Eleven years ago I met the love of my life. For the first time in my teen life, I wasn’t looking for a date. I was confident in who I was.
It was Spring Break my senior year of high school and a friend and I were shopping at the mall. Right before we left, we made one quick stop by Buckle, just to see what clothes they had.
I’d never experienced Buckle with their very friendly sale people before, so when a guy started talking to me, I was polite and chatted with him. He picked out some jeans for me, a size too small, and we talked about my hometown (he had family there too) and how he planned to go to a Bible college in a few months. He was a nice guy and super easy to talk to.
My friend and I left shortly thereafter.
We made it about 20 steps out of the store when my friend said, “You guys really hit it off. You should give him your number.”
Talk about stopping dead in your tracks! It hasn’t occurred to me AT ALL but then all of a sudden it consumed me. I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy he was to talk to and how cute he was. How come I hadn’t seen it before?
I was too shy to give him my number so I
convinced begged my friend to give it to him for me.
Thankfully, she did.
And he asked her one question. “Is she a Christian?”
If I hadn’t liked him before that moment, it was solidified then. A guy that even thought to ask that was exactly the kind of guy I wanted to get to know.
My friend and I went straight to Chili’s for dinner. We were sharing a chocolate lava cake and I must’ve been daydreaming because she said, “Oh don’t worry, Susan. He’ll call and you guys will fall in love and get married and have lots of babies.”
Woah. Marriage definitely hadn’t crossed my mind. I asked her what his name was (because I am really horribly terrible with names) and committed it to memory.
Meanwhile, as soon as he got my number, he threw it in the trash. His co-worker saw the whole thing go down and dug it out saying, “Dude, call her. She’s hot.”
**Edited to add because many have asked: He threw it in the trash because it was against company policy to take phone numbers from customers. We’re such rule followers.
Remind me to thank that co-worker.
But he didn’t call. He held on to my number for two days. He’s just started going to church again and asked his friends there if he should call me. Being reasonable and caring friends, they recommend that he NOT call the random mall rat that gave him her phone number.
Solid advice. I’d give the same advice to any of my friends.
But still- he called. From his grandmothers house. And somehow there is a disconnect between her landline and my cell phone because it said my number was disconnected. Thankfully he tried later with his cell phone.
And on the other end? I was at my parents house vacuuming my bedroom. To this day, 11 years later, cell service is spotty up there, and not available at all inside the house. Eleven years ago the cell service was just laughable. But that day my phone rang in my bedroom… and I heard it over the vacuum!
Josh: “Hey!” Silence… “Do you known who this is?”
I scraped together what was left of my dignity and said, “No, who is it?”
Josh: “Well if you don’t know then never mind.”
And there went the last tiny shred of me dignity. “IT’S JOSH!” I blurted out. Yep. Keep it classy, Susan. Go ahead and throw yourself at him.
After that we talked, and talked, and talked some more. There were nights that we stayed on the phone the entire night and hung up because I had to get ready for school and he had to get ready for work. Once, he even got on the internet (so fancy!) and emailed me a picture of himself. I said I just wanted a picture of him, but really I had kind of maybe just a little bit forgotten what he looked like. Maybe. I mean, I knew he had brown hair.
My favorite phone conversation was when he told me all the ladies fell for him when they heard him play piano. All I could think of was, Well you won this one over without playing a note!
It may seem silly to celebrate the day we met, but it’s fun and crazy to remember back on. It’s one of my favorite days of the year! So many tiny little pieces that had to all happen perfectly in order for us to be together today. I like to imagine God was laughing a little bit because He knew exactly what was in store for us and how that one trip to the mall would change everything about our lives.