My Husband was my First Kiss ~ Part 1

I would like to share a little bit of my story of how God helped me navigate the tricky waters of dating. Not everyone handles dating this way, and it definitely was not a perfect process, but it is my story. I am not writing this to give any advice, I can only share what I did and what my thought process was, and how God led me to the man I love.

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I did not date at all in high school, until the second half of senior year. I dated a friend from my youth group briefly but we ended things after a few months without it getting too serious. I have always been very cautious with boys, even with Jay (my husband) and made a point to move things very slow. Looking back I know that this was only by the grace of God and His hand on my life. I had always established in my mind that if and when I ever dated, that I would not kiss a guy unless I knew I could marry him, and I would not have sex until my wedding night. It was not enough for me to like a guy, I had to know his heart. I was taught to be very protective with my heart, and I think this approach protected me from getting attached to people who were wrong for me or would have hurt me. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of “interests” over the years, but I tried hard not to be a flirt and just be kind and treat all my friends the same. So my plan was if someone ever initiated a relationship with me, I would get to know them gradually, and delay a lot of the physical parts of dating, especially kissing, until I knew them well enough to see that they were a man of integrity and we were compatible. I wanted my first kiss to be with the man I was going to marry. Insane, right?

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I ended high school really questioning my ability to pick the right guy for myself. I prayed, “How can I trust my heart to make this decision for me? I feel so inadequate. I need God to help me.” So I made a commitment to not date my first year in college. I knew if I didn’t establish this in my heart before I started college, I would be sucked in by all the cute college boys, and be completely swept away by my feelings. Disney has a great word for this: “twitterpated.” I definitely wanted to be swept away, don’t get me wrong. I wanted the fairy-tale romance, but I didn’t want it with the wrong person at the risk of possibly destroying both mine and their life. I felt like God was telling me to go into college without the motive of finding a mate or a date, and just focus on getting to know people and make good friends – boy or girl. If someone crossed my path during that first year, and we had developed a connection, I would have had time to observe their character more objectively and have a strong foundation of friendship to build on. And if we fell in love during the time when I was not looking for it, I would know it was God’s doing. I know this may all sound nuts to some people, but I really believe this was the right approach for me, and looking back I am so grateful that God was so gently guiding me through all those years, and saving me for my husband.

I started school at William Jessup University in the Fall of 2005 after graduating from Woodcreek High School. I started out majoring in Music & Worship, and though that did not last long (a year later I switched to Counseling Psychology), this was how Jay and I met. We both had a love of music, and a passion for pursuing the presence of God through worship. With my plan of no dating my 1st year in play, which I openly shared with my friends, I got to know a lot of great people, including Jay. In the beginning neither of us were interested in each other. He thought I was weird, and I thought he was too quiet. (Funny thing here, those traits are exactly accurate to this day, it just took us longer to appreciate each other’s “uniqueness”.) We were assigned a few projects together, and ended up having to practice some songs in our free time. Those practice sessions in the commons ended up turning into long discussions about music, life and our faith. I remember thinking, “I really respect this guy. He has such a great heart” even before any feelings came. Over the course of that first semester, we hung out a lot in the commons, the picnic areas, or the stairs. Many more conversations were had. We worked on homework together. Oh, and I know this sort of dates us, but we chatted a lot online about homework and our families, particularly through MSN Messenger our Myspace profiles. {WINCE} Finally one day, just out of the blue it dawned on me, “Wow, I think I like this guy.” It was like, “Where did that come from?” And “why did I not notice him in this light before?” My friend Carly was one of the first go-between-ers. I would confide in her about this awesome Jay guy, and boy did she handle it well. Turns out Jay had come to a similar realization about me around the same time I came to mine, and was confiding in her as well. I have no idea how she avoided spilling her guts to either of us. I just remember some subtle encouragements from her. She played it so well, which is why years later I made her one of my bridesmaids.

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Finally after Winter break, after an epic Jessup basketball game at the HP Campus, Jay shared his feelings for me. It was so awkward for both of us… it took him so long to get it out that I thought he was telling me he had noticed that I liked him, but he just wanted to be friends. I was thinking, “Oh man, he knows! I thought I was being so mysterious.” Turned out he liked me and was afraid I hadn’t felt the same way. So the heavens opened and the angels sang. Ok not quite, but what a joyful moment! He proceeded to tell me that he knew I had made a commitment not to date my first year in college but he needed to let me know how he felt, and he would wait until I was ready. So he basically scored about a million points right there. As if he hadn’t already impressed me with his genuine honesty and integrity, but now he earned even more of my trust by not pushing me to break my commitment. At that point we continued our friendship till the end of the spring semester, treasuring the joyous knowledge of how we both felt about each other. We did not go on dates, hold hands, hang out alone. Nothing, normal couples do, except talk and hangout in groups. Of course when the last day of school rolled around and summer break began, we went on our first date to the movies (We saw The Da Vinci Code). It was so much fun! The waiting and anticipation made it so special and exciting, and I still treasure that day.

I truly believe that God guided me to begin dating this wonderful man… and he continued to guide our relationship as it developed. More of our story to come! <3

…to be continued.

See My Husband was my First Kiss ~ Part 2

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