I thought sharing our little romance story would be a fitting way to launch this blog.
We were meeting for the first time at a hotel. Yikes. Sounds terrible when you say it out loud, doesn’t it? Six weeks of getting to know each other, talking and messaging, but we’d never FaceTimed.
A year ago I had been a different person, who NEVER would have agreed to something like this. I had just been through the hardest year of my life. Ask any of my family – they were all concerned for me. A broken relationship, hopes and expectations dashed and life twists I had not expected left me with a hurt heart, fighting off depression, with a sad outlook on life. How I could’ve avoided all this I don’t know, but I do know I kept telling God He needed to rescue me from the pit I was in, or I wouldn’t be rescued. And in His time He chipped away, and molded, and refined me into what He wanted me to be. And my relationship with Him grew. And one day I was just out. Completely out of the pit.
Goodnight, I was like a new person! Brimming with all the gladness in the world, because I’d been set free, the heartache from the past ached no more – I had a brand new hope. And it wasn’t small. All of a sudden I was happy. I loved my job, my home, my life, and the fact that I wasn’t married didn’t bother me so much. I was bold and confident and unafraid to ‘try things.’ And it was several weeks after that, that our sweet mutual friend, Ann, first contacted me about Greg.
Ann had approached both of us asking if we’d be interested in exchanging contact information. She didn’t know why, but we kept coming to her mind and she had been praying about introducing us. It was definitely not the first time someone had suggested setting me up with someone, and I know it wasn’t a first for Greg either. Most of the time I politely shrugged these offers off, but there was something so sincere about Ann’s approach. I prayed about it for three days, then said yes. Greg also was hesitant – partly because we lived 300 miles apart. He was near Chicago, IL, and I was from mid-Michigan. But he prayed as well, and after one of his work buddies said he’d “better write that girl or else!” he sent the first email.
For the first few days the messages were friendly … and pretty short. Very interesting trying to get a feel for someone you’ve never actually seen. We were pretty easy-going about it and let the conversations flow as they may. One day Greg texted, “You totally remind me of some Disney character. It’s at the back of my mind…CINDERELLA! Oh, my, that’s it. That’s your nickname from now on.” I figured this was some Chicagoan flirting tactic, but I had to admit – it was cute. I laughed, “And what shall your nickname be? Mater? Han Solo?” He liked the second suggestion. And that settled that.
Emails, to texting, to phone conversations. From what I could tell he seemed loud, outgoing, loved the big city and his hobby was his Camaro. (What was a Camaro? My knowledge of muscle cars was pretty limited back then.) He had one sister. I was a calm, country girl, who didn’t care for big cities at all. And I had five sisters and 4 brothers. This wasn’t going to work. I prayed, I journaled about it, I asked all my five sissys for advice. What was I even doing? Trying to get to know a guy I’d never seen, who lived in another state?
Yet I had this niggling feeling that God was in it. Just enough to make me keep taking the next small step forward. And Greg was interested. I could tell. He suggested making a quick trip between work and college and teaching welding classes (that guy was crazy busy!) to meet me in person.
Now I was sitting in the hotel lobby, in my own familiar little town, waiting for him to come downstairs and drive me to the restaurant we’d chosen for dinner. I’d seen pictures of him, but that was it. Was he really upstairs? Was he going to seem like the same guy I’d talked on the phone with? Would he look like his picture? I whipped out my phone to check the time, and when I looked up, he was there, leather jacket over his shoulder and grinning at me. “What’s up, Cinderella!”
*stay tuned for PART 2 to be published next Tuesday!*