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In life's droughts, don't be afraid to take a chance

I married a man I met on an airplane.

In July 2005, my life was in a bit of a drought, similar to the ground I live on today. I owned a house in Fargo but had recently moved back to the family farm, which was only possible because I met the rules my dad set years prior for my siblings and me. First, we had to go to college; second, we had to work for someone else and earn a paycheck; and third, we had to have our own health insurance.

I decided to move back to the farm so I could better focus on my young son and career. Several family members were nearby to help me raise my son. My employer agreed to a schedule that allowed me to work from the farm and visit Fargo as needed. I had lost hope in pursuing a relationship and certainly was not interested in pursuing marriage.

Even though I thought I had my life figured out, I was lonely and filled with uncertainty. Did I make the right decision to move back to the farm? Would I live in my parent's basement as a single mom forever?

On July 11, 2005, I boarded a plane from Fargo to Minneapolis and then from Minneapolis to Kansas City. This route was routine for me; I spent a week each month in my company's Kansas City office.

While waiting for my connecting flight in Minneapolis, I was upgraded to 4B in first class only to be bumped back to a middle seat in aisle 11. I boarded with a Burger King coffee in hand and said nothing to the businessman now sitting in seat 4B.

In seat 11E, I sat between a chatty businessman on my left and a curly red-haired woman to my right. Throughout the flight, the chatty man asked me several questions. I kept my answers brief because, in all honesty, he made me feel a little uncomfortable. It was only after he mentioned he got engaged at a Twins game the weekend before that I felt a little safer. As we were landing, he dropped the question, "So are you single?"

"Yes, I am but for more reasons than I am going to tell you," I hesitantly replied. He smiled and said, "Well, I think you should meet my boss." I made a couple snarky remarks about how if he was from North Dakota I had probably already been set up with him and that unless he was tall, dark and handsome, I wasn't interested.

The chatty man, Josh, said, "Well, I'm not a very good judge, but he's sitting up there in 1, 2, 3, 4 ... seat 4B." We had landed at that point and the businessman in seat 4B was grabbing his bag out of the overhead bin. Yes, he's the guy who bumped me out of my first-class seat — and yes, he was tall, dark and handsome.

Josh followed me off the plane and insisted on getting my phone number for his boss. The "boss," I later learned, had no idea what was happening but was concerned Josh was asking for a woman's number when he was engaged. Josh said, "We're busy tonight at our meetings, but I'll call you tomorrow and we can meet you in Kansas City."

Josh called the next day. I met the "boss," Nathan. We married 15 months later.

When your life seems to be in a state of drought, take some chances. Make bold decisions in your best interest as well as those you love. Don't allow loneliness to shake your confidence and uncertainty to hinder your resolve. My void was filled by Nathan — and sharing the past 12 years with him continues to renew my faith and trust in a bigger plan I cannot see.

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