Revealing the Real Me

Some of you, back when I first started writing as Chryssie, mentioned wanting to know where my other blog was. Well, this is the post where I reveal who I really am.

I created Chryssie back in September last year because I needed a safe outlet, a safe place where I could write about the deep struggles my heart, faith, and beliefs were going through. I needed Chryssie to be my second face, me without my name to give me away. She has filled her role well, and as I continue to clean out the cobwebs from my past, it is time to put Chryssie Rose to rest. She will always be a part of me, though. She will always be the reminder that I was stronger than I thought and she helped me realize that.

Where am I at now?

I now write over at Profligate Truth. I have really stepped into my voice and I am loving the freedom it is bringing me as I continue to write with strength, conviction, and expose the truth of what I’ve been through and where I’m going. Please take the time to go check the real me out! I will most likely be combining this blog with PT in the coming weeks. But, before I do that, I want to take a little bit of time to thank everyone who found my blog and helped me find the strength to speak out. All of you who have followed this blog, liked my posts, commented, and let me guest post made a huge difference. Trust me, without you all, I would never had found the strength to believe in myself and my voice. So Thank You. 


The cross this…the cross that…

Shortly before my family started attending a SGM church just over four years ago, a friend of mine pulled me aside and expressed grave concern that we were going to be joining this church. She kept mentioning something about the church and organization heavily steeped in only focusing on the Cross. It is the cross this, and the cross that, she told me. I didn’t really pay attention and brushed her off. I didn’t give any credit to her words, partially because I had, and still do, some broken trust with her. But mainly, I didn’t believe her because of I hadn’t picked up on what she was talking about, and I really didn’t know what she was talking about either.

When I joined the church as my own member, I was asked what the gospel is. I stuttered and stammered feeling pressured to know, but I couldn’t answer. The pastor residing over my membership interview told me that it (the gospel) could be summed up in 5 words. “Jesus Died For My Sins.” One word for each finger on one hand. Easy, straight to the point, totally encompassing right? No. I can see it now, and even though I blindly sucked up everything I heard and didn’t think to question anything, that one-liner is not quite right. It’s only a part, a very small part, and I saw the cross/sin obsessed church in a clearer light at the Christmas Eve service my husband and I attended.

The past year has brought a lot of changes to how I view my faith, my church-life, and my relationships with other believers/unbelievers. I have stripped myself of ALL labels and am just now slowly coming to terms with my bible again. I still stumble over words like “blessing,” “blessed,” and I find myself cringing when anyone says a very Christian-ese term such as, “All by God’s grace.” I can barely help the sneer that creeps on my face and the shudder that washes over me. I cannot read things that I have written years ago and that are full of praises to Jesus and spiritually emotional. Reading those things reminds of the pain I went through, and the hypocrisy I have faced in the presence of my dad. In a way I mourn those old poems and writings because they were written by such a naive and innocent little girl. I mourn the innocence I used to possess and the bliss of not questioning. I grieve the days when I didn’t doubt the teachings I got from my dad or other men who were around me.  Even though I know I can never go back, I am very aware of how much I have benefited from questioning, from doubting, and from being unwilling to be stagnant. I am willing to challenge anything I hear, and even though I am not 100% what I believe in most things, I am slowly figuring things out. and that is completely okay.

Through challenging my faith and shedding the things I can’t stand by, I have had a clearer view on the things that I don’t agree with at our old SGM church. Namely, their obsession with each other’s sin and the cross. I have learned that if there is one part of the cross, grave, and resurrection that I want to speak about the most, it would be the resurrection.  The three parts of Jesus’ sacrifice are all important, but I chose to focus on his resurrection. He bore my sins on the cross, and faced rejection from his father. He was buried in a tomb and took my sins with him and wrestled with the devil. He rose from the dead, having conquered death, and pronounced freedom for all of those who are with him. I chose to focus on Jesus’ resurrection because that to me is the most important. I have been freed, I have been called clean and pure, and that is beautiful.

