I graduated from the University of Alabama in May of 1996. I spent a grueling Summer after graduation volunteering as an intern with the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics. The night of Closing Ceremonies, I wrapped up my job in Atlanta, got in my possession filled car and drove to Columbus, GA—arriving at 3am. I started my “career” 5 hours later. I went to work before even unpacking my car.
Life had come full circle. I was back in my hometown, starting my adult life. I lived in a lively apartment with two great girls--learning to pay bills without bouncing checks, spending off hours as a Young Life leader and otherwise becoming a responsible adult.
One of my roommates, D, became engaged to S, a medical student, while we lived together. They were married in the Summer of 1997 and subsequently moved to Atlanta so S. could begin residency training at Emory.
I was a bridesmaid five times that year and quickly became everyone’s favorite target for blind dates. Everyone seemed to know some “great guy.” Oh, the horror stories I could tell and the awkwardness of random blind date after blind date! My friends went as far as nicknaming me the “one date wonder.”
You can understand that I was not exactly thrilled when D. called to tell me of the “great guy” S. thought I should meet...especially since it involved driving 100 miles to Atlanta and I already had a blind date scheduled for the night before.
D assured me it would be worth it. I asked her to tell me about this guy. She responded, "He’s hot.”
I asked her to describe him to me and she admitted that she had never actually seen him. When I pressed her to explain how on earth she could set me up with someone she had never met & declare he was “hot” she replied, “Well, his name is really cool.” I wasn’t buying it. D added, “and he went to college in Virginia. All Virginia guys are good looking.” Finally, she added, “and I have met his best friend and he is really cute…you know good looking guys run in packs.” I eventually agreed to go, if for no other reason than to spend time with D.
Clearly not expecting to meet my future husband, I signed a contract to purchase a house in Columbus the morning of February 21, 1998 then drove to Atlanta for my first date with the man I would marry 4 years later.
I do not believe in love at first sight, but I was definitely very impressed with this man. I can remember lying awake after our date thanking God. My stomach was a mess the next day. He was everything on 'my list' and more. I honestly did not think a busy surgical intern would ever bother pursuing a girl who lived 100 miles away, but I thanked God for using him to remind me there were still Godly single men in the world.
It is no understatement to say I was ecstatic when he called a few days later and we made arrangements for a second date. We had a quick brunch date, as I was travelling through town on my way to Keri & Rusty's wedding. Ironically, the wedding was in the small town where we now live. I had only been there one other time in my life. (Don't you love the way God so often shows us glimpses of our future and we don't realize it.)
His first trip to Columbus was the weekend I closed on my first house, purchased from a dear older friend who had been a mentor to me throughout my high school years. Anne is wise and wonderful. She met your Daddy a couple of hours before we went to the law office for the closing. I noticed the sparkle in her eye and sensed the concern on her face. Just before the closing, she pulled me aside and asked me to really consider if buying this house was something I wanted to do. She sensed that this thing could be "it." I proceeded with the purchase.
To be continued...