“Look at this!”

Logan held up a ring from my jewelry box and put it on with the thick silver band easily covering the top of his knuckle on his index finger. I smiled at the sparkling amethyst stone, remembering the first time I’d ever seen that ring. Sitting downstairs, ready to clock-in for the first time as a waitress, the girl beside me slid a boy’s class ring over her finger while another girl looked at it.

“Did Shawn give you his class ring?” she asked.

“Not yet. I just took it off his finger to be silly.”

A few minutes later, she introduced me to the blue-eyed boy behind the counter who shoved the ring back on his finger and nodded hello to me. At that moment, I would have never dreamed that boy or his ring would mean anything to me at all.

I have always believed in fate. I haven’t just believed in it, but I have marveled at its power. God’s plan in action — fate, destiny — that's what I call it.

We dip our toes into footsteps we were meant to walk in. That hair-raising thing that happens when you look back and see life’s turns that, if missed, would have altered life as you know it. I was almost at the end of the shift when I spoke to him for the first time. I timidly asked for the sugar.

"Gotta be louder than that if you want anything around here," he said, tipping his head back toward the chaos of a busy kitchen. I stood in front of the counter and stared at him.

I couldn’t talk to boys, even at 16-years-old. While some girls are natural flirts, I am naturally awkward. For me, making eyes at someone only happened when my twitch acted up.

This was different, though, because it was my job to talk to him. Night after night, I asked for things from the kitchen, and it led to conversation.

He thought it was funny when I stumbled over words.

He poked fun at my nervous twitches.

He saw through my insecurities and looked right at my heart, putting together all the pieces I worked so hard to hide from everyone else.

And he kept me like a treasure — as his best friend.

About six years later, we went to the movies just like we always did on Thursdays, but this time was different. Everything changed.

I am as awkward as ever, but he loves that about me. He has helped me to love that too. Well, sometimes.

Fate: God's ultimate plan. As I now sit in our kitchen with our boys buzzing around the room, I remember all the days that led here.

Long before I met Shawn, my Dad worked in Quincy, and we spent half of my childhood looking for houses and attempting to move across the bridge to Illinois. I had big 12-year-old plans to lose 20 pounds and start going by my middle name, LaDonne, which is pronounced as LaDawn.

(Let’s all just take a moment to acknowledge the genius of my parents who named me after the prehistoric shark — Megan LaDonne. I didn’t know this thing existed until my kids discovered it. Then they made a movie about it which my family promptly wrapped up with a bow and waited in anticipation for me to open up on Christmas morning. I still have yet to take it out the box.)

Anyway, the move just never worked out. After one real estate contract fell through, and other trip-ups along the way, my parents came to realize it wasn't meant to be. Discovering I would have to continue being the same old shy and awkward me was such a disappointment. I thought moving away would fix everything.

But, I couldn't see the whole picture as God could. He knew I had to put in that waitress application.

Today might seem ordinary but hidden in our steps is a master plan leading us exactly where God wants us to be. And not just us — our kids, too. Star-crossed in our movements are those footsteps that help pave the way for family generations to come. There’s something so special in knowing that.

Looking at that huge ring around our son’s tiny finger, I smiled and pictured the blue-eyed boy behind the counter who I never dreamed would become my husband. God’s plan might not match our own.

But it’s always the best one.

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