I dreamed of loving, being swiftly taken away by my prince charming. A princess living the life of a fairy tale, but as life progressed out of childhood and into a young teenager, reality of all the pain of the world began to set and my dreams slowly drifted to a picture that I wasn’t sure really existed.
About a year later, my dad, a friend, and I all went to eat lunch after our Sunday morning church service. As we were waiting for our food, I began to let my eyes wonder, as I tend to do, and analyze the room filled with beautiful yet peculiar strangers I did not know. Across from our table happened to be this strikingly cute boy, but was saddened to notice he was sitting next to a girl, who I figured was NOT his sister. I said to my friend, “Why do all the cute guys have to be taken”?
Another year later, my dad’s friends were having a church retreat that they wanted us to attend. I wasn’t sure I should go, seeing as I would be the new girl that no one knew and crowds of strangers caused great shyness to rise within me. However, my dad struck my curiosity by describing to me this boy who he wanted me to meet. His dad and my dad were good friends. You know parents setting their kids up never work out, but I was curious none the less. I had seen him from a distance, however couldn’t make out exactly what he looked like again.
For weeks I can remember lying in bed dreaming of what every detail of him looked like, how he would act around me, and of course our relationship that would blossom. I felt this sense that I would marry him, crazy talk I know; but somehow deep inside I believed we would always be together.
A week before the retreat, my dad checked me out of school for a dentist appointment and afterwards needed to stop by his friend’s church, which also happened to be associated with the school this particular boy attended. I was nervous thinking surely I wouldn’t actually get to see him, and then as destiny would have it there he was outside for some class project. He immediately recognized my dad and walked over to introduce himself. He was such a gentleman and shook my hand as he greeted us. I’ll never forget his boyish smile that lit me up on the inside and I could not wait for the retreat to come.
October 30th was finally here and I was about to get to spend the rest of the weekend with him. We hit it off instantly and flirted with each other all weekend during a movie, riding go carts together, and holding hands while walking along the perimeter of the condos, surrounded by Lake Hamilton. He was so much fun and one of the “good guys”.
We dated off and on for three years. Young and immature, not knowing what we really wanted out of life; we kept breaking it off. I was a mess of confusion and every time we broke it off I would always feel such emptiness deep inside. Boyfriends would come and go, but none like him. Finally we dated for almost a year, I was eighteen and him nineteen and into his second year of college. I lacked direction and felt alone with him living four hours away. After a weekend trip to visit my mom in VA, Memorial Day Weekend, we broke it off deciding we were better off as friends. I thought I was okay, but inside I was heartbroken. I tried to get him back, but this time he was set in his decision.
Our paths took different trails, his focused on college and graduating and mine went from a job, to Master’s Commission in WA, to a Bible college in Hot Springs; all the time still searching for my place in this world. I learned a lot along the way, but still inside knew he and I were meant to be. Almost three years had passed and we had barely talked. I left Hot Springs to finally come home where his parents actually took me in to live until I found a job and place of my own. His mom and I had always been very close.
Three years to the very Memorial Day weekend we had broken up, God began to let his plan for us be revealed, as he and I began to talk again; just friends, but talk none the less. A few months later, I traveled with his mom to El Dorado, AR where he was interning at a plant to practice being an Engineer. He and I hit it off like we had never been apart, best friends meant to spend our lives together. A year later I married the man of my dreams, my best friend, and the boy I had seen in the restaurant eight years before. Yes, the boy that caught my eye.
Today is our five year anniversary, and we live in El Dorado, AR where my husband, Mark, works as an Engineer for an oil refinery. We have known each other a total of 12 years and now have three beautiful children of our own to share and explain to that… dreams really do come true!