Friday, April 23, 2010

It's a Love Story

When I was 8 years old, my best friend invited my family to go to church with her family. It was a freezing cold January morning. There were fierce winds and freezing rain, but we decided to brave the weather and go to church... in a barn. It was the very first Sunday for Gateway Baptist to meet, and the only place available to them was in a rickety old barn. (Kinda like the beginnings of Jesus :) There were a handful of families there, most of whom I'd never met before. Among them were 2 brothers, Jeremy and Daniel. I liked them immediately. Despite being older than me by 7 and 5 years respectively, they didn't try to ignore us little kids.

Time went on and soon Jeremy and Daniel's mom came to church with them. (We weren't meeting in a barn anymore). My mom and Carol quickly became best friends and our families started spending a lot of time together. Jeremy and Daniel were like big brothers to me and my little sister, Kristen.

11 years ago, the 2 families built their homes right next door to each other. I couldn't be more excited about living so close to my "brothers." However, time marches on, and the boys were growing into men. Jeremy moved away. Daniel got a girlfriend and proposed to her. It would change mine and Daniel's relationship forever. You see, somewhere deep within me, I was jealous of his fiance'. To make matters worse, she treated me and my sister badly, and would tell us to go away when Daniel was home. He later broke up with her, but got a new girlfriend. I never would have imagined falling in love with Daniel... not with the history we had. But seeing him with her, and how happy they were together was unbearable. I had a sinking feeling every time he brought her home. I couldn't explain it.

In 2005 I graduated from high school and had my first date. It turned into a relationship which quickly went south. Daniel came over one day to say hello and I was getting ready for a date with my boyfriend. No one in my entire life had looked at me the way Daniel looked at me that day. It was strange and awkward, and completely wonderful. Not long after that, my boyfriend left me for his ministry.... a.k.a. former girlfriend. I asked God to show me what kind of man my husband was, so that I may watch for him. God gave me a list of specific attributes. The more I read them, the more this man sounded like Daniel. Sure enough, 10 days after the break up, I went on my first triple date with Daniel. We hardly said a word to one another the entire night, but it was one of the happiest nights of my life. It felt natural. When he walked me to the door that night, he said goodnight and looked at me the way he'd looked at me before. And I knew, I never wanted to be with any one else, Daniel was the man I wanted.

Daniel moved back home and we were spending more and more time together. Taking walks and sitting in the driveway between our houses until 4 am talking about nothing. One night he shyly asked me to be his girlfriend, and then if he could hold my hand. Later that week, he carved our initials into an old magnolia tree in the middle of a beautiful garden.

It wasn't long until we were talking about our future. In October of 2006, he took me on a picnic in the garden, and we stopped by the old magnolia tree. Next to our initials he had carved "Marry me?" He knelt and pulled the ring out of his pocket and simply said, "I love you, Kimberly. Will you be my wife?"

We married on April 14, 2007. My love for him grows everyday. I cannot imagine life without my Daniel.