Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our Story (Part 1)

*** Nine years ago today, I met my husband for the very first time. At that time I didn't know that he was going to be my husband, but I did know that I thought he was quite good looking (read super hot), and that he made me rashy. All very good things. Seeing as we are currently celebrating the month of love, I thought it would be a good time to record the story of how we met and married on the pages here. Sometimes I want there to be more romance, more time together. Sometimes I wish that we never argued, or that we had done this or that differently. Sometimes I wish I still looked like we did when we first met. (Okay. I always wish that.) Sometimes I forget about how we came to be, as after nine years together it sort of begins to feel like we have always been. But when I take the time to stop and think about how God brought a small town Southern Ohio boy and a big city Texas girl together in the middle of Aggie Country (Whoop!), at a Hilton hotel of all places, I get chills. Our story is not one without bumps along the way. It is not perfect. But it is a great story, because it is ours. And we are definitely planning on living happily ever after. ***

With the telling of every good story, I believe that one must start at the beginning. I won't start at the very beginning, mind you, as I want to spare you the details of how my mother thought she was peeing on herself for a few hours before she realized she was in labor with me a month early (you can thank me later), but I will start with letting you know that I have always known that I wanted to get married. Always. Some people know that they enjoy the party lifestyle. Some people know that they would be better off being single. But not me. My heart was meant for marriage. When I was a young child and I had to sleep upstairs in a room all by myself, I did not long for a sister to share my room with me. I longed for a husband. That's right. I was a scrawny little eight year old who dreamed of my wedding day, so that I would no longer have to sleep alone. And my yearning to be married only grew with each passing year.

Back in my day, boys and girls started "going out" in the second grade. Seriously. All that really meant was that they would hold hands on the bus or on the playground, and that they would pass notes with 'I Love You's' back and forth. Now that my own daughter will be in the second grade next year, that behavior appauls me. No stinky boy had better lay a hand on my baby girl! Besides, she is going to marry her daddy. Ahem. But boy/girl relationships were thrust into my world at a very young age. In sixth grade I remember wanting a boyfriend so badly that I made one up. I named him Cody. We talked on the phone every single night. It's true. So very embarassing and sad, but true. And in junior high, my feelings of wanting a boy to love me only grew stronger. Again, not proud of how desperately I wanted affection during that time in my life, but I am just keeping it real.

I got my first boyfriend when I was sixteen. I sure thought he was a hunk. (Yes, we used the word hunk back then. We also used the words rad, chuck, and dude.) We "dated" for a couple of months and he was my very first kiss. He dumped me on Valentines day when he realized that I was never going to give him what he wanted. I was crushed. The next boy that I dated was a nicer fellow. He took me out to dinner a few times, took me for rides in his truck, and then he left for college. Bummer. Again, I was crushed. My last high school boyfriend was a bad boy. I am pretty sure my mother cried during the whole five months that we dated. I thank God that I was able to keep myself pure during the months that we were together, even though that is not what he wanted. And then I left for college. (Insert side note: My experiences with high school boyfriends, from my church youth group no less, are some of the reasons that I home school my children and plan on locking them in the basement until they are thirty. Or maybe forty. Or possibly forever and ever. Amen.)

College was a wonderful time for me. While I fully admit that I am one of those girls who attended college to get her Mrs. degree (aren't you glad to know that I graduated with honors?), I gained so much more from my college years than simply finding a husband. I was able to leave most of the insecurities and impurities that littered the halls of the highschool I attended behind, and I embarked on a new journey. I surrounded myself with Christian friends, friends with the same values that I had, went on mission trips, and figured out more about the person that God had created me to be along the way. My longing for a husband though, was still very much there.

My first college boyfriend was named Kenny. Wouldn't that have been cute? (Not.) Kenny and Kendra. Wow. Thank goodness that relationship did not pan out. I realized that good old Kenny was not the one when I figured out that his idea of a good date was to drive me to a creek underneath a highway overpass, so that I could sit and watch him fish in said creek. For several hours. Poor, poor Kenny. I sure do hope he has found himself a fish loving woman, because while he did have a very nice truck, he was not the one for me.

Shortly after Kenny, I met a boy who I truly thought was the one for me. We never technically dated. We were only ever "friends", but it was a relationship that consumed the better part of two years of my life. And while looking back I am so thankful that God spared us from ever getting involved with each other romantically (as he was clearly not the one God intended me for), those were sometimes very dark and emotional days for me. I was trying day after day to be something I was not. I tried to change myself to fit into the mold that I knew that my friend was looking for in a future wife. I felt more and more alone on the inside, but it was a relationship that I could not seem to get out of. One day we would be working towards maybe, slightly, a tiny future together, and the next day we were back to being just friends. I criend many tears over this boy. But it was also during this time that I began to draw closer to God. College was coming to an end for many of my friends, couples were starting to pair up, weddings were happening, and I was feeling more and more alone. I leaned on God like never before.

I began to wrestle with God about his plans for my life. Did He wish for me to remain single forever? Was marriage not in His plan for me? But if marriage was not in His plans, then why were my desires so strong? I began to earnestly pray about and for the partner that I hoped and prayed God was preparing just for me. I started a journal of love notes to my future husband before I even knew his name. I tried my best to daily turn my life over to God and His timing. And though there were still many questions and tears, I can honestly say that I began to find bits and pieces of peace and trust forming in my soul.

I remember clearly the night before I met Boss for the very first time. It was a Saturday night, and I was home early. My on again, off again "friend" was out of town on a guy's camping trip, and I was feeling sad. I was sitting on top of my worn white comforter, on my twin bed, in a tiny little house that I shared with two friends. I was talking on the phone with my mom. I had been for a couple of hours, and by the time we were nearing the end of our conversation I was crying. I asked my mom what I would do if God never brought someone into my life that He intended to be just for me. Someone that loved me for who I was. That didn't want to change me. And you know what my mom said? She said, "Sweetheart, do not lose faith. Do not quit hoping. He will bring your special someone into your life at just the right moment. For all you know, your Mr. Right could walk right through those church doors tomorrow morning." I didn't believe her, but I felt better as I got off the phone.

At the time I was attending worship services each week with about forty other Christians in a small conference room at the Hilton. Needless to say, we hardly ever got visitors, so I was certain that my Mr. Right was NOT going to be walking through those church doors the very next morning, but I went to sleep that night dreaming about how wonderful it would be if he actually did. Little did I know that my dreams were about to come true.......

To Be Continued.