The sermon at the Christmas Eve service was, eh, okay. Both my hubby and I got up and walked away wondering where all of the joy and happiness was for Christmas. Jesus was born to fulfill the law, and to free us from the chains of sin, not to remind us of how much we have sinned and how despicable we are.  The whole sermon was about how Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and how our sin is so wretched. I felt condemned and was very confused when the congregation clapped and cheered for their sinful wretchedness. My mind went back to the old caregroup meetings we used to go to. They were all about our sin, and we were pretty much required to bring a conflict to caregroup to share with the group so they could counsel us about getting to the root of our sin. How depressing! I really don’t think that the people in that church or organization don’t know about Jesus’ resurrection, but I definitely know it gets overlooked at all times of the year except for Easter.

If being a Christian means attending a church, bible studies, or one on one interactions that are surrounded by this depressing obsession with sin and the cross, then count me out. I have stepped away and broken free from those obsessions because that does not help me enjoy God or His blessings. I cannot rejoin that crowd of people because I cannot be tied down to legalistic practices. I have broken away from those practices of obsessing about sin, reading my bible every darn day to fulfill my quota for the week, or bowing down to the cross. I have not gone back to reading my bible because I am still tied with thin strings to some of those practices and they haven’t snapped yet. By going back I would be strengthening the very ties I want to break.

I know those post is a bit rambling, but I wanted to get these thoughts out. It really bothers me when I’m asked whether or not the church I go to is a gospel centered church. I feel like asking if they mean is it a cross centered church in return. I am learning about balance in my faith, and being so one sided as focusing on the cross and sin the most does not fit the balance I’m trying to build. I believe there is a place for both of those in the balance, but I have seen too many people blow up those too much.


Hello Twenty-Thirteen

I started this blog back in September I had no idea where it was going to go, but I knew that it would help my recovery from my past. I didn’t expect it to take off, or to find myself wanting to do more with it. I have written 22 (now 23) posts, had over 5,000 views on the blog, and 49 comments. I have loved every comment, and there are many times that I have needed those comments to make it through the down that caused a post that day.

There is much relief in knowing that I am not alone in what I have been through. There is relief in knowing that I am not crazy for having a difficult time deconstructing and not wanting anything to do with religion. I stopped going to church and it was after many conversations with my husband that we stopped attending the local SGM church, and I noticed an immediate difference in my uneasiness and anxiety about going to church. We ended up attending, most Sundays, a small Presbyterian church and have made a bunch of new friends. It amazed me how much stronger my blogging “voice” got once I was out from the influence of the people who’s opinions I feared. Removing yourself from the presence of someone you are afraid of and who has power over you greatly helps the healing.

I have greatly learned what tolerance looks like, there are still those people who push my buttons so hard I will not hesitate to say that I am not willing whatsoever to work on “our relationship.”  As I have said before, I value friendships very highly. They mean so much to me that I will willingly drop everything to help a friend out if they give one hint that they need help. I do not do this to gain favor for myself, or to cause someone to feel obligated to return the favor. I help my friends and am there for my friends because I care, and I care deeply. But woe to the one who breaks my trust or uses me.

Twenty-twelve was exciting, discouraging, new, and difficult. I enjoyed most of it, fought with part of it, and waited out more of it. I am eager to see what this year brings, and I hope that it will continue to bring joy and happiness into a life of working through the past and pushing toward the future.  I have several ideas for blog series and topics for the coming months and and I am excited to start taking this blog in a new direction!


Hitting a new bottom

Yesterday was pretty crazy for us. We moved the rest of our possessions to our new place, and spent our first night out from the frustrating place our old abode had become. I think it might because I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with being a new place, but I am hitting a weird low today.

I am finding myself doubting friendships, struggling over being self-condemning, fighting against losing any self confidence I may have. I am worried that I am too pushy, too annoying, and people do not like to be around me but only are because they can feel obligated to be my friend. I don’t know if this is all coming up because I am drained, still feeling a bit stressed, and I am reading into people’s actions way too deeply. I’m fighting the urge to take the dive again and bury myself for awhile; cut of all friendships except for maybe one or two, and then leave the rest to float where they may without giving direction from my end.

