Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

In between cleaning up vomit and sweeping the floor, I thought I would write out the story of my favorite Valentine...Josh! He is more than I could have ever asked or imagined. I'm sure he never thought our lives would turn out this way....but we will hold on tight to each other everyday!

It was 15 years ago in my Christian Faith and Ministry class at ORU...I saw the cute freshman boy I had seen a few times before. I had seen him speeding around campus on a pretty blue motorcycle. We had met through mutual friends a few months before, I thought he was cute but was never going to date him! I walked into the class with my best friend and nearly bowled her over so I could sit by him. We talked through the whole class and exchanged phone numbers. I was excited to just have good conversation with him and maybe get to hang out sometime. A few nights later he called to ask me if I wanted to run out to eat...it was not a date! We went to and ice cream place and had a great time. A few days before, the date I was taking to a ballet cancelled, so I asked Josh if he wanted to go with me to the ballet. I let him know he was my second choice and that I was not going to date anyone from this school again! Some first night out! He said yes to the ballet and what a time we had!

I could not walk in heels, he had on pants with loose pockets and a pocket full of change! As soon as we sat down in the theater all of the change rolled down the floor...very loudly! We laughed so hard and I know he was so embarrassed. From the very first day we had so much fun and always laughed together. A few days later was Valentine's Day....I felt bad for him that he did not have a car at school so for some reason I gave him the keys to my car that day because he had some places to go. He has always been such a gentleman...washed my car, checked the oil (which was almost empty) and put chocolate and flowers on my front seat. I knew that day he was someone special...but just a special friend! On Valentine's Day I got home from clinicals after 6pm. He called to ask me to dinner! I put on my sweet black velvet pants, my denim shirt with a black velvet collar and cuffs, puffed up my curly hair and went out for my first Valentine dinner. We ate at a little diner in downtown Tulsa. Or, I should say he ate and I drank water and had soup. I must have drank 10 glasses of water. We started the drive back to school and got lost...oh.my.gosh! I had to go to the bathroom soooo bad, but i was to embarrassed to tell him. I was planning in my head how I was going to wet my pants in the car, drop him off in the parking lot, then pull out my big 1993 cell phone and call my friends to come to my car with a change of clothes!! I really was going to do that...my eyeballs were floating. After a while I began to realize that wasn't going to work so I asked him to pull over at BK! I was so horrified. I ran to the door as fast as I could...closed!!! QT was next door and a gas station bathroom never looked so good.

The weeks went by and we spent more and more time together. He came to my house for a few days over Spring Break...so many fun memories with the person I just thought was going to be a great friend. I was so blind...but falling for him all at the same time. If you ask him, he will tell you I was to old for him! Our first kiss was months later dancing on top of a table at a lake while Celine Dions, "The Power of Love" played from my sweet stereo in my 1989 Mustang. I knew then this was turning in to something amazing.

The only summer we were apart I was miserable...I remember telling my mom, "I will never be apart from this man again." I wasn't...we were engaged a year after we started dating. February 12, 1995...he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. As soon as I said yes, I asked, "What did my dad say?" Poor Josh! We went to a restaurant in a hotel, and I called my mom from the lobby (cell phone only plugged in the car) and told my mom, "We are at the hotel. We did it!" (That makes me laugh so hard!) My sweet Josh has always taken such good care of me...more than I deserve. We had a fairy tale Christmas wedding and drove off in a horse drawn carriage...we didn't know it wouldn't always feel like a fairy tale.

Josh has always been such a rock for me. Holding me so close, letting me laugh, cry and everything in between. He is my best friend and I know there are so many days I do not deserve him. I have the best husband...never complains and is one of the hardest workers I know. He loves Jesus and his family with a fierce love. He is passionate about life and always sees the sun behind the shadows. So many moments I have reached for his hand in the dark...when he could have raced ahead of me on this journey, he has chosen to go at my pace and stay right there with me. I know there are days I have jumped out of this boat and he has jumped in right after me carrying me back to our boat. We are in this together...even when we don't want to be. I love him more today than ever before. I have watched this amazing man hold all 5 of his babies with tears in his eyes and watched him sob as he handed Pearl back to Jesus. This man I married is more than the man of my dreams....I don't know how to dream that big.

Josh, I love you...you are one of my greatest treasures and I cannot wait to grow even older with you! I know 15 years ago this was not what you signed up for...but what a journey this has been. Each moment full...full of love and sweet memories. Thank you for all you have given me...5 babies and a life full of love as well as grace and peace. I can already see us at our house on the beach, holding hands on the porch, laughing and loving until Jesus calls us home. Let's find a beach soon...we have more memories to make.

9 comments:

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Laura,

I love this...what a beautiful love story. My husband and I have been married fifteen years this March. And, we have also walked places we never expected to walk. But...he has made me laugh most of the way, and held me through the tears. What an amazing gift to have someone who loves you that way...someone to walk through this life with, no matter what comes your way! Thank you for sharing your Valentine's Story with us.

Blessings to you this Valentine's Day,
Kelly Gerken

Carly said...

What an incredible story you share with Josh.

You are both such earth Angels.

I wish you both peace and love.

Sorry to hear that someone isn't very well.

With Love

Carly x

Corie said...

Love it! You are two special people.

Holly said...

This is such a cute story! LOL at the petrol station bathroom though. :P

Shanygne said...

This was an amazing read... i have tears in my eyes. I have a very similar husband.. what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing...

Caren or Danielle said...

Fabulous, Laura! Fabulous...

What a wise woman you are to honor your husband. Wise wise woman. Your respect for him will bounce back to you in High Devotion. It has every day. God be near you two!

Much love ~ care

Shanygne said...

Laura, for some reason I went back thru my old blogger posts from "WAY back" when we met... thank you for opening the door to our friendship. I am not usually the most welcoming to new ppl, since I usually feel like i have so many ppl to keep up with already but you are special, my dear. I am so, INCREDIBLY grateful for the way that we have walked this joourney together and that you have been there since nearly the very beginning. I love you, cherish you, and pray for you... maybe I should send this in an email??

Matt and Erin said...

So... I came across SOP and your blog by looking at MckMama's blog. I just have to say... what an INCREDIBLE story and ministry. I wept as I watched the slideshow for Pearl and read the stories of other families.

Though I have not shared your journey, I am encouraged by your strength and courage. Thank you for sharing!

Blessings to you... we will be donating to SOP next month and will pray faithfully for your ministry.

Erin

Anonymous said...

Laura, I just read your story about your beautiful daughter, Pearl through a facebook post from Focus on the Family. Thank you for sharing. I too lost a little girl, Emily, after finding out about serious genetic abnormalities at a routine ultrasound. My husband and I thankfully were on the same page that there was no decision to be made and we cherished every moment of her life here with us until the day she went to be in the arms of Jesus. Maybe she and Pearl are together today! I can't wait until the day I get to hold Emily again. I am only sorry that I didn't know about the foundation that takes pictures. We have a few polaroid pictures that a hospital nurse took and her handprints and footprints on paper.

God bless you in your ministry to other parents on similar journeys.

Carol