Monday, February 14, 2011

Our Story (Part 3)

*For the first two entry's of our story, see posts below*

Eventually that second semester of my sophomore year of college came to an end, and soon it was summer of 2002. I was supposed to be taking off on a mission trip to Russia that summer, with my "friend" and a group of other college kids, to teach English at a camp for children. I had gone on this same trip the previous summer, and it was wonderful. I grew a lot in the Lord that summer, and the children of Russia held a special place in my heart. But I realized that it was not meant to be for me to head back there this particular summer. I had some personal things going on in my life during that time (another story for another day), and my parents and I decided that I would head to Arizona, instead.

That was a hard decision for me to make. For one, I did not like that I was backing out of a commitment I had made to the Russia trip. Two, I was headed to Arizona for what I thought at the time would be the worst summer of my life (I was oh, so very wrong). And last of all, my "friend" would still be going on the Russia trip. Without me. But somewhere deep in my soul, I knew that it was time to let go. I knew in a way, that by us going our separate ways that summer, that we were somehow telling each other goodbye. To be honest, it broke my heart, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We had been working far too hard, for far too long, at something that was not meant to be. For either of us. And I was losing myself in the process. So I bit the bullet, mustered up what little courage I had left, and we headed our separate ways.

That summer in Arizona ended up being the best summer of my life, pre-marriage years, of course. It was a time of healing for me. A time to rediscover who I was. I made wonderful girlfriends that lasted for a wonderful season in my life. I became bold and confident in who I was, and the plans that God had for me in my life. No matter what they were. I remember going hiking with a friend one sunny afternoon. All of a sudden we came upon a breathtaking view, and instantly my thoughts flew to Boss. At the time, I was not sure where thoughts of him had come from, but it seemed to fit the moment. My "friend" and I still talked occasionally on the phone that summer, but I could feel my heart beginning to heal. It was no longer painful to talk to him, but not be with him. I knew that I had officially moved on.

When July came to a close, on my 20th birthday to be exact, I bid my Arizona friends goodbye and boarded a plane to head back to Texas. I was excited about starting over. I spent one week with my family, and then I headed back to school, even though classes would not be starting for another month. I returned to College Station on a Sunday afternoon and headed up to church service that night. There were not many college kids back yet, and very few people filled the pews that night (we were in our own building by then), but as I looked around, my eyes landed on the back of a familiar head. A very nice, dark head. A head with a neck covered with lots of tiny freckles. Boss was back. And I was, too.

After service that night the few of us young people that were there went out to eat at Fudruckers. Boss came too, and I got to have a lengthy conversation with him for the very first time. He talked about his first love, Ohio State football, and he told me about growing up in a small Ohio town. He told me about where he went to college, and I was surprised to learn that someone as young as he was already had his Master's degree. He told me about his work as a Manager for Champs Sports. I thought everything he said was brilliant. It was a very good night.

For the next two weeks I lived for church services so that I would get to see Boss. He was a regular now, after several months of sporadic attendance, and I learned that he had been a regular all summer. Even while the majority of the young people were gone, he had continued to show up. That impressed me, and it was evident that he had worked out whatever he had been wrestling over with God. Another thing I noticed? The picture that he carried in his Bible of that girl was gone. It seemed he had finally moved on from that dark season of his life. Funny timing, because I had moved on from my dark season, as well.

By the middle of August, I was quite smitten. Even though I had learned that Boss was supposed to be transferring to a store in Austin within the next month, I could not help myself. There was just something about him. Besides the fact that he smelled delicious, he made me feel like no one else ever had. When I talked to him, he listened, and seemed genuinely interested. Where I was loud and sarcastic, he was quiet and sincere. We balanced each other nicely. I knew it was crazy to have fallen so hard, so fast, and sometimes I wondered if I had learned anything at all that summer. But there was one thing that I had in my new found love interest that I had never experienced before, and that was peace. I knew that no matter what happened, ,whether he moved or stayed, it was all going to work out just as it should. And I ultimately knew that whether he chose me, picked me over anyone else, or not, that I was going to be okay. And that felt good.

To Be continued.