“What’s Your Story” – Part 1B
My intention was for Stephen to write his side of Our Story and then I’d follow with my side. However, after reading his post I realized that I didn’t need to clear anything up. He did a really good job of telling the story. But then I got to thinking… part of his post is about how he got there. About where he was in his life to lead him to that little house on Duval. So I thought it would be fun to tell you about my story and how God very specifically worked in both of our lives to bring us together at the right time. So that’s what I’m going to do.
I was a party girl in high school. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s the truth. When I went to college, it seemed like a natural transition. I went out a lot and drank a lot. That was my life and I liked it. I thought I was happy and I thought that’s the life I was going to lead. Then one Sunday my friend Lyndsey and I were sitting in church (we still went to church, you see… we thought it was normal to party on Saturday and worship on Sunday) and they announced this conference called Passion. We thought it sounded fun and decided we’d go. It was not a normal decision for us. I have no reasonable explanation for why we went on that trip except to say that God wanted me there in a big way.
I could make this into a really long story but that would be more like my testimony than the story of how Stephen and I met. Let’s just say, my life was changed. We came back to Austin and decided to live a different life. Then a problem presented itself. Lyndsey graduated. I was entering my junior year of college with a lifestyle change… without my best friend and her support. What’s a girl to do?
I DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED but I decided I was going to join a community group. There was a meet and greet after service one Sunday night to talk to different community group leaders. I went… by myself. I remember talking to two leaders. One was a single guy that was leading an all male group, I was not invited. The other was a young couple. They seemed nice. They seemed fun. Luckily I didn’t know they were Aggies or else I may not have liked them! (Texas joke, sorry.) I got the information about their group and decided I would join. Once again, let me point out… by myself.
I arrived late the first night because I couldn’t find the house. I literally showed up, couldn’t tell if I was at the right house, went home to Mapquest it, and then came back. I remember little bits of the night, but now a whole lot. It must’ve been enjoyable because I went back the next week. And that’s when I met them. The Steves. The first Steve I had briefly met the first week. He was one of those outgoing types that knew everyone. He brought his friend Steve. My Steve. We were hanging out and mingling and eating all the delicious treats the Amber had put out for us and this Steve came up to me and said, “Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?” Um no, nice line dude. “No, I don’t think so.” Hmm. “Oh, well I’m Steve.” And then we had a conversation that I don’t remember. Not because I was dazed and in love and knew I had just met the man I was going to marry. No, I just don’t remember it because it was probably pretty boring. There was a lot of small talk that night.
Oh and also… in my defense, I didn’t think my outfit was inappropriate. I was probably coming from yoga or on the way to the gym. (I did healthy things like that back then.) If you know me at all, you know that I never wear anything that could even be considered slightly scandalous. If I knew that the dudes would be looking at my legs, I wouldn’t have worn those shorts. And also in my defense, my legs are like 8 feet long, they are hard to hide.
Then came the next week. I don’t remember much of it except that this Steve fella was hanging around me a noticable amount. And then when he left, he turned around to me and said, “Bye Chelsea.” I knew. I knew he liked me.
After community group I went home and “friended” a few people I had met the past couple weeks. The Steves were included. It was that night that I sent a message to Stephen saying that I liked him better without his beard. His facebook showed a gruff adult with a thick beard. Not my preference. Apparently in dude langauge that means “I like you.” Which is fine. I didn’t at the time, but it didn’t hurt that he thought that.
I don’t know if people talk on AIM anymore but back then, that’s what we did. We added each other on AIM and started chatting each night. FOR HOURS. We talked about everything, including important things like “Do I have to call you Steve? Can I please call you Stephen?” and “How tall are you?” Once I learned that I could call him Stephen and that he was taller than 6 feet, I knew this was going somewhere. He was fun and friendly and cute. Although I had only seem his twice and I wasn’t sure I remembered what exactly he looked like. Do you know how that goes?
So anyways we chatted for hours and both knew that something was happening. It was the year the Astros were in the playoffs so I invited Stephen over a few nights to watch the games. (Apparently he could care less about baseball… but you know what? If you want to be with Chelsea, you have to make room for some baseball in your life. The end!) He stayed into very very late hours and we talked non-stop. We had a talk about “us.” We knew things were headed somewhere fast. I wasn’t opposed to it but it was scary. This wasn’t just some guy. This was a good guy. A good, cute, polite guy that seemed different. And I knew that if we started dating, that would probably be it… forever.
I told him I’d like us to be friends for a month before we tried dating. Deep down, I knew that was ridiculous. Plus, how would it be any different than the faux dating we were currently doing. Two weeks later, I decided I was ready. I knew this guy was it. I knew that I’d never be single again. It was scary. Very very scary. But thrilling. That was October 20, 2005. I met his mom on Halloween. He met mine a week or two after. Things were moving quickly. In December 2005, I knew I was in love.
And that’s how I came to meet my boyfriend. Next I’ll tell you how I made him my husband.