Friday, April 1, 2011

1 Year Ago--No April Foolin'

I was nervous. I was wearing jeans, flat brown shoes, a pink tank top with a gray hair was straight and my hands were shaking just a little. I was sitting outside the Starbucks on Buffalo Gap putting on minty lip gloss and rechecking the hair in the mirror. Gotta look perfect!

I'd never technically met this man before, but I was going to have a date with him.

I prayed again. "God, let this go o.k. If it's not Your will that this go anywhere, that's fine. But PLEASE let tonight not be awkward....let us have good conversation."

This was my prayer over this date as I sat on my hands and waited. I was early. Imagine that. He was right on time.

Kyle Bartlett and I had conversed over facebook messages for a couple weeks leading up to this night. I was excited but anxious. I knew he loved the outdoors, he was in the Air Force, he was good at music, he loved his family, and he was HANDSOME. I had stalked all his pictures and determined he was one of the most handsome men I had ever seen. When he asked if we could have coffee I was beyond thrilled. I held back giving him my number--he was going to have to "man up" and ask for it in person before I handed it out. I'm a girl. We can't look too desperate.

A gray Mazda pulled behind me in the parking lot. I saw United States Air Force plastered across the back window and the USAF license plates. This HAD to be him. I waited and watched. He got out and walked toward the building. He was wearing jeans and a blue and orange striped polo. His arms looked amazing in that shirt. That man had MUSCLES.

This was the perfect time to reapply lip gloss.

I waited a few minutes so I wouldn't look so incredibly anxious (though I was) and then I walked in. The first meeting was slightly strained. As my mom would say "you looked like you had a corncob stuck up your butt!".........geez, Mom.

thankfully, my date eased that quickly.

We ordered....he ordered a Venti Java Chip Frappuccino and I ordered a Tall Cafe Americano. I'd never had espresso before, and after a few sips I realized that my hands were shaking like I was on crack. Stupid caffeine!

Thankfully Kyle didn't notice or he just figured I was nervous.  

We started talking. About school, our jobs, our hobbies, our families........and we couldn't stop. For three hours we talked about everything we could think of and I discovered this man didn't just talk about Jesus. This man knew Jesus and LOVED Him.

In saying goodbye, we did the awkward side hug and I vaguely remember reaching across and touching his stomach with my free hand. Don't ask me why I did that.......I don't know what possessed me to perform this very strange deed, but Kyle said it gave him goosebumps.

I got in the car and called my parents. "Mom, can you be in love in 10 minutes?"

Mom, ever encouraging, "Well, I guess so...."

Kyle asked for my number that night....and before I got back to the dorms he had texted me to let me know he really enjoyed the evening and we'd "have to do it again."

And we did. And we do. And we will for the rest of our lives.

Oh, the things that happen in a year. One year ago today I didn't think I'd be planning our wedding. One year ago today I didn't know I could love someone as much as I love Kyle. I don't love him the same today that I did then--or even 6 months ago--or honestly, even the same I did 2 weeks ago. I love him differently and more every time I learn something new about this mystery that God has given me to call mine.

Happy April 1st...the day I fell in love with the man I will marry in 43 days.