**June 4th 2015 I will celebrate 10 years of marriage with my wonderful husband, and I’m excited to share our story here over the next 12 months (I love our story!). Each month I’ll share another post leading up to the big 10th anniversary! I’m calling it “10 in 12,” 10 years of marriage celebrated in the next 12 months! 🙂 **
(Go here to read the first part of our story!)
At this point in the summer I couldn’t deny that my feelings for Blake were growing. As much as I tried to fight them, I couldn’t shake my growing attraction. I noticed him talking to me more and pursuing group things with me and my roommates and he and his roommates. We had lots of opportunities to get to know one another better, and I just liked him more and more. (Apparently there was lots of talk about the two of us amongst the other students and staff on our summer project!) The more we got to know each other the more I liked him, and the more I liked him the more nervous I got! The thing that made me nervous was that he embodied so many characteristics of someone I could only hope to marry one day.
With that fact in mind, my nervous level was about increase exponentially!
Each student on the summer mission trip had the opportunity to share their salvation testimony with everyone. It was in effort for us to have practice in sharing and for us to get to know one another. I was thankful for this opportunity and thankful to share the amazing work that Jesus had done in my life. I was one who knew clearly the sin I was saved from. I echoed Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 1:15, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
And now it was my turn to share my testimony with our group, including Blake (remember that whole “characteristics of someone I hoped to marry one day”?!?). When I began walking with the Lord I knew that one day I would have to share my story with the man I would marry, and that had always made me nervous. I kind of felt like this moment was practice for that conversation I would have with someone in the future (someone who I hoped would be like Blake). I had a lot of thoughts going on in my mind as I was about to share. What would he think of me? If he had feelings for me (which I didn’t know at that point) would he push them aside after my testimony? Would he be interested in getting to know me more once he heard a little about my past? I was a mess, but I got up and shared and had to trust the Lord. After I was done I thought to myself that certainly there was no hope with a guy like Blake.
Later in the same day Blake texted me and asked if I could go with him to get some coffee. He had never texted me let alone pursued alone time with me! I had completely convinced myself that Blake only wanted to go get coffee to discuss the talk that had been going on around us and to clarify that we were just friends. I had also convinced myself that someone like him would not want to pursue someone like me. I 100% believed that we were 2 friends going to get coffee to define our relationship as friends, and nothing more. I imagined the conversation going something like this…
“Well Heather, I know there has been lots of talk about the 2 of us and the time we have spent around one another, but I just wanted to make sure that you and I are on the same page. I want to make sure that we know we are just friends.”
I SERIOUSLY thought that was how our time was going to go. We ordered our coffee, sat down, and then he dropped the biggest surprise in the history of surprises (up to this point in my life) on me…
“Heather, I wanted to let you know that I have been praying about pursuing a relationship with you.”
I really, really wish that I could have seen my face at this moment! I had NO clue that he was going to say this to me! I couldn’t believe that this was why he wanted to talk to me! I couldn’t believe that he didn’t want to be just friends! I was shocked!!!
He told me that I didn’t have to respond to him right then if I wanted to pray about it as well, but little did he know that I had been praying about him for quite a while! So I said….
“No, no. I will respond.”
I am surprised that I was even able to put together words that were coherent at that point! I was so happy! I was amazed at the Lord and His kindness towards me, and I was so thankful that He had stirred in Blake’s heart the same desire that He had stirred in mine. I gladly accepted his pursuit and left with him feeling overwhelmed with joy!
We had a few weeks together before the end of the summer in which we took the most incredible first date of all first dates (sorry if you thought your first date was the most incredible, because it can’t top ours!), had more ministry opportunities, and took a few chances to spend good time together. Our time of living in the same city was drawing to a close. I would be heading back to North Carolina, and he would be making his way back to Oklahoma.
I had no idea how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to him.
Read the next chapter soon.