This may be selfish, but maybe not. I am reaching the point of wanting to shut people out again, and I think that has to do with the amount of stress I’ve been under for the past month. This is the first day that I haven’t had to wake up and hear people I can barely stand living above me. Am I too critical of people? Does my past color how I respond to those I can’t stand? It’s hard for me to be cordial to someone who has broken my trust. Is that normal?

I am losing sight today of what is normal, or what is okay. After having been after to work through all of the second guessing of myself a few years ago, this is unsettling that I am second guessing myself today. I don’t think I have anything legitimate to second guess myself about, but still, I am doing it. I am hesitant to text certain people, I am feeling anxious that I have annoyed others with my communications. I am recognizing triggers around me, and yet I can’t seem to stop those triggers from going off. It’s like seeing an icy path in front of you and watching yourself slip and knowing that there is nothing that will stop you until you reach the end. I am not despairing, oddly enough, but I can see myself slipping.

Maybe I’ll go to home depot and get some supplies for our new place and maybe that will cheer me up. Maybe I will limit my social interactions for awhile until I can find some self-confidence again and stop second guessing myself. Maybe I’ll quit facebook and turn off any notifications. Maybe then I will feel more sure of my actions and will be able to text, call, chat, and email with friends and not worry that I am annoying them with wanting to talk.

Maybe I’ll find my dark corner again and let the storm pass. I’m not feeling any strength to be able to stand up and defy the emotions that threaten and are drowning me.

Maybe tomorrow things will be brighter, but for now, I think I will simply cut off communicating and stick to just three people.


All hell broke loose – Courtship, Part 3

That warm October day, when I finally worked up the gumption to call Daniel and ask what he felt towards me, changed our existence drastically. That first conversation after 6 months of silence jump started the next hellish chapter in our story. We got off the phone, me privately trying to calm my racing heart, and Daniel doing fist pumps on the other side of the phone. We both felt so elated to have finally been able to talk, and to finally tell each other how we felt. We continued having secret phone calls; me sneaking out on long walks, Daniel, going on long drives. I don’t remember who came up with the idea first, but we decided that it would be a good idea to come up with a relationship guidelines presentation. We worked on Google Docs (yay for technology!) and chatted and talked while we wrote together a list of the things we thoughts the parents would approve of and that we would be able to do. We talked about finances, we talked about how we could make it work to get married in a year, or two. We talked about our dreams for a family, and what we wanted to do when we had kids. We talked about where we wanted to live, and dreamed together about what our dream house would look like.

For one blissful week, we talked, and talked, and talked. We talked with my grandparents, and discussed what would be the best way to present the parents with our presentation without setting them off first and us getting shut down. We had the parents figured out by this point. If I was seen anywhere near Daniel at church, I was chewed out later by my dad about how disappointed he was with me, and how wrong it was that I had been near him. I was so sure that if we didn’t tell the parents at the same time, we would get in trouble that went far beyond our imagination. We finally worked out a plan, and as the week came to a close, both of us became more and more nervous that we were doing something terribly wrong.

I realized that I forgot to write about something in the previous two posts. When Daniel was approached by his parents and “told” him that we should cut off our friendship, they didn’t command him to cut off our friendship, it was a suggestion. But because of the church culture, and what our parents believe about courtship, Daniel took it as something that he had no choice but to do. Instead, he actually had the choice to not take the suggestion and do it. This really irritates me that we were old enough to be treated as adults, but we were still treated as children.

Our plan was that Daniel would tag my dad at church and ask if he could come over that afternoon to talk to him. And then Daniel would ask to court me, my dad would say yes, and then we would show the parents our relationship guidelines and everything would go as planned.

But, of course, that would never be the case.

