I grew up in a Christian home, as did Billy. We were both brought up with similar levels of conservative-ness, including the idea of courtship. We both decided to wait patiently for the perfect person that God had for us, instead of following the popular system of dating. Now, I don't believe dating isn't necessarily wrong, but it can lead to a lot of regret and heartache. There are also some stories of courtships gone wrong, so I believe it is best to seek the Lord for what He would have you do concerning relationships and potential marriage. Seek His will and He will guide you in a perfect path.
Anyway...back to my story. In the fall of 2005, I became a freshman at a Bible college that was pretty close to home. God had brought me a long way, which is another story for another day. As most girls at the age of 17 (I was almost 18), I was naturally interested in boys. Being at a college full of single young men, it was easy to look at a lot of them and wonder "Is he the one perhaps?". During that semester, I became a Christian, and started growing in the Lord. During Christmas break, I became convicted at how much I was focusing on boys. I repented and told the Lord that whoever He had for me, I would wait for him and I even prayed for him, whoever he was. I got done praying and got on the computer to check my blog (I didn't use Blogger in those days). I found a comment from a young man named Billy who apparently was also a student at the same Bible college. Somehow (it must have been the Lord!) I knew he was the one. But, I didn't want to develop any kind of thoughts or feelings towards yet another young man. I prayed that if he was the one that God would make that very clear and work it all out. A few days later, I received an IM request from him. I cautiously accepted and we chatted a bit. During the first conversation, my Mom came in the room and asked who I was talking to. I don't remember my exact response, but it was probably something like "someone from school" or something like that. She asked me if it was a boy. I said yes. The fact that she acted like it was normal was a bit strange to me. I had been brought up that it wasn't proper for young ladies to talk to young men, so her lack of reaction really surprised me!
January, 2006, we began a new semester. I met Billy in person and started becoming friends. My brother also went to the same school that semester and he was able to get to know him a lot better than I at first. The whole month of January we were friends and chatted here and there. I found out that he was also a freshman just like me and we shared a lot of the same classes but I never met him or really knew he existed! In addition, I worked in the kitchen and helped serve lunch and dinner and probably had served him more than once but I still had not remembered him. We even shared 2 of the same friends! Now, this is not a large college at all, there are around 1,000 students, so it was interesting that we'd never met or knew who the other one was!
Around the middle-to-end of January, Billy got up enough courage to call my Dad and ask permission to take me to the Valentine's Banquet that was coming up on February 6th. My dad said yes, but we could only go as friends, nothing more. One night after church, my brother got me to come outside because Billy wanted to talk to me. I was sure I knew what it was about. He never did directly ask me to the banquet, I told him I would go! Haha, I am glad I was right about him wanting to ask me! We ended up talking for 2-2.5 hours that night, in January, outside, while I was wearing open toed high heels! (I am glad I go for more simple shoes now, anything with heels is SO uncomfortable!)
We went to the banquet and had a great time as friends. It was a lovely evening in a lovely expensive hotel banquet facilities. We were discovering more and more in common with each other. In the weeks that followed we became closer and closer, yet still friends. I continued to pray that if he was indeed the one, that He would make it very clear to me.
March brought spring break. It was nice to be home with family, but inside I did miss Billy a bit even though we had only known each other in person for 2 months. Of course, growing up with 4 brothers, I got plenty of teasing about Billy, in a way that only brothers tease. I do remember one conversation that I had with my Mom where she asked me what I thought of him. I was truthful and even mentioned that he was the type of guy I would like to marry. I was clueless about what was going on while I was away at school....
Right after we got back from spring break, we sat through a Wednesday night service. Billy had told me beforehand that he needed to talk with someone afterwards. I was disappointed, but accepted it. As it turned out, the person he needed to speak with was ME! He shared how he believed God was leading us together and how he had talked with his parents. His parents and my parents had also talked on the phone and both sets had given their approval and blessing! This was a clear indicator that God was in this--for my Dad to approve a relationship between his only daughter and a boy he had never met in his life, knowing that it would most likely end in marriage! Billy told me to take some time to pray about it, and 3 days later I told him YES! We both knew we were in this for marriage and as a result, I never got an official "Will you marry me" question or an engagement ring. I didn't mind at all, since I am not really a person who likes to wear jewelry.
Billy stayed in the area much of the summer and we were able to see each other quite a bit. He worked selling hubcaps and I worked in the kitchen at a hospital. We enjoyed our visits, even though they were short and only once a week or so.
We attended the fall 2006 semester and during that time we both felt, separately, that our time at college was done and we needed to pursue other things. A degree is a good thing to have, but it was not part of His plan for us to stay and finish. We had both learned a lot, grown closer to the Lord and now it was time to go home. We departed in early December, and as we lived 8 hours apart, we were not able to see each other for 6 months. That year went by pretty slow at times, but letters and phone calls kept us close. On December 7, 2007, we were finally married. A courtship of 1 year 9 months seems long now, but that is how it worked out for us. I look back and am thankful for how God clearly showed His will for us to be together, and I thank God for the wonderful man He allowed me to marry!
|Married! Dec 7, 2007|
The summer before we were married. Yes, the youth group behind us was being silly!
|Another favorite picture before we were married|
Linking with: Growing Home. Whole-Hearted Home ,