The First Date…
Okay, so I’ve head you in suspense long enough. Drum roll please… our first date was…
February 14, 1997… Valentine’s Day!!!
I don’t exactly remember the process of how exactly it came to be… I do remember that night that I was ready early (yeah, that ended… I am perpetually late!!!) I wore a green courderoy jumper that hit my knees, a white shirt, my white ribbed tights, brown shoes, my gold chain necklace, hoop earrings and my hair pulled back into a half pony thing. He picked me up and my mom wouldn’t let me go out to the car. She made him come to the door for me… He had three red roses for me (significance will come later!)
We walked out to the car and there was a little brown bear (PJ) sitting in the passanger seat and Elvis’ “Teddy Bear’ was playing! (Oh did I mention that this totally amazing, hot guy had the coolest car EVER… a new Ford Mustang, BLUE!)
So, we headed out on our first date… man, I was nervous! We ate at Spaghetti Warehouse (if you’re ever in Dayton it’s a great Italian place right down town.) Just in case you wanted to know I had spaghetti, he had lasagne. (Oh, I forgot to tell you what he was wearing… I think it was tan pants but it definitely was a blue & white shirt… Amazing! Oh, and he ALWAYS smelled good… still does!)
So then, we headed off to the most rockin’ place in town… The Cathedral’s Quartet Concert!!! I love them. I really didn’t know them that well then, but I do now. They are amazing artists!
Anyways, we headed back home, directly! When we pulled in the driveway we talke for a second and then he said good night. He came in for a kiss and I MAJORLY chickened… I deflected and he ended up with my cheek… he STILL talks about that to this day! (It was my first kiss!!! Give me a small break, please!)
Anyways, talk about romantic. (Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jim Brickman’s ‘Valentine’ came on the radio on our way home, it came on when we were coming up on the Taylorsville Road overpass on I-70, eastbound. So, that was our song from them on, very appropraite I’d say!)
(I just realized that I’ve used the word anyways a lot!)
We dated then for almost three years. He was at Cedarville (whoo hoo!!!) getting his B.A. in Comprehensive Bible and I was at good ol’ Wayne High School (okay, a side note… Charlie just came in and said, “Mom, when I lay down it feels like I’m gonna grow up… when I sit up it doesn’t. I can’t lay down cause I’m gonna grow up…” He really meant it feels like he’s going to THROW up! The power of a propped pillow… problem solved!) So anyways, we dated my high school career.
We did normal date things, movies (our second date was “One Fine Day”, our 1st offical ‘Christmas Date’ was “Titanic”… he got me “Romance” perfume that year..), putt-putt, concerts, and every year until the Cathedrals retired from touring we revisited our first date… Spaghetti Warehouse and the Cathedrals.
I could continue to make you think it was perfect… A lot of it was, we talked like crazy. At first it was through emails mostly because my mom wasn’t too keen on long phone conversations for her 16 year old… Music has always played a really big part of our relationship. We’d always planned on arranging and playing a duet of “I am Thine, O Lord” at church, it never happened though. We would email each other lines from songs, etc. I did have all of those songs saved somewhere, I think they’re actually up in the attic in a box marked, “Precious Junk: Don’t Throw Away!”
We did end up have struggles… Anyone in a relationship does, especially as you start looking at marriage and a lifelong commitment. We knew that we wanted to, rather, we knew that we were called into ministry. We both had sensed that calling independant of each other and then it was so cool to have it solidified together. I would say our biggest issues came from us telling God that we knew best on a couple things. That is SOOOO not a smart thing to do. PLease, please, please, take it from someone who could’ve had life a little easier, please bend at the knee and trust the Father, head His Word… Stephen and I were both SOLID Christians and yet we still struggled, I failed many times… it didn’t mean that I was blacklisted, it meant I was human and Satan wanted to destroy my calling and make me as ineffective as he could.
That being said, those years of dating are filled with such precious memories for me. For Stephen and I, we just knew… We knew that we were designed… CREATED… for each other. We compliment each other so well in our gifts, talents, and personalities… let me say this to… I don’t mean we don’t drive each other CRAZY… I know I drive him half mad A LOT – especially in the throws of a ‘project’, i.e. VBS… but where I lack he is strong, where he lacks, I can come along side and be his help mate.
One of the coolest things we did together was went on a mission trip with his dad’s ministry, DBEA. The summer between our Jr/Sr year (mine High school, his college) we went to Ukraine and then to Israel. I love that we were able to have that experience. In fact, here’s a picture of what we looked like. Okay, kinda. This is a REALLY bad scan of the picture PLUS this was hours into a bus ride right after we’d traveled for HOURS on a plane to get to Ukraine…
So, as my senior year got well underway, we began to start talking about getting married. I think we even had a date set (in our heads, not on paper) for at least a year before we even got engaged. (We’re both first born, we had to plan… Oh, did I forget to mention we’re both first born, God does have a sense of humor sometimes!!!) Anyways, I was REALLY wanting a ring ASAP. Stephen was working as a youth pastor at a local church, which because of age difference meant I couldn’t go to church with him… I would have been IN the youth group. But, my mom held VERY firm that I would NOT have a ring in high school.
Graduation came and went, I really did think I would get a ring for graduation… I didn’t. (Oh, here’s a picture of us from my Senior Pictures… again, my scanner didn’t work well so I took a picture of the picture… not great, but it gives you the picture anyways…)
Well, that’s where I’ll leave this post for now. I may start up the next section but I may not. I’ll leave you guessing… will be propose, won’t he propose, will they get married (I guess that one’s dumb… I wouldn’t be writing this if we weren’t married!!!)
Anyways, until next time…