Gradually, daily life began to wear on us, and we had to figure out how our relationship worked in proximity. I was thankful that we had such a solid foundation of trust and respect to build on. Since I have always been the more verbal, speak-before-thinking, social half of the pairing, I found myself saying, “I’m sorry!” a lot that year. Many times, my apologies took form in emails.
I know that I have apologized before for my attitude lately, but I want to say again that I am very sorry. I know these past couple of weeks or longer I have been very cross, short with you, difficult to understand, and not very pleasant to be around. I wish I could put into words what has been going on inside of me. But you understand that some matters of the heart can never be voiced, even when a person may want to share them. This is the case with me. I still have a battle ahead of me, and I don’t know that it ever really ends, but I know I have a Best Friend to see me through. I felt like I was up a against a wall every time I tried to read the Word and meditate on it and pray. My mind is one that never stops whirling and thinking. If you were to crawl inside it, you would definitely get motion sick. I seem to be unable to be still and concentrate. I want to share this with you because I know that I am the type of person that when things are out of line it is very noticeable. I can’t hide it. I know I don’t have to share, but I want to share what I can with you. I knew I had hit the breaking point last Thursday in weight training class. I cracked. But, it ended up being a much-needed refreshing time. I can’t describe the difference that day. I am sure you have felt it before too. God is so gracious, merciful and loving isn’t He?
We had our first spat after Ked had been gone for one weekend early in the semester. I had spent the weekend in my dorm doing homework. Another friend and I were invited to participate in a card game that Sunday afternoon in our dorm lounge with a couple guys from Ked’s dorm. They were unsuccessfully attempting to teach me how to play the card game euchre. For some reason, the rules of the game were eluding me, even though it had been the most popular game on high school youth trips. I still just didn’t get it. I was concentrating deeply on my next move when Ked walked into the lounge. I could tell by the look on his face that something wasn’t sitting well with him. I tossed my hand in confessing to the group that I was a lost cause.
I walked over to greet him and suggested a walk. I probed to see what was wrong. Apparently, the fact that we were paired two guys and two gals didn’t agree with him, because of the appearances of it being a date. I scrunched my nose up. “Really?” I asked. “I’m sorry. It was just an innocent group playing cards, and not even very well, thanks to me.”
The details of the conversation have failed my memory, most likely out of deliberate willingness. I mentally took a step back trying to understand and respect where he was coming from. As the conversation continued, I gathered that the root of the issue was more his concern over one of the guy’s character based on behavior he had observed in the dorm. He apparently wasn’t someone Ked trusted to be around his girlfriend. A lightbulb of understanding flicked on as I realized his concern wasn’t out of jealousy, but of respect and concern for me.
We confronted our issues one at a time, not always seeing eye-to-eye, but always attempting our best to treat each other with respect. We had opposite personalities and we were learning to work those out. It probably was a good thing that we were both majoring in communication as we were continually putting our course lessons to practical use in our personal life.
Our first major conflict came up late that first semester. The details have failed me a bit over time. It wasn’t something of a moral question, but an activity that Ked felt he should pursue and become actively involved in. The particular issue wasn’t something I was sure I could join him in. As it started to consume more of his time and weekends, I started to feel crowded out of his life. As Christmas break approached I found myself confused and afraid. Over the course of many conversations discussing the topic, I could see his passion growing.
I went home for Christmas break and worried a lot. For the first time, I found myself wondering if this relationship wasn’t going to work out. I was terrified that I was going to have to return to school and break up with him. I knew that if this was what God was asking, I would somehow survive, but I would most likely never fall in love again.
I spent a fair amount of time locked up in my room crying at the beginning of that Christmas break. It felt as though every prayer I prayed bounced off the ceiling only to hit my heart and bruise it further.
At some point, I had enough sense to bring the issue up to my Dad. I timidly approached him, fearing his advice, yet needing it all at the same time. I briefly explained the situation, then looked at him earnestly asking, “Is this a problem? Would this ever keep you from giving your blessing on our relationship? Should I be worried about this?” I held my breath awaiting his verdict on my future.
Without hesitating, he shook his head and said, “Absolutely not. You two were meant to be together, I have no doubt about that. This wouldn’t keep me from giving my blessing.”
I heaved a sigh of relief and felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. All doubts evaporated as God had once again spoken through my Dad. The issue wasn’t resolved, but I had peace that things would work out. I felt free to proceed and form my own opinions and decisions about the matter.
While I spent a portion of my vacation fretting about the future of our relationship, Ked spent his vacation searching for income to purchase me a Christmas gift.
Sorry the last letter didn’t get out Saturday. I am SO sore! It was 9 hours of hard work! I didn’t think my body was going to be up to it, but I made it. It was about 33 degrees out, but I was working all the time, so I was warm. Except iI needed a hat for my nose! My lower back hurts bad. I did so much bending over with heavy stuff in my arms. From about 4:30-5:30 if felt like every time I bent over to pick up another log, someone would kick me in the back, not my hamstrings, back, shoulder and tris are all sore. I need therapy!
I’ve been thinking a lot about you! Every minute!! I miss you SO much. I want you! I more than want you, I need you! Life isn’t he same without you! I miss your hands in my hair. I miss you!!
Coming home from the job last night Dad and I were talking. I was just siting there (dead) and he knew I only split wood so I could get something for you. He said with a chuckle, “If you didn’t love her, you would have $50 to yourself.” Then I told him, “I’d rather love her.” He smiled and said, “Worth it, isn’t it?!” Yup, my Dad likes the idea that I love you!
I can’t wait to talk to you! I love you!
My family headed up to Ked’s house at the end of Christmas break for a visit before we returned to school. He gave me a package wrapped neatly in brown paper and tied with twine. I opened it to discover a beautiful pastel pink and blue striped sweater with a blouse to wear underneath. Pride beamed from Ked’s Mom’s eyes as she said, “He worked so hard to get that for you.”
I wore the sweater all through the long Michigan winter months, warmed not just by the soft fibers, but by the security of the love that I knew now more than ever was mine.