Monday, July 30, 2012

18 Years and Counting

It was my senior year in high school, and I was sitting in Speech/Drama class.  My friend Lisa and I were passing notes, and she was giving me a hard time about being picky when it came to guys I would date.  She asked me exactly what sort of guy was I looking for.  As I was thinking, I looked up and saw Nathan sitting diagonally across from me.  I drew an arrow towards him, and wrote "someone like Nathan".

What I didn't know is she showed Nathan that note.  Several days later he asked me out, and I said yes.  I already had plans that weekend, and he had plans the next weekend.  It ended up we never went out.  Neither of us are really sure how that happened.

Three years later my friend Dianna was getting married, and she had a class with Nathan in college.  Somehow my name was brought up during a conversation she was having with a group in her class about her bridal shower.  She and Nathan talked, and the next day she called me.

"Hey, I know someone who wants to go out with you, but he doesn't want you to know who he is because he's afraid you'll say no."

I had just broken up with a guy who treated me terrible.  The guy before that, well he treated me pretty crappy too.  I had decided I just wasn't going to date.  I reminded Dianna of my decision.

"I told you I have sworn off dating, and I'm certainly not going on another blind date."

You see, the guy I had just broken up with was a blind date that had been set up by my hairdresser.

"Yes, but this is different.  You actually already know this guy.", she said.


"Well, from high school."

I have no idea where this came from, but I asked, "Is it Nathan Twitty?"

It was.

"Oh, he's harmless.  Tell him to call me and I'll go out with him."

A few days later he called, and that weekend we went out.

I had seen Nathan out and about since high school.  He worked at a pizza place I often went to for lunch with co-workers.  His mom told me when I was still working at a fastfood place right after graduation, he would have her go through the drive-thru just so he could see if I was there.  We would wave and say "hi" when we saw each other.  A couple of times when I would go to refill my drink he came over and asked how I was, but the conversation was always short and sweet.  When the pizza place closed, I didn't see him anymore.

Until he walked up to my door carrying a single rose to pick me up for our first date.

It was the sweetest date I had ever gone on.  He had put so much thought into every detail.  He took me to dinner at the last place we had seen each other.  It was the same building where the pizza place had been, but then it was an Italian restaurant.  He took me to a play ... "The Sound of Music" ... and after we went for ice cream.

On the way to take me home he asked, "Shall we do this again?"  Without even giving it a second thought, I said yes.

That was July 31, 1993.  The rest, as they say, is history.

We saw each other every day after that, and spent hours talking, either in person or on the phone, about anything and everything.

November 4, 1993 he picked me up for lunch and took me on picnic.  In 46 degree weather, sitting on a blanket by the lake, he asked me to marry him.  Even though it had only been a few months, I knew he was the one I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.

July 30, 1994 in front of God, family and friends, we promised to love each other forever.  We vowed to love and honor each other through every circumstance that would come our way.

Today we have been married 18 years.  Little did we know on that day the struggles we would have to face, nor did we realize just how much we truly did love each other and how through those struggles our love would grow.

Nathan is the most amazing man I know.  My Mama was a litmus test for people's character.  I don't know how she did it, but she could tell you not long after meeting someone if they were trustworthy or not.  I don't ever remember her being wrong.  There were so many times we disagreed about someone, sometimes for years, but in the end her warnings proved to be true. Not once, not to me or anyone else that I am aware of, did she say anything negative about Nathan.  I actually would accuse her of liking him more than she liked me.

I don't deserve Nathan, but I am so grateful to have him.  I am so honored to be his wife.  Nathan is honorable.  He's a man who is honest and trustworthy.  He is faithful and longsuffering.  He has shown me so much grace and mercy when there were so many times he easily could have walked away.  He has been quick to forgive for so many stupid mistakes I've made.  From the first day I got sick, he hasn't left my side.  He has spent so many nights sleeping in a hospital chair beside my bed.  He took 3 months off of work to stay home with me so I wouldn't have to go to a rehab center.  To do this day, he takes care of me.

He always there.  And as my brother pointed out once, just having Nathan there makes you feel like everything is going to be okay.

He's the father to our girls that I wish I had when I was growing up.  He loves them unconditionally and has a gift of embarrassing them.  He's the first to rise up to protect and defend them.  Nathan is a calm, easy going person, but you don't want to be the person who does something against one of his girls.

Most of all, he loves Jesus.  It because of his love for Christ, he's all of those things I've pointed out.

I love you, Nathan.  More today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow.  Thank you for loving me, and wanting to grow old with me.  Happy 18th Anniversary!

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