As young girls we dream of how our love story will unfold. Yes the story may change over time, we trade princes for teenage pop stars, love letters for notes in our locker. I confess I spent hours dreaming of how my husband and I would meet. Would it be at a fancy event or pump into one another on the street, catch a glimpse from across the room and just know ‘he’s the one’. As usual God’s plan for my life, put my greatest dreams to shame, here’s how it began.
Facebook is a great way to secretly keep tabs on old friends and feeling like a rock star on your birthday. A few years ago (in case you didn’t notice the date) I was reveling in birthday fame when this message appeared.
Humm weird, especially since I didn’t really know Cody, he was one of those ‘friends’ that came about in the age of Facebook, where you knew who he was, had mutual friends, but hadn’t ever had a conversation with the guy. Mostly because Cody was the boy in college I avoided. He was on Christian leadership committees, getting a degree in Education to teach in a rough urban environment, and worst of all he had long Samson-like hair! Long locks have always been my weakness, they set my stomach a fluttter, my words into jumble, and cause my wit to fly right out the window. Ugh! I hated that helpless feeling, so I did what I do best; avoided the issue.
Fast forward several years, I moved from Des Moines and had been living in Los Angeles for 3 years, dating some, but mostly being annoyed with the men within my dating age. I had taken a step back, evaluated what I wanted, and more importantly what I needed in a mate, and decided I wasn’t ready to just date anyone.
But this recent interaction intrigued me so I responded. The Facebook comments continued and protected by the virtual wall between us my wit returned so I could converse with this good-looking gent, whew. The comments were followed by messages, and grew in frequency, eventually we started chatting online almost daily. While I was preoccupied with denying any major significance to this recent friendship Cody removed any ambiguity by asking if I’d like to go on a D-A-T-E when we were both home for the holiday, blindsided by his boldness I replied in my most eloquent, ‘umm sure’.
With no home in Des Moines Cody agreed to come to pick me up at Andrea and Adam’s condo. We went ice-skating downtown, to his favorite Des Moines restaurant, The Flying Mango. We were so engrossed with one another that they had to remind us twice to order and then remind us when it was closing time. We met up with friends at Mars Café sipping decaf coffee and beating one another at Connect 4, and yes they also had to remind us of their closing time. Then we drove around town showing one another some of our favorite spots in a town we both once called home. After we exhausted all of our options we came back to Andrea and Adam’s parking lot where we sat talking until 3 am. But before I left that night Cody asked if I was free the next day for a little Good Will Hunting and maybe lunch, it seemed like a thinly veiled attempt to spend more time together, but I was game.
I felt like a teenager sneaking back into Andrea and Adam’s, tip-toeing through a dark home, trying desperately not to wake the sleeping couple. Just like years ago as soon as my head hit the hot pink pillow Andrea knocked on the door and crawled in bed to get the first date debriefing. We giggled, relived the highlights and allowed ourselves to dream about the ‘what ifs’.
Cody came back to Andrea’s to pick me up around 11 am, we hit up a few stores and then to a Mediterranean restaurant near campus. We laughed shared stories of our separate lives and enjoyed one another for a little bit longer.
As we drove back to my car, I couldn’t help but point out that while we seem to have a good time together there is half a country between us, and the last thing I would want for either of us is to be one place and have our heart in another. So we decided we should break it off, it’s been nice, but not something that is smart to pursue. We hugged and went our separate ways.
The next day he texted me a photo from his road trip, I responded and the rest as they say is history. The texts continued, followed by long phone calls, a few flights back and forth, lots of prayer, and one very full car pointed east (and quite a bit north, eh).