Disclaimer: This is one of many stories of how I met my wife, substituting real names for fictional ones from the Fire Emblem series. If you happen to know who I’m talking about, I ask that you respect these stories and keep any comments or names to yourself. Thanks!
By definition, Caeda and I were “just talking and going on dates”. I think a lot of people were rooting for us, speculating that a marriage would result in the merging of two great families. I will give credit where credit is due and that is that Caeda put a lot of effort into trying to figure out if she liked me or not.
Remember, at this point in time, she has no idea what “liking a guy” feels like. She asked me what it felt like, and all I could say to describe it was “butterflies in your stomach”. It was hard to put into words and I didn’t really know how to explain that then. So, despite all the phone calls, texts, dinner with each other’s families, teaching her how to bike and other fun times, she remained undecided. Every now and then I asked her if she felt something, or if anything sparked in her and she would always respond with a “no, sorry”. You might think that after asking that a couple times that I should probably end things, but I think for Caeda, this was a journey of exploration and self-discovery. For myself, it was interactions with a girl I liked, which is why it was important for me to keep my distance and not force her to do anything the least bit uncomfortable for her.
After a Summer’s worth of activities (Thailand missions, planning for camp, serving in camp, 4th of July at Caleb’s house, etc.), I came to the conclusion that if by now things weren’t working out, I probably shouldn’t keep pushing forward, especially with school starting soon. So after my Summer job one day, I drove to her house to drop off a gift for her and her family. It was a little something I got for them while my family and I were vacationing in Hawaii. We stood in her driveway as we chatted a bit. As the conversation puttered out and as the last of the sunlight faded, I asked one last time “do you feel anything?”. Once more, her answer was “no, sorry”.
Reluctantly, I called things off. She agreed that continuing wouldn’t be a good idea, but that we still had fun and we wouldn’t be weird about it. I said “good night” to her without extending a hand for a high-five and walked back to my car. As I drove home, I had this overwhelming sense of peace in my heart. A sense of peace so strong that only God could bestow it.
It felt good knowing that I could date someone, for lack of better words, correctly. I was okay, but certain friends and family members did not take it well. Notably, one of her cousins took it pretty hard.
Caeda’s mom even wrote me a letter. Mostly as a “thank you for the gift from Hawaii”, but she included a line about how she was sorry that things didn’t work out.
A couple weeks passed and it was time for College/Young Adult/Family Camp. Already, I found myself thinking “okay, what’s my next plan of attack?”. Playing out scenarios of how I could possibly win Caeda over. Thoughts of biding my time, with really only next Summer to seize any sort of opportunity. This is where my mind wandered as I faded in and out of paying attention to the messages at College Camp.
Pitiful, isn’t it?
“..but what is your treasure? Your treasure is whatever the majority of your time, thoughts, effort and energy go into.”
Pastor Cory Ishida, the speaker of our camp said those words as he preached about Matthew 13:44. It stuck out to me. Ever since Lyn, my life had been focused on pursuing someone, hopping from girl to girl, hoping to fill the vacancy that is Josh’s girlfriend. Dang, this was my “treasure”. And so this was my turning point, my paradigm shift. No longer was my life so focused on finding a girl to fill a void only God could fill.
Fun fact though, I think me dating Caeda sort of unlocked a gate for her. When word got out that we were no longer seeing each other, there was a line of guys waiting for their chance. She would eventually know what it means to “like” someone as she met her future husband at school.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Matthew 6:33 (NLT)