It started as a camp crush in middle school...
I was in 6th grade and he, William Thomas Harmon, was in 7th. We were at a week long summer camp, and I thought he was the cutest boy I had ever seen. I don't remember much about that week, but at our rehearsal dinner 10 years later, my maid of honor read an excerpt from a letter I wrote to her that summer. The letter said:
"I know you will think I am crazy, but I am going to marry William Harmon one day".
At the end of that week of camp he asked me for my email address. I didn't have one, so I gave him my mom's. Real cool.
We spent the next few summers at camp together. He would play guitar under the stars, ask me to dance at the square dance, and push me into the pool. In high school we lived in different states but we stayed in touch and would see each other occasionally throughout the year. We emailed and wrote letters and chatted on AIM (don't you miss screen names?). William was a constant encouragement. He would send me funny texts, and sweet emails throughout the week. To me it seemed like he was one of the only good guys out there.
But I was young and dumb (and super selfish). My junior year I told him that he lived too far away and that he didn't understand me. I also broke the news to him that I was dating someone else. I wanted to have fun with my friends, and wanted to be a little "boy crazy".
William and I didn't talk for about a year until one day, a few weeks before my high school graduation, he called me out of the blue. He wanted to warn me that he had been hired as one of the directors at camp for that summer, and that would mean that he was going to be my boss. He also mentioned that he was interested in another girl. I was heartbroken. True, I was dating another guy, but secretly I had always hoped that he would one day forgive me for running from him. I had hoped that he would try to get me back.
I went to camp that summer after graduation thinking that there was no way that he would forgive me for everything that had happened. I wasn't even sure if we could be friends. But when I got to camp, he was so kind to me. So secure in who He was. So in love with the Lord. I was so attracted to these things and so sad that I had wrecked my chances with him.
Three weeks later I went home from camp sad and feeling very alone. But William called me late that night. We talked for a few minutes, and then he cut to the reason for the call. He told me that he still had feelings for me. I was freaking out (in a good way) when he told me that he thought "we shouldn't talk for the rest of the summer". I asked him if it was because of the other girl, but he told me he had only been on one or two dates with her and they hadn't talked all summer. He told me that he wanted me to heal from my past relationships and he wanted for both of us to be satisfied with Jesus and not looking to anything else for our happiness. He told me that this goodbye would be the last goodbye unless God brought us back together.
That summer was the sweetest season of being refreshed by God's Word. I was deeply encouraged by my friends and family. I begged God for healing, and He slowly but surely restored my soul. I asked Him to take away my desire for anything other than Him and I came to terms with the fact that God would sustain me no matter what happened.
In August my parents drove me to Auburn Alabama and helped me set up my dorm. After we said our final goodbyes I went out to my car just to drive around campus. I found a sticky note on my car that said:
"I made a wrong turn, and found your car by accident. It's good to see it though. -WTH"
From there, we kept on running into each other- at parties, on campus, at restaurants. He finally asked me to go on an early morning walk with him and we talked about all that God had done in our lives over the past few years. We started dating a few weeks later, got engaged two years after that, and got married 7 months later.
There are so many more details that I could share about how my guy pursued me and how we made mistakes, and how we learned to rely on God's goodness. But that will have to wait until another post.