Love Story. Ours that is...
Love Story. Ours that is...
I met Josh years ago--we can't remember the exact time. But the first time we remember talking, was at a mutual friend's wedding. I had no idea he was in town. I'd heard a lot about him through his twin brother Jacob, who was at the time courting one of my good friends, Susan. We all attended the same Bible study at her parents house. While at the wedding, I had mistaken Josh for Jacob...and well that was my first "encounter", although we never formally introduced ourselves. I would see him from time to time at different birthday parties and gatherings. Eventually Josh began attending my college & career Bible study. That's where I saw him the most.
The first time I remember having a real conversation with him was at a hiking/rappelling trip with a group of friends. I had never been rappelling before. And let me tell you....I was terrified. Horrified would be more like it. But I digress... Josh quickly became a favorite on the trip. He was hilarious! Josh, and my friends encouraged me to rappel, regardless of my fear! In fact, they pretty much wouldn't let me back out. Eventually I made it over the edge, and loved the adrenaline rush it gave!
As the months moved along I got to know him a little better. We exchanged a few e-mails once in a while, and I invited him out to a group game night at my house. That was in the fall of '07. Christmas, then spring, came and went and we kept our friendship casual. Every now and then we'd end up in the same groups. I think it was late spring when I started getting to know him better. I was getting ready to move to his town for a new job opportunity. The phone calls became more frequent, and we'd meet up for coffee with a small group of friends from time to time. Thanks to my job situation, I was traveling on the road a lot. He would always call and talk to me until he knew I made it home.
I finally packed up my little flat that I as living in, and made my way to live on my own in another town. He called up and offered to help move furniture. He ended up coming over three days in a row to help me and my family move me out. And each night we'd all go out for dinner. Let's just say by the third night my parents loved him, and let me know it. I brushed them off...a relationship was the last thing I needed (or so I thought).
Our friendship grew a lot closer after I moved. We started doing a lot more together...coffee shops, wal-mart shopping, planning get-togethers, Taco Bell excursions and so on. I still didn't think he thought of me any more than a friend. One night we drove to Bible study together. He'd been teaching me guitar over the past couple of months. So we were picking around on the guitars while the rest of the group was crowded around the computer looking at pictures, when he mentioned us leaving before anyone would notice so we could spend some time together. So we did. We literally snuck out the door, drove to Starbucks to spend the evening talking and playing guitars. He asked if we could plan a couple of outings together that was 'just for us'. I agreed, and felt excited...but I was still a little unsure of his intentions.
That's when life started getting a little hairy...I was having major issues at my job. I'd stuck it out for about six months, but I was getting close to a breaking point. In fact I'd already had a nervous break down at work...or the closest I'd ever been to having one. Then one night I was so emotionally drained and exhausted, Josh took me out for some chill time. I probably spent a good hour dumping all the confusion about my job. And he listened...and listened. He offered guidance, but most of all he just listened. I went home and realized that I'd found a treasure of a friend...and I knew my feelings for him were changing drastically. He was one of a kind, and well he was simply the best friend a girl could ask for. And I was falling for him. So I just kept praying and trying to keep focus. And he kept listening, and showering me with support and friendship. I learned to trust him more than any other person in my life at that point.
Then one day I was sad, and uncertain about what to do regarding my job. He sent me an e-mail and asked if I would have lunch with him that day. You see that was significant, because he worked in another town at that time. When he drove all the way to pick me up, and take me out to lunch, I asked him why he wanted to do that. "To make your day better" was his answer. Um, yes....I think I pretty much fell head over heels for him right there. Seriously, I was a complete gonner for that boy!
One of the toughest days of my life came. I'll spare you the details, but I resigned and it wasn't a pretty thing to go through. I really felt like I'd failed and my dreams were out the door for good. When he walked into my office that day to find me sobbing my eyes out and barely being able to talk, he didn't walk away so he didn't have to deal with a girl crying (he'd never seen me cry...in fact he hates it when people cry...). He stayed by my side, until lunch time. He offered to grab us some sandwiches from our favorite sub shop.
Well, then he didn't show back up with the sandwiches for over an hour (the store was like ten minutes away!). I started to worry. To make matters worse he wasn't answering his phone, in fact, I was only getting his voice mail. That NEVER happened, he always kept his phone with him. My nerves were REALLY on the edge and I was freaked out. Finally, he came back to my office, looking really down in the mouth. He had been in a car accident while picking up the food! To make it even more horrible, his phone was dead, so he couldn't call me to let me know what happened. Oh my goodness...really? I mean REALLY? What a day. Eventually we decided to make up for all the bad stuff with Steaks and Margaritas with Ann (my friend & his cousin) at his house. Yeah, we both believe in rolling with the punches of life. ;-) After that we were pretty much inseparable. We spent every evening and weekend together. Movie nights, theaters, shopping, church activities, friends houses, Starbucks, guitar nights...we filled our time up!
As my feelings started changing, I got really scared. I specifically remember sitting in church praying one morning. I suddenly realized that I needed to back off on our friendship, we had gotten too close, and I was convinced Josh didn't want anything more than friendship. I hated myself for getting so close, and letting my heart get so involved. I remember getting up to leave the service early and go straight home. I thought I needed a good cry.
Only, as I was trying to leave, Josh was at the door waiting to talk to me...he asked if we could have lunch. He took me out to one of the nicest restaurants in our town. Over Alfredo, and grilled shrimp, he kept the talk light and fun for a while. That was when I felt peace in my heart, I remember feeling that God was reminding me to just trust Him. The need to "back off" or so to speak went away. Regardless of how our friendship ended, I knew God was the one who needed to have the reigns on when to move on with my life or move forward in our friendship. This was not always easy, as I was getting a lot of negative reactions from those around us, they were always telling me that I shouldn't have let my heart get in the way, and it was wrong of me to be so close to my guy friend. I'm glad I listened to God, instead of my friends that day.
After lunch, we took a short road trip to visit my family. As we were rounding the top of the mountain, near my parents neighborhood, he asked me if we could start dating. He wanted to get to know each other even better, with hopes of something even more. After a few minutes of smiles, and laughter, we were finally a couple!!!
On our way home, I took him to one of my favorite spots on the mountain near my parents house. It overlooks the great lake that I grew up on, and other mountains in that area. It's really breathtaking. We were just quiet, enjoying the view, and soaking in our new reality. It is one day and one night that I will never forget!
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him." Psalm 28: 7
Let's just take our time
There's nothing else to do
What better way to spend the night than wasting it with you
The moon has won the war
The daylight waits to end
Stay here by my side
We'll watch the struggle start again
I need you now and forever so stay right here with me
Don't ever leave
Love was kept from me like a secret
And I swore that I was through until you