A lot of you have asked how we met our husbands, and since my husband and I JUST celebrated our 12 year dating anniversary, I figured now was as good of a time as any to reminisce with you. So let me take you back to 19 year old Whitney. She had never had a boyfriend up to this point and I know what you are thinking, “You must have been a huge nerd.” I probably was, because there were a lot of boys I had been interested in but nothing ever turned into anything. I had braces, was a quiet artist type, and dressed like a bag lady, according to my dad! Haha! (you’ll have to read my post “A Whim and a Whirlwind” to get that one.) But if I’m being ultra-real with you guys, I think God was protecting me because had the opportunity presented itself in high school, it would have been to affirm who I was, because I was so self-conscious, rather than to be a meaningful relationship for the long haul. I would have used a relationship as a pawn to make me feel more important, like a popularity status thing. God was really working on me during high school, solidifying who I was and putting a boy in the mix wouldn’t have been a good idea. THANK GOD! Seriously. SO thankful.
Through this time of being a free bird, I had a few experiences that really shaped my life before I get into the mushy stuff. One being that my mom was a singer, and taught us girls how to carry a tune completely pitch perfect, and harmonize from the moment we could speak. (PS, she’s cultivating this in her grandkids too. My three year old sings the ABC’s like nobody’s business) The second being a mission trip I took to England to help with a Christian music festival. I was surrounded by musicians and worship leaders for almost 3 weeks and realized I shared not only a love for music but a love for using that gift for God. I told myself from that point forward, that my future husband was going to be a worship leader because I needed someone who understood and would love it as much as I did.
As I was gearing up to go off to college in California, I made a trip back to Illinois to visit my friends and family, (because at this time we had lived Orange County, California for several years but still came back every summer for a week or two). My friends, Mollie and Shannon, invited all their friends over one night, and in walks this handsome devil AKA Isaac. He had really cool hair, a golden tan, and biceps only guitar players had. He was (is) the guy who turned the heads of everyone as soon as he walked into a place (he definitely turned mine). Other guys hated him, the girls loved him. You know the type. I immediately wrote him off because anyone that cute knows they are cute and I didn’t need that kind of trouble in my life. But he was wearing a concert tee of a band I really liked so… maybe he wasn’t all bad. As the night went on, I asked Mollie what his story was. She said that he wasn’t really into dating anyone right now because he had just gotten out of a long relationship a while ago. I kept an eye out anyway, pretty much watching his every move. I noticed he was a little shy and was respectful of everyone, even me who he hadn’t even known before that night. He didn’t act like “God’s gift to women” that I was expecting which threw me off because I was SO sure he was going to be rude, but he was different than most of the guys I went to high school with. Oh, and what do you know, HE’S A WORSHIP LEADER! Sighhhhhhh. Oh dear.
I’m not really the type to beg for someone’s attention, so I actually kept my distance and figured he could do the perusing if he was interested. Now, those of you that know Isaac know he’s a man of few words until you get to know him more. Not knowing this right away, I totally had myself convinced that he didn’t like me, or had no interest in being friends with me, but why would he? I lived in California. It was hard for me to admit but it bothered me a bit. Being interested in someone and it not being reciprocated was a hard pill to swallow. Sadly, at that age you tend to question yourself like, “Am I not cool enough to snag a cool guy like that?” BUT, the last night before my flight back to California, Isaac came up to hug me goodbye and said he’d instant message me. (I’m showing my age but AOL was all the rage back then. I promise.) SHOCK! I was shocked that he even talked to me, let alone hug me AND want to continue communicating. This guy was breaking all my expectations of him. Ok Isaac, I see you.
He instant messaged me as he said he would, the night I got back to California. I was excited about this new, HANDSOME possibility and was a little (a lot) giddy, and if I’m being honest, there was a part of me that was flattered that the “cool guy” liked me. But at the same time, I was a little skeptical and I wanted to go to college with a clean slate with no attachments. Dating a boy, long distance of all things, was NOT in my plan, so I was more halfhearted about Isaac than I probably would have been. Honestly, I was just assuming it would fizzle out after a week like all my past encounters had. BUT nope, we continued to talk on instant messenger day in and day out, mainly about cool bands and concerts we went to (because we were SO cool. The coolest of cool…. oh man it makes me cringe thinking about it because we were so NOT cool.) Actually, I think one of us printed off those first few conversations at one point, and they are SO cringe worthy. I’m certain I destroyed them from sheer embarrassment. I tried to be SO cool and instead you just sound like an idiot. It didn’t scare Isaac off though. I went to college, moved into my dorm, started classes and we continued to talk. At this point, we moved up to PHONE CALLS. Seriously guys, the coolness is just beyond what you could imagine.
Then after about 2 months of this incessant talking, I was kind of wondering why Isaac was still sticking around. Turns out Isaac’s last relationship (which ended a year prior to this) had been long distance. He had every intention of seeing this thing through and wasn’t scared off by our mismatched zip codes. Isaac then took the next step and decided to fly to CA to see me. This was a pretty big deal, and really freaked my parents out a bit because they didn’t know anything about this boy and flying across the country to see me was a bold move. I didn’t tell them much because I assumed he’d get bored and move on, and downplaying it saved me the embarrassment of telling them I wasn’t worth sticking around for. (New relationships are a tricky thing on your psyche aren’t they?) To be honest, it freaked me out too and I became increasingly nervous as the day approached. The last time I saw this person was two months ago, and we said two words to each other. What if it’s awkward? I’m an awkward person already, and literally make most situations even more awkward just by being myself. What if he realizes I’m not as cool in person as I am on the phone? Deep down I’m thinking, “This is going to go badly.” And badly it went. Very, very bad.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!