Daniel, in all his nervousness, was a bit hasty with my dad that Sunday morning, and he was a bit blunt when asking if he could come over that afternoon to talk with my dad. My dad, always courteous in person, told Daniel that he could come over around 2 that afternoon. We left church, and my dad mentioned that Daniel asked if he could come over this afternoon, and wanted to know if I knew anything about that. I denied knowing anything about it, but my insides were quaking as I knew that potentially that afternoon would mean that we would be able to start talking again. Daniel called me to tell me that his car battery died.  Thus started the hell that afternoon ended up being.

Almost a half hour late, Daniel finally got to my family’s house, I hid on the side of the house to say hi to him and to say a little prayer before he faced the lion, er, dad. Daniel marched, shakily, around the corner of the house to talk with my dad, and I began the anxious wait in the back yard waiting to hear what the verdict would be. I watched from the bushes as Daniel and my dad wandered up and down the sidewalk, and I noticed that my dad, as usual, was doing most of the talking. When they finished, I managed to grab a few minutes with Daniel before he headed home. He said that my dad gave him this long talk about being responsible, but he didn’t get an answer about being able to court me or not. He left to go face the music at home from his parents, and I went inside to face mine.

I don’t think I have ever seen my mom get that mad. My parents chewed me out to within an inch of my self esteem and self confidence.   My dad couldn’t believe that Daniel would have the gall to pull him aside at church, no less, and ask, no demand, that he come over that afternoon. My mom couldn’t believe that we had gone behind their backs and talked. They kept asking what I had to say for myself, and how disappointed they were in me. I was reduced to tears, and feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong, or why it was so wrong that Daniel and I had talked. I called Daniel sobbing and asked what we had done so wrong! He told me that his parents had chewed him out as well. He said we should stop talking and stay away from each other until things calmed down. He said he felt just as humiliated and condemned as I did.

That night was torture, I felt like I had lost my love again, and I didn’t know how many more of this I could take. A few weeks later, everything seemed to have blown over, but I still felt the shame for something I still wasn’t sure I had done. November came and went, and as Christmas rolled around, things were still very rough. I was still chewed out when I got seen around Daniel, but my dad still believe that there was nothing going on between us and that was that.

As New Year rolled around, I was getting excited about going to a friend’s party and I knew Daniel was going to be there as well. We were looking forward to it very much, but I still had to ask if I could go. I finally worked up the nerve to ask my dad if I could go. He asked a few questions and then asked if Daniel was going to be there. I knew there was trouble, so I said I wasn’t sure. I knew he had been invited, but I didn’t know if had decided to go or not. He had this look on his face, and then proceeded to tell me that if Daniel showed up then I would have to leave right away. my heart sank because I knew that my conscience would not allow me to stay if Daniel showed up. I was crushed because I really needed to get out of the house, and I needed to see friends since I didn’t get to see many people otherwise. I hid in my room, called Daniel and pleaded with him to not show up at the party. I told him why, I said that I couldn’t handle not having to leave.

He sweetly told me to please go and have fun for both of us, and that he would enjoy hearing about it later. I felt lonely that night as 2010 rolled in. I missed my other half, and I felt trapped. I had no idea what the next year would bring, but I had this really strong feeling that it wasn’t going to be easy.

January past, February, March, and then April. I met a new friend in April, really clicked with her, and found it really cool to know that her husband was one of my husband’s good friends while growing up. We talked for a very long time over dinner one day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Daniel and I had started talking with more frequency by this point, and even though we tried to hide it, I think my mom at least knew. We were talking a lot, and it was so relieving to know that I could call him whenever I needed to and he would pick up.  Anyway, I got home from the dinner with this new friend, and found an email in my inbox a few hours later. She wrote to tell me that they would be moving, and they wanted to offer me a room in their house because they knew my family situation was rough, and they wanted to offer a way out.

I could hardly believe my eyes. I was shocked and at the same time felt a small flame of hope. Could I really have a way out of this wretched situation?

I emailed her back and started making plans.

