Well, I’ve been asked when I was going to write my side in the saga of Paul and Sarah so I figured that while I had the time and the computer on I would write it. So, here it is…
I was sixteen when I first met Paul. That’s when he and his family began coming to our church. I don’t remember much about Paul during the first couple monthes but his sisters, Becky and Sarah, and I struck up a friendship. I still remember seeing Becky and Sarah sitting in the back of the church with their mom, looking kinda of lonely (at least from my perspective) and I remembered what it was like being new in a church. I have a tendency to be very shy, so its a wonder that I summoned enouch courage to walk over and say “Hello” and introduce myself to them. I was glad that I did though because I found two very good friends in them.
They began coming to the church just on Sunday nights because Mr. Thompson was still preaching at another church. Eventually they began coming more and more to our church and my family ended up having them over at our house along with another family. I think that that is the first I noticed Paul. I mean I had seen him but never interacted with him at all. I was more interested in Becky and Sarah than Paul! Anyway, this Sunday afternoon was the first time that we interacted and joked around. All the “older” aged kids were seated at our kitchen table were we enjoyed a really roudy time of fun! Oh well, we were teens and teens are roudy at times!!
After this, we ended up being more and more together as our families got to know each other better and get together more often. Paul and I started talking more in our “group” which mainly consisted of Becky, Sarah, Paul, Ben, Jonathan, Caleb, and me and Aaron Ashworth, another friend, would pop in and out as he pleased. I began to notice Paul more. One of the first things I noticed was the way he handled his little sisters and how much they adored him. He was the first guy that took notice of small children and knew how to handle them. Paul was also the first guy that I could easily talk to and joke with. He was also the first guy that I would have considered a friend instead of a mere aquantence. We ended up talking more and more and I was glad for any excuse to talk with him. I was beginning to think that maybe, just maybe, Paul would be a possibility for a more long-term relationship.
Things started picking up over the summer of 06 and my parents were beginning to see that something was going on. Actually, everyone in the church, besides Paul and I, knew that something was going on!! It wasn’t until my graduation in September 06 that it became more apparent, especially when Paul was the only guy sitting at the table where several of my friends and I were sitting. The rest of the guys were sitting at another table but Paul seemed perfectly content to stay at my table and only left when he was called over by the guys. After that, my friend Amanda began to tease me a little but I brushed her off and instead teased her terribly about her boyfriend! My other friend, Mary, was the first person I told about my crush on Paul. I was trembling as I told her my deepest secret!! This was my first really serious cruch and I was intrusting her with this secret!! She suspected something though because of Paul’s behavior at my graduation. Looking back, I do see tha Paul was a little obvious!!
I don’t think Amanda found out until my 18th birthday party in November. THAT was obvious, very obvious. Paul arrived before his parents and hung around me wherever I was and I tried to hang around him as much as possible without being too obvious (I failed in not being obvious). We talked in the living room for a several minutes while my friends in the kitchen giggled at us. Well, after that, Amanda realized something was really going on. She began to say “I think Paul likes you” “I see the way he looks at you” etcetera. I would respond by “I don’t know. I’m not sure that he does.” I definately liked him though!! At one point, Amanda and her sister said that if Paul didn’t say anything soon they were going to talk to him and see what was going on!
Life went on as usual until a fateful Saturday night in March, 07. It was the weekend of our church’s mission conference and that Saturday night there was a mission’s fair in which the various ministries that our church had or supported displayed their work. One family had a bunch of creepy crawly things like snakes and spiders that they were displaying and using to show God’s handy work in creating them. Well, in my mind, God could have just as well displayed his handywork in cuter, cuddly things besides snakes and spiders!!! Anyway…there were several people holding snakes and saying “oh they’re so cute” or “touch one, they feel nice” and I would respond by running away and saying “don’t touch me!!!” Well, my future lover decided to get my attention by suggesting to my brother that he put a snake on me. Well, Paul got my attention, although I almost passed out!! He was VERY apologetic, so much so that he suprised me! I remember saying something to the effect of “When I say I’m afraid of something, I’m afraid of it!” and then “You take care of the snakes and I’ll handle the blood!” That last statement was a give-a-way since I was hinting that I was thinking more long-term!!
Well, that night I found out that Paul was “smitten” with me. Mr. Thompson talked with my dad briefly that night and then my mom and dad talked with me until about 12 or 1 in the morning!! I didn’t sleep too well that night and then I had to pretend that I didn’t know a thing since Paul didn’t know that his dad had talked to my dad. Boy, was that an awkward Sunday!!
Well, a week later there was an activity at a couples house for the college and career group. Paul and I talked almost exclusivily to each other and were suprisingly very open with each other!! And we also…um, flirted as little bit, although I would never had admitted it!
For the next several weeks, things were quiet and I didn’t hear anything else in regards to Paul and I starting a relationship. Then one night my dad decided it was time for some action and this time he contacted Paul’s dad and they talked for a while. Finally, my dad came into my room and told me about the conversation and said that we would probably hear something Sunday. Sure enough, the next day, Saturday, Paul called to invite us to stay at the church with them Sunday afternoon.
Well, this Sunday was extremely ackward especially when Pastor Tripp mentioned the groom and his bride in the sermon. I looked straight on even though I heard a few giggles from Paul’s pew and I felt several eyes on me from my family. After the sermon Paul and my dad talked for a little while downstairs and then Paul rejoined our little group. Well, a little while later, the group all of a sudden got smaller. Jonathan and Caleb disapeared somewhere and then Ben stood up abrubtly, whispered something to Paul and then left. Becky mumbled something about helping with lunch and gathered up her stuff and left. Sarah went a short ways into the sactuary and sat down. So, it was just Paul and I. I was thinking “WHERE ARE YOU GOING!!! WHY ARE YOU LEAVING ME ALONE!!!!!!” We kept talking and then at a pause Paul said “I have your dad’s permission, do I have yours?” I quietly responded “yes.” And that was it. Our “courtship” was official!
Okay, so this is my version of the story, though long it may be. No, it may not be the most romantic with hearts flying all over the place but that’s okay, I like it the way it is. And the way Paul asked may not be the most sweeping, but I don’t mind; I like the way he asked. God worked this out the way he wanted and now Paul and I are engaged and happily anticipating our wedding. We would covet your prayers for us as we move forward.
“God works all things out for good for those who are called according to his purpose”