This story was originally blogged over a 5 day span...so it's quite lengthy...but it's the whole story! The dated posts in italics are taken directly from my personal journal. Enjoy!
"July 20, 2000,
Tonight me and the boyfriend went out. I had a really great time! It seems that we have rough times, followed by really great times. It's a shame I am leaving on Sunday for a week. I am going to really miss the boyfriend.
The boyfriend really is a great guy, it's been really hard lately. A lot of rough patches for us, but Dad seems to be warming up to him again...which is great. We will see how things go; maybe he will come back to church again. I miss being able to go to the same church as him.
Oh well, after a night like tonight, I am really happy."
The boyfriend and I had already been together for 5 years. We had our share of ups and downs. I think we really felt that we would be together forever, we talked about marriage...one day. We hung out as much as we could. But there were a few things that as I look back onto it now, I realize that maybe we weren't as good together as I thought then. I rarely saw his family or went to his house. He was always at my house. I know he had his reasons for it, but I never quite understood why...but I was young and hated conflict, so I never pushed the issue. He had a tendency to want to take "breaks" from the relationship around weddings or other important events. He was friends with one guy that deep down, just gave me the willies. He always did. I never could quite put my finger on it. I really didn't like how close he was to this person, I felt that he was pulling the boyfriend away from not only me, but church, and from his relationship with God. Towards the end of our relationship alot of junk went down, alot of stuff that I directly attributed to this friend of the boyfriend and his negative way of thinking.
There are a few other entries alot like this one from July 20th. I actually had forgotten how rough it was for me and the boyfriend at the end of our relationship. He had stopped attending our church due to some...spiritual and personal differences and in my opinion he wasn't in a good place personally. It was really hard for me. I was young and naive to think that I could fix him and help him. But he had his own things to go through, and so did I. The thing was...with the boyfriend not attending our church, (which was where I spent the majority of my time) it left alot of time for me to get closer to Husby who at the time was pursuing, with my help, a relationship with one of the other girls in the youth group. We really were best friends. I had no feelings for him, in fact if you read our story here...you will see that for a long time, I didn't care much for him at all. We were complete opposites and I really didn't like his player ways.
Let's see how things played out in the weeks following July 20th, 2000.
"July 31, 2000,
Well, we had a great trip to St. Louis, I enjoyed myself and the time with the kids...but I am glad to be back home, even though tonight was pretty tough.
You see, we were about 30 minutes from home and I called the boyfriend to let him know that I was almost home. And to say he was upset with me, wouldn't even scrap the surface. He said he was mad because I hadn't called him in 6 days, and that he didn't want to be with me anymore if I continued to put other things in front of our relationship, which I admittedly do. After all I had no good reason not to call him the entire time I was gone, it's not like I didn't have any downtime.
So we agreed to meet up and go out that night to see a movie and have dinner and talk.
I got really upset during dinner because there was alot of tension and I did not want to break up with him!
We talked and I said many, many apologies and I thought by the end of dinner that we may be alright. He was still feeling like we should break up or at least take a break and figure some things out. So after dinner I was crying non-stop, so we called off the movie idea and decided to go park and talk some more. He said he felt like I put alot of stuff in front of our relationship, I told him I felt the same way. We both agreed that we had both made some bad decisions on how to treat our relationship. He also said that he felt like I was too close to Husby, and that I was allowing Husby to get to close to me. I don't understand this really because Husby is just my friend. I have no feelings for him and besides, he is with his girlfriend. All my explaining must have just seemed defensive in the boyfriends eyes though. He cried too. He said he would do anything so he wouldn't lose me to him. He was really hurt, I could tell.
After we talked for a long time, he took me home. We talked more downstairs. I told him how much it hurt me when he left the church because it felt like we lost a "spiritual" connection. When he left I felt like it killed a big part of our relationship. Hopefully we will be able to work things out, I do love him and I don't want to give up, but this battle may be out of our hands."
Wow. Intense much? To be quite honest, I can remember that talk in the car very vividly. I think I knew deep down then, even though we had agreed to work on things that it was the end. By this point in our relationship we had broken up, taken "breaks" and gotten back together more times than I could count. In fact, it was quite the running joke between us girls. In the next few entries of my journal, things really started looking up, (but I realize now, that they always did after a near break-up or a quick break for us, and we were never really a healthy relationship after a certain point.) In fact the boyfriend did come back to our church and started attending again, and he did make alot of very healthy changes in his life...
