Monday, September 27, 2010

Love Stories Series: All I Ever Wanted- Rosilind Jukic

I'd like you to meet Rosilind.  She has a blog, A Little R & R covering her little family's daily adventures in Croatia, health foods, and her passion and love for God.  When I first put up the offer, Rosilind was the first to send the email with the desire to participate.  I was excited to get to know this blogger more through her love story!  From heart break to a new love in Croatia, this now new mommy found all she ever wanted.


It was probably in the second grade and Mrs. Fields had asked the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up."  My friends all gave the usual answers, "Fireman!" "Doctor!" But I never had those kind of ambitions.  My answer?  "A Mommy!"
But here I was in my early thirties, a broken engagement, a broken heart, and rethinking the future I had so carefully carved out for myself."  I had been to the height of life - living on my own with my red sports car and a great job.  And I had decended into the depths of destitution - living on $10 a month for food while studying music at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX.  I had been madly in love and planned my dream wedding.  Then the moment came. 
You know that feeling when in a second it is like your blood turns to ice water, time freezes, while your brain desperately tries to grapple with harsh reality?  That was what it was like the moment I realized that my fiance was cheating on me.  I had several more moments like that the following few months as layer by layer I began to uncover the person who was supposed to be my lover, but was in reality a complete stranger to me. 
How do you go on trusting after something like that?
My health failed.  I had to take leave of absence from work as I was nearing a nervous breakdown.
But I knew I had to move on.
I began making a list of "me-things" to do.  Things I had either wanted to do for a long time or things I had previously thought I didn't enjoy.
Travel was on that list.  A trip to see my missionary sister for a month in Zagreb, Croatia .
"A month is a long time, especially if you are not enjoying yourself."  My skeptical mom reminded me.  I had never liked to travel, and I did not like Zagreb when I was there for her wedding in 2001.  In fact, I hated it!  And I swore I'd never go back.
The trip not only did wonders to lift my spirits, it change the entire direction of my life. 
A year later I moved to Zagreb as a missionary to assist my sister and her native husband in their church. 
I was sent off with hugs, kisses, and comments like, "Maybe you'll find your husband in Croatia!".  If I had a nickle for every comment like that I have heard in my lifetime I wouldn't need to depend upon support from the States.  But, I was growing convinced that marriage and children were not in the cards for me.  I was sort of sad to give up on such a dream - but better to give up on it now than to be 40, bitter, and disappointed in life.  Right?
"hmmm...maybe R_____ is the guy for you." My brother-in-law was dead-set on getting me married off.  "Leave her alone!"  My sister defended me, as he mentioned every single guy in the church.  "He's, like, 6 years younger than her.  Ewwwww! That's just gross."  But he kept on.  "Maybe Z____.  He's a good guy, not too young for you."  That's when my sister changed camps on me. "Yea!  He'd be a great father and husband for you, Roz!"  My head was spinning.  And who is Z_____??? 
My sister pointed him out the next Sunday.  "He's been attending here for 8 years."  She stated.  Why I never noticed him before is beyond me.  He started to hang out in my group (or rather, I was hanging out in his group, he'd just been absent a while) and we chatted a few times - but my Croatian was poor, at best, and he didn't know English too well.  And I'll admit - I was attracted.
But he liked my roommate. 
We attended a wedding in December 2005.  Like typical Croatian weddings (which are similar to Greek ones, if you've watched My Big, Fat Greek Wedding) you dance until the wee hours of the morning.  Which is interesting for those who like to dance, but cant - like me...and Z____. 
"Would you like to dance with me?"  Was I, like, in a dream...or something?  Did Z_____ just ask me to dance???  We, in fact, danced every dance the rest of the night.  My heart had completely taken over any common sense I had left - and I was a goner.
Three days later I was in Tuzla, Bosnia due to a visa complication.  And I would stay there for the next three months. 
Ever heard of "out of sight, out of mind"?  Mmmmm-hmmm....that is until May 2006 when I was sitting on the steps of the church platform and a certain Mr. Z_____ was sitting next to me plying me with questions and doing all he could to keep the conversation going.  After that he "seemed" to continually sit next to me when our group when out for coffee. 
My Nokia rang its typical Turkish folk song.  "Hey, Roz!  A few of us are going to the lake on Saturday.  You want to go?"  Did I want go?  Is the grass green and the sky blue? 
