Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Only Man I've Ever Loved: Part 1

My New Beginning

My claim is that the only man I have ever loved is of course, Matt. This is the story of how God brought us together.

First, I do need to begin with a little back story, which begins with where I decided to go to college, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. It was a prestigious school; well, as prestigious as you can get in Tennessee. I liked the idea of fleeing the coop, moving out of my parent’s home and embracing the whole college experience, which included living on campus. I chose the largest and most expensive apartments on campus: four-bedroom, one-bath with three brand new roommates.

Dreams of parent free living started fading fast as they took me for my first on-campus visit. It was a beautiful area. It had the classic state school feel and was in the middle of downtown Chattanooga, which meant mounds of one way streets that where quite tricky to maneuver. And, I hated it. Right out. I just wasn’t feeling it. I hated those one-way streets. I hated not knowing how to get anywhere. I hated not knowing anyone. I hated the entire city, but this was it!! I was going to be a UTC alumnus. No discussion. No way was I going to back out and tell my parents I wasn’t ready to leave home. No way was I going to a smaller, closer-to-home, commuter kind of school. I was going to be a true-blue, dorm-living (apartment, that is. No communal restroom for me!), full-fledged college experience kind of gal!

My parents moved me into my apartment on Sunday night just in time for me to start classes the following Monday. I met my roommates, and they seemed ok. They didn’t really talk to me much, but I just knew we would be friends. I went to sleep that night with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. What had I gotten myself into!
I woke early, took a shower, and went to my first day’s classes. Every part of me tried to shove those sick feelings down, but I just couldn’t shake them. I finished my classes, went back to my apartment, and tried to call an acquaintance for support. We had graduated together, and she was here, too. She gave no answer to any of my several attempts. My roommates where locked up tight in their rooms, so I just couldn’t talk to them. I ended up walking the entire campus, trying to “out-walk” those feelings. I headed over to the Baptist Student Union. I thought to myself, “God, I don’t know if I’m supposed to be here, but I’m going to try my hardest to fit in."

“Don’t knock it, ‘til you try it,” kept ringing in my head. It was the advice an old boyfriend gave me before I left. Walking into new places and talking to new people was a huge phobia of mine, but I was going to this. I was going to stay here. I introduced myself. I chatted a little, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them about the turmoil going on inside my head. I walked out feeling worse than before. I ended up back at my apartment and decided to call home. I couldn’t get an answer from my parents or my sister, only my brother-in-law, and we weren’t really close. He tried to be understanding, but it just didn’t help. “I’m coming home,” I said. Tell mama and daddy, I’m on my way.”

What would have happened if I had gotten in touch with anyone besides my brother-in-law? They might have tried to talk me into staying, and my life might have been different. All I knew was that I wasn’t supposed to be there. The hour and fifteen minute drive home only took me fifty minutes. I was never going back. A huge burden was lifted off me as I prayed, "God, I'm going to listen to You from now on." God had different plans for me. My life was about to change. I would meet my future husband two days later.


Anonymous said...

I love the story already! I can't wait to read the rest.

Vader's Mom said...

Ohhh. This is going to be good....

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

This is just wonderful so far, I can't wait to hear what happened next!

This is a wonderful thing for your daughter, you should print it out or record it for her for all posterity :)