That night, while we stood in the dark street, Chris told me that he felt like God had given him a picture of what he and I were supposed to be. It was a picture of Chris and I climbing on a rock wall. He said, in the picture, he would climb up a little ways and find some steady places for his feet, and then he'd find some good places to grip higher for his hands. Then, he would reach down and help me climb up beside him. Step by step, we were maneuvering the sheer rock wall together.
He told me of his change of heart- how he knew that he wanted to love me as God would love me.
He looked into my eyes and told me that he'd realized something. He'd realized that I was worth fighting for. And he said that that was exactly what he was going to do. He would fight for me... from that moment on... for the rest of our lives.
Photo at Right: Happy us.
My heart exploded with joy. I wept. He wept. We
A month later, we felt comfortable enough to start telling people that we were officially back together again. It took a few weeks for me to be okay with giving my heart to Chris after that night he told me he loved me. I was scared, and I didn't want to rush into anything. I wanted to make sure God was telling me it was okay to be with him. The joy in my heart had been screaming it to me the whole time, but I was playing it safe.
Photo at Left: Me on our first Valentines Day after getting back together... a surprise, romantic picnic on the beach!
The following eight months were a happy blur. Chris re-swept me off my feet. (Or, maybe he had never officially put me down?) One or the other, I was swallowed in joy and love and felt like I was getting to know a completely new person, because Chris had changed so much in those short 7 months we'd been apart. He was more confident, more mature, more grounded. He knew who he was, he was incredibly compassionate and helpful to people who were hurting or in need. He laughed a lot. He told me about his dreams, and he was hungry to hear about mine.
Photo at Right: Chris on our Valentines Day Picnic. Cutest cutie ever.
What a happy discovery for me! In all of those years of dating, I hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of who this man really was! He was complex and mysterious, someone I could never stop learning new things about. And, sitting here in my office, five years later, I am awe struck by the fact that I still feel that way about him. He is constantly surprising me with his goodness.
In May, eight months after we got back together, we started to speak of marriage again. And you better believe that, this time around, we were going to do things RIGHT. Chris knew that he wanted me to be able to pick out my own ring, so he informed me one day that he was going to drive me down south to a little Danish community called Solvang, and we were going to spend some time browsing through the old antique stores that lined the town's main street.
You know, just to "get an idea"... HA.
***to be continued...***