Sunday, February 13

The Story of Us.

John and I met in the early winter of 1997. We were both Bangkok-bound for the summer, and we met at a team training weekend. He was in school at one place, and I was three hours away at another place. I remember having a few conversations with him that winter/spring, but I really didn't hang out with him at all. By the time summer rolled around, my parents were separated for good, and I really wasn't interested in any type of relationship at all. I was certain that God was going to do something entirely different with my life. I was heartbroken and jaded, and I hopped on a plane with twenty-something other college kids and flew to the other side of the world.

By far, it was the most incredible summer of my life. We spent a lot of time with our teammates, and John and I ended up on a banner-making committee together. I think my first REAL conversation with him may have been on a roof top in Lop Buri during a mini-trip in the middle of the summer. I thought he was awesome, but the truth be told, all the guys we were with were pretty awesome. When we came back and really started working on that banner, our friendship grew. I went on a double date with him. We ate at an Italian restaurant in the basement of a Thai mall. I was smitten, of course, but not really sure about him, and I certainly wasn't looking for any relationships at this point. We hung out a lot for the rest of the summer, and I kept finding more and more and more to like about him...

When we returned to the States and to college in the fall, John and I started emailing each other. He drove to Valdosta for homecoming and we went to a concert. I visited Statesboro a few times that spring, and we hung out in groups. Mostly though, we spent time getting to know each other over email. We *might* have talked on the phone 10 times over the course of that entire time.

With summer approaching, I decided to be a camp counselor, and John was headed home to work. He drove to Augusta (my hometown) and took me out on our first "just us" real date for my birthday at the end of May. It was the best date EVER, and I knew at this point that if he asked me to marry him, I would. We decided to date and see where things went, and I packed up and drove to Alabama for the summer. It was a long summer of sorting out feelings and healing; writing and waiting on letters. Phone privileges were very limited at camp, so we didn't talk much at all. I spent my one free weekend meeting his parents.

When fall arrived, I headed back to school to student teach, and he headed back for his last year. Our schools were three hours apart on small, two-laned roads. I could probably still drive that distance in the dark, completely blindfolded. We spent just about every other weekend at one place or the other. I fell in love with him, and the idea of growing old with him.

I graduated in December and headed home to find a job. It was Christmas time, and while visiting his family, we went for a hike at a local waterfall. He dropped to his knees and asked me to be his forever. I, of course, said yes.

The next five months flew by. I worked in Augusta, and John did his student teaching. We married at the end of May that year--one year and three days after our first real date. God does amazing things, and he gives amazing gifts. John has been my very best gift so far. He entered my life at a time when I had no interest in finding someone. He became my very best friend first, then my love. He loves the Lord, plays guitar, and isn't afraid to dance (the three things I longed for in a husband). I am so incredibly blessed to have him as mine.

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