30 for 30 #10: Dating Lesley

Wow. So much could be said about this. Rather than writing about my wedding day or the day I proposed, which are obviously great memories, I want to write about my pursuit of Lesley. We met while members of the Auburn University Marching Band, and it was not long after we met that I knew that she was the one for me.

I am so thankful for the day that we were introduced by a mutual friend, Lauren (Kirk) Tyson. Lauren told me soon after introducing me to Lesley that I should spend time with her, that she thought we would get along well. Since I trusted Lauren, I took it as a sign from God, and I immediately began seeking to persuade Lesley to enter into a relationship with me.

Now, I would be lying if I did not state that there were some bumps in the road at the beginning. While I don’t have the time or space to describe all the issues we faced early on, I can say that most of it was due to the fact that I was just plain dumb at times. If you’ve ever seen a movie that shows a guy dumbfounded and speaking unintelligibly at the site of a beautiful woman – that was me. It’s only by God’s grace that she even gave me a second look.

So, here’s some of my best memories from our early days of dating…

I still remember the day I came home and told my roommate, Morris, about her. I was so excited about her, that I had to share it with someone.

I still remember the day when I was walking her to class after band practice, and I realized that I loved her and that I would storm the gates of Hell if it meant getting to spend my life with her.

I still remember her birthday in 2003 when I took her to the park for a picnic. The picture I took of her that day is in my wardrobe, and I see it each day.

I still remember the night, sitting on her porch, when we both shared our hearts with one another, discussing our pasts and pledging our love for one another.

I still remember attending the “Be thou my vision” conference at Lakeview and seeing first-hand her passion for missions and fully realizing that she was a woman of God.

I still remember having her join me at Study Partners in the AU Library and helping some Japanese exchange students learn how to converse in English, which led to friendships that endure to this day.

I still remember the night I took her to my fraternity formal – it was the first “real date” that we had.

I still remember ditching her to go snow skiing with Morris Bramlett and Graham Michael in Mentone, AL – only to later find out that she was planning on dumping me after our planned that weekend, but my absence gave her a chance to stop, think, and really seek God’s will, which resulted in the continuing of our relationship. That particular weekend is a story all on its own, which may be discussed later…

I still remember seeing her standing outside of customs at LAX upon my return from Australia, after we had spent the summer serving in missions on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean. I could see her from a distance and could not wait to get outside the gate to her.

I still remember the night I asked her to marry me, and she said, “yes.”

I still remember the day she said, “I do.” Every day since has been a blessing.

I cannot imagine life without her. I’m thankful for all the times we’ve shared together. It’s hard for me to remember living without her. I look forward to many more days with her.

Lesley Marie, I love you.

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