Most people in my circles meet their significant other in college. I went off to school, honestly, with that as one of my goals. I had a date my freshman year, arranged by two good friends, and went into the summer with hopes that it would develop into something. It did not, and that was OK. I went to several formal events, which were required at my school, with girlfriends. I was having fun.
Then, my friends started getting boyfriends. I did not have one. Then, people started asking me how they could date my friends. I remember one time in particular, a guy from the church Janna and I attended pulled me aside to ask me a very serious question. He wanted to know if Janna was open to dating anyone, because he was so impressed with her (his words). I could not believe the gall he had to ask me, a single girl, that question. I said, “I have no idea, and you know what, people always ask about Janna. I’m beginning to wonder this: What’s. The. Matter. With. Me.”
Not exactly a very spiritual response, but my pride and heart were hurting. I wanted to find “someone,” and it looked like it wouldn’t happen.
Toward the end of my junior year, a very nice young man asked me on a date. We had a pleasant time, and corresponded throughout the summer. I returned to college in the fall and we started acting like a dating couple. It went on like that for a month or so, until my parents came up to visit. He asked my dad if he could officially date me, and when my parents told me that, I started to bawl. I had no desire to date him, yet I didn’t have a good “reason.” I was miserable. He was a great guy, treated me well, and loved the Lord, but he was not right for me. Finally, I told him, and we broke it off.
Interestingly, a few days after I told him we were not right for each other, my roommate, Shelley, told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you laugh this much” when we were messing around in our dorm house. It was true. When I was dating the wrong one, I was miserable. I learned from that that I would rather be single for the rest of my life, than be with the wrong guy.
In January of that same year, my roommate for the past two years, Melody, had a birthday party. Mel lived in a town less than two hours from our college, and we had a tradition of going to her home for her birthday party. A young man I had met on a few occasions when visiting her was there. His name was Tim. He had come to the party in hopes of getting back with his former girlfriend, who was also Mel’s friend. At one point during the party most of the folks went to another room to watch a video. Tim and I had struck up a conversation about mutual friends I knew from high school that he met at college. As the party progressed, Tim and Mel’s brother were pressured into asking me and another single gal to the upcoming formal event at our college, just as friends.
After everyone left (I was staying the night at Mel’s house), I mentioned to her, “Why didn’t I ever notice before how cute Tim was?” She was utterly disgusted since she’d known Tim her whole life. I guess hearing someone you’ve known since preschool called “cute” seems wrong. I was humiliated later to learn that she had told her brother, who then told Tim, what I had said.
We went to the date, and had a great time. We later went to a Buck’s basketball game together as a “date” and also had a great time. I quickly realized the difference with this guy over the first was that we could carry on a conversation. I recall one time that he called me and we talked for over two hours. Being someone who hates talking on the phone, this was surprising to me. We were talking, not the silly listening to someone breathe on the other end of the phone. We talked about fun things, we talked about the Bible, we talked about life.
Most of our courtship occurred over the phone and AOL Instant Message. It was perfect for me, as a senior in college, because I could focus on my studies while still conversing with this young man. He scared me on a few occasions, giving me red roses before we were “officially” dating, telling me to have “sweet dreams” at night. I was so innocent back then, and these seemed very forward to me! Unbeknownst to him, I forwarded all of his emails to my parents (isn’t that horrible!) so they could get to know this young man and help advise me on our relationship.
At the end of the semester I needed to move all of my things home. After four years in Wisconsin, I had a LOT of things. Tim offered to help, and at the same time meet my family. He helped me cart my belongings home and spent a week at my home with me. My mom said the moment she saw us together, she knew he was the one for me because we “fit” each other. During that week, he officially asked me to be his girlfriend. This was in May.Making cookies together on that first trip. Tim still has that shirt - I, sadly, do not fit any of those clothes any more.
I was growing closer and closer to this man who lived 500 miles away from me. After seeing him go through a particularly trying circumstance, I was impressed not only with his looks and attention, but also his character and ability to stand when the crowd goes somewhere else.
I had one hang up, though. Tim was (still is) an auto mechanic. I had always had dreams of marrying someone who was in the ministry, a missionary in particular. Through much prayer and internal struggle, I finally gave that over to the Lord. I realized that character was more important than a “calling,” and this man had the character I wanted.
In August of that same year, just three short months after becoming “official,” Tim took me out for a date I will never forget. We went to the city’s World War I Memorial, overlooking the spot where he had first asked me to be his girlfriend, “our” fountain. He dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, and we had our first kiss. We then went to Skies, a restaurant on top of a hotel that rotates while you eat, giving you a panoramic view of the city. I don’t even remember what I ate, I was so enamored with him.Here we are the night we got engaged. I'm calling Janna, who was in Guam, the only person alive awake at that crazy hour!
I spent the next semester sitting out of school, working to earn money for my semester of student teaching and planning my wedding. On June 27, 2003, I married my best friend, and I haven’t looked back after two kids, two dogs, and a mortgage.
How is God’s hand seen in this? Tim and I attended different colleges, in different states, over different years (he is older than me and got a three-year degree). Melody was not supposed to be my roommate. The year she was, Janna and I had requested to be roomies, not intending to have another roommate, and when we arrived Melody was added to our room. She became one of my closest college friends, and also the venue through which I met my spouse. Tim would not normally have been at her birthday party, but he was chasing that other girl and so he came. I normally was quite shy around guys, but I struck up a conversation with him. He asked me out on a whim, and it worked! I am so thankful for the attentive, loving, hard working man God gave me, who has turned out to be a wonderful father too!
This is the final post in the Mommy's Piggy Tales project. Janna will be starting a new session in the beginning of October - contact her today to get started!