I met the love of my life.
Although I didn't know it when I met him, that we would spend the rest of our lives together. The story of how we met is actually quite comical. I was at my 500th ( okay, maybe a bit of exaggeration ) camp with church, and this one happened to be our week long summer camp up in the mountains near Arrowhead. I was 16 1/2, and was enjoying the time away from difficult family life back at home. It was in between lunch and dinner I believe, during free time, and my friend and I were on our way to the dinner hall to get some snacks out of the vending machine. We were about to walk in, when we heard someone shout "Hey ladies, would you like some chips?". We looked over to see a group of teenagers, my age and a little older, hanging out while the guy who shouted at us played his guitar. I laughed, but didn't want to because I was PAINFULLY shy. Yeah, I know I know...those of you who have only known me for a while are thinking that it's impossible that I was shy at one point. LOL But I truly was.
After finding nothing good in the vending machines, my friend who was 5 years older than me and an eternal flirt, suggested that we go over and get some free chips and check out the guys who were offering them. I sat quietly and smiled as my friend hit on the guy playing guitar. He kept trying to ask me questions, get me involved in the conversation, but I was too shy. I was shamelessly hit on by one of the guys sitting in their little group, and that made me even more shy ( and I'm sure blushing horribly ) so I decided to walk away to find people I knew. My friend stayed behind chatting with the guitar player.
The rest of the week ( we met on a Wednesday ) my friend enjoyed hanging out with this new group. She was attracted to the guitar player, and kept talking about him. The guitar player's friend kept shamelessly hitting on me, which always made me utterly embarrassed. I talked to the guitar player a few times, and he was a really nice guy. Totally not my type - my "type" so far had been a guy with the "rebel" type style, and this guy had a few piercings in his ears, wore glasses ( I did too, but contacts 99% of the time ), and played a guitar. But he was nice to talk with. His friend that continuously tried to hit on me tried to embarrass him one night by saying, in front of him, that the guitar player talked about me at night and thought I was really hot. ( Or cute, can't remember which word he used ) The guitar player didn't seem phased, looked me right in the eye, and said "Yes, I do." with a smile. I was totally caught off guard. We talked more throughout the rest of the week, and got to know each other just a bit. My friend was still very interested, and I wasn't much. I had decided to give up trying to date, because so far I had only picked jerks.
Anyway, when Friday came we had all exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and my friend thought it was a great idea to invite all of them over to *my* house the next day for a BBQ and swim. She wanted to see the guitar player again. The next day rolls around, and I'm not kidding, the only one who was able to show up was the guitar player. My friend ended up with a flat tire, and his friends couldn't make it. I was alone with a guy that I had barely gotten to know. I was massively uncomfortable at first, but knew he was a really nice guy, and we'd be able to talk. Not like some guys where all they do is nod every once in a while. LOL
We ended up having a fantastic day, and literally talked about everything from school, to family ( turns out both of us had very messed up family lives ), to ambitions, to everything. It was really nice. From that day stemmed phone calls until 2am, him coming out to come to church with me, to actual dates. I remember one day that melted my heart, and it may seem so small to many other people. It was a rainy day, and he had been busy with just starting college. He called me from a payphone, in the rain, just to tell me that he was thinking of me. He had also poured out his past, as far as relationships, so that I was clear on who he had been and what he had done. He didn't want questions to linger in my mind. Then, 2 weeks after we met, he kissed me for the first time. It was my first time being kissed. I was terrified. He didn't know it was my first kiss, so he went in full force. I felt clumsy, out of sorts, and completely on cloud 9. I think I squealed half the way home with excitement at finally having my first kiss, and with a really nice guy. I called him when I got home, and very timidly told him that I was sorry if the kiss was awful, that it was my first. He couldn't believe that I had never been kissed before, and thought it was cute.
But dummy me, I pulled back from him. I thought that he was *too* nice, and that it was a mask for the beginning of a relationship. The few guys that I had dated before him had turned out to be complete jerks once I wouldn't kiss them, or once they found out that I wouldn't be sleeping with them. I was expecting this to happen, and I had found myself caring too much about him already, for my comfort. Yes, even at 16. ;) I had seen how awful my parents' marriage had been through the years. I had seen my mom have an affair while married to my dad. The only example of relationships that I had in front of me weren't good. I didn't want to have my heart broken.
It all changed when I talked to him about it, and he wrote me a letter. In the letter he told me that he would wait as long as I needed, if it's what I wanted. He wouldn't push anything, but he also wasn't going anywhere if he thought he had a chance. For once, I had someone waiting for *me*, with openness, honesty, and love. With this letter I saw that he wasn't like the rest. I knew we'd have hurdles ahead of us, but I was too busy with the excitement of a new relationship. We made it "official" on September 7, 1998. Labor Day when he came over for a BBQ.
No one thought we would make it. We were too young, too naive. We were too much in "puppy love" as I was told. We wouldn't beat the odds because of the bad family backgrounds we both have. He proposed on our 2nd anniversary, and we were married 4 1/2 months later. Too soon perhaps...boy would I love to go back and do some things differently as far as the wedding, the timing, etc...but we trusted that God was steering us in the right direction. I knew that he was the man meant for me, sent by God. He made that clear one night during worship.
Here we are 10 years later, and more in love than ever. We know each other inside and out, we can communicate through simple eye contact - something that amuses one of his cousins to no end. LOL My husband is one of the most supportive, encouraging, and caring men I've seen in a marriage relationship. I don't know of many people with a marriage as deep as ours, and my only prayer is that it continues this way for the rest of our lives. We have most certainly had rough patches, and times where I didn't think we'd make it. But I now know that since the Lord had us for each other, that He will carry us through even the most difficult of times.
To my Jeramy, I love you then, now, and for always.