mm&m: meeting my husband
I have been so excited about this meme ever since Rachel announced it! Today I am going to tell the story of our meeting :). There are 2 versions: the G rated, and the PG/ PG-13 rated… I’ll tell both.
G – rated: We met through a mutual friend when we were in college. true – but not the whole story, and let’s face it … BORING!
So here comes the juicy stuff…
The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college was a rough time for me. I had gone through a really awful relationship in high school and it spilled into my first year of college. I ended it right before the summer break. But, four years of emotional abuse and control takes it toll on a young woman who is still trying to “find herself.” So, I went a little crazy that summer. I wasn’t a Christian yet and, looking back, I now see how lost I was and how much I was searching for meaning. I got into a group of people who were living in the ways typical of college kids. I was out partying almost every night. I felt so empty the next day, but couldn’t figure out why.
I met a couple friends the fall semester of my sophomore year who I got really close to: Lou (a girl) and Russel. They were both in my classes and we started hanging out everyday. Russ kept talking about his best friend from High School who was in his senior year at VMI. I only half – listened, because I honestly had no interest in someone who went to a military college. I was picturing some self absorbed meat head.
Thanksgiving break rolled around and Russel was about to wet himself he was so excited about his best friend coming in town. So, I finally agreed to hang out with them that week. Lou picked me up and we went to meet Russ and his friend at our favorite bar… Hell’s Kitchen. (wow – doesn’t God have a sense of humor?)
The first time I saw John it took my breath away! He was nothing like what I had pictured and he couldn’t be less self absorbed! The first things I noticed were his eyes and smile. He seemed so genuine! He was the most friendly guy I had ever met … and the most handsome! We all sat down at the table and began to chat. I could not keep my eyes off of John. I was smitten!
But, the effects of my past relationship still had a strong hold on me. I was guarding my heart with a brick wall. My friend Lou had just gone through a horrible divorce (and she was only 22) and I was fed up with men. Somehow marriage got brought up and I looked right at John and declared, “I am never getting married.” He just looked right back and said, “really? well, I can’t wait to get married!” I was shocked! I had never in my life heard a guy talk like that! I asked him why and he went on to talk about always having your best friend by your side… someone to come home to everyday… someone to share the ups and downs with… someone watch movies and snuggle with… and on and on. I was completely floored. And that was it- he had me hooked in that moment.
We kept up through email over the next month while he was finishing his semester at VMI and I was finishing mine at ODU. I think it was obvious that I was interested, but we were just keeping in touch as friends. When he came home for Christmas break the 4 of us all went back to Hell’s Kitchen to hang out. When I first saw him I knew I was head over heels. So, I did what any girl would do and I stole his number out of Russel’s cell phone when Russel was getting gas.
The next day I called John and took him by complete surprise. After talking for a couple minutes he suddenly said, “Can I call you back?” … “uh… sure.” Little did I know, Russ had told John that I was his girlfriend and John couldn’t figure out why I was calling him. So he got off the phone to call Russel and ask him why I had his number. Russ covered well by lying and saying that he had given it to me. John called back and we talked for about an hour. Then I finally got up the nerve to ask if he wanted to do something that night. Again, “ummm… can I call you back?” Uh oh – not what I wanted to hear! So, again, John called Russ to ask his permission to take me out. (I know I know – he is such a gentleman!!) Then he called me back to say yes, but explain that he had NO money. I said I didn’t either. We finally decided to take his mom’s truck and go on a little road trip to the outer banks (only about an hour from my parents house where I was staying).
He picked me up that evening and we spent the next couple hours driving along and talking about everything under the sun! It was AWESOME! On the way home I decided that I knew a little short cut to get back home. Well, I did – in daylight. It was dark, though and I had him turn down the wrong road and we got LOST. I mean LOST!! We drove around aimlessly for hours before we found the highway again and I didn’t make it home until 3am!!! Woops!
When he dropped me off he walked me to the porch and gave me a hug. Then he asked if I wanted to go Christmas shopping with him the next day. I did. Then he said goodnight and got in the car. I loved the fact that he didn’t try to kiss me on the first date. I had never seen him act like anything but a gentleman and I had never seen a guy my age being a gentleman!
Fast forward through the next few weeks (we went on a date every day). Leading up to the day I met John I had been feeling more and more miserable. I knew that something was missing in my life, and I knew it was God. I just didn’t know how to get from where I was in the bottom of my pit to where I wanted to be… on the top of a mountain with God. John knew. He had come to Christ as a 7 year old and been baptized at 13. But, during his college years he had fallen away from his faith. I started asking him all my questions and it made him feel convicted. As he started answering me, the Holy Spirit was pulling his heart back to Christ. Within a couple months John had rededicated his life to Christ, and I had come to Christ for the first time! Our entire relationship was built off the search for Jesus. John has a neat way of describing our beginning…
It’s like that team building exercise where you have 2 people sit on the ground back to back. They have to stand without using their hands to push up. They have to lean back on each other and push up with their legs to stand.
That’s what we did … that’s how we came to faith in Jesus Christ. God had a very specific plan when He had us meet in a bar called Hell’s Kitchen. I am so thankful for His sovereignty!
(John and I in Georgia this weekend for the 4th)
“Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness!“
For more “meetings, marriages, and memories” visit Rachel here. And come back next week to hear about the proposal!!