I knew I wasn’t going to tell my parents, but I knew I wanted to move out.

Little did I know that things were about to get a heck of a lot worse.


And then you broke my heart – Courtship, Part 2

I couldn’t keep Daniel away from me that night at the party. I would turn around and he would be right at my shoulder, big smile, and a running mouth that wouldn’t stop chatting with me. My heart knew this was one heck of an awesome guy and I was falling head over heels for him.

We danced for hours that night, swing dancing, laughing, and talking after our week of no communication. It was exhilarating and comforting to be back on talking terms with Daniel. That night I texted him and told him how much I loved dancing with him. He texted back and said that he still didn’t want to be texting yet but that he enjoyed dancing with me too.

Our church was in the middle of doing a high school play and both Daniel and I were involved. As rehearsals got more intense and as opening night for closer the more I got to see Daniel. I was 100% sure he was just as interested in me as I was in him. Especially when he was having to be reminded often that he was needed on stage instead of talking with me. We got close and spent a lot more time as the days past almost attached at the hip. We were inseparable but I felt like something was going to go wrong. More and more of my friends were coming to me asking if it was wise that I spent so much time talking with Daniel. They were concerned for my heart and didn’t want to see me get hurt. I brushed off all of their concerns and told them that we were just friends. But I quietly worried that something really bad was going to happen because I had seen close friends spilt because parents felt like the couple was too close.

It was the week before opening night and I got really upset about so many people butting into my business and worrying over how much I was in Daniels company. It didn’t help that as I was working in a prop piece Daniel was right there keeping me company and chatting away. I was so sick at heart because I knew something was starting to go wrong. He left that night after rehearsal and I ignore him with a very heavy heart and a sick stomach. I have often been able to tell when something’s about to blow up and this was one of those times. On another note, I had found a caring and wise ear in my adopted grandfather and when he had visited the two weeks before I had talked for hours with him about my feelings for Daniel. Since i felt like I couldn’t talk with my dad about Daniel, it was such a relief to talk with my grandfather. He had promised after talking with me that was going to write Daniel a letter and encourage him to pursue me if he felt like that was what he was supposed to do. Looking back, the promise of this letters was quite significant in changing the direction of my feelings toward Daniel.

The next morning, I woke up with a very queasy and nervous stomach. Today was the day that I knew something was going to happened. I remember sending a few messages to Daniel, but when I didn’t get any sort of response, I remember thinking something’s wrong. My grandfathers letter to Daniel arrived in the mail that day and I was anxious to give it to him but I decided that I wanted my dad to give him the letter. I figured my dad would be willing to do that especially since my grandfather spent a while trying to talk to my dad about Daniel and I. I should have known better than to ask my dad to get involved but I am getting ahead of myself. I left for rehearsal excited and very nervous since I knew something was up. I got to church and started working on what I hadn’t finished from the day before. I soon saw Daniel get there and my heart sank. He was pale, almost looked like he had been crying and he completely ignored me. He grabbed the mutual friend who had introduced us and asked to talk with her. My heart dropped further and I ran in the opposite direction frantically dialing a best friend’s number. As soon as she picked up, I said something is very wrong and I am very nervous and anxious. She talked and listened for about five minutes when I got another call from Daniels and my mutual friend. I switched calls and this friend told me that Daniel wants to talk with me and could I meet them at the back entrance to church. I got back on the phone with my best friend and told her to pray and pray hard because here comes the storm. I hung up and saw my other friend walking toward me and my heart started cracking. When she came up to me I could barely talk and as we started walking toward where Daniel was I stopped and started crying saying I couldn’t do this. I was so close to passing out and even as I write this I am feeling the pain all over again. My heart aches for what happened next.

