happy wednesday! hope your week is going well! i am sharing my love story this week. feel free to start from the beginning by reading [part one] and [part two]!----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
fall was just around the corner.. we had our big root beer kegger kick off [yes, this did get busted by the cops one year.. they didn't believe us when we told them it was root beer because we had so many people show up. it was awesome!]
we also had some awesome bonfires at mr. b's house. it was so much fun. unfortunately the photos from that specific night have been deleted from facebook.. so i don't have them anymore..
but these fires were huge.
i'm talking like 40-60 foot flames huge.
someone thought his house was on fire one time and called there house to make sure - why they didn't call the fire department? i don't know.. but that's besides the point.
even bigger than this one; which was also at his house.
that night was the night i knew i liked mr. b and it was the same night i went back home and told my roommates and mom that i he was the man i was going to marry. [most everyone thought i was silly... but i was serious!]
i spent the evening laughing, flirting and having so much fun with him. i even spent some of the night inside his house talking with his parents - i adored them! [and still do!!]
before school started mr. b and i were asked to co-lead a community group in one of the freshman dorms.we got to know each other so much better during this time. i really got to see what an amazing man of the Lord he is and his heart and passion for ministry. it was so wonderful to watch him grow closer to God and lead younger men through the years.
during this season i also grew so much in my walk with the Lord.
mr. b and i continued to hang out and get to know each other. we also started going to church together. it was so wonderful to watch him worship the way he does. i continued to develop strong feelings for him. he still didn't like me. i was still believing he wouldn't ever notice me and i started to dabble in the idea of dating the same guy i dated before our summer project. [remember, the non-believing guy.. johnny] one night johnny asked me to come over to hang out because he missed me and wanted to start dating again and talk. there was a bunch of people over and one of my roommates was there so i decided to go. when i got there i noticed another girl that was being super flirtatious with him. i ignored it and then through a crazy series of events i found out they disappeared together and that johnny was not as interested in me as he was her after all.
i left his house angry, upset, hurt, disappointed, feeling foolish. once i got home i prayed. i prayed before i went over there for the Lord to speak to me about entering back into a relationship with him. well - God gave me an answer and for that i was so thankful. this was the night of october 3.
then.. on october 5, 2008 mr. b woke up in the middle of the night with me on his heart. i'll let him share what the Lord spoke to him... but remember - i didn't know about this until after we had already started dating.
So, as you've been reading, my wonderful wife had liked me for many months if not years before I could have even envisioned myself with her. I always respected her as a humble leader and Godly woman, but just never really "clicked" with her as far as having a lasting relationships with her...Or were there a series of lies and insecurities in my own life that prohibited me from seeing God's best for us both? Either way, as Jenn has mentioned, we were serving alongside each other in [cru.] ministry. One night (October 4) as I entered a certain "core group" meeting (late of course) there was a heavy ambiance amongst the ladies as they were in prayer. As I quietly passed by them (as the girls and guys would meet separately within the same house to discuss different avenues of the ministry), I had realized that there was something heavy on the heart of Jennifer. The meeting carried along, and at one point the men's group leader briefly mentioned the danger in dating unbelievers. It was at this point that I had connected the dots and realized why the meeting was so somber.
The men's leader humbly encouraged us men, when the time was right, to show our ladies what it looked like to pursue them in love, respect, honor and humility so that they would not have to "settle" for something less than Gods best for them. Ladies, if you're reading this and are single, thinking that no God-loving, Christ-honoring, Holy-Spirit-filled man (not "a boy who can shave") will ever pursue you and are tempted to "settle" for a non-believer that brings you flowers and chocolates, (for the record...these are good things :)) please hear my humble exhortation....DON'T DO IT! Be patient on the Lord's timing for you're Boaz to sweep you out of the gleaning fields and love you like Christ loves his church :)
So this night at our [cru.] core group really had me thinking. Previously in 2008 I had watched a dating sermon by a well-known pastor in Seattle, and one thing that resonated with me was a thought the pastor set forth. It was this; what guy/girl has God placed right in front of you that you've been able to see their ministry/leadership skills and perhaps overlooked? Was God preparing my heart to receive from him what had been in front of me the whole time? Could God be preparing my heart to pursue Jennifer as a future companion? Could all the fun times being goofy and flirting really have been building the foundation for our "best friend" relationship? Those thoughts came into my mind...and then I quickly suppressed them and reasoned that Jennifer must be for someone else.
That night, I believe with my whole heart, that God was going to transform my heart to receive from him what he had been preparing all along. About 3am the next morning I woke up. I didn't have to pee, forget to turn off the oven or hear someone break into our extremely worn and neglected college rental house. Jennifer. Jennifer was on my mind and heart and I could no longer ignore God. She was on my heart to pray for. This wasn't the moment that the lights came on and I realized she was going to be my spouse, but I did develop a prayer life for her as she worked through her messy relationship. Little did I know that my prayer life was God pouring "miracle grow" on a seed in my heart that finally would view Jennifer, no longer as a friend, but a girlfriend, best friend and eventually spouse. I'll hand the "mic" back to Jenn :)
awh - isn't he just so sweet, friends? :) i got a keeper for sure!! man i am SO thankful for our story and how the Lord prepared us for what we have now!! :) :) okay.. so back to the story..
over a month later... on november 23, 2008 we were at church and mr. b's mom pulled me aside and said jenn - do you like mr. b? i just smiled and said maybe... and then she replied 'you need to get on that!' and pointed at him. ohhh the memories. i told her 'i'm trying!'
but still.. no luck. [remember... i still didn't know about the Lord waking him up a month previous]
after church a group of us went ice skating at the college's indoor skate rink. once we got done... mr. b, his brother, a friend and me all went what is called.. crawling? [no... it's called urban wheelin', Jenn]
they like to crawl up things with their vehicles with big tires. this is mr. b's brothers truck. crazy huh?!
once the meal was over we decided to watch a movie. i made sure to sit next to mr. b :) i was all up in butterflies. and if anyone knew me... they knew i fell asleep during every movie. it didn't matter what movie. i just always fall asleep. good thing i trained myself and i don't do it anymore :)
so.. of course, i fell asleep and i actually fell asleep on mr. b's shoulder! i didn't know that.. but he told me later. he also told me he liked it ;).
once we were done with the movie [it was like only 7 or 8pm at this point] i was hanging out with some girls and one of them mentioned she overheard mr. b talking to his roommate [her boyfriend and now husband] that he was developing feelings for me and was thinking about asking me on a date.
friends... i was beyond cloud nine at this point. i couldn't believe it! the guy i liked for almost 2 years that i didn't think i would ever have a chance with... liked me?!
but of course. i needed to keep my cool so they didn't know i knew and part of me wanted to make sure i didn't get my hopes up in case he changed his mind.
that night mr. b sent me a private message on good ol' facebook to comfort me because i had injured my neck and back at their house [trying to show off, of course]. from there.. the messages got longer and longer, and more frequent. i still have every single one of them. i love to still read through them all :)
almost another month later went by... we were still messaging each other and hanging out, but still no date.
i was starting to think it wouldn't happen.
and then one snowy evening we were hanging out and mr. b asked if we could go for a drive and talk...