When I mention DTR now, I can’t help but laugh. Determining the relationship. You know what I mean. A guy and a girl are hanging out, having a good time, maybe going on a date or two, and then comes the moment when the girl starts freaking out because she’s just not sure exactly what’s going on and wonders if their time together actually means something or maybe it doesn’t or maybe the guy is just being nice and has no idea the girl is really into him and maybe she’s just making a way bigger deal of this in her head and there’s nothing actually happening or… Gah! Seriously, this could just go and on. I could lie and say I never had those thoughts, but like I said, that would be a lie. So then, after all the over-analyzing and questions and sweaty palms, the girl desperately prays for a DTR.
I prayed for that very thing eight years ago. Pete and I met at the church we were both pretty involved at, me in middle school ministry and Pete in children’s ministry. We didn’t just meet, though. We were set up. By our pastor. Yes, pastors can play excellent matchmakers. It makes sense since they know so many people. (That does not mean you should go ask your pastor to set you up or your sister or daughter or whomever is looking for a significant other.) We were both pretty good friends with our pastor long before this. Pete and I just hadn’t yet met each other. Then, in September of 2005, Pastor Ryan asked me to write a script for a drama, which I did, and then he offered to find someone to play the bulky Jesus I wanted. (Because why does Jesus always have to be played by tall, scrawny guys?) Enter the perfect opportunity for Pastor Ryan to make my path cross with Pete’s.
At that time, I was in my last year of college, and I wasn’t overly interested in dating. I had a plan to graduate and move back to Honduras where I had previously been teaching for a total of a year and a half. Nonetheless, I gathered the small cast of actors and, well, there he was. This guy who was seriously built, with light brown curly hair hanging down past his ears, and was wearing a very nice brown corduroy suit jacket. (Oh, I loved that jacket.) We talked a little over the next few weeks during sporadic rehearsals. All the while, I was developing a bit of a crush. I didn’t dare hint at my feelings, though. I mean, nice Christian guys are just that – nice Christian guys. From my own previous experience, I knew it was practically impossible to tell if they were just being nice or if they actually liked me. This guy in the brown jacket was so put together, was older than me, and was crazy handsome. Those factors convinced me he wouldn’t be interested in this little college girls who felt anything but put together.
My feelings just wouldn’t go away, though! So I started praying, “Jesus, I just want you to know that I don’t think he likes me, but if he does, you make him do the work, because I’m not going to say something and completely embarass myself.” I figured if I put it on Jesus, I didn’t have to do the work. Some might say it’s a cop out, but I didn’t know what else to do. I really did think that this guy wasn’t interested. Besides, if you’ve ever met Pete, you know that he is incredibly sincere and kind to every single person he meets. Imagine how confusing that was for me!
In early December, a few months after we met, Pete asked me to go to an event with him. I didn’t dare ask if it would just be the two of us. Instead, I convinced myself we’d be going with a group. Safe and completely nieve. Anyway, I didn’t actually find out it was a date until he picked me up. Let me just say, it was an EPIC first date. It definitely needs its own post, so that’s all I’ll say for now. Following the date, we started to hang out more, sometimes alone to watch movies at his apartment and sometimes with groups of friends. And yet, we never even sat on the same couch while watching movies, so I still didn’t know if he was simply continuing his nice-ness or what. By the time the new year came around, I started to get a bit antsy. What I desperately needed was a good DTR. I needed this relationship defined.
And then…it happened. Thank heavens Pastor Ryan thought to mention the whole DTR concept to Pete during a weight lifting session one afternoon, because Pete had no idea what it was. He may not have even thought it was necessary. But come on here, girls, we know such chats are vitally important. So, on the night of January 7, eight years ago today, while Pete was driving me over to my friend’s house for a girly sleepover, he did it. My Pete began the conversation in his black Jeep Cherokee, the very conversation that eventually really did make him My Pete. Once we reached my friend’s house, I ran inside, threw myself on her bed, and practically melted right there. I spent hours talking about him, even though the girls knew him pretty well already. I just couldn’t believe that he wanted me to be his girlfriend! All these years later, I still catch myself wondering how all this ever happened. He’s incredible. I just know that God had him planned for me all along.
Exactly one year later, on January 7, 2007, that handsome boyfriend of mine asked me to marry him. And precisely six months later, on July 7, 2007, we tied the knot. And guess who did the ceremony? That’s right. Pastor Ryan.
Next week Pete and I will be celebrating our eight years up the shore. Just the two of us. How dreamy!