Part 5 of a 6-part series
If you’re just joining me, you can catch-up on these posts.
In the last post, I told you how I got to Ozark Christian College. Although I was an “older” student, I still had to go through all the Freshman orientation and placement exams. I was so excited to finally be where God wanted me, that I didn’t care one bit about the exams. I’m still quite sure I nearly failed one of them, but still…I was enjoying every minute of the experience.
That first weekend at school was a flurry of activity, tests, exciting orientation talks (haha!) and auditions. I had auditions as an incoming music major and I also decided to audition for a “Life Ministry” team. This was a team that traveled on weekends to churches to help them in any way they asked. I made the Vocal team with 5 other people – 2 guys and 4 girls total. I was so excited to meet them and start practicing. Our first weekend was coming up in mid-September, so we didn’t have much time.
We had quite a diverse group. Our guys were polar opposites (quite the understatement really) and the girls were…well different to say the least. Both guys were named Phil, so we decided to call them by their last names as a distinction. The girls were divided in likeness by 2 and 2. Brittany from Jamaica and Danielle from Yuma, AZ were quite the pair. Neither of them had a “fast” bone in their body and were constantly late to rehearsals. And getting ready on Sunday mornings during our trips was like pulling teeth! LOL In stark contrast you have Olivia, from a military family, who also happened to be my age and me with my Type A personality. Needless to say, there was some tension in the group at times. It took quite a while for us to figure out that B&D were most likely never going to be on time and Olivia and I were most likely going to be early every time!
Finally, our “fearless leader” Phil S. started telling the girls to be ready 45 minutes early so they would be ready “on-time.” Ahhh…good memories…good times! I look back now and just laugh at some of our adventures – like our first weekend out when we lost the van keys and couldn’t find them to save our lives. We searched high and low in the van, around the van, to and from the house we were all staying in to no avail. We went to bed exhausted, only to wake up the next morning to see the keys lying on the wheel well in the van. The locked van. So, we did what any good Christian college students would do and broke into the van. Yep…we learned how to break into the van on our first trip. Thankfully, we never had to use that trick on our future trips, but we were ready just in case! Lol
Or there’s the time I was driving through Kansas City on our way to Iowa and ended up on the Kansas side rather than the Missouri side. I’m sure that had nothing to do with the fact that my “navigator” had no idea how to read a map! When we realized we were lost I had to look at him (Phil C.) and say, “What part of navigator did you not understand?” Looking back, that is one of my favorite memories and it still makes me laugh!!
Needless to say, my first year of college what full of fun, adventures, lots of singing and some wonderful friendships! Some of which are still great friends to this day. I must say, there are some days I miss it. The traveling, the singing and the laughs – good times.
In March of that year, I met a guy. A wonderful guy that I had a lot in common with and enjoyed talking to. We began dating and it quickly turned serious. But, my heart was broken early that summer when it ended abruptly. Eventually my heart healed and I headed back to school for my 2nd year. And this year I was an RA in my dorm. I changed floors, but it was all good because I got a double room to myself! SCORE!!!! It was during RA training that I remember meeting Jacob. He says we were in choir together the year before, but I don’t really remember him. I sat on the top row (being 6’2” pretty much guarantees you’re in the back row for life) and he was a first tenor down on one of the front rows, so I’m sorry to say I don’t really remember him.
But, to hear him tell the story, he’ll say we sat only 2 people away from each other the first day of choir that first year. He noticed me right away when I walked in, but when I sat down next to a girl he knew from Highest Praise (a high-school summer traveling group), whom he believed to be a snob, he pushed all feelings aside. He says he thought I was beautiful, but must certainly be an upper-classman and a snob because of who I sat by. Truth be told, I was an upper-classman (because of transfer hours) and yes, I was older, but I only sat by that person because she was in my dorm and I knew her – for like 3 days! Lol
I still tease him about that story!! Because, little did either of us know what God had in store for our lives. After RA training, we began to talk about things only RA’s could discuss with each other and we quickly became friends. It wasn’t until that fateful day,September 11, 2001that we really started to become closer. I remember watching continuous news coverage of the towers, but more distinctly I remember watching my good friend fall to his knees in agony and pain as he walked down the steps to the cafeteria. His best friend came up and told me what had happened and I was hurting for him and with him. He had just received news that his only niece (at the time) had died earlier that morning. Over the weekend she suffered a brain aneurysm and had brain surgery. I will never forget that day or the image of him collapsing on those steps.
But, I must say that God does in deed work things out for HIS glory. Because of that tragedy in his life, we began a friendship that was so unlike anything I had before. We enjoyed each others company and had great theological discussions. He knew everything about me, including about the “incident” and the baby. We talked openly with each other, which was healing for both of us. Many times I thought, “I sure wish this guy would ask me out already!” But, that never happened. A year went by and I finally gave up hoping it would ever happen. I decided that if it was God’s will, it would happen – eventually.
According to The Hubster, it wasn’t until Christmas 2002 that he began to think about me as more than a friend. We were from the same town, so over break I decided to get him a gift. At the time he collected shot glasses and I found an OU glass while shopping for other family members. The fact that we were both huge OU Sooner fans was just another thing we had in common. The day I delivered his gift I had been shopping with my mom all morning. I was in completely decked out in OU gear (windsuit pants and a sweatshirt). It was actually quite appropriate for the delivery of the OU shot glass. But, he says when he opened the door that for the first time he thought to himself, “Whoa, she’sHOT!” He said he’d always thought I was pretty, but never thought of me “this way” before. I had always been his “sister-in-Christ,” but he had never thought of me as a dating possibility. After I left he realized his feelings for me had changed and that sent things rolling in his head. He realized he had some decisions to make regarding our friendship. He says he knew that he couldn’t keep thinking I was “hot” and just be my friend, so he began to pray. He didn’t want to hurt our friendship, so he asked God for clarity in his feelings, and for much needed wisdom.
So that was that. Nothing happened. We went back to school in January 2003 and our friendship continued. Until…
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I am writing this series in hopes that some of the experiences and situations I have encountered during my life will give hope and healing to those hurting.