Today, Michael and I celebrate seven years of being together. On November 11, 2003, I “came to my senses” and asked him to give me another chance. He said yes, and the rest is history.
It all started in the Spring of our freshmen year at FSU (2002). My roommate invited me to celebrate her birthday at her parents’ house with all of her old high school friends. Michael was there with his girlfriend at the time (sigh). I instantly thought he was cute, funny, and extremely friendly. But, did I mention he had a girlfriend? We saw each other occasionally whenever they had high school events as Kari always invited me to come along. The following Fall I started dating another guy and Michael was far from my brain. That ended 7 months after and I began to prepare to leave for Valencia, Spain to study abroad. While in Spain, God did a huge work in me. It was a defining time in my relationship with Him. I had no one but God to turn to. He grew me in leaps and bounds that May. Also during that time, I kept up with friends here in Tallahassee including Michael. He was on the email list for my trip updates and would AIM chat me (yes, we’re old) every once in a while to see how my trip was. He had just been to a Passion conference a few months before and was also growing tremendously during that time.
When I got back from Spain I went straight home to Tampa for the rest of my summer. I served a few weeks at FCA camp in southern Georgia and didn’t hear much from Michael. Then, my roommate called one day to inform me that Michael and his girlfriend had broken up. Score. (just kidding, folks!) I honestly didn’t think much of it considering I had no indication he would be interested in me. However, through the magical world of AIM, he and I began connecting and swapping stories of what God had been doing in our lives that summer. Our chats became more and more frequent and more and more lengthy. Then, we started talking on the phone multiple nights a week. My mom still calls it “the summer of the marathon phone calls.” I was smitten. He was too. We began chatting about hanging out when I got back to Tallahassee that August. My roommate was super excited, pretty much planning our courtship and wedding out in her little head. So. Many. Expectations.
I freaked out. I got overwhelmed with the thought. I was scared to get into another relationship again. I had grown so much over the last few months that I was afraid for that growth to quit. When we got back to Tally that August, we hung out a lot with mutual friends. Michael was definitely pursuing me and I was backing up. Wayyyyy up. Poor guy. Finally, one fateful night, we went for a walk on campus and I told him (in a few more words than this) to leave me alone. I told him I wasn’t ready to date him and that I didn’t think I ever would be. He was crushed. He still remembers the exact spot we had this conversation on campus (and is not shy of reminding me when we walk by it! Thanks, honey!)
Over the next couple of months, God continued to grow me. Things with Michael were beyond awkward. We still hung out with the same crowd so we saw each other a lot. But, he barely even talked to me. He was one angry and hurt boy. And who could blame him? Over time, though, God began to change my heart towards him. I began to see him in that light again. But, it would never happen. The damage had been done. My best friend and I would spend countless hours hashing over the facts and whether he would ever consider pursuing me again. Erin would point out the times when it was obvious he still cared for me. He just treated me differently than he did any other girls. But I couldn’t do that to him. Then, one day while meeting with my accountability partner, she was lamenting over a boy. She started to rattle off attributes she wanted in a guy. And then, it hit me. Michael was all those things and more. It was a “light bulb moment.” I wanted to run across campus to his house and profess my love to him. Luckily, I did not. Ha!
A few nights later (November 11th!), Michael and many other friends were hanging out at our house watching a movie. I was moping in my room in true girl fashion because Michael was still ignoring me. He left late that night to go home and took some freshmen back to their dorms. I called him and asked him to please come back so we could talk. His answer: “I’m almost back at your house already.” 🙂
I told him I was wrong. I told him it had just taken me a few months to realize he was just who God wanted for me. I hoped he’d give me another chance. Thankfully, he did. Two years later we were married and on the 19th of this month we will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.