The story I never thought would be mine...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"I will never forget that first moment we met" 
when two worlds, they crashed in
And I found my best friend
You're a Godsend.

Just the beginning
I am not quite sure how to begin this blog, but I must say I am smiling just thinking about completing it! Life has a funny way of working itself out and just when you think the one thing you've always wanted would never be within your reach is when you realize that you aren't dreaming, but that it's the life you're living. Am I dreaming?! That's what I have recently been asking myself...let me start from the beginning...this might be long, but keep reading- There's a surprise guest in this blog :) 

3 Years ago in August, I made my way to Nashville, TN to start school at Trevecca and I had no idea what God had in store for me as I moved here. I must say I was anxious about a lot of things at this point in my life, but I was excited to start this new chapter of my life and little did I know all that was to come from this move. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of EverPraise as I first came to TNU and while I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I belonged "somewhere" and I had 7 other people that I was soon going to become "family" with, rather quickly.
 I was nervous about fitting in, but I made it and along the way I met someone that captured my attention rather quickly. Common interest weren't hard to find and my first thought when I saw the number next to the name in our PR folder was '772'...I'm thinking, there's no way?! Actually there was. 
His name is Andrew. He was gonna be a sophomore and he's from Port St. Lucie, Fl. . . only 35 minutes from my house...scary?! kinda. After talking a bit and asking a million questions like always, I found out that he was into sports, liked similar music like I did, we knew quite a few places back at home that we had both been to, and we just clicked. Talking came easy and it was apparent to most everyone around us that we just 'got each other.'
It wasn't long before our casual conversations turned into deeper conversations and before I knew it, and I can't even really tell you how but I'm sure glad it happened...he became my best friend. Hurts from my past, things that I worry about, random thoughts, jokes, laughs, silly car rides, late night fast food runs, a help to carry my MANY unneeded (don't tell him that) items on the road, a shoulder to cry on, a hug that seems to fix everything, a mind that thinks ahead of what I need before I even know what I need, and a smile that says 'I'm here...' - are only a few things that 'my best friend' was and is for me.
 Traveling every weekend was a blast, anatomy and physiology classes at TNU were a riot, hanging out wasn't something we just did because we 'had' to be together because of PR, but became one of my favorite things to do.
Christmas 2009
I admired him from a distance for a long time.
Over the last 3 years, I have watched him grow in so many ways. I have watched him change for the better and have been blessed to be the best friend beside him as life brought on new challenges, hard lessons, big decisions, and just every day life issues where decisions needed to be made and change is constant. I've seen such potential in this guy and have always thought to myself 
"whoever ends up with him is going to be so lucky." 
I had a million reasons for thinking this and would often be jealous in my own mind for whoever ended up with him. No matter how much time I spent with him, it was like I could never get enough of it. 
I've wanted nothing more than for him to be happy, doing well, and going after all the great things God has planned for him. I've wanted to be an encouragement and someone he can count on, no matter what- as he does this and so much more for me. Many times at night  I would lay in bed and think to myself, what if He could be it? I would talk myself out of it quickly thinking there was no way that life would work itself out for it to be that way.
Through prayer, God's direction, and following the truth in my heart, I made some big changes in my life and little did I know what God had planned for me. Stepping into the unknown can be scary...but what is unknown to us is always known to God. In following my heart, I was about to step into something that would change my life.
Time made us best friends
One night my best friend and I were talking which we did  quite often, however, this conversation was different than the rest. He spilled his heart out to me and began to tell me what he thought about me, which he did often, but again this time it was different. The look in his eye, and the smile that I got from him that night was a moment I have captured in my mind and will never forget. After sharing how he felt, and some time to process through everything going on in my life, it did not take long for me to realize that I had fallen in love with my best friend. 
I felt like the princess that I had dreamed of being my whole life. I never thought this kind of love was possible or something I would ever be worth, but everything I never thought would be happening...was happening. I wanted to be loved for all the right reasons, I wanted someone to care about the little things that matter to me, I wanted it to be okay if I had a bad day and I just needed to cry for someone to listen to me and hold me and encourage me to go after the things in life that are my dreams and goals. I wanted someone who would challenge me to grow, to go bigger, to chase all God has for me, to dig deep within myself to be the best I can possibly be, to not live in fear but to have confidence in a relationship, to love despite faults, and I've prayed for someone who would see the best in me despite the scars that I have. 
Andrew truly was and is all of these things that I have wanted for so long, but never believed existed.
This guy that I had admired for so long and just wanted to do anything for, the guy who went over and beyond for me, who always puts me in front of himself, the one who makes me laugh and giggle, who makes my smile 10 x's bigger than normal, the one who understands things before I even say it, the one who is attentive to things in my life that I thought no one would ever care about, the one who looked at me and said "I just want to take care of you" ...this guy that I have grown to love and deeply care about over 3 years time, who I am happy to call my best friend is the guy I have completely fallen in love with and the gift that I have been given that makes me ask: how did I get so lucky?
 I've made a lot of mistakes. I've gone my own way, I have been stubborn at times to do and be all that God has asked of me. I'm not so sure I've always believed that God would give me the desires of my heart because I feel so unworthy ...but this story, this love story that I never could have written for myself has become one of the best things to ever happen to me. God truly has shown me more about His grace, His perfect plan and timing, and His love when he placed Andrew in my life. 
I want to love selflessly, I want to live out what 1 Corinthians 13 is all about, I want to encourage, and walk beside pressing into all that God has in and through everything along side my best friend,who truly is the love of my life. 
I truly am thankful for God's blessings in my life and for His faithfulness even when I was not. 
Andrew is an example of God's grace in my life and I am looking forward to this new chapter of life and seeking all that God has as He continues to write my love story....
I've shared a lot from my heart about the guy of my dreams, but I wanted to add something else to this blog...Here's the story from His eyes....

