Wednesday, July 30, 2008

love story

Well, last Saturday was mine and John's five year anniversary. Since we celebrated early in San Fran (we are on a first name basis), I almost forgot on the actual day. John is gone this week on a mission trip, so it wasn't like I looked at him all day and forgot. I have a pretty legitimate excuse named Zoey. So around 11 p.m. I looked at my calendar, smacked myself on the forehead and texted a happy anniversary message to the boy. He never texted back, but it really didn't matter. As much of a celebrator as I am, our anniversary is usually pretty low key-nice dinner, tumble in the sheets, peck goodnight, and phew! one more year down.
However, this year I have the privilege of missing my husband like crazy on our anniversary, and it has made me appreciate him and our relationship so much.
I love, nee adore being married to John. I just feel so comfortable with him. That sounds so blase, because it really doesn't explain what I mean. Simply put, he is home to me. Plus, he is just cool. Some of my favorite times are when we are just hanging out with each other joking around or playing Guitar Hero-just being friends. We started out as friends, and I think that enriches our relationship so much.
John and I have a great love story. It is my favorite story, and in honor of the big 5, I feel like I should share, so here goes:
John and I have known each other a long time, because we were in the same youth group; however, John is two school years older than me, so we weren't friends. In fact, when I was in 8th grade, I tried talking to John at youth VBS because I thought he was really cute, but he totally gave me the cold shoulder. Because of that event, I thought he was a snob. Fast forward to the summer before my senior year (1999). I had been working with the same woman at VBS since I was in 7th grade, but that year there was a fluke. Mrs. Jones tried to get it worked out, but alas, I was stuck doing snow cones. I was really disappointed, so I was none to pleased when in walked John Knippers. My mind flashed back to the 8th grade skating rink incident. He was still pretty cute though. I decided to give him a chance, after all, he drove a Pontiac Firebird. The first day, we just laughed and joked with each other, and when I squirted juice down my leg, he mopped it off for me. One day after VBS, we went to lunch at Chelsea's deli, and at the end of the week, he asked me on a date. We went to see The Mummy, but had to leave early due to my curfew. Time went on, and John and I spent more and more time together. He was really starting to freak me out with how much he liked me and wanted to be with me. I was only 17 and had only had one boyfriend. So, when John would call, my family had specific instructions to either not answer or tell him I was not home. After a while, John stopped calling. I didn't understand why, but I was appalled, and somehow felt that I needed him in my life. I knew if I just made one small step, he would pick up where he left off, so I went to visit him at work one day, and sure enough, the calls started again.
This non-dating dating kept up for several months, until we slipped unconsciously into a comfortable friendship. One day John introduced me to a friend that he had met at school. I thought that guy was really cute, and eventually, he and I started dating behind John's back. Neither of us wanted to hurt him, but he found out and was hurt anyway. Still, he kept being just as good a friend to me as he was before. There was rarely a time that I was with Patrick that John was not there too. My sister used to joking call them "my two boyfriends." It never seemed strange to me, and the cement of our friendship continued to harden. Patrick and I started to drift apart as John and I got closer. Patrick went out of town for Spring Break, and John and I spent the whole week together. Patrick called me when he got back into town, but I only talked to him for a few minutes, because I was on the other line with John. That was the last I ever heard from Patrick. We never actually broke up; he just seemed to realize that there was something bigger going on. He even said prophetically once "Long after I am gone, there will still be you and John." Never a truer statement was made.
John and I continued to spend as much time together as possible. I appreciated him and his friendship so much, but I did not desire more. John brought me roses after Pop Show, came over to see me off before prom, and was in the crowd when I graduated. He was my best friend in the whole world. VBS rolled around again, and this time I requested Snow Cones. One day while scooping ice into the cones, I playfully asked John if he would be my "back-up." If neither of us were married by the time we were thirty, we could marry each other. John looked appalled, and I was a little confused by his response.
One night John was driving me to Wal-Mart to buy travel size toiletries for a mission trip when I looked at him for what I consider the first time. I watched him driving and realized that I never wanted to sit next to anyone else in the car for the rest of my life. It was like God knew that I was finally ready for this and he flipped on a switch in me that allowed me to look at John as something other than a friend. I realized that John had been waiting for me for more than a year, and he didn't really seem interested anymore. It seemed to be my turn to wait.
One night, John and I took my little brother to see the movie Chicken Run ( I know, I know, but it will always hold a special place in my heart). After the movie, John and I were goofing off in the front yard, as usual. He was standing close to me to block the light from the front porch. We were play arguing about something, when all the sudden, mid sentence, he kissed me. It was the kiss I had been waiting for my whole life and it literally took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. It was the kiss that said everything I needed to hear and everything I hadn't said. It was the best kiss I have ever had. I looked at him after we hugged and I said, "I am so in love with you." He told me he was in love with me too, and it was then that we told each other that we would get married. Three years and a thousand break-ups later, we did.
God was so evident in putting us together. From the mix up with VBS to the turning on of the love switch, God put each piece of our romance together. If ever I doubt the sovereignty of my God, all I have to do is look at my husband and know God is the master orchestrator.


Misty said...

How did I not know all this? I didn't know much beyond the sno-cones. Thanks for sharing. You guys are great together. Oh and Happy Anniversary. :)

Phil and Beki said...

I love your love story! It does show how GOD really does have everything planned - and we just have to wait...which we all know that we are not that good at doing :) Happy Belated Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Oh Ashley, there are tears in my eyes reading this post. I know the story well, but everytime I hear it my heart fills up. I remember you and Patrick coming into Pier 1 once while I was working there...funny...

Robin said...

Truly the stuff true love is made of. Happy Anniversary!

Sarah said...

aww! So sweet! I didn't know all the details either, but I definitely remember the patrick and the back and forth with you and john! That was so well written. In December, for our 5th, can I tell you the story and then have you write it on my blog? It would sound way more interesting! Happy Belated anniversary, again!