Hi friends! I want to share with you a series of posts I wrote last year on my old blog since I have so many new friends reading my posts. I especially want new brides and prospective brides to see my story since they're allowing me to play such an important role in capturing their story and photographing their wedding day! I also never wrote the fourth and final part of our story! So I'll be posting parts one through three and then I'll end this series with a new part four. Enjoy!
October 15th had finally arrived. The day of our big date. I spent the entire day at a church planting conference listening to different speakers and attending breakout sessions. It was hard to stay focused on the conference but I was thankful for the distraction because it took my mind off what was about to happen a little later. After the conference our staff team headed back to our hotel. Everyone else was going out to dinner but I had to go get ready for my date. It was...interesting knowing I'd be going on my first date with Alex with our entire staff team there. It sort of felt like my whole family was there to see me off; a little overwhelming, and yet it also made me thankful for the love and support I have in our staff.
Abbey and Krystal walked down to the foyer with me so they could join everyone else for dinner and so that I wouldn't have to walk out alone. I felt the nervousness rise in my stomach as I waited to get to the ground floor. When the elevator doors opened, I saw Alex sitting across from us. He looked handsome and a little nervous in his blue button down shirt as he jumped up to shake our hands and greet us.
We hopped in Alex's car and as soon as we got in, music started playing really loudly. I was a little confused as to why Alex would want to play music so loudly right away but I didn't know him well enough to ask. After talking briefly, he explained that his radio was broken and he couldn't turn the volume down. Still feeling nervous as we pulled up to the thai restaurant, and I hoped I'd be able to eat.
Alex and I had good conversation over dinner. I was a little surprised because he came across as so easy to talk to and fun at Fall Getaway. Our date felt much more serious though. Alex led the conversation well and asked me good questions. But most of his questions were theological and we ended up talking about theology for probably 70% of the time. Don't get me wrong, I love talking about theology but I felt a little like I was on a job interview. At some point in the date he asked me my favorite paper I wrote in seminary and then proceeded to ask me the Scripture references I used to argue my point! Yikes! I was sure I sounded completely unintelligent and unimpressive to him. I felt like he was way more eloquent and knowledgeable than I was!
After dinner he said he had a surprise for me. We pulled up to Barnes and Noble and he asked me to pick out three books. One book to represent my past, one to represent my present, and one to represent my future. I was impressed that he was being so intentional and I loved that this part of the date involved books. However, I felt really intimidated by this part of the date at the same time! I mean, I want to pick books I like but I don't want to pick too many "spiritual" books. But I also don't want to pick too few "spiritual" books. What was he expecting?! And I knew he'd want a reason for why I picked each of the books! In case you're wondering, I ended up picking Little Women, Wuthering Heights, and Life Together. I'll spare you the reasons why.
After the date was over and Alex dropped me off, I wrote in my journal, "I had my first date with Alex last night and I feel like it's 'brought me back to earth' a little (don't worry, Alex and I laugh about the fact that I wrote that now!). It was good but not great. I don't feel like I have 'butterflies' or anything." After thinking it through, I realized I was probably relying too much on my emotions and "experience." I was thankful that he seemed serious about getting to know me (even if that made our date a little interview-ish...who has a great first date anyway?!) and I was interested to see what the next day would be like.
The day after our date, Alex attended the church planting conference my staff team and I were at. Talk about intimidating! I knew everyone would be watching us and I wasn't even sure exactly how I felt about Alex! However, from the very beginning things went way better. I was so impressed with the fact that Alex came to the conference and with his confidence in interacting with people. I found myself very attracted to him and interested in him throughout the day. I definitely wanted to get to know him better and really hoped he felt the same way about me.
At the end of the night, we went out to get frozen yogurt together. This was the first time we'd be alone all day. Unfortunately, in the span of ten minutes I managed to spill frozen yogurt on the front of my shirt and the shop closed! So we got in the car and almost immediately after we pulled away Alex abruptly said, "Well Jenna, I really value honesty and transparency (I was thinking...have I been dishonest? Is he about to rebuke me?!)...and so I want you to know that I like you and would like to intentionally get to know you better." I told him that I thought he'd done a great job so far and led really well and that made me respect him and want to follow him. I also told him that I loved getting to know him so far and would like to continue getting to know him better. Neither one of us knew exactly how that would be since we were long distance but we talked through what that could look like.
At the end of the conversation he said, "I can't guarantee how this will end but, whatever happens, I hope we will both be more pointed to Christ as brother and sister."
When I got back to the hotel and began to process the night, I was so thankful to God for giving me a man that communicated his intentions so clearly. I remember thinking, so this is what it looks like to be pursued by a godly man. I felt led to trust Alex and felt so much peace that the Lord was leading and guiding both Alex and I. What a blessing from the Lord!
To be continued...