It all started out as a name I saw on a folder for incoming PR members. I had heard that she was from Florida and was even more excited when I found out that she was from Vero Beach. I was helping my boss set up for our little PR camp at the time and had to put the folders with the names out at each seat. I did not know which girl was from Vero Beach so I took a very uneducated guess. Turns out I  was wrong in my choosing of who I thought was the Florida girl. I only wanted to sit next to Ms. Florida because we lived twenty minutes away from each other and I thought we’d have a pretty sweet connection.
There's never a dull moment with us
Once I figured out who this Vero girl was I made a huge effort to get to know her. The only problem I faced was, she was not as outgoing (at the time) as I was and I think I may have overwhelmed her with my friendliness. I remember at one point I asked her, “ do you even talk?”. I was met with a very surprised and not so happy I said that to her look. I took a liking to Bethany from the start, even though she was very shy.  I knew there was a talkative person under the shyness and I wanted to see it.  
I believe it was the second day of PR camp and Ms. Talkative needed a ride back to her hotel. Seeing an opportunity to open the door a little more I offered to drop her off. I am pretty sure it was very reluctantly, she said yes. I didn’t know why, but I was really excited…I was dropping her off at her hotel, nothing serious or really something to get excited over. Regardless, I was excited to get to talk to her one on one. It was basically small talk on the drive to the hotel, but I knew I had made progress in my quest to befriend this very pretty girl that lived near me.

I do not know what exactly it was, but I knew that night that her and I were going to be close. Maybe it was because I was bound and determined to get to know her. All I knew was there was something different about this girl. I was attracted to her but it was much deeper than just a physical attraction.

After I dropped her off at her hotel I remember thinking to myself, “she’s the one.” I very quickly shrugged that thought off. There was no way I could think like that at the time. I wanted to do my own thing and have fun. Being tied down was for losers. So with that thought process in mind I continued doing my own thing, but I still wanted to be close to her.

I remember the first time that I ever hurt Bethany’s feelings, a bunch of friends were going to the Walking Bridge in downtown Nashville.  The place that we parked was right next to a parking meter and made the people on the rear passenger side have to squeeze out of the car. Ms. Bethany made a joke about her being fat, me being a very sarcastic (some call it witty) person went along and very sarcastically agreed. Little did I know that was not a good thing to do and some time later I was given the third degree…SN… never doing that again.

Like I said, we just clicked. We began talking more and more, we would hang out with all our friends outside of PR. I thoroughly enjoyed just being around her. I honestly do not know how it happened, but she opened me up to her. I shared things with her that I never shared with anyone. I just felt comfortable talking to her. I felt I could tell her anything, and I did. She began to feel that comfortability (I know that’s not a word) and before I knew it, I had made my best friend. We would talk everyday. PR rides, we sat next to each other, outside of PR, we would hang out. I don’t even think I can explain how easy it was to be around her and how much of a joy it was. As time progressed, we both found significant others. I think it is safe to say that looking back, neither of us approved of who we were with and I know that I was jealous. I would never admit that to her and I didn’t think I had feelings for my best friend other than her as my best friend. I must say that even though we were with other people, we still talked all the time.  You could say we were inseparable.

