Friday, August 29, 2008

Part Four: Romance - Finally!

The rest of that summer was just weird.

Josh and I talked on the phone. A lot.

I moved back to Grand Rapids before school started, and he came to visit me at my parents' house. We talked all night long. I drove to Ann Arbor to see him -- I mean, to see a bunch of friends.

Had it been any other guy I would have been sure there were feelings there. But Josh? He'd made it pretty clear where he stood just six months before. I had no idea what was going to happen when I moved back to Ann Arbor (into a house just 3 doors down from Josh, no less) for my junior year. And what about Carrie? She and I would be roommates in the 710 Catherine house.

I remember taking a trip to Meijer with Chris (a good friend of mine and a roommate of Josh's) the day I moved in. I started talking about the summer's saga and asked him for his male perspective on it all. His response:

Josh is an idiot if he doesn't date you.

The very next day would be life-changing. It started out ordinarily enough - unpacking, cleaning, reading, and watching a movie with friends. After the movie was over Josh and I decided to go for a walk around campus. And walk we did. All the way down to the football stadium (which from our side of town was almost 2 miles) and back. We sat down on the steps of the Nursing School and kept talking. Eventually the subject turned to us.

Josh was completely silent for about ten minutes. No joke. Come on buddy, spit it out! Then he told me that he had feelings for me, and asked me if I still felt the same way. I did. Of course.

He hadn't exactly planned on telling me that night. He had wanted to wait, talk to Carrie, and let our friends see that we were headed down that path. But he knew I needed to know what was going on (remember? I'm not a patient person) and told me. Yes, it was a complete 180 for him!

Carrie wasn't pleased, at first. That was partially due to the fact that she heard about us through the grapevine. That was my fault - I was so totally excited that I told everyone in sight and the news spread like wildfire. She got over it pretty quick, thankfully, and we remained good friends. She stood up in our wedding. So did Boeve.

We dated for about a year-and-a-half before Josh proposed. We were married 6 months later, and now we've been married for over 3 years. Amazing how things turn out, isn't it?

Me and Josh on our first date! He took me to TGI Fridays and we rented Top Gun. That night I told him he wasn't allowed to kiss me for a month!

After he told me he liked me for the first time - 5 years ago - he walked me back to my house. He told me later that this was going through this mind:

I just told the girl I that I'm pretty sure I'm going to marry that I like her. Whoa.

Crazy enough, marrying me was in the back of Josh's mind from the start. He knew we were great together, and that if we ever started dating we would end up married. At first, the feelings just weren't there for him. But it all changed that fateful summer! Josh describes it as a cloud lifting - like God was saying okay, here you go! She is perfect for you!

I don't really know why it all had to happen that way, but I see God's fingerprints throughout it. Perhaps had we started dating right away our friendship wouldn't have had the chance to develop like it did. Maybe God wanted Josh to try things out with Carrie first, so he wouldn't wonder later if anything could have happened with her. I don't think I'd have had the same experiences with building friendships and doing ministry had I been dating Josh from the start. Who knows? But I am so very thankful that everything worked out like it did. It has been a blissful five years together.

Praise the Lord.


the buurstra's said...

Awwww, finally! Happily ever after. Amen, sister! :)

Lynn said...

Yay...I love a happy ending. :o)

God does have perfect timing. Thanks for sharing this piece of your heart.

Dominic said...

I truly love your story a lot! Now I felt that I knew you and Josh more! See you both back at school then.

Paulina said...

Yay! And yes, you are welcome to come and stay the night - just let me know the logisitcs when it gets closer! take care

Erika said...

Wow, LOVED the story, Jess. I enjoyed every entry. You're quite the creative story teller. It's so obvious you two belong together. It just makes me laugh how well you guys fit each other :) Glad for the happy ending and the many more years to come....

Short Stop said...

I read every one of these posts, and LOVED them! I'm sorry I'm just getting around to commenting...SO busy around here.

You and Josh are adorable together!

Kristen said...

I am getting caught up!

Thanks for sharing your story - I always love knowing how people met and fell in love.

Dave and Jenni said...

Oh what a great story - and the fact that he "knew" from the beginning... Smart man!