Hi Take-Heart Readers!
You know, I have read every love story so far and I am amazed by how different and equally inspiring each of them have been. Feel so honored to share my story, and thankful because it made me sit down and write out the summary:) I am going to read it to my husband later this week;)
So THANK YOU for having me Danielle!
I was miss independent when I met Gabriel. I was 19, had never been in a serious relationship, and didn't intend to get into one. I was waiting for THE guy. I had saved my heart for him, and built up some pretty good walls around it so that no one could mess with it. I remember vividly the feeling that I had the first time I looked at him and spoke with him my freshmen year of college as we crossed paths on the sidewalk in the middle of campus. It was as if my heart recognized him....the one who would hold it forever. Naturally however, with all those walls up, I shoved that whisper of a feeling out of the way....
(Now I owe this story a little prelude. My sister had gone to the same small private university for two years right before me, and was giving me the scoop on all the people I should know before I headed up there (like a bestie/sister does, right?). "Now there are a lot of great guys there, but I can't picture you with any of them.....well......except for Gabe. I could totally see you liking him." She let me know that he was a Rugby player, good looking, and funny as heck. My sister knew me better than anyone, so of course he went on the radar. His friendship with my sister was the reason he recognized me, and stopped to talk that first meeting on the sidewalk.)
We became fast friends. We had many mutual friends and hung out often in the same group. The bigger my feelings grew the harder I tried to push them away. I simply was terrified of the love that was growing deep in my heart. This is what I had prayed and hoped for...a man of faith, made me laugh to tears, athletic, compassionate, and was THE studliest of studs. but I felt stuck behind those walls I had built. I didn't know how to let my guard down in the slightest. He would later reveal he tried to "test the waters" with me several times to see if their might be something between us. I remember each of these times well, and as they gave me hope that there was something there, I gave him nothing to go off of in return, so from his perspective I wasn't biting, and he concluded that I was out of his league. (Poor boy.)
But God knew. God made my heart and made his, and HE knew exactly what we both needed....
After the first semester of friendship we had the summer in different states. This was a time I started to feel restless. I knew something needed to give on my part, and I would need to jump into that scary unknown if I wanted a chance with this guy I was so drawn to. Fall semester, it seemed like every one of my close friends went through their time of crushing on Gabe, so I kept my secret very safe and hidden away so as not to hurt any of them. Finally, when the coast was clear, I knew it was time for me to make a move before someone else would snatch him up;). I had finally admitted it to myself.... I was pretty crazy about him.
I scraped every ounce of courage inside to let him know this newly admitted truth. (Gabe later revealed to me that the night I told him how I felt about him, it took everything in him not to pick me up and swirl me around..:)) The very next day, he walked over to my house and invited me to dinner. He made us quite a meal, and we talked on his front porch swing, just the two of us. He continued to swoop up my heart and made every little effort to know who I was, what made me laugh, what my fears were, who my family was, what my interests were, and loved me unconditionally. What every girl deserves and dreams of. I have always felt he was to good to be true, but then again, we both gave God our hearts first, and He knew exactly what to do with them.
The Love story really doesn't begin until you say "I do". Until you have life's trials and triumphs to face together, work through, and love through. I fall in love over and over, because he never stops pursuing my heart. When he is the first to get up to change the baby's diaper, when he offers to clean the kitchen at the end of a long day, when he waits up late until I am finished working, when he tells me I am beautiful when I am in sweats with frizzy hair, when he reaches for my hand every time we are out together.....I fall in love over and over again. Its his consistent and constant love that makes me respect and love him so deeply. He is the reason I even have a love story to tell....;)
Anna blogs at In Honor of Design.