I was in a serious delimma now.  Z's invitations were coming my way constantly and I didn't know what to do.  I had asked those that had known him for years about what kind of person he was and they all had nothing but great things to say about him.
It was actually all very hard to digest.  I had labled myself the "flake magnet" - and had pretty much believed that no normal guy would actually want to go out with me - since none really had before.  And here this supposedly "normal" guy seemed intersted in me.  So, I decided to pray about it.  I prayed and prayed....and prayed...and prayed, but never got an answer.  In all honesty, I think I was so afraid of hearing myself and my own desires that I blocked God's voice out entirely. 
One day I was sitting on my bed reading 2nd Samuel.  David was facing a battle, but wanted God's direction about going to battle.  I read, "...and David inquired of the Lord..." next verse, "And the Lord said to David."  I stopped.  Right there!  It was so easy. David inquired, the Lord answered.  Jamming my finger down on those verses I said, "God!  You see there! It's so simple, and I am complicating it!  David asked and you answered.  And I need an answer."  That was the day that I knew that I was going to marry Z. 
One problem.  Z didn't know it, yet!
No, we just kept going to coffee.  Sometimes just the two of us - sometimes in a group.  But, it was coffee, after coffee, after coffee.  And we never discussed "us" - a possible us, a future us, any kind of "us".  And I was getting antsy.  So, one day while we were out to coffee - chatting away, as usual, about everything under the sun but us - I could tell the conversation was winding down and my heart was beating frantically because I knew I had to say something.  When I get nervous I start playing with whatever is in my hands.  At that moment it was my water glass.  Twirling it round and round, I started, " know, I have to ask.  What are we?  I mean, we've been doing this coffee-thing for, like, forever and people are commenting and stuff and I hate to be the one to bring it up, but maybe its time to define what we are and where we're going."  I looked up.
And there I saw this look in his eyes - the special look that is personal and intimate and I knew we had crossed a bridge.  Where it was going, I wasn't sure - but I knew, somehow, he felt something.  We didn't seal the deal that day. And I was glad, because I didn't want to be the instigator.  I just wanted to be a jump starter.  We spent the next month laying all our cards on the table: what we expected and where we going in our personal lives. 
It had been a month since I had lit a flame under my phlegmatic friend and it seemed that at every outing I would expect it to be the day and it never was.  So, I decided that I would just enjoy this date and not think about it.  I was waiting for him at the entrance to the mall.  He came and gave me his typical one-armed hug - but didn't remove his arm.  I stood there thinking, "What's this???"  And then I knew.  It was the day. 
Six months later Z picked me up from the airport, I was flying in from Portland, OR after being in the States for two months.  I imagine he thought, "Never again!"  He took me to my flat, we sat down on the couch and he said, "Roz, I want to marry you.  I don't want to wait a long time.  I don't ever want to be apart like this again." 
I was literally speechless.  I had known this was coming. But the question still haunted me: why would such a wonderful, normal, loving, gentle man want to marry me????
Fast forward another six months, I was walking down the church aisle on my dad's arm - the question still there, more because of wonder than disbelief.  I had opened my heart timdly and he had gently reached inside and healed the wounds of my past.  And now I was finally becoming part of what I wanted to be when I grew up.  The other part would come two and a half years later when our baby boy was laid in my arms for the first time. 

Stay tuned for a week long series of personal Love Stories from Bloggers like you!  And make sure to show Rosilind some love for her willingness to put her story out there to share with each of you!  You can visit her Blog, A Little R & R: Musings of A SAH Missionary Mom.


  1. Ahhhh - such fun. I can't wait to read tomorrow's story! Thank you so much for the opportunity to be your guest.

  2. What a beautiful story! I love seeing how God can make beauty out of situations we never imagined! What a reminder that HE is the one is the author of our lives. :)

  3. A beautiful love story! I love it when God puts people together who are halfway around the world! Your little boy is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing Rosilind!

  4. Oh I love a good love story! And it is so wonderful to read about other christian couples who are so in love with each other and the Lord! Thanks for sharing!