I have a thing for love stories; I love to hear about how couples met and get the full scoop on the proposal story! Relationships are a beautiful thing and I'm always curious what it is that brings certain people together. Today, I decided to write down the "short" (yeah, right!) version of Jake's and my love story. I'd love to hear all about yours sometime!
Jake and I met at my best friend's 15th birthday party in 2010. After that, I was in a play with him through the homeschooling group we were a part of in highschool, but besides that, we didn't interact much. Fast forward two years, and it was March, 2012, when Jake asked me to go to prom with him. I was very surprised!
At the same time, I was in Seussical (the musical) and Jake
was helping with sets. One evening rehearsal I wasn't
needed on stage, so I offered to help him with sets, hoping to find out more about why he had asked me to be his prom date- I was very curious if he liked me! Well... I remember having a lot of fun that night, chatting in the set room as we painted walls bright green for the show. I don't remember what we talked about, but I remember driving home that night, staring up at the stars from the car window, with no idea whether Jake had a crush on me or not, but I knew one thing: I had a crush on him! (Bet you didn't see that coming...)
Now, a little background info is needed: for about a year, I'd been on what I called "boy strike", where I just wouldn't let myself have crushes on boys because I decided I didn't have time for that. (Yes, this idea is very amusing to me now...)
Jake broke my boy-strike, and I wasn't entirely happy about it! My life had been so much simpler without any boys in it, I really wasn't sure about letting this happen. So, I prayed a lot about it (at 14, I took relationships very seriously!), and I really tried to not like Jake, to just be friends. But, after months of trying that out, I knew it wasn't working. At some point that summer, Jake found out I liked him and he asked to speak with me; he told me that he really hoped he hadn't done anything to be leading me on and that he really valued our friendship. I was so friendzoned... at first, I thought I was okay with that. When you like someone and you think they might like you too, it's exciting and fun; when you like someone and they know you like them and they don't like you back... that's not fun. So, I decided I was over it.
WELL. Lo and behold, I wasn't and that led to a very interesting friendship between us. Since Jake had spoken with me, he thought I didn't like him anymore and that we were friends... but that was far from the case. I was actually praying every day that God would help me to be a friend and that my feelings would go away; and I really meant it. I knew that my friendship with Jake was something I didn't want to ruin with underlying feelings, so this prayer was very much so in earnest. This was fall, 2012. We continued to talk a lot; we really didn't hang out unless our group of friends got together, but slowly we were becoming really good friends. At this point, I told no one about my feelings for Jake because I didn't want to be persuaded by the excited girl talk or the sway and opinion of friends. By the time Christmas came around, I'd realized that I was going to marry Jake someday. I knew I really loved him. Once I knew I was actually going to marry him, I figured I'd better share my realization with my two closest girl friends!
During this time, I was asking God for signs that Jake was my future husband; I was 15 and I knew I was a little young to be so sure of such a big decision, so I kept asking for more signs that this was God's will. Each time I asked, I was shown again that yep, Jake was my future husband! At this point, everybody but Jake could tell how much I liked him. I'm really not good at hiding my feelings, however subtle I try to be. We were getting teased a lot by our friends, people were always trying to get us together. Around Jake, I pretended to think it was funny, but secretly I loved the extra help with getting us together! Jake was one of my best friends, and he took the teasing really well. He was completely unaware of my feelings for him though, until our group of friends took a weekend trip to my grandma's B&B over winter break. Apparently, I found this out much later, that was when he first became interested in me.
One day in March, 2013, we were driving somewhere together and he was telling me how annoyed he was getting about all the teasing because it was getting to the point where if he showed up somewhere without me, people were asking him where I was. (I loved that!) He asked me if I thought "we" could work. My response was a very careful, "I don't know... I think maybe we could?" which I tried to say really casually. Now, at my homeschool group, I was in the habit of going on walks with Jake and another friend of ours every week. Well, a week after we had that conversation in the car, Jake and I went on a walk- our other friend "couldn't come", so it was just the two of us, and that's when he told me that he liked me and that he wanted to date me! You can imagine how happy I was ;)
Four months into our relationship, we talked a lot about how we were realizing that we were going to get married someday (well, Jake was realizing this...I'd already known for quite a while, but had decided to keep that knowledge to myself until Jake brought it up!) We really became each others' best friend; we never argued or went a long time without talking because we understood each other and stood up for each other.
I matured a lot through my friendship with Jake, and then through our relationship as well. I learned a lot, and looking back on that time, I notice things that I hope I never forget.
I was 16, almost 17, when we began dating and Jake was 20. I had a year of highschool left when he was 2 years into college. He did all of the driving for the first year of our relationship, because I didn't have my license until I was almost 18. Because I was so young, my parents didn't want us to spend a lot of time together. We saw each other once a month, and I was allowed to visit his church once every 3 months. Some of the things I hope I never forget are:
How young I was when I knew I was going to marry Jake. I was only 15, but I knew it for certain.
How difficult it was to be so young, knowing we couldn't get married for years, even in a relationship that was headed there.
How hard it was seeing each other infrequently.
Age is just a number; I was making adult, life-changing, decisions long before I even had my drivers license.
I had to learn how to feel God's guidance, without relying on anyone else to tell me what He wanted.
Part two, "The Engagement", will be on its way shortly; I hope you enjoyed reading!!!