Levi and I married each other in June of 2012 after only six months of head-over-heels, foolish-about-each-other love. Our story, like every love story, has its own unique and sweet moments and timings. We continue to marvel at the way God orchestrated our lives to bring us together, and though it included pain and trials for both of us, we wouldn't change anything about it.
Everything that happened and every way that we grew led us to this moment.
By now, Levi and I have exchanged quite a few cute e-mails back and forth, and our first more serious e-mails. I had reached out and he had responded. It felt . . . wonderful. I knew I'd agreed to let Levi decide how quickly things moved between us, but I began to crave more . . .
Chapter 8: Following Well
I'd been back in my small town for a few days, and things were getting back to normal. Well, a new kind of normal that included an evening e-mail from Levi and a night spent writing him back.
Levi and I spent the next few letters telling each other about our times overseas (I've made numerous trips to Europe and spent a summer in Kazakhstan and Levi lived in Papua New Guinea for seven years). I just loved hearing stories about him running around in the bush with a machete.
As the new semester began to wind up, my students provided me with ample story material. I was in charge of a junior high study hall, and though the students could get unruly fairly quickly, they'd become one of my favorite classes. At the beginning of the school year I'd been at my wits end trying to figure out what to do to keep the kids engaged and busy once their homework was done. We'd made trips to the library and played games and done brain teasers, but after doing that every day, well, I'd run out of options. I turned to something I knew would get them for sure . . .
Now, we've already gone over the fact that I'm a crazy nerd, and I felt that the kids needed something a little more wholesome to watch in the free moments outside of homework. It took only a few days before the students began racing into my classroom, yanking out their pens and pencils and flipping open their books. They'd huddle in groups and get their homework done, then raise their hands to let me know they were done. They'd gather at the front row of my classroom, pull down the projector screen, and wait for me to turn on the show.
I was creating a little band of nerds. Awesome!
Well, I was enjoying relating a few stories to Levi in one letter, and I found myself going on and on about it. In his reply, Levi let me know that I'd accidentally let slip my last name (because I was imitating the kids talking about me: Miss so-and-so). To be fair, he went ahead and told me his last name, too.
Now, what would any self-respecting, modern gal do once she had the first and last name of a guy she was seriously interested in?
If you didn't immediately jump to "Facebook stalk him," then you are either a) too mature (in years) to get involved with that Facebook-thing or you are b) too mature (in wisdom) to ever Facebook stalk someone. If it's the former, I'd advise you to mostly stay away from Facebook and just get your kids to e-mail you all their cool pictures. If it's the latter, then kudos to you for being able to stay so focused. I, unfortunately, do not possess such focus.
And, as it turned out, neither does Levi, for I found out later that he also immediately Facebook-stalked me when he learned my last name. Not that he found anything, but it's the thought that counts.
The day after I became Stalker Gal, my dear friend Ann came over for a visit. Still in college, she was getting one last visit in before heading back to school now that her break was ending.
I invited her into my home and we immediately sat down on the couch, cross-legged and facing each other (our normal mode of communication). She could tell that I was much more settled than the last time we'd talked, and I went ahead and told her about Levi. Up until this point, only my family knew about Levi, and really, all they knew was that I was e-mailing a man I thought was "pretty neat."
I wanted to show Ann a bit about Levi, so we headed into my room and crowded around my laptop on the bed. I showed her pictures of him and had her read his profile. I told her about our letters, and as I was telling her, I was aware of a mounting excitement in myself. She could sense it too, and, not surprisingly, she was a little taken aback. I mean, this was her friend who only weeks before had been a mess.
Suddenly I launched myself forward on the bed and buried my head into my pillow.
"Oh, Ann!" I sighed.
"What, sweetie?" she asked.
"I just want to talk to him!" I sat up. "I want him to call me! But I'm letting it all be up to him."
"Well, then, it will happen when it's supposed to happen," she reassured me. "You just have to have patience."
"Patience is stupid," I grumbled, then smiled. "I know, I know. I can wait. I just really like him."
"Well, that much is clear!" We grinned at each other.
The next day I rushed home from school as had become my normal custom. I quickly cleaned up the house and made some food, checking my e-mail every five minutes or so while I waited for my favorite part of the day. When the e-mail came, excitement flooded me.
I read his responses to some serious questions we'd been asking each other about church, Christians, and sin (we like to keep our topics on the light side), mulling over what he said. As I was thinking to myself that he was a very thoughtful and wise man for his young age, I reached the bottom of the letter and stopped. My eyes widened and I clasped my hands together while I re-read the paragraph.
"I'm glad you're opening up. I'm enjoying getting to know you. Umm... How would you feel about talking on the phone? There's no pressure, if you would rather stick with this for a while. I'll just put it on the table so you know I'm interested. :)"
I almost did a cartwheel. Not joking!
I pulled up a response window and began tapping away merrily, grinning like a happy fool.
It was only days before I would hear that sweet voice.
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