...and things did continue to go well for almost a month, and for the first time for me personally, I began doing alot of soul searching and a lot of praying...
Well, things for the boyfriend and I seemed to be going very well. He had made some healthy changes and I had done a good bit of soul searching and growing. Let's get caught up to where I left off...
"August 30th, 2000,
Well, goodness it's been nearly a month since I last wrote, so let me get you caught up. About a week and a half ago on August 19th, I kinda broke up with the boyfriend. I had never been the one to break up or ask for space before. It was a huge step for me. I really only planned to take some time to myself. I am 19 years old and I really knew I needed to figure out who I was. I had been in a relationship now for 5 years and I had trouble knowing who April was without the boyfriend. There at the end there was too much stuff between us that was constantly causing me grief. As the next week went on, I did alot of praying and talking to my parents and my girlfriends. I even did alot of talking with Husby. I started to realize something that I was battling for a while...the real reason I broke things off with the boyfriend, was because I really did have feelings for Husby. I know he is my best friend, and I told him that I had feelings for him. He was happy, because as I found out, he had liked me for a while and I never really knew it. We had one minor issue...he was technically still dating his girlfriend. We talked for a long time about the situation and Husby told me that he was already planning on talking to his girlfriend about just being friends, because she would be going away for a year after she graduates and he wasn't looking for a long-distance relationship. So last night, August 29th, he talked to her. They had a long talk and he talked to her about me and she was completely cool with it all, she knew a long distance thing wouldn't work out too. I still felt like I wanted to talk to her, so I did what I do best and sent her an email. Hopefully she will email me back and we can make sure it's all good. I don't want to burn any bridges here. It's been kind of a whirlwind, but I am sure that God has a plan in it all...whatever it is."
Gesssh. I gotta be honest, after reading all that now...almost 10 years later...it seems so quick. But I know now that God did have a plan for it all. His girlfriend is out doing some pretty great things with her life and The boyfriend got married and has two kids already. So it all worked out. In fact that only makes me want to shout to all these 16-17-and-18 year olds that think they have it all figured out...you just NEVER know. You may not even be know that person you are with in a year!!
"September 4, 2000,
Well, Husby and I stayed up till 2:00 am on Saturday talking on the computer. We finally made things official. We are dating. The next day I got my first kiss from Husby. It was all so wonderful. I guess in a way I cannot believe how happy I am. We are both really busy this week so we won't get to see each other everyday, the relationship test begins! I know I can do it...it will just make those times together that much more special. We have a lock-in on Friday, so that will be a blast!"
"September 5th, 2000,
It was such a beautiful day today, Husby came to my job and meet me for dinner. It was a pleasant surprise to see him. After work he came over to hang out too. We took Barney for a walk cause it was so nice outside. We talked alot about the future and marriage. He says he thinks we will be married to each other by the time he is 24-25 and me, 22-23. Then maybe kids by 4 years later. He wants 2 kids, maybe a third if we adopt, which I may wanna do. I am just happy today."
It was a really easy start to our relationship. We were already best friends and I guess I can be honest now, years later...we already were somewhat forming a relationship over the second half of 2000, just without the feelings and physical nature of a relationship.
We continued growing and learning more and more about each other. He was so supportive of me trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and me with supporting him entering the Police Academy...see below for what happened over the next year+ for us.
We left off with Husby and I growing into a great relationship with each other...
"October 27th, 2000,
Wow, it has been a month since I last wrote and I am so sorry! I took the time tonight to read all my entries till the present. It's all so amazing to see how things transpired. I sat and thought alot about what I wrote and it made me think alot about the future and marriage.
When I was with the boyfriend I felt that he was the one that I was supposed to marry, we even had a Pastor on a missions trip tell us that; but we had so many problems, and I never truly felt like he was my best friend which I thought was so important to me. Now that I am with Husby it's totally different. He is my best friend and he has been for a while...for longer than I realized. By simply having that connection with him I know he is truly the one for me. I guess at first I had my doubts saying that, because I just got out of a really long, pretty intense at times relationship. I pray now, and I feel such peach about God having a plan for all of this, the mess that my life can sometimes be. I know that God even had a plan to use my relationship with the boyfriend. It taught me so many lessons and made me a stronger person. It paved the way for me to know what I wanted in a healthy relationship. We had so many rough times...and looking back, even though some people speak ill of it now, those times brought Husby and I closer. He became my rock when the boyfriend left the church. Our friendship seemed to grow almost completely our of the weak times with the boyfriend.
