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There are many people happy to see 2016 go and welcome in the new year. I, however, would like to take a moment and reflect on my 2016 before 2017 begins and the new year’s clock is set back to a fresh start.
God has blessed me a great deal this past year. He’s opened doors and slammed others. He’s grown some friendships and loosened others. He’s opened my eyes to some absolutely incredible things as well as some completely horrible things. However, through each trial and over every mountain He has remained faithful and guided me along His path.
This year I was able to complete another year of working with a beautiful group of children at my church. It is truly a blessing to be able to teach them God’s Word and show them His love.
This year I attended my first tacky prom with a date (my first date to a dance!).
This year I wrote and directed my first Easter program at church.
This year I got to go backpacking with my family again, which is always a wonderful escape from everyday stresses.
This year I graduated with my bachelors of science in Speech Language Pathology.
This year I got to counsel the most amazing kids at Teen and Junior camps.
This year I got to direct Middler camp and serve with the most phenomenal codirector and volunteers!
This year I wrote or VBS curriculum and executed it with the help of the most amazing volunteers.
This year I learned how to paint with someone taking me through each step.
This year I got to spend time with my family at the river and relax with friends.
This year God blessed me with a new job taking care of the most incredible young man. I have been beyond blessed by having the opportunity to work with him.
This year I started grad school and survived my first semester of clinic at the University of Montevallo with these incredible ladies. I wouldn’t make it without them!
This year I celebrated (yes, I mean cerebrated) one year of officially being diagnosed with VEDS. (Every year is a blessing and a gift from God.)
This year we had a princess and pirates ball and I got to be Elsa!
This year I got to be a bridesmaid for the first time ever at a dear friend’s wedding.
This year I got engaged to the love of my life. A better man than my wildest dreams (because God knew better than I did).
This year Brandon and I were able to cerebrate our four year anniversary together. (This was the first year we’ve actually been together on our anniversary since it’s in Christmas Eve.)
With just a few blessings listed here, may the New Year bring more than my wildest dreams.
If you missed the first part of the story, you can read it here. Otherwise, let’s dig right in!
Just to remind you, we were at camp and I had just gotten moved a ton of times and ended up on a team with “The funny guy (Stephen) and his tall friend I didn’t know (Brandon).”
Because we were on the same team we literally spent the entire week together. Our cabins did pretty much everything together, so I became very close to those two boys. About half-way through the week, one of the kids in Brandon’s cabin looked at him and said, “I think you’re starting to like those girls too much.” Little did that 7 or 8 year old know, he was speaking the absolute truth. As I started to realize that I liked Brandon, he was also starting to realize that he liked me. And apparently, everyone but us knew it. Even the kids. They kept trying to get us to hold hands at the pool, which is completely taboo if you are at a Church Camp, and the girls in my cabin continually talked about which boys they liked and how I needed to be with Mr Brandon. Even though I tried my hardest to keep myself from falling for Brandon, I did. So then I assumed it would be just like all of my other “Camp Flings.” Oh my was I was wrong!
This time, instead of us saying goodbye and parting ways forever as I had done so many times before, social media intervened. Don’t laugh at me, I’m being completely serious. The Lord is perfectly able to use social medias, such as Facebook, to accomplish His will.
At the end of the week at camp, I was semi-forced to take a picture with Stephen and Brandon. Later on that day, I made that picture my profile picture but I zoomed in so that it was only my face. I thought, “It’s my Facebook profile and I don’t want to have to answer a million questions about why I have 2 boys in my profile picture with me. So let’s just avoid that…” Remember, I was the kid who went to prom by myself and did my Senior Walk Out alone (which is apparently a big deal… I guess I was the only one who didn’t have a guy to walk out with me), so having a guy in my profile picture would have caused a huge riot on my Facebook feed and I am not a fan of being the center of attention.
So what happened? The idiot boy himself commented on my newfound profile picture and said, “Way to cut me and Stephen out!”
….. How would you react to that!? Please remember that I am a 17 year old girl at this point and the guy I like just commented on my Facebook picture. I may have had a mild panic attack and I’m pretty sure my heart stopped for a moment, but I swiftly recovered and responded with a witty, “Fine, I’ll put y’all back in. Would that make you happy?”
Are you cringing? I am. You know how you look back in life and think, “How in the world did I ever think that was a good idea?” Yeah. That’s me. Right now. About that stupid comment….
Anyways! I changed my picture and included the two of them once more and our witty (or what I thought at the time was witty) banter continued via Facebook Chat. I know, we’re the coolest people in the world!
Now, I’m sure you’re getting super bored with my story at this point, so I’ll wrap up this part swiftly.
As we continued to chat, Brandon told me that his phone was dying and he would rather text me instead of staying on Facebook because it was killing his battery faster than if he was only texting. (Yeah right!) So I told him that it would be a lot easier to do that if I had his number and so he gave it to me. What did I do next? The same thing any girl in my situation would do: I waited like five whole minutes before I texted him. I know I’m pathetic, you don’t have to tell me.
So we texted that night and it was so nice to finally have a guy that was interested in me. Who actually wanted to know what my favorite color was and what my family was like. But that isn’t what really astonished me. What surprised me the most was that even after I fell asleep while texting him that night (which has happened more times than I can count since that time), I got a text the next morning from him.
He was the very first guy who continued the conversation the next day.
At that moment, I knew that I was in for a crazy new world and that Brandon was going to be a part of it. I didn’t know how long he would be a part of my life, but I knew that he held a significant place at least for that moment. It would be a crazy life, regardless of if he had texted me that next day or not, but it made me smile to know that he was even a little interested in being a part of that crazy life with me. Even just for a moment. I just didn’t know how crazy it would be…
But that story is for another time.