So here is my version of Skyler and I's love/courtship story. I like this story, so excuse me while I write quite a lengthy post full of fun details!:
I first met Skyler in the computer lab at SBU, he came up and asked me if I was his sister's friend who twirled baton. This was a short conversation, but I gotta be honest . . . I went back and looked him up on the SBU website, since I knew he played baseball (facebook wasn't around yet - at least not at SBU - anyone remember when it was only available for certain universities?) I thought he was attractive, but I kinda had my eyes on another boy at the time, and Skyler seemed way out of my league. I didn't even dare to think about him as a possibility!
At some point that same year, I remember driving home from Springfield with my friend Dezi (Skyler's sister), and for some reason we had to pick Skyler up. He rode with us, and we all had a great conversation about this book he was reading. I remember thinking - Dang! Too bad this guy has a girlfriend! Later Dezi told me more about her brother. She loved her brother, and they had a really close relationship. She mentioned how disappointed she was that he was dating a girl who wasn't well-suited for him. Somehow he always seemed to go for girls that weren't quite as on fire, spiritually, as he was. She also said that she thought him and I would be perfect for one another! Waoh! Here I am learning about guarding my heart, and she throws this at me. Well, I tried not to think about it. Honestly, Skyler was two years older than me, a stud baseball player, and liked by just about everyone on campus! Plus, he had a girlfriend!
Life went on, and the following year I remember Skyler facebooking (yes I just made that a verb, and yes SBU got facebook my sophomore year!) me randomly. At this point I knew Skyler was just a nice guy. He wasn't trying to hit on me, but was just getting to know his sister's friend. Through several messages, I came to see Skyler as an older brother figure. We talked about messed up relationships, and our dreams, but mostly we talked about God. Skyler had a lot of insight, and at this point in my life I was growing spiritually by leaps and bounds! In January of that year, I went on a mission trip to Guatemala. I was talking with another Godly boy, and we were trying to decide if we should start dating. I knew this mission trip would give me some much needed time to think, pray, and really discern God's will. God definitely gave me a word, but it wasn't what I expected! After many many prayers, I remember God clearly bringing to my mind this thought -"He's Not Skyler!" Now, I won't say I heard this verbally, but I what I did hear definitely threw me back! I hadn't even really thought about Skyler like that! Him and I were just casual friends, with absolutely no romantic potential! This came out of no where! Well, actually it came from God!
Of course, when I returned to SBU, baseball season was starting up and I hardly ever saw or talked to Skyler. God obviously had not delivered the message to him! A few months with a slight crush, and I moved on . . . Skyler was way out of my league! I remember the end of that year He asked me if I wanted to hang out with him and some friends, and I turned him down. I knew there wasn't any interest there romantically, and I didn't want to fool my heart into thinking there was.
Recently, I went back and looked at our facebook messages from that year! Wow! Enlightening! All this time, I've looked at that year as not very significant as far as our relationship goes. However, when I look back at our conversations, and the fact that we were truly two people getting to be better friends, I think God was weaving his plan into our lives even then, without us knowing it. At least I didn't know it! Looking back now, I think - how could I have missed it! Then I realize - God was protecting my heart!
That summer after my sophomore year Skyler was playing baseball in New York, and I was a youth intern at my church back home. An old flame had mentioned still liking me, so I was slightly caught up in all that drama. I remember asking my parents how I was supposed to know it was the person God wanted me to be with. They said "you will just know"! Thanks a lot - that seemed to be no help at all! Then I would get text randomly from Skyler - sometimes verses, sometimes quotes. He knew I liked quotes, and so as an encouragement he sent them to me as well as his sister Dezi. By the end of the summer, I talked to Dezi about all the relationship junk, and she once again said "I'm saving you for my brother!" I got up the nerve to ask her if she ever mentioned this to him . . . she told me she had brought it up before. I was slightly mortified, but couldn't help, but think . . . Hmmmm could Skyler and I really have potential?
He continued to text me even into the following school year. We became pretty avid "texters"! In fact, at one point I got in deep trouble because I had run up the phone bill from texting so much! I had to pay my parents back, and Skyler offered to pay half. I told him he didn't need to, but then I found forty dollars in my mailbox! What a sweet guy! Not only that, but I was not allowed to text any more. I figured this would be the end of our conversations since we were so accustomed to communicating this way. Much to my surprise Skyler started calling me every now and then. He was such a great guy, and I was definitely developing a crush on him! I had hoped he liked me too!
Our friendship continued like this for a couple months. We would talk on the phone every now and then, hang out if our paths crossed, and I even got up the courage to ask him to come ballroom dancing with me for my birthday! Just when my friends and I were sure he was going to "ask me out", he invited me to come to the baseball team's black and white banquet "just as friends"! What? Had I misread all the signals? Did he like my personality, but simply wasn't attracted to me!? I didn't understand. That is when he gave me the book "Choosing God's Best". I read this book throughout the month of December. It wasn't my favorite book ever, and it wasn't a quick read. There were a lot of really great things in the book, but some of it was difficult to swallow! It completely went against the way I was used to doing relationships! Despite my attitude, I appreciated that Skyler gave me the book and I now knew where he was coming from. At the end of the month, we had a conversation and he explained his position even more clearly. He liked me, and he thought there could be potential for us to be together one day, but for now he truly wanted to get to know me better as a friend. After reading the book, I could actually understand where he was coming from. Skyler and I had become such great friends, and I was ok with continuing our friendship. I committed to not letting myself get ahead of him. I would follow his lead, and guard my heart until he changed the status of our friendship. This was really a step of faith. I knew that our relationship may very well never progress past friendship. I remember praying telling God that I was trusting him, and that if Skyler wasn't the one He had planned for me, it would HAVE to be someone pretty amazing because my standards were already raised to a whole new level! Skyler seemed perfect for me, but I trusted that God was in control!
Over the next several months our friendship grew. At times it was confusing. All of my friends were asking what the deal was, and a few of them even warned me that Skyler was "leading me on". I appreciated their concern, but I knew Skyler and I were on the same page. I struggled at times to guard my heart, but I found that it helped to ask myself this question: if nothing more ever came of our relationship, could our friendship continue? For the most part I could answer yes. Until we were fast approaching the end of the year. Skyler and I started spending much more time together, and I knew I was beginning to have feelings for him that were much stronger than merely friendship. At this point, I pulled myself back some. I would not answer my phone at times, or I would make our conversations brief. It wasn't that I didn't want to talk to him, but I knew I had to be more careful. It was at this point that Skyler let me know he was anticipating much more than friendship. After about a year and a half of casual friendship, and one more year of a more intentional friendship, God was finally showing us his plan! Skyler was finally able to share his heart, and let me know he saw me as much more than just a friend. We were best friends, on the verge of something so much more!
A few weeks after that, he invited me to his parents house, and he had planned a special "date". This was the first time we had ever gone out alone together. He was very creative, and he asked me to officially be his courtship partner! We both already knew it was simply a matter of time before we would be getting to marry our best friend! Both of us were committed, and we knew nothing could separate us because God was the one that brought us together!
I can't say that our courtship was perfect, nor will I say that our story is a model for every relationship. However, I do believe that when you let go, and give God charge over your life - including your love life - He will make it so much better than any fairytale!
Part 1 - thoughts on dating
Part 2 - Skyler's experience with dating
Part 3 - Megan's experience with dating
Part 4 - what is different about courtship
Part 5 - Skyler's version of Our Courtship