My hubby and I have been working through Andy Stanley's video series "Staying in Love." I definitely recommend it for every couple. No, it doesn't give an easy fix for how to stay in love, but rather he gives practical advice and challenges couples to make love a verb (action) rather than a feeling. He also suggested, taking mental visits back to when you first fell in love, and what you loved about your spouse to begin with....so that is where I am headed, and I'm taking you all to visit with me!
The circumstances surrounding me and my hubby's first meeting is nothing short of a miracle. I grew up and lived in Farmington, Minnesota and he grew up and lived in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. We couldn't have been in more different worlds, or so it seemed.
God began setting up the circumstances for us to meet back in 2006 when my friend Jake decided he was going to attend a University in southern Indiana. It just so happened, that this was the University where my Jimmy and his best friend Matt went as well and it wasn't long before Jimmy, Matt and Jake became very good friends.
I met Jimmy for the first time in May, 2008 when Jake brought him and Matt to MN for his sister Nicole's (my best friend's) graduation celebration.
I was still in high school, and Jimmy was in college....I wasn't looking for a relationship, and neither was he, so we simply met, and that was that.
I didn't think anything of it.
After that week, Jimmy went back to IN, and I kept living my life in MN.
However, it wasn't long before Jimmy's best friend Matt started dating my best friend Nicole! And it also wasn't long before Matt and Nicole were trying to set Jimmy and I up!
Don't you just hate it when friends do that?
Now Jimmy wasn't interested in me at the time, and I wasn't interested in him either. In fact, at that point in my life, I was not really wanting to be in a relationship because of how I had been hurt in the previous years. I was content being single, and I think that's exactly where I was supposed to be for the time being.
I will never forget the day in August that changed my life forever. I was merging hay in the fields in my favorite tractor (didn't know I was a farm girl?) when I got a text from a guy at a number I didn't know. This guy told me he had met me in Denver where I had been on a missions trip in July. He told me that he was interested in me and asked me a bunch of questions about myself. (Yes I know I was not being smart texting a "stranger", but you try being stuck in a tractor for 12 hours at a time;) you would have texted him too!) So I told him about myself. I told him I was a country girl, in love with Jesus, loved farming, liked the outdoors, camping, fishing, four-wheeling etc. And then I asked him about himself. He told me he was a country boy, loved Jesus, liked the outdoors, camping, fishing etc...
Needless to say, I was interested in this Jesus-lovin country boy!
Try to imagine how I felt when I realized the number I was texting was not from Denver.
It was from Indiana.
It was Jimmy.
I was livid! I felt like he had tricked me he knew I was upset. Jimmy felt horrible and tried to explain to me what had happened. He had thought that I had been pranking Matt from my phone, so Matt had asked him to get me back and he had just been trying to mess with me....
Even though the conversation was a prank, we both had told the truth about ourselves and who we were....and now we were both curious about each other. There seemed to be something there.
Jimmy continued to text me, apologizing for what he had done, and I continued to text him back for reasons unknown. It became a daily activity. I looked forward to getting those simple text messages from him asking about my day. Even a random "good morning" text, made my heart feel something funny...something that I had never felt for anyone before.
I struggled. I didn't want to fall for someone, much less someone in college who lived 12 hours away from me. This wasn't in my plan!
But I guess it was in God's plan.
We texted every day for nearly a month. One evening, our text messages weren't getting through right and Jimmy sent me a text that said,
"can I call?"
I can still remember how fast my heart started beating. I was nervous! We had never really had a conversation before and I didn't want to ruin it.
I tried to hide my excitement by texting back
"yeah I guess...give me 5 min"
Well Jimmy took my "yeah I guess" to mean that I wasn't really interested in talking, so he decided he wasn't going to call.
I sat there waiting for 5 minutes....
When he didn't call, I sent a text saying,
"It's been 5 min?"
Thank God I sent that last text, because when he called, that phone call consisted of about 4 hours of deep and meaningful conversation that we will never forget.
We had a lot in common. We both had very similar beliefs about the Lord and how we wanted to live our lives. We challenged and encouraged each other, something that I had never experienced with a guy before.
After that night in August 2008, Jimmy called me every day.
Eventually those "good morning" texts turned into "good morning beautiful" texts. There's nothing much better than that.
But things were still complicated.
I was still young.
Indiana was still far away.
I had parents who didn't believe in dating. There's no way they were going to let their 17 year old daughter date a guy 12 hours away in college!
Check out parts 2 and 3 for the rest of our love story!
Linking up with Women Living Well