Husby never crossed a line, he never even shared with me that he had feelings for me...he was a true friend...and now we are together and because of how he treated me, I have the utmost of respect for him.
What ever the plan is I am so happy to be with Husby. He treats me wonderfully, he pushes me to become a better woman and he makes me feel strong and loved. Things are going great...there is talk of engagement soon...we shall see."
I tell ya, those were some hard days too. So many people, at times I think even the boyfriend thought that Husby and I had started a relationship before the boyfriend and I broke up. That couldn't have been further from the truth. It was hard for me to think that people thought I was having an inappropriate relationship before I broke up with the boyfriend. Luckily I had my girlfriends and for the first time in a while, my parents on my side. I think they knew how much I was praying about my relationships and my future and could see the positive side of what had happened.
We were only 4 months into our relationship and Husby sat down and had the talk with my Father...
"January 3rd, 2001,
Well I am terribly sorry that I have not written in so long...but Husby did talk to Dad. Dad pretty much said YES...but that he would also like to talk to Mom and Me about it all too before he gave his full blessing. So we went to lunch, Dad, Mom and Me. We talked and it went very well. Dad's only wish is that we wait a few months before getting engaged.
So Husby's plan is to wait until he gets out of the Academy and onto the street..."
Yeah I can almost hear you through the computer...you only dated 4 months before he asked for her your hand in marriage?! And yes, and trust me when I say this...I am not ever really one to say something like this...but when you know, you know. And I was in a relationship with a very driven boy, who knew what he wanted. He used to say he sat silently by waiting and waiting for me, and he was finished waiting! :P
"January 13th, 2001,
Things have been going great. Husby had his first day out on the street on Wednesday. Admittedly I was quite nervous, but I know that he has a great FTO to learn from. I feel much better about it now.
After talking to Husby the other night he says that he knows what he is going to do when he proposes. I am not sure if he knows exactly when yet, not like he would tell me! I am really excited though, I will keep you updated..."
and the ball just kept on rolling...
I was eagerly anticipating getting engaged, of course I didn't know where or how...I just knew it was close or so I thought...
"February 4th, 2001,
Well I have had one heck of a day!
This past Thursday Husby talked once more to my Father about the engagement. Well, my Father stated to him that he wanted us to wait until Spring (April or May). Dad thought he made that clear when we all talked and that we agreed upon that at the conclusion of our talk, I guess I heard otherwise. So Husby had already planned the whole night that he was going to propose and now it wasn't going to happen.
Dad also told Husby that he did not want me to be torn between him and Husby, so mainly the decision on the time frame of our engagement would be up to me. No pressure Dad. In all honesty there was a HUGE amount of pressure. I mean, do I let down the man I love by telling him to wait to please my Father or do I let down my Father by not complying with his wishes, when technically he is the Man in my life for now, because I am not married yet.
I knew what I needed to do, partly I am sure Dad knew that I would because that is how I was raised. I decided to wait until the Spring. That way Husby and I will be happily engaged and Dad is happy cause we waited. It seemed like the only win-win situation in my head.
Even though Husby said "ok, no big deal." I knew he was a little let down. We had a really long conversation and during that conversation he told me of his plans to propose. He said he had decided to take Valentine's Day and rent a limo to take us to a nice dinner and he was going to propose at some point during that dinner.
Of course, being the ball of emotions that I was, I began balling...I didn't want this to ruin our engagement and I was so disappointed. Husby held me while I cried and he just let me get out all those emotions. Tomorrow night we plan on going out to talk. I wish this hadn't all been ruined, but I have to know that God has a plan! Those seem to be my only words to live by in times like these..."
And boy did God ever have a plan! We talked alot over the next few months about the future. We knew, one way or another we would be engaged, just when was the unknown factor. We even at one point during April of 2001, booked the church and reserved the wedding date for May 4th, 2002...but as things would go for us...even that date wouldn't be the right time for us...keep reading for the conclusion of our dating story...
