How I Met the One

The year was 1991.  I was days away from high school graduation and concentrated on what I would wear and how I would style my highly permed, highlighted hair.  I had spent my senior year writing off dating and had made a conscious effort to focus on developing myself. My youth pastor’s wife, whom I highly respected, told me that if I wanted to attract a man of character I had to be a woman of character.  That was my aim: become a woman of character. I’d previously established what I wanted in a husband. I’d recently determined I would only date people that emulated those qualities. In the meantime, I’d focus on becoming those same qualities.

As my class of 29 students, prepared to walk the stage, diploma in hand, I kept hearing there was a new boy in town.  My best friend, Shawn, said, “ You really need to meet this new kid. I think you’d really like him. He’s cute.” While roller skating at the local rink later that week, my college friend Candace told me, “I have a good friend I met at school. He’s in town. You need to meet him.”

One spring evening, while several of us were meeting up at our youth leader’s house to play volleyball, I met the new kid. Shawn was right.  He was cute! He was from Ohio. He went to college in Florida, but was spending the summer in Michigan to work and volunteer as a youth leader at my church.  But, did he have character? That was still to be determined. What he did have were the most adorable dimples and the most enchanting rosy red cheeks would appear when he’d get nervous. His teeth were incredibly straight and his smile showed them off beautifully. His deep brown eyes were encased with the thickest eyelashes. He was more than cute. He was insanely handsome!

Whether his character matched his crazy good looks was definitely something I wouldn’t mind spending the summer figuring out.  That’s exactly what I did. We spent as much time a possible together. After graduation I too became a youth leader and together we lead teenagers to theme parks, to volleyball tournaments, to the beach and to a closer relationship with Jesus.  All the while we were getting to know each other better, but remaining friends.

By summer’s end we’d both invested countless hours with the youth of our church and with each other.  I’d watched his character on display as he’d invest time into the lives of youth group kids, as he’d lead the Wednesday evening youth services in worship {yes, he could sing too!}, and as he’d share about his personal development and plans for the future.

What were the qualities I was looking for in a guy? I’m so glad you asked.  Here are a few of the key ones. Keeping in mind, when I made the checkpoints I was 17.  As we get further down the list, it gets a bit shallow.

  1. Must be a Growing Christian: My relationship with Jesus was personal.  It had grown beyond attending Sunday School because my parents made me go. I was maturing in my own faith and I wanted to marry someone who was too.
  2. Must be Pursuing a Career: I had big plans for my future and I couldn’t imagine dating someone who wasn’t also pursuing goals for himself.
  3. Must have the Approval of my Friends and Family: I was in close relationship with my parents and dating a guy that they approved of was essential to me.
  4. Must Respect Me & My Standards Toward Purity: I made a conscious effort to keep my standards high throughout school.  I wanted to be in a relationship where that was valued and not diminished.

Skipping ahead. As we make our way down the list, my 17-year-old-ness begins to show.

  1. Good at shoulder massages.
  2. Can sing to me and sound good.

28 years have passed since the summer of 1991.  This May Drew and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage.  He still has the adorable dimples and he passed them down to all four of our children.  His thick lashes and brown eyes, combined with mine were also inherited by our offspring. However, what I love the most is the character that I saw in him as he would counsel a struggling teen in 91, I still see in him as he parents our kids and manages his employees.  He’s a keeper. My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you find a keeper too. In the meantime, become a keeper!

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  • AmandaLove all your posts! Keep inspiring!ReplyCancel