“What’s Your Story: Part 1”
(Many of you asked me what the story is between Stephen and me. How we met, dated, etc. This is Part 1 of Our Story, written by the wonderful man in my life, Stephen. Enjoy.)
Let me tell you a story about love. It involves the truly fun time Chelsea and I had getting to know and grow with each other into this thing we’re going to call adulthood (even though we don’t feel like adults really).
Now to tell you the truth, I never really had a known direction in my life and for the most part still don’t. But 5 years ago I after busying myself with working, school, dating and just hanging out with friends, I finally decided to follow my heart’s calling and truly get reconnected with a church. After months of looking, it took one sermon by Brad Cauley to make me commit to the Austin Stone Community Church and there I was, lonely and busying myself with going to church on top of all the other things.
*Now listen, if you are going to church and feel lonely at that church, it’s because of one thing, and I guarantee the guy at the front has been telling you how to fix it the entire time; they do at every church I’ve been to…JOIN A COMMUNITY/SMALL/LIFE GROUP*
I never listened… joining a community group seemed alienating and outside of my comfort zone; but that tug in my heart kept telling me that there was something more to get out of church and that maybe one of these groups would be the way. Thanks to a job change opportunity that freed up my weeknights, I thought to ask a good friend of mine, who usually knows what’s going on, if he knew of a community group I could join that had no girls in it because I wanted to pursue God and not have girls distracting me from why I was there. Sure enough, my friend invited me to the ONLY coed college-age community group the church had… and what happened? I sat there the first night and the only thing I can remember is constantly looking at this girl and thinking, “she has some nice legs.” (don’t blame me, Chelsea decided to wear cheerleading shorts to a bible study!)
If you ask Chelsea, she’d say I hit on her the first night with the line “You look familiar, are you taking any government classes this semester?” BUT I contest this, as she really looked like someone who was in several of my government classes, and if you know me at all, I’m awkward; it just seemed like a good question at the time. For me, I hit on her come week #2…broke into one of her conversations and made a point to say goodbye to her by name when she left (big for me since I’m terrible at remembering names, honestly I thought her last name was Rosenberg for 2 months).
And what do I see when I get home that night? A Facebook friend request! Little did I know Chelsea also asked other people to be friends at the same time, but at the time I thought she was totally into me. She even wrote on my wall, “I like you better without the beard” (I had a beard in my profile pic) and THAT told me that I really made an impression on her with my goodbye ;^) Actually it didn’t, but it did get us started in talking online. Chelsea confirmed I was taller than her and I confirmed that I liked her for more than her legs. Within the week we knew we liked each other a lot.
Since we were both in the community group to pursue God, Chelsea didn’t want us to start dating immediately in case it didn’t work out and one of us would have to split from the group due to awkwardness that could occur. I agreed and laughed to myself, knowing that I wasn’t going to let my membership in any group get in my way, and within a week we were dating!
Now as we grew with our community group, people eventually found out we were dating, but the funny thing was that we were so comfortable together that anyone who met us as a couple thought we were together for years already. Chelsea’s friend even put me in her phone as “Chelsea’s Husband.”
It was such a great feeling to be with Chelsea. There’s the saying that where men fall in love faster, women fall in love deeper; well I would say that’s half-true. I definitely fell in love with Chelsea even though I didn’t know it yet, you know… still being a kid and all and not knowing what those choices and feelings were. Chelsea had a realization that she loved me while watching The Family Stone (no relation, she was just thinking about it since the movie’s a love story).
I would have to say that to this day, Chelsea and I have only gone a total of 7 days without seeing one another since the day we met and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know a lot of people don’t have that blessing, but I believe that how Chelsea and I met was a work done by God. My life worked in a way to make it to a community group that Chelsea was lead to in the same way.
That is how I came to meet my girlfriend. Next time I’ll tell you how I made her my wife.