We had set our wedding date even without a formal engagement...for May 4th, 2002. We would soon decide that more time was needed...
"June 6th, 2001,
You are gonna hate me...it has been forever and so much has happened. I lost my journal and just found it today! So here I am writing...again.
May 5th, 2001...we got ENGAGED!!! Yes, it's official! And it was beautiful. We had gone camping for the weekend with the young adult group at church and Husby was supposed to join us for the weekend on Saturday, because he had to work on Friday. We were going up to one of my favorite spots, "High Rock." We were going to watch the sunset. Husby hadn't showed up to the campgrounds by the time we left and I was more than a little bummed. We travelved up to the overlook and hoped that the would meet us up there. As we drove up to the parking lot, I saw Husby standing there with his family and some close family friends. Of course little naive me didn't think a thing of it. I just thought they came up to join us for the evening.
We wall went up to the overlook and watched about 45 minutes of the sunset. At that point Husby stood up and had me stand next to him. He turned me towards him and said, "April I love you and you know that you are very special to me." Then it hit me...the next thing I knew he was down on one knee with a ring and said, "Will you marry me?" Of course I screamed YES! about 7 times! Everybody was there, the sun was setting, it was so beautiful. So it's OFFICIAL...finally!
On June 4th, we put a contract on a house. A two-bedroom townhouse for $80,000. We were both so excited because we had been looking for weeks!
The next day we found out that we didn't get accepted. We chalked it up as a loss...but as I say, God has a plan..."
We actually GOT that little two-bedroom townhouse. The offer was finally accepted and it because our first home together down the road. And long story short...we decided between us to cancel the original wedding date and reschedule it. It wasn't until May 3, 2002 that we finally picked a new date.
"May 3, 2002,
I am ashamed I haven't written in so long...not since December! We have finally set a new wedding date! April 5th, 2003! It seems so real and yet so far away! I know that time is going to fly by now though!
We have been working on alot. Husby has been settling in, living on his own, I have been looking for a the perfect job and he has been transitioning into a County Police job and getting out of the City. Alot of these things were reasons we decided to push the date out anyways! The wedding plans have slowly started. We are working on a budget and still trying to keep all the cool things that we want in our wedding in tact. I am getting so much more excited every day! Husby is too!
I promise to be better at writing, I don't want to miss out on remembered such a special time in our relationship."
I didn't write again until October 4, 2002...haha. So much for writing alot!
"October 4, 2002,
Well, I guess that no matter how hard I try, I always seem to forget to write! Oh- bad me! Anywho...we are 183 days away from the wedding! AHHH! Last night I got my wedding dress! Talk about making things seem real!
Husby and I are doing great, happily planning! It's amazing to see how much closer we get each day!
The plans are slowly coming together. We have decided upon having the reception a friends house who lives like a minute from the church and has a gorgeous house and land! I will talk more about the wedding plans in the next few entries....I promise to stay in touch, too much going on to NOT write, you only marry once..."
and again...I didn't write again until January 10, 2003!!
"January 10, 2003,
Well it's finally 2003, and we are officially 85 days away from getting married. I am really sooo excited! I think that Husby get nervous at times, but other than that I think that he is holding up very well!
We recently went and registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Target...that was fun! We changed the reception plans, we are now having the reception at the church campgrounds, cause we get it for FREE and we can fit alot more people there!
Husby finally paid off the Honeymoon...the surprise Honeymoon. I don't know where we are going! It's all so exciting and fun! I know this has to be a hard secret for him to keep..."
And you guessed it...no more entries till August 12, 2005!!
"August 12, 2005,
Talk about not writing for a while!!! haha! Almost three years!!!
Husby and I have pushed through our first years of marriage, isn't it amazing! Who would have thought...after all the bumps...finally! We recently moved out of our oh-so-tiny townhouse and bought our forever house. It's wonderful.
We have a great little puppy whom I talked Husby into getting for me about a month after getting married. So he has been with us since the beginning!
There has also been talk of another "addition" to our little family...we will see how that goes..."
And that was pretty much it for journaling...I wish I had done SO much more! There are a few intermittent journal entries from the past 5 years...but not much. Guess I should really kick my butt into gear so that I can blog about now in 7 years!! :P Thanks for coming along side and reading our journey. It was a fun ride, with many, many, many lessons learned!
Do you journal?? How do you tell your story?