Today is an anniversary of sorts for me. It is an anniversary of firsts... several firsts!
9 years ago today I got all dressed up, took a ride an hour from home and ate at my very favorite Seafood restaurant. I saw a halfway decent movie that, to this day is one of my favorite movies! It was my first date with my, now, husband! A night I will forever remember! But that was not the only first that night.
Let me back up. I was born in Murray, Utah 23 years and two months earlier... Oh wait, too far? Okay, how’s this.
Jarrod and I had been friends for right at a year and a half. Our friendship started off innocently enough. He showed up with a friend to a kick off for a singles bible study I was starting. And as my mom tells it, “he just never went home after that!” Small town, the kind everyone leaves the minute they graduate from high school. There weren’t too many options for friendships at the time and so we just kind of gravitated towards each other. He was the rebel, I was the goody two shoes - so when he announced to me a few months into our friendship that he wanted it to be more I panicked, thanked him for stopping by my office, walked him to the door, and told him we would talk next week when I got back from a weekend mission trip I was about to go on. I spent the weekend freaking out and discussing it with our mutual friends, who were engaged to each other at the time. I loved Jarrod, he had quickly become my best friend and experience told me that the minute I said we are not going anywhere beyond this it would be end of our relationship. I was not ready for that. But he came with baggage, I was legalistic lucy and there just wasn’t a “future” for us.
We had plans to have dinner together Monday night before bible study after I got back from my trip. We literally had not spoken since he said “I like you and would like to start dating” and I said “okay bye, we’ll talk Monday” (other than to make quick arrangements for dinner)
I broke the news at Denny’s, was very honest about the reasons why. He said he understood and we could definitely still be friends. I smiled, nodded, and left with a broken heart, knowing that after what was about to be a very awkward bible study I would not see my best friend again.
He proved me wrong (his favorite past time) and spent the next year going out of his way to prove what our friendship meant to him. We spent every spare second emailing (literally over a thousand emails exchanged between us in that year and a half) on the phone or hanging out with our group of friends. He looked out for me. I admired him. We were best buds!
My parents had decided some years before all of this that their three children would not date in the traditional sense... more of a courtship type of arrangement. (if that didn’t scare off the prospects... well if it didn’t scare them off at least you knew you had a good one... or a psychopath)
So around Easter (10 months later) I grew a brain, realized I had been crazy in love with Jarrod for who knows how long. I told my dad. He went to dinner with Jarrod and told him he would commit to praying for 3 months and see what God’s plan for our future was... if there even was one. Poor Jarrod at this point had never even asked for permission to date me. So he was caught a little off guard but was pleased. See what all he stuck through. (we were still trying to figure it out, keeper or psycho?)
At this time Jarrod and I were doing a community production of West Side Story together! He was the lead. I suffered through a bad attitude from the Chorus line as, night after night I watched him lip locked with a rather stunning “Maria”!
Side note my, not so funny, daddy took a video of one of our productions. His favorite thing to do during those weeks (and remember I am living on pins and needles at this point knowing that my dad and God were about to decide my whole future and I could lose the man I loved at any moment) Daddy dearest would call me into the living room very innocently and there paused on the Television would be Jarrod and the beauty queen with the voice of an angel in one of many various kissing scenes! I know, right... Jerk! ;)
Okay... hang with me we are almost caught up. The big decision day was July 6. That was the day my dad had kind of committed to end his time of seeking the Lord for us and a decision would be made. Jarrod and I had discussed it at length. I was very prepared to honor my parents decision. We knew it would be too hard for things to remain the same if we were not going to be taking the next step. We were both living in the town I had grown up in. Jarrod had only been there a few years. He was going to move back to California if the decision was not favorable.
The play closed on July 5th. In my plot to spend as much time between “Maria” and Jarrod as possible (I mean literally in between) I had arranged it somehow to be standing next to Jarrod for our final bows every night. So the curtain went down, our hands were clasped from the bow and Jarrod pulled me aside. He told me he had waited a long time to tell me this and now he finally could. He said, “I love you!” and that was all I needed to hear to know the decision had been made and our future sealed. Jarrod was honoring a request from my daddy. When my daddy told him he would be praying for three months he asked Jarrod not to tell me he loved me or talk to me in depth about his feelings for me. (so as not to make things even harder). Jarrod honored the commitment. I knew he would not be speaking those words without permission. My dad, who knew that I had always been a little bummed about the fact that he would know before I did that I was about to be in a relationship with somebody (because of the whole courtship thing) thought it would be nice for me to hear it from Jarrod first. I know, right... Sweet! ;)
That was a Saturday night. Jarrod wanted our first date to be on a Saturday... traditional date night. So we had to wait a WHOLE WEEK for our first date!
So, here we are. July 11, 2003. My first date with my future husband. But let’s not forget, in my family we did not date traditionally so this was not just a first date with Jarrod. This was a first date! Many years earlier I had made a commitment to God that my first kiss would be with my future husband. Yep, that’s right, that night was also to be the night of my first kiss! And incidentally the first time in my relationship with Jarrod that I was a nervous bumbling idiot. Because I was so sure he was never a potential prospect for me in the beginning there was no pressure to “perform”. By the time he was “husband material” in my book I was so comfortable with him that it didn’t change anything. But oh, the firsts were piling up in my mind. That and the fact that my mother and grandmother were nearly gitty as they helped me get ready. AND I was about to kiss something that, I was pretty sure, had more experience than my pillow that had received all of my previous practice kisses (many, MANY years earlier... I promise... really!) So I flipped, I barely made eye contact all night and did a lot of mumbling. But we did make lip contact and there was a date the following weekend. But that is for another post!
I am so thrilled that (as crazy as my family sounds) Jarrod got to be the man to experience so many firsts with me. My heart was whole and completely his. I was given to him pure in so many ways. I have never looked back with regret or what if’s! He is my first love, my only love... (people wise) and he has every part of me!
|Here we are about 1 1/2 years later. |
(I couldn't find the pics from our first date)
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