I loved Bethany with all my heart. I would do anything for her, I mean come on, she was my best friend. I don’t know when it started happening, but I began to tell her that I loved her…all the time. No, it wasn’t  “I’m in love with you, I am attracted to you…blah blah blah” it was much deeper. Every time I told her that I loved her, I was saying,
Hey, you mean the world to me. I will do anything for you. I’m here for you.”

A favorite memory of ours
As time went on and our friendship grew, I realized that I was having feelings for this girl. But every time those feelings popped up, I had to push those thoughts way back and tell myself that those feelings were just feelings and to get over them. I can’t tell you exactly when, but I fell in love with Bethany a long time ago. By this time, I was single and just living the life. I did what I wanted and was having a blast. I knew there was something missing, my best friend. But how awkward would it be to try to tell your best friend that has a boyfriend that you have very strong feelings for her? Exactly, why I kept my mouth shut. I prayed for God to change my heart because I never thought it would happen. My prayer for the longest time was “ God, please change my heart if this is not what you want, but if it is, please make it happen because I cannot say anything.” Sounds cheesy maybe, but that was what I prayed so often and for so long.

I failed to mention this earlier but ever since I was in high school I told myself and other people that I was going to marry my best friend. Dumb Andrew never put the two together when I would say it after Bethany became my best friend. The thought never really crossed my mind, until my heart started falling for my best friend.  

All of my thoughts and feelings I kept to myself until one fateful night. I was getting ready to go out for the evening when I received a phone call from Bethany. She sounded upset after I said hello, she quickly asked me what I was doing and I said, “getting ready to go out.” As soon as I said that she told me that I wasn’t going out and that I was coming to see her. I thought she wasn’t serious so I told her that I was going out. Again, she told me that I was not going out and that I was going to walk down to see her. As soon as I heard her say that, I immediately thought that her boyfriend had just broken up with her. Little did I know that I was about to have one of the biggest shocks of my life.

The walk down to her apartment felt like miles, I had so many thoughts racing through my head. I was hoping she was okay, I was thinking I was going to have to go to jail for beating someone up. I was worried that something serious had happened. I got to her door and knocked, as soon as I knocked once the door opened and there she stood. I didn’t say anything and neither did she, we just stood and hugged right outside her door. She pulled back and began to tell me what had happened. I stood in amazement and shock as she finished telling me that she had just broken up with her boyfriend. I had no idea what to say, so I just did what I knew to do. I was her best friend and I consoled her as best I could. In my mind though, all I could think of was what is happening? 
I had prayed for God to do something for so long and to me the impossible had just happened. After we talked about what had happened and after Bethany spilled her heart to me about how God gave her a peace about it. I was probably the happiest I have ever been. My mind was still racing with thoughts of -do I tell her how I feel or do I wait or what? I decided to give it some time before I told my best friend that I had feelings for her. I waited, and let me tell you it was really hard to do. Until one day, Bethany asked me a very loaded question. I decided now was the time to do it. I figured I didn’t want to be the best friend on the sidelines anymore and so I went for it.

One of the best moments of my life & our first "real" picture
I did not know how my news was going to be taken and so I expected the worst. To my complete surprise I was accepted with open arms. Come to find out, Bethany had been thinking about her and I, and had drawn similar conclusions that I had. We just worked, we were best friends, we had spent the last three years getting to know so much about each other without the awkwardness that dating couples go through. We had been through thick and thin and we had pulled through, she dragged me sometimes and pushed me and I did the same for her. We loved each other as best friends. Why had it taken so long for both of us to realize we were meant for each other? 
I don’t exactly know the answer other than I believe God used those three years for us to grow and get to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about each other. And we still loved each other 
There is a song called Godsend, Dc Talk performed it, the chorus goes like this. 
“You’re a Godsend, a blessing from above, you’ve been God-sent to me. You’re the Godsend I’ve been dreaming of, You’re a Godsend.”

Maybe it’s cheesy, actually yes, it is cheesy but it sums up my thoughts, prayers, and feelings about Bethany. She is my other half and I am so thankful that God has brought me a helpmate that is so much more than I could ever deserve but I am so thankful and so blessed to have her in my life. She is a Godsend and I can’t wait for what God has in store for both of us.

I wanted to end this by saying thanks to all those who have prayed for me as I have made this journey and for the encouragement and support as God has so wonderfully laid out His plan in His perfect timing. I am blessed to have so many great people in my life!

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