On September 1 of last year, with my fortieth birthday looming and my heart still somewhat raw from the past, I asked a handful of friends to think of the kindest single person they know and ask themselves if I should meet him. “Emphasis on kind please,” I wrote. Almost three weeks later, my new friend Laura Lynn, who is married to a dear old friend of mine, emailed me about a guy from their church. Here’s what she said:
He likes to run. He is super sweet. He makes meals *good, healthy, beautiful meals* frequently for new moms that have had babies or for church functions. He also is never hesitant to say hello and he does like to talk. My concern is that I don’t know him super well…
She suggested I Facebook stalk him, so I did. I thought he was handsome, and his pictures confirmed he was active. I found pictures of him with his grandmothers, which meant he had to be at least a little sweet, right? Nothing about what I could see of him on Facebook alarmed me, so I asked if she’d reach out to him to see if he would be open to an introduction. He was, so the next day, I messaged him.
It’s awkward to write someone you’ve never met, but I told him that I’d asked some friends for help meeting a nice guy, and I told him about my connection to Laura Lynn and Andy, and I told him a little about my training. And then I waited.
For three days, I waited. Nothing.
Oh well. Maybe I said too much? Maybe the set up was too weird for him? I didn’t know.
Just when I’d convinced myself he wouldn’t surface, I got the sweetest, most rambling, most charming email I’ve ever gotten from a stranger. And then the conversations began. First by email. Then by phone. Then for hours and hours by phone. Finally, on November 9, after doing a fun trail race with my mom in the morning, I flew to Iowa to meet him.
That was six months ago today. We’ve done a good bit of traveling back and forth, and for now, we still live in two different places, but I’m keeping this man for as long as he’ll have me.
I asked for kind, and that’s exactly what I got. When I’m annoyed and complaining and say, “What a b*tch!” about someone, he doesn’t play the part of a good girlfriend and immediately agree with me. Instead, he says, “Well, try to see it from her side…” When I’m bummed about something not going my way, he doesn’t let me stew. Instead, he says, “Tell me five things you’re grateful for.” When I tell him that I’m thinking about dropping out of Coeur d’Alene so that I can save money, train less and spend more time with him these next two months, he doesn’t grab on to the offering of my time. Instead, he says, “You’ve worked hard for this. I won’t be the reason you don’t do this race.”
He is a kind and gentle human being. He believes God loves him and tries to see everyone as a creation of the Creator. He laughs often and hugs full force. At all the right times and even some unexpected ones, he cries tears of sadness and empathy. He believes in conversation and prayer, both as a first step rather than a last resort. He’s honest. He’s quick to ask for forgiveness and even quicker to offer it. And yes, he loves to run, is super sweet, does make good, healthy and beautiful meals, is never hesitant to say hello to anyone in his vicinity and does love to talk.
Happy six month anniversary, Dave. I’m in a beautiful place of excitement and rest standing next to you. Thank you for the butterflies and the peace.