“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” Proverbs 16:9
June 5, 2007
My head was in the clouds. I had just finished touring, was settling into my overcrowded dorm room, starting to appreciate not having to live out of a suitcase and falling in love. I was still cautious though, mostly because I didn’t want to end up in a situation where I was the one trying to make something happen between us, which had happened before. We had joked about him coming to visit over 4th of July since we both didn’t want to wait until August. It was midday on a Tuesday and my phone rang. “Weird” I thought, “Chris doesn’t get off for a few more hours”. It was my brother. He called saying my grandmother had passed away. There is a lot of family history that ties in with this…. But basically this was the breaking point for my family. I knew that this would be devastating, especially to my mother. I knew what I had to do. After talking to HA leadership I was released from my commitment and moved back home to Florida permanently. It all happened so fast. I got to the airport two short days later, I packed what I could fit in my suitcase and left the rest. As it turns out, I missed my original flight and couldn’t get another one until later in the afternoon. I spent the whole day at the airport holed up in a starbucks trying to make sense of what was happening in my life. My plans had changed in an instant. I didn’t know what life was going to look like. I didn’t have the “rules” of teen mania to follow, especially when it came to dating. I was emotionally vulnerable. I explained that to blue eyes. I told him I didn’t want to do anything rash in these emotional moments. He promised to be there to support me and help anyway he could, but he wouldn’t push anything. He respected me too much to do so. The next few weeks were a whirlwind. I found myself at the place I always ended up when I needed advice, my old youth pastor’s house. We talked for hours. He grilled me about this new guy. For the first time I didn’t feel ashamed talking to him about a guy. I knew it was right. I told him this was the first time I felt like I was actually being led in a relationship. I wasn’t the one who spent hours obsessing about making it work. It was just working. I was actually being pursued. I was valued and respected. More than anything, blue eyes was always bringing our relationship back to the center of Christ. He was encouraging me to continue to guard my heart. He said he would always protect my heart whether it was as a friend, boyfriend or husband. HOLD THE PHONE- husband?! The subject came up so naturally. We weren’t even officially dating. Just a few days later that changed. June 16th, 2007 he asked me to be his girlfriend. I had a boyfriend! Who just so happened to live about 1066 miles away (not that I was counting). Now that I was home, I didn’t know when we would see each other. Throughout some of our conversations the idea of me going to see him around 4th of July came up. The problem was I didn’t have money for a plane ticket. I had gotten a job, just hadn’t started working yet. I still don’t know how I did it, but I convinced my mom to buy me a plane ticket to fly across the country to spend a week with this boy she had never met. The reality set in, I was going to see him, as in MY BOYFRIEND!! Is this what love felt like? I was always smiling, wanting to giggle like a school girl and dance around. The conversations got deeper as time passed. He would call and wake me up as he was driving into work, I would pray for him and his day. I would call and wake him up on my way home from work and he would pray for me at night. Then the time came for me to actually go see him. July 3rd, 2007. I was so giddy, nervous and excited all at the same time. I started to freak out on the plane. What was I doing?! Logical, Rational Courtney was telling me this was crazy. It was too good to be true. Why was I flying across the country to see a guy I’d met once? This is crazy. It was crazy and it was good and it was true. Butterflies filled my stomach. The plane landed. I walked to the bathroom (to check my hair and makeup, of course) and walked towards baggage claim, bursting at the seams with excitement! I couldn’t wait to be in his arms… and in the blink of an eye I was. I practically melted when I saw him standing under baggage claim M7. I ran to hug him but he had other ideas…. Our first kiss! It took me off guard, but it was just as magical as I imagined it to be. And now we had the whole week to just spend together. But even before we left the airport, I knew that one week wasn’t going to be enough. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man.