I walked up to the back entrance of church and felt the bombs hitting my heart as the black fog rolled in over h eyes. Daniel looked sick and he was incredibly nervous. He barely looked me in the eyes, and I was really lightheaded and my heart felt like it was being completely ripped to shreds. With our mutual friend standing by my side, and Daniel facing me, he started the little meeting by telling me in a choked voice how much I meant to him, that he will never forget me, and that I mean the world to him. He then told me with tears in his eyes that his parents told him that we needed to cut off our friendship and we couldn’t talk, chat, email, or even be in groups together. I could barely see him because of the black fog that was cutting off my vision, and I was starting to sway on my feet. My heart hurt so bad. He asked me if I had any questions or if there was anything I wanted to say, and I could only shake my head. He then bolted out the door, tears streaming down his cheeks. He was gone for several hours running, crying, praying, and just trying to understand what he should do now. After he left, I staggered outside and fell to the ground stunned. I lay there with quiet tears falling, and I felt so empty. I somehow found myself inside the church about an hour later, I wandered around in a daze. I didn’t have any strength to do any costume work, but at the same time I was suddenly determined to act like nothing had happened even though my heart was no longer beating.

I can’t describe the pain my heart felt that day (and I’m feeling it again as I write. I am very much anxious for my husband to get home for I need that reassurance that he is mine now). I asked our mutual friend to ask Daniel something for me. I asked her to ask him if he, in the future, could see himself courting/marrying me. She asked him and then brought me back the answer. She said that he gave her a resounding absolutely yes in response to my question. When I saw Daniel get back from his escape, I felt my heart shatter all over again, and I realized that I couldn’t handle being there any longer. Even though the major part of rehearsal was just starting, I had to go home. I called my mom and told her what had happened and asked her to tell dad and come get me. She came and picked me up, and as soon as I got home, my dad gave me a hug, and then told me that if my heart was hurting then I did something wrong. I was stunned when he told me that, but I didn’t say anything. I lay on my bed for the rest of the evening crying and missing desperately my best friend, and cursing the separation.

The few weeks that followed as the play came to an end were torture. I could barely eat, and I honestly don’t remember much. I remember being in a daze and finding it hard to breathe at times. My heart was broken, my dad didn’t care, and the friend Daniel had become was desperately missed. (oh snap, I’m crying now as I write and am remembering those days.) After the play ended up, I didn’t see Daniel all that often. Maybe saw him at church, or saw him at a party, but we didn’t go to the same places, and I bitterly felt that loss. As the months slowly passed, I tried to move on, but I couldn’t. My parents and I went to a seminar at church for parenting young adults, and guess what, Daniel and his parents sat right behind us. That was pure torture knowing that the guy I was falling in love with was siting right behind me. I tried to talk with mom about the severe heartache I felt, but I couldn’t. She didn’t understand and so I kept my mouth shut and only talked to the people I knew I could trust and who would care for me. I tried sharing the story with the small group I was now apart of since I had graduate HS and they didn’t get it one bit.

Shortly after our friendship was shattered, we both asked our parents to meet and try to help us come up with a game plan so that we could talk, or at least have guidelines. All four parents met, and came out of that meeting all with very different ideas of what was going to happen. The bottom line was that we couldn’t talk, and that was it. No talking with us, no trying to understand where we were coming from, the parents shut things down, and then walked away believing that was all that should or would happen. My dad believed that it was a done deal and there was nothing between Daniel and I. That summer was the absolutely worst summer of my entire life. I was a ghost of my former self, and I was painfully aware of the gaping whole in my heart. I saw Daniel at several key points over the summer, but the friendship that we had had was never seen when we ran into each other at social events. It was incredibly awkward and I always walked away kicking myself and blaming myself for causing him more pain if I was rude (without meaning to be) or abrupt. Being in the single’s ministry meant that I saw him at big meetings for all of the singles, and after one of those, I told him that I had to remove him from my friends list on Facebook. That was very difficult for me to tell him, but I had to do it because of the flack I was starting to get from my dad if I was even seen near Daniel at church or anywhere else. If I breathed in Daniel’s general direction, I was immediately chewed out.

