And I don't even know what to do.
How we met...
So it was the week before Valentine's Day, and I was having an incredible week. I love Valentine's Day. I have had my best adventures mid February. Feb 14th is the day I moved out of my parents' house, and into my little condo in Auburn Hills. It's the day that I left home, by myself, and went to South America, to love the homeless and orphans in Bolivia. It's the week I helped launch and write for a women's website that shared grace. It's the day that I hosted Galentine's Day parties, luncheons for homeless women in Pontiac, and sent packages and letters to single friends to remind them that they were so loved.
This year was no different, I was not feeling the "weight" of being single during Valentine's. I was having adventures.
That week I was serving the homeless in the shelter, and on the streets. I was preaching the Gospel whenever I was given the chance. I was training to become a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center. I was able to deliver groceries to some homeless friends we were able to put in a motel for a week. I was planning girls days with my 86 year old neighbor. I was a buddy for a special needs prom at my new church. I had an interview for an article in a magazine to be a voice for injustice. It was an amazing week. There was no longing for a man. The only longing was for chocolate, since I was doing whole30, and wasn't having dairy or sugar. (Oh chocolate, how I miss you!!)
But in the midst of all of that week, a picture was posted on social media. Just a picture of our Tuesday night team on the streets, loving the people of Pontiac. It was our first team picture ever.
Steve and I go to the same church, but different campuses. We have never met, but we have quite a few friends in common, including Cheryl and Lauren, so that night he saw it in his news feed, and instantly wanted to get to know the beautiful girl who was serving Jesus. So he friend requested me, we messaged, and I was like #nope #pumpthebrakes Bless his heart. But he was so direct, so over complimenting, and coming on so strong.
I'm a fiercely independent woman, who cannot handle a man fawning over her. I have too much to do, I can't deal with that.
He had asked me out, and I decided to say yes. He loved Jesus, believed family to be important, and didn't drink alcohol. Those are my 3 basic requirements. So I decided to give him a chance. (With MUCH encouragement from my friends!)
I then spent the next few days dreading it. I hate dating. I haven't made it past a first date in 8 years. I'm soooo awkward. I say things and do things I shouldn't.
(Remember that one date I told the guy about 100x that I was so glad he wasn't a murderer?! And then twirled in a park, slipped on the ice, and when we went to help me up, I accused him of wanting to murder me?! And then refused to let him hold my hand, and told him by making awkward voices, and saying "you ain't getting any tonight"?!?)
NOT GOOD AT DATING.
LIKE THE WORST EVER.
Plus. I just have a crazy busy schedule, and didn't want to date. It felt like a chore to move things around to have a free night.
But God bless my friends and their encouragement. They told me I had to give the poor guy a chance.
I went. I met this man at Starbucks at 4pm on a Monday. I had decided to only give him like 30 minutes. Because if he was a creep, I didn't even want to waste my time.
So he walked in, and tried to hug me, while I was sitting. It was #awkward, and I was so nervous.
But he was cute.
I got up, we ordered coffee, and he paid. We sat and chatted for a while, and immediately I knew I could be myself around him. Not a version of myself, or even myself but holding parts back, but the whole version of Michelle.
The girl who has a passion burning in her soul for the Gospel. The girl who is a voice for injustice. The girl who spends her free time on the streets with the homeless. The girl who twirls and dances, even if there isn't music. The girl who says awkward things more than she says normal things. The girl who is creative, funny, strong, independent, a feminist, sarcastic, passionate, and sassy. She is the one who showed up. And I'm so glad.
We sat for a while and chatted, and he asked me to go to dinner. Since I was no longer creeped out, and had heard his heart for Jesus and people, I agreed. He then told me he had looked up places around the area that I could eat for whole30. (BLESS HIS HEART!) So we went to Outback. (He paid!)
He had admitted that he was so excited for our date that he hadn't eaten yet that day. So he ordered an appetizer of yummy fries. They came to the table, and he offered them to me. I politely said no, because they aren't whole30 compliant. (Fries, oils, cheese, sugary bacon...) so he called the waiter over for a box to take them home. He didn't eat any, even though he was starving, because he wanted to be respectful of me. (It was this exact moment that I decided I wanted to date the heck out of this man.)
I had told him that I had yoga plans with my friend Tina at 745ish. I just planned an "out" in case he was a creep or it was a bad date. So at 715 when he suggested that we get ready to leave so I wouldn't be late for my friend, I realized that I wasn't ready to say goodbye yet.
So I texted Tina that I kinda liked him, and she told me to keep hanging out, and we would go to yoga another night.
So I suggested going to a movie. He was delighted. So as he picked out the movie, I went to the bathroom to text a couple of my friends that I was in fact, still alive, and having the best time ever.
So we went to the movies. (He paid again...) We saw Zoolander 2. While walking in, I grabbed his elbow, and held on. We were almost inside, when I asked him to take a picture. It was just a perfect moment I wanted to remember.
So we saw the movie. I held his hand, and let him put his arm around me. And then he walked me to my car. I asked him not to kiss me, and then immediately realized that sounded pretty forward of me to assume he was even thinking that. But I just want to save my kisses, and I didn't want to go there yet. He agreed.
And then he looked at me, and told me, "Michelle, I see you as a daughter of the King, and that's how I'm going to treat you. Like a princess."
So then he kissed the top of my head, gave me a hug, and sent me on my way.
So we've been talking, texting, and face timing. Second date is coming up. I'm pretty excited.
I love that so many of our conversations are focused on Jesus, and honoring Him. There is no inappropriateness or creepiness. Just encouraging each other to run after Jesus, and love others well. I've NEVER had this before.
We were talking the other night, and both texted at the same time. He sent a Bible verse, and I sent a picture of me with a mustache. Soooo that's a pretty accurate snapshot of us.
Excited for more adventures with this dear man. He loves Jesus more than anything, and He told me that he wants to pursue my heart, and win it. #hearteyes
Taking it slow, but excited to see what God might have in store for us, as we run after Jesus together.
This is the craziest thing of my entire life.
What in the world.