Okay, I didn’t just say “No….”, but that was fun to leave you hanging. I think I might start writing suspense!
One of the reasons I am writing our story in segments and drawing it out is because my 12-year old son, Joshua, is enjoying reading it. He comes to me at night and asks if I’ve written any more. When he reads it, he smiles REAL big and then gives me a huge hug. I had no idea he’d be so interested and I am loving it. The other reason is because I cherish looking back and seeing God write our love story. I don’t want to hurry through it and I hope you’ll keep joining me for each chapter. (Note: If you want to start this story from the beginning, go to “I’m Married to My Best Friend.”
During our first date, we decided on the two-year, long-distance plan. JJ asked if he could kiss me and I said, “No…. I don’t think I can handle you kissing me and then leaving me.” He looked into my eyes, gave me a big hug and then planted the sloppiest and sweetest kiss ever on my lips!
I knew I would be ruined at that moment. I should have said “You just shortened our dating life-span, I cannot live without your for two years!!!” But I didn’t. I stayed another hour and we hugged good-bye forever because we didn’t know when we’d see each other again. He was headed home to Hershey, PA for Christmas break and then back to Virginia Tech for his next semester of classes.
It was a really long semester! We saw each other once or twice a month. We talked a few times each week. I had graduated from college three years prior and was a recruiter for a telecommunications company so I traveled to various colleges. I somehow convinced my boss that we needed to expand our recruiting efforts across state lines and look at VA Tech grads. That got me one or two extra visits! Funny thing is I did hire a very successful graduate from there. God blessed my creative recruiting and romance efforts.
Every time we talked or saw each other I fell deeper in love with JJ. We always laughed and talked about what God was doing in our lives. We shared our struggles and our stories. But that just made it harder to leave again. By the end of the semester I was ready to call it quits. I just couldn’t handle loving someone so much but being so far apart. It was really hard on both of us and I thought it would be best if we reverted back to being friends. I felt like drawing a line in the sand so my heart could rewind my emotions. I shared my thoughts with JJ and he said he was praying about where God wanted us to go with our relationship.
JJ had a co-op job in Greenville, NC that summer which meant we got to see each other every weekend so that was better! One Sunday afternoon in June we met in a parking lot to say good-bye after I finished spending the day at a bridal shower for a friend. We were sitting there talking and all of the sudden he asked me to marry him! I was completely shocked. I sat there speechless. At the same time, I wondered if I had a neon sign on my forehead so he could read my thoughts because he started addressing all of my unspoken fears.
Without me saying anything, he said, “I really mean this. I am not going to change my mind. I have been praying about this for a long time. I know this is what God wants. You can take all the time you need to decide and I will still be waiting for you to say yes.”
I had been hurt so deeply in the past that I was paralyzed by the fear of broken promises and the sting of betrayal and rejection. I didn’t say no, but I couldn’t say yes. I needed time and he gave it to me.