Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Story Goes Like This

A love story. Each part important, each part unique. I tried to share a drawn out version of how we met in the past, but I ended up deleting it altogether. Truth be told, our story is quite simple. It involves a broken girl, a homeless boy, a social media site plus God's redirection and timing. Without being too vague or too detailed, I'll try my best to break it all down.

On December 11th, 2007, I decided to write a letter to God. It was a prayer, or more so a plea. In this letter, I included all of the qualities that I wanted in a guy. After I finished, I took the paper and slipped it into my nightstand for safe keeping. Though the memory of it slowly faded away. I was only 17 at the time, but I'd already seen my share of good guys with bad intentions and bad guys with even worse intentions. I had been rejected and thrown away. I was broken, I was weary. Yet, deep down, I still believed that God would direct me to someone worth giving my heart to. I clung to that tiny sliver of hope.

Now, flash forward to 2008. If there's one thing I've learned throughout the years, it's that trusting in God means trusting in His timing. While I spent most of the year finding my way back to Jesus, G was fully depending on Him to get through each day. Many failed attempts at finding work had led him and his dad to the city I've called home my entire life. They bounced around from hotel to shelter and eventually were forced to live out of their car. His dad wanted to head back north in hopes of finding employment. But, for some reason, G felt they needed to stay longer. Little did he know that reason would be me.

It was a mid-December night. As I logged onto Myspace, I began to do a little searching. I checked the filter boxes — Male. Christian. Non-smoker. Non-drinker. Tampa, Florida. I scrolled through profile picture after profile picture until I reached his. A black and white photo of a (very cute) guy in a fitted cap. Garrett Sharp. Even his name seemed to draw me in. I clicked the link, read a bit about him and decided to send him a friends request. I didn't think too much about it, until he responded.

"Hey, you're cute! Do I know you?" were the words that popped up in my inbox on 12-11-08. We began messaging back and forth. Each day, I found myself opening up to him more. He was different. We talked about God and how He'd influenced our lives. We also talked about our values, the things we believed in and the things we disagreed with. One night, as we were conversing, I was reminded about that little ol' letter I had written many months before. I quickly searched through my nightstand and found it. Then I had a notion to check the date. 12-11-07. I couldn't help but get emotional after realizing it was exactly one year to the date I had written the letter. After 3 short weeks, we made plans to meet each other in person.

It was New Years Eve 2008. He said he would be waiting for me in front of the Apple store in the mall (I made sure it was a public place). I was a nervous wreck when I caught a glimpse of him waiting there. Emotions surged throughout my body, then courage kicked in. I inhaled deeply, slowly making my way towards him. Everything else began to fade; each step growing easier than the last. Finally arriving where he was seated, I took the seat beside him. He looked over at me and smiled sweetly. With a simple "Well, hey there, Jessica" he had stolen my heart. I smiled back and said hello.

We ended up spending the day together and rang in the new year sitting on the beach, watching as fireworks lit up the sky. He asked me to be his girlfriend that night and less than 4 months after we started dating, he proposed to me. He had quickly become my best friend and I couldn't imagine life without him. Clearly, I said yes and we tied the knot on May 15th, 2010. Never once did I imagine I'd stumble across a Myspace profile, send a friends request and end up marrying the person on the other side of cyberspace. But, that's exactly how our story unfolded and I love the way it all turned out.

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