My heart raced as I pulled into the parking lot of the Food Co-op. Social anxiety? More like mere dread of meeting yet another guy. The previous week had been so typical, until I received a message asking me to go out for coffee. It was my mother who prompted me to go, regardless of my lack of enthusiasm and disinterest all around. I had been set up so many times in the recent past that I felt burnt out on guys and all the "possible relationships." But there I was. . .
I had a very vivid picture of the person I was meeting with because of our previous group interactions. Over the past 5 years we had run in the same social circle. I had also been friends with his younger sister for a short time; but I had never actually spoken with this young man. . .that I could remember. I was sure I was about to meet with the epitome of "awkward home-schooler."
(This is the part where all the Daniel fans start throwing rotten tomato's at me.)
I locked my car, and crossed the parking lot to enter the store. Inside I was greeted by the hustle and bustle of this hip little place. There were so many people, and I had no idea where "he" would be. It didn't take long for me to notice the cafe opposite of where I had entered, so I made my way past the cash registers and lines of people, assuming I would find him somewhere near there. Just then he came around the corner to greet me. I halted (mentally) because the man standing just a few feet in front on me was tall, well dressed, muscular, and demanded respect with his mere presence. His face was serious. His posture, on point. Needless to say, I was choking on my earlier criticism and judgment.
We made small talk while we waited for our coffee, then we retreated to a table outdoors. Immediately after we had sat down, Daniel explained that he had been attracted to me for quite some time (years), and desired to get to know me better. I was completely surprised and said something along the lines of "oh, well....I'll have to think about it and talk with my parents." He graciously said that he understood and had actually assumed I would say such. Despite the abruptness of his confession, we continued conversation for quite some time after that. He told me about his experience at basic training, (this explained so much about his countenance). We shared a lot of easy, small details about ourselves and our lives. Then he walked me to my car, said goodbye, and as he walked away, my first thoughts were "dang, he's a lot better looking than I remembered."
I felt so relieved to have that meeting over with, but now rather than feeling dread . . . I was intrigued. Not just because of his good looks.. This man, I could tell, was serious. Serious about his family, serious about his job, serious about his relationship with God. I smiled, possibly all the way home. On arriving home I was bombarded with ALL the questions from my very curious mother. My dad sat quietly and listened until finally he said "What exactly are his intentions?" I sent Daniel a message asking him what his intentions were, to which he replied. "Well, I'm not interested in casual dating. I'd prefer to pursue a relationship that is God centered where we get to know each other with the intention of marriage in the future." That's when I knew he was serious about me. So, I gave Daniel our home phone number and told him that he would need to talk to my dad. He called sometime in the following few days and they planned to meet for coffee. At this meeting (where I'm sure my parents grilled the poor guy), it was decided that Daniel and my parents would all pray about it for a month. And in that month Daniel and I were not supposed to talk with each other. That plan was perfect, because Daniel was headed off to Texas for a month and I was headed to Colorado for a few weeks as well. They agreed that they would meet again when Daniel was home. It was exactly a month after his meeting with my parents that I received a message from Daniel;
"Hey Rosie! Your dad and I met a few hours ago and he gave me permission to talk to you :) how've you been?"Two weeks later Daniel asked if he could court me. And 5 months later, in a beautiful corner of our favorite public garden, he asked me to marry him. I knew I wanted to marry Daniel just two months into our relationship. It was hard for me to admit that to other people though, because I felt like there is so much judgment for people who "move fast" through their relationship. Daniel and I were so intentional with our time in getting to know each other; We shared our visions for life, our values, our beliefs, our ideals for/about family, our likes and dislikes, and passions; etc. When two people are that intentional, its not hard to get to know who they are very quickly. I was reminded of that scene from the movie Fireproof where Kirk and Michael are talking... "When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her. He learns her likes, dislikes, habits and hobbies. But after he wins her heart and marries her......he often stops learning about her. lf the amount he studied her before marriage was equal to a high school degree, he should continue to learn until he gains a college degree, a master's degree, and ultimately, a doctorate degree. lt is a lifelong journey that draws his heart ever closer to hers.'' I believe that this is the way both the man and the woman should pursue their relationship. You're always going to be learning. And I don't believe that you should ever come to a point when you stop pursuing the other person in the relationship. I am so excited to continue get to know Daniel.
loves me unconditionally, and I respect him so much. Daniel stuck with his feelings for me for a long time regardless of other peoples efforts to detract him, and that means so much to me. In that time he read every blog post I wrote, as well as every blog post my mom wrote, in order to know me and my family. Some people might think it is weird, or creepy....say what they want....to me it showed loyalty and commitment. He is very serious about his relationship with God, and is concerned about how his actions portray Christ, and has a deep desire to learn and be taught and to grow. He has incredibly strong family values. Not only that, but he loves his family and is intentional with them. He invests in his relationships with all of his siblings and his parents, as well as my siblings and my parents. He is gentle and sensitive, yet very masculine and strong. He is a natural leader, not easily swayed by other peoples ideals or beliefs, and many people look up to him and respect him. I used to think he was so stern and serious, but I have learned that he can be just as light hearted as anyone else. I am beyond thankful that God saved him for me. He so naturally fits into my heart and my crazy day to day life as if he had been there all along. And it is for that reason that I can hardly believe our relationship started a mere 8 months ago. And that we're getting married in just under 3 months! Our story is still unwritten, and we’ve got so many miles to go. Each day I grow more eager and more excited to make that journey with him.