orchestrated by the good Lord Himself.

I had joined a (pretty stupid and very well known) dating app at the urging of some coworkers earlier this summer and was bored and often appaled with the prospects. Let’s just say that I “swiped left” on the majority of the state of MN and much of Western Wisconsin. I met one person and didn’t have a connection, leaving me pretty convinced that I should just continue life as I knew it–after all, I have great family and friends, fantastic kiddos, a job that I love…not everyone finds their match. But then, someone whom had caught my eye a some time ago suddenly “matched” with me. Honestly, I didn’t give the conversation my all, I was pretty disenchanted with the whole dating app thing at that point–but he was funny, polite and interesting and we easily went from the app to texting to a few epic long phone conversations and then met a short time later.

And this is the part where I feel like a goof.

For YEARS (seriously) I have been plagued with well-meaning people saying, “When you find the right person, Andrea, you’ll just know,” and I have honestly thought that they are a bunch of lunatics. But when we met it felt easy, natural, like I had known him forever. When he kissed me…I quite literally have no words to express what I felt, what I still feel. There is such an insane connection between us that I don’t even know how to describe it appropriately. I truly feel things for him that I hadn’t felt before, and things that I have felt before but didn’t know that I was capable of ever feeling again. I knew from the moment that I met him that something was different this time.

Let’s be real here–is he “the one?”

Man, oh man, I sure hope so. I have never felt this way for anyone before. It is seriously like my mom and Jesus sat down at the kitchen table in Heaven and had a heart to heart and were like, “Okay, let’s send her the one that was made for her now. She’s been through enough. Let’s give her the someone to make her laugh, and make her smile–and how about we make sure that he has some kiddos so that she can have the potential for a big family, and on top of that he is super kind and cute and there is a fantastic attraction.” The night I met him, I drove away and thanked God, and my mama for sending him my way. As it stands now, I am thinking that he is IT.

He doesn’t know it yet (officially), but I love him. I truly do. And if for whatever reason, things don’t work out (as they sometimes don’t in our complicated adult lives), I will always be so thankful that I got to experience this kind of a connection. Getting to know him and his kiddos, getting to spend time with him and just be myself and laugh and learn to enjoy myself has changed me, made me better, is reminding me of who I used to be and who I can be. He makes me want to be a better person.

So, I’m not afraid of the Fall this year…or of falling. I have the most amazing man in my life, and the most perfect Father God in Heaven who has heard and answered the cries of my heart and has not–and will not–leave me or forsake me.

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