Life was HELL. I was lost, and I can’t remember large portions between April, when he told me we couldn’t talk anymore, to October, when the next big chapter started. We kept individually begging our parents (what I don’t understand is how we were singles, seen as adults, and yet still allowed our parents to completely control our relationship…that’s the courtship dilemma for ya) to get together and give us guidelines so we could talk, and each time the parents met, they all walked away with a very different idea of what was going to happen, not one parents’ recollection of the meeting lined up, and still, we weren’t allowed to talk.

Around July, I suddenly realized that I didn’t just like Daniel, I had fallen in love with him, and I knew for sure and for certain that I was waiting for him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I found out later that he had had the same revelation about me…a few months before. I broke down on the day I realized that, and freaked my dad out because when I called him at work (which I will never do again, and have never done since) to tell him that I loved Daniel and I wanted to be able to talk with him, my dad was hugely surprised because he truly believed that there was nothing between us. I got a huge talking to when he got home from work that night about how I was making Daniel an idol, and how I was lusting after him, and that no, we weren’t going to be allowed to talk, there was nothing there. He kept telling me that I would grow out of this, and that it wasn’t wisdom for us to talk.  I remember walking away, feeling renewed in my determination to not let my dad take away my love for Daniel. I felt sick that my dad was accusing me of being idolatrous especially when I knew of his porn addiction.

Daniel had started finding reasons and opportunities to come over to my family’s house in September, 5 months after our friendship had been destroyed. I would nervously bounce around the house, trying to obey the rules that I couldn’t talk with him, but I would try to be around wherever he was, and would throw in the token word every once in awhile. I even found an opportunity to hand him a letter I had written to him the day after he told me we couldn’t talk anymore. But even though I knew he was strongly interested in me, I still had had no verbal assurances from him.

One day I had had enough of trying to guess Daniel’s feelings for me, and I had had enough of not being able to talk. I couldn’t handle it anymore, I called him, and as soon as he picked up the phone, I asked him how he felt about me. His response was instant with no delay.

He loved me.

He wanted to marry me.

He wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

And that’s the end….right?


When I first met you – Courtship, Part 1

Having over 160 pages of my husband’s and my story written down, it’s difficult to condense our story into a readable amount. But here is where I will try my best to do just that.

The First 6 Months

Year 18 of my life was strange. I was often told I was very mature for my age, but I never really knew what that meant. I would get cautious compliments on my accomplishments, but rarely did anyone take the time to draw me out. I had three friends that I kept up with, but everyone else either was never available to talk, or I had to fake my way through a shallow conversation. When I met Daniel* I pretty much wrote him off as another shallow guy, but there was something about him that intrigued me. We had just started going to a new church, and a mutual friend of ours introduced us. I met him while surrounded by my crazy siblings. I tried to find him on facebook later that night, but with no luck (I found out later he had his profile private). He never really left the back of my mind over the following two weeks. When we started chatting online two weeks later, there was a little click. I was still intrigued about something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Looking back, I can say that I definitely liked him from the start, but I wouldn’t have admitted it then.

In the midst of dealing with my parents, the stress of trying to finish school, and being in a ridiculously stressful job, Daniel started becoming my voice of reason. When I met him, I was coming to the end of two years of doctor’s appointments for my FM and those drs visits were increasingly depressing and discouraging. I would often get off work at the library, get online there and chat with him for two hours before heading home. The first 3 months of getting to know Daniel were refreshing, and we clicked almost instantly. Our chats are over 300 lines long, and we were constantly in communication of some sort. I figured out that I could send texts to his email, and since he was online all of the time, we would text/e-text back and forth for hours on end. I would hear from him first thing upon waking up and a text from him would be the last thing I read before falling asleep at night. This was all happening just 3 months after meeting him. I can see clearly now how much we liked each other from the start….:duh moment:

