My friend Andrea is hosting a V-day Blog Fest and I decided to join in (a little last minute) which is so unlike me. (sarcasm*)
I'm sorry to say, I have no pictures of us in our younger years or our wedding because I do not currently own a scanner. Just try to picture us 8 years younger and a little skinnier! :)
So...here goes the story. I'll try to keep it short.
Most little girls dream of their wedding days. The dress, the flowers, the man. Not me. I was not one of those girls. I don't remember ever even wanting to get married, or at least, I never expressed it. Of course I wanted to meet someone and fall in love but, I never fantasized about my wedding day or spent hours dreaming of the day. Call me crazy...but, that was me. I had spent most of my high school years with the same boy and shortly before graduating, I decided to call it quits because I knew it wasn't a good thing. Although, it hurt me to end it, I knew it was the right thing. Well, I went off to college and had dated another guy which is a whole other story and it ended up really bad. I never really had a "knack" for finding the right guy and now I realize that it was because "I" was trying to find the right guy and doing that took the place of my relationship with The Lord. After Leaving school and being hurt by yet another guy, I decided to go back to my first love....The Lord. I had been focusing on the wrong things that took me down the wrong road and I knew that it was time to put an end to it. I made the decision to not date anyone else until I felt like they were the one The Lord wanted me to marry. Crazy I know but, during this time I had read a book on courtship and it really inspired me to stop the whole "playing the field thing." I began to forget about dating and guys and focus on my relationship with The Lord and what he had for me.
A year or so later (I'm bad with time) One of my friends came to me and said "Gina, there's this new guy in church and he came out to eat with us after church on Thursday, You need to meet him." I, in return said "why would I need to meet him? I'm not really interested in being interested in anyone but, maybe just a friend". Her and my other friend kept going on about how cute and nice he was and exactly my "type". I wasn't even sure what my "type" was so, how on earth would they know. Next Thursday came and I went to church and my friend happened to be singing on the worship team that evening. Right before service started, she looked right at me as she was up on the stage and mouthed the words "he's right behind you." I could have killed her. I was hoping that he didn't see her do that or I would die. So, like any girl would do, I waited until the service started and went to the bathroom so I could get a glimpse of him. He was OK....just joking. I thought, whoa! My friends have better taste than I thought! :)
This story could probably be about 10 pages long because it is quite long but I will try to speed it up.
We became fast friends hanging out all of the time, in groups with our friends and he would invite me over to hang out at his house with his family. It was very fun and casual. We never talked about anything more. Then, one day, I realized my feelings for him were more than friends and it was really hard for me to come to grips with that because I was thinking if anything more happened between us it would ruin our friendship and then, it would all be over. It would never work. I kept it inside for awhile but, the feelings never went away. I actually remember telling my step-mom that I thought I was going to marry him. She probably thought I was nuts. I was.
So, finally after some months, I decided to tell him how I felt. But, not verbally of course. I could never face rejection in person. I decided to write a letter. I poured my heart out in this letter telling him how I cared more for him than a friend. I felt like I was playing russian roullette with my own heart. I gave him the letter and heard nothing back. That was it...it's over. What a bad decision I had made. Finally, the day before I was leaving to visit family in Ohio, he called me. He said he had read the letter and that we should talk about it when I got back. Great. I get to wait 3 days before being rejected. Whoopee. I agreed and I left for my trip. I remember going to my nana's and talking with my uncle about Kent and how I thought I was going to marry him and they were cracking jokes about how I can't marry a polish guy because I was Italian and how much of a traitor I would be.
Well, I got back from my trip and we set up a time to talk about "the letter". My heart was in my throat almost the entire time. I thought "what if he says, he's madly in love with me and can't wait to spend the rest of his like with me?" and then it switched to "what if he hates my guts and says, get lost!" We sat on my front stoop and he looked at me and we started talking. He basically said, I was a nice girl and he liked me alot but, if he got into a relationship with me right now, he would hurt me......ouch. OK. what I had dreaded. He hated me, he thought I was ugly, I wasn't good enough for him. I'm doomed to be single for the rest of my life. All of those thoughts were zooming through my head. I was wrong. I really thought he was the one. Maybe I let my emotions get the best of me. I was sure he liked me too. He even took me to the movies for my birthday. Oh well. It wasn't meant to be. I looked at him and said "Ok."
The next few months were really hard. I had taken his answer as a no and had decided well, this must be God's way of slowing me down again. I had taken it too far. So, I put my all into the youth ministry I was involved in and tried to take my mind off of him. Did I mention, he was working in the same youth ministry I was so, It didn't make anything easier? I pretty much avoided him and tried to move on with my life but, I saw him about 3 times a week at church. One day, I received a call from him and he said "is everything Ok with you? I still want to be friends with you and hang out with you." Yeah, everythings fine, buddy. I put my heart on my sleeve and you pretty much ripped it off but, I'm OK. I really didn't say that but, you better believe I thought it.
During this time I had started hanging out with this other guy (only as friends, I promise.) And a mutual friend of mine and Kent's was spreading a little gossip about it that I was "with" someone else now. We were not a couple at all. Kent now likes to joke that we were but, it's not true. Anyway, approximately 6 months after the whole "letter" situation, I received a call from Kent. He said "I need to talk to you, can I come over sometime." I lived with my dad at the time and I asked him if Kent could come over so we could talk. This is what my dad said and I quote, "He's gonna tell you he's in love with you." "whatever, dad." I said. "you can just tell, gina." he said. "I'm a guy, I know these things. He wouldn't spend hours with you on the phone and pick you up for church and spend all that time with you if he didn't feel that way." He said. I reminded him of the whole "letter" situation but, he still kept with it.
I think it was the next day, and Kent came over and we talked. It was actually pretty close to Valentine's day (how appropriate!) He sat down in my living room and began to talk. He said "Gina, God has given me deep feelings for you and I believe you are to be my wife." Whoa. OK. Hold the phone...did he just say....yes, he did. No, wait a minute, back up, what did you just say? The words repeated in my head over and over and I just sat there....dumbfounded. Was this the same guy that said months earlier that he couldn't be with me because he would hurt me? What's up with that? I looked at him, although my heart was fluttering with excitement, I said "I need time to think about this." He now reminds me that the next couple of weeks were terror for him. He kept asking me if I was ready to talk about it and I wasn't. I prayed profusely about this. For those of you not familiar with "courtship", you begin with the intention of working toward marriage with someone. Something we were both new at. It's not necessarily a commitment to marry but a commitment to work toward it seriously. Not all courtships pan out but, it takes away the whole "playing the field" and getting your heart broken element to dating. Anyway, I approached him after church one day and told him I was ready to talk. We went to Perkins and sat in a booth across from each other and I told him that I was willing to "give it a go." He looked happy. I definitely was. Well, to try to shorten things up a bit, we were engaged 10 months later and married 10 months after that, and now 8 years later we have 2 awesome children to share our life with.
During the time that Kent had expressed how he would hurt me if we were to start a relationship, the Lord had done some healing in his life allowing him to be able to be in a relationship with me. I am thankful that he knew what God wanted and required of him before he got into a relationship and hurt someone, namely me. God knew what he was doing. He still does. I'm so Thankful for everyday he has given us together.
Well, that's about it. Believe it or not, that's without all the little details.
Happy Valentine's Day!!!