I picked myself up off the floor, wiped the tears from my eyes and the snot from my nose, and went to answer the phone.
It was a girl named Brook who went to my church. I didn't know Brook super well, but she said that she had heard that I was thinking of moving back to Reno, and that she had a proposition for me.
She lived with another girl named Harmony in a little duplex in San Luis Obispo. Their third roomie (Kristy Bean Sauce!) was moving out after the Holidays, and they were wondering if I'd like to take Kristy's place in the house.
I politely said something along the lines of, "Um, thanks, I'll think about it buh bye now." And hung up the phone. The instant that Brook had asked me about the house, I had already decided against it in my head, because, you know, I was moving back to Reno and all. I put the phone down and sat down on my couch. And then I heard God say something incredibly profound. He said (and I quote):
"Um, are you joking Me?"
I had JUST been asking for A SIGN, (a sign right this instant!!), something that would help me decide whether or not I was supposed to move home. This call WAS my sign. I suddenly realized it, without the shadow of a doubt. And I had almost completely blown it off. (Phew!)
I called Brook right back and told her that actually, I was very interested after all. Then, I called Chris and my mom and told them that I thought there might be a drastic change in plans. They were both completely understanding, and felt like staying in CA was the best thing for me as well. So, I scrapped my plans to move home, figured I could plan a wedding from one state away, and, right after the Holidays, moved in with two girls that I didn't know all that well. Brook and Harmony. Little did I know that these would be the girls who would become my dearest, closest friends... that they would help me through all the incredibly difficult times I was about to face.
Photo at Left: My friend Anne, and my roomies: Harmony and Brook.
Where would I be today without them? I don't even like to speculate. God is so, so good to me.
These girls were intense. They loved the Lord and they immediately took me under their wing. They showed me what it was like to live in true community, in friendships that went deeper than just the surface level. They didn't put up with my crap. They called me out on things. They made me laugh so hard, I regularly spit milk out of my nose and developed a rockin' six pack. They were ama-zing.
A couple of months went by, and it was decided that Chris was going to move down to San Luis Obispo to be near me. By this time, I had developed some really close friendships in SLO, and I had no desire to leave. I was still unsettled about Chris and I's engagement, but things were moving forward and there was a wedding in my near future. The thought of Chris moving to California was both exciting and terrifying to me at the time. I was excited because I wanted him to experience the friendships and community that I was a part of. I thought it would be SO GOOD for him to get out of Reno and live around people who were passionately seeking after God. But, I was also terrified because my "old life" was about to mesh with my "new life", and I didn't know what the outcome was going to look like.
What if he hated San Luis Obispo? What if he felt stuck there? What if we fell right back into our old way of life? What if... what if things fell through with us after he'd moved all that way?
Chris moved to SLO in March of 2002. I was a ball of nerves on the day he drove his Subaru into town- packed with all of his belongings. He ran out of gas about 8 miles from San Luis. I had to go pick him up from the side of the road. I had wanted everything to be PERFECT, and it was already... not.
Chris bounced around and slept on couches for the first week or so, until he found a place to live in a town just South of SLO. He got a job. He started coming to my church.
Photo at Right: Halloween costumes. Jack and Jill went up the hill...
After NINE MONTHS of living in different states, Chris and I were finally sharing the same zip code again. Two weeks after his arrival, we decided to sign up for a little seminar thing that the pastors at my church were putting on. It was a seminar for couples who were becoming serious, people who were thinking about marriage. Chris and I couldn't wait to go. We thought it would be a great opportunity to learn some things about marriage and get some advice before we tied the knot ourselves.
The seminar was called "To Be or Not to Be?"
And, as it turns out, that really was the question.
**to be continued...**