My family went on vacation that December, three months after we had met. I didn’t know if I would have wifi for my laptop, but we still texted through the vacation. A few days into the week, I asked him to cut back on texting me. I didn’t want to give him the wrong idea (gag me now) and I knew I was falling hard for him the more he communicated with me. He eagerly agreed to text me less, and hoped that he hadn’t “led me astray.”  We tried to cut back the text messages. We really did! It was so hard though. Really hard. Because of Daniel’s strict conviction of not talking to any girl on the phone unless it was for business, or because he was going out with her, I didn’t talk with him at all on the phone for the first year of getting to know him. There were many times that strongly frustrated me, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Allow me to back up a few steps and give some background. As I have mentioned before, I grew up under the ideology that courtship was the only way Christians did relationships. I read all of the right books, even some marriage books that were highly recommended by friends and mothers of my friends. Even though my parents were not involved with any of my friendships, I still tried to be careful with any guy friends I had. I can list the number of guys I’ve had crushes on on one hand. All of those friendships were one on one friendships, and I quickly outgrew my crush as I got to know them better. Only with one of them had I ever had a “let’s define this friendship” talk. That guy was just all over the map when it came to girls, and he had quite a trail of broken hearts behind him. I was quite determined not to be one of those broken hearts…and I’m not.

When Daniel came into the picture, I had already pulled back a lot from the other two guys I was pretty good friends with. Part of the reason for that was not wanting to become emotionally dependent on them, but also because I was withdrawing deep into a dark shell. Daniel came into my life right before I shut the door on any new friendships. You could say he made the friendship cut.

So when I told Daniel that I wanted to cut back on talking, I had several reasons for doing so. He had told me the previous week that he wouldn’t get into any relationship until he was done with college, and the next girl he got into a relationship with was going to the girl he married. I knew I liked him at this point, but I also knew that things were going to have to slow down or else this all going to blow up and we were going to be heading down the path he said he wouldn’t until he was out of college.  He had all four years of college ahead of him, and I knew neither of us were at all ready to support ourselves financially. It just couldn’t happen…yet.

I got back from vacation, and we went right back to our previous level of communicating. If anything, we probably talked more than before. I spent more time up at the library, and we started leaving voice mails for each other. We really figured out all of the ways technology allowed for us to keep in contact without actually talking over the phone. Daniel became the one thing that helped me get through most days as I sunk deeper into a very dark pit. He very quickly figured out that my family was dealing with some pretty dark things, and instead of running away and leaving me to my pain and ignoring me, it became his goal to make me laugh at least once every day. He listened when I cried about having a discouraging doctors appointment, and he encouraged me when I said I didn’t feel like talking that day. When we were together at church, he was the one who stayed by my side when I was in a lot of pain or having a really bad fibro-fog day. This guy was an absolutely true friend, and he is a precious gift.

Around March he told me that he wanted to take a week to cut back on all communication except for email, and only when I was online. He told me that he needed to take some time to figure out his and my friendship, and what my place was in his life. By now, I was 100% he liked me a lot, but he wouldn’t and didn’t admit to anything.  At the end of the week, the mutual friend who introduced us was having a birthday party that we both were invited to. I should probably mention that when talking with one of my closest friends about Daniel, she had cautioned me to not get too attached, because that would end badly. I told her not to worry because I knew things were right where they should be, also, I knew this guy was special. She didn’t believe me, so I stopped talking about Daniel to my friends. His name rarely came up.

The birthday party as a big question mark for me. I was going to know at this party where Daniel and I were going next with our friendship. I knew it would either just fade away and become nothing more than an acquaintance-ship or we were going deeper. I called my friend and told her that I wasn’t sure if I was going to come or not. I didn’t tell her anything about Daniel, but I was very nervous and anxious about seeing him after a week of almost no talking. At the last minute on the evening of the party, I decided to go. My stomach was entirely made up of butterflies and I could barely contain my heart as I rode over to the party. This was it. This was the first of many turning points in our friendship.

I got there early and helped my friend’s mom finish up with getting the food set up. I was so nervous my hands were shaking. I finally heard Daniel’s voice in the hall and I just about fell apart. He came around the corner, and it was then I knew.

We were moving forward.

*Name changed


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