Monday, February 22, 2010

Our Love Story: The Beginning/Dating

Today is an exciting day! Today is (500) Days of Joshua! Today is day 500 of marriage. Isn't that so fun? I think so :-) The flowers I posted around Valentine's Day have been coming one a day nonstop since February 12. They are beautiful. I'm pretty sure they were a countdown to today. Day 500. (We are both big fans of the movie (500) Days of Summer, incase you might not have caught the reference.) To celebrate: a continuation of Our Story.....

My Joshua moved to Lowell in September of 2006. He went to Bethany Bible College for his degree in Religion. He then spent a year in Central Asia, in a beautiful country called Azerbaijan. He met a family from West Michigan who was also there for a short time. That family, the Gorveattes, invited Josh to come back to West Michigan to check out church planting (starting of new churches in communities that need a "revival" if you will). Because Josh didn't know exactly where God wanted him when he got back, he decided to check out West Michigan. Loved it. Moved out here knowing only the Gorveatte family, and started checking out church plants. Impact Church, (our church now) is a church plant. He checked it out. Loved it. Came to the college group and... met me!
Then we fell in love and got married. Just kidding! It's better than that. When Josh started coming to the college group I was a part of, there were many ladies who were single that attended who were quite attracted to him right off the bat. To be honest, it really turned me off (mostly because I saw myself in their reaction so clearly) but I was in a season of my life where I was really trying to be content with singlehood, and I was. So. I set out to not like him. Nope. All of the other girls could like him but I was just going to be his friend.

I did pretty good.. for a couple months. Then, I started to kinda like this guy named Josh. He had such a good heart... and loved the Lord... and he was really good looking..... BUT just as I let myself get maybe a little crush on him, he started dating someone. A truly lovely and beautiful gem of a woman who resided in Ohio. I once again resolved to be his really good friend. and I was. I would ask about their relationship. Hoping all was going well. I really truly did. I myself went on dates during that time, but was never "satisfied", I guess. My big sister Lindsay said once, "Leslie, the reason you've been single for so long is because you are so picky!" Which was a 100% accurate statement. :-) (Love you, sis!)
By the summer of 2007, we were both single. Josh was now the youth pastor at Impact Church. I decided to help out with the teens (I had been feeling like it was what God wanted me to do) and I started showing up at different youth events. We really were just friends.
Of course, though, the lovely girls of our youth group jumped all over the fact that we were both single. "Leslie!! We totally think you and Josh should, ya know, go out! You are perfect for each other!" I immediately stopped that conversation. "Girls," I said, "I need to correct you right now. Josh and I are just friends. If you get a sense that we like each other, it's because we do! We are great friends! I respect him, he respects me, but nothing more is going to come of it. Ok? I don't want to hear any more about that." I really meant it, too. He was going to live overseas eventually and um, that was not something I was ever interested in. (More on that, later)
They heeded my rebuke and didn't say anything else about it. I was sure to fill Pastor Josh in on the silly comments that the girls had made and reassured him that I set things straight and let them know that we were clearly, only in the "friend zone". (He told me months later that he was really disappointed when he saw how emphatically I explained to the girls that we were only friends. He had, in his words, started thinking that there could be potential for more than that... I, meanwhile, kept pressing onward all aboard the friend train.)
Well... we were around each other a lot more. I felt myself getting attracted to him. I didn't want to be! I really desired for emotional purity in our relationship. So, I confessed my feelings to my brother, Brian, and he was sure to set me straight:

"Leslie, you're just friends, don't look into things any more than that."
"But Brian, he texted me! Josh McCracken never texts girls! Ever!"
"Ok Leslie, but that doesn't mean anything. Keep your heart in check."
"Fine. You're right... you always are...."
Pretty soon after that, though, Josh suddently took up an interest in swing dancing (my #1 passion at the time). We went dancing together... you know... just so he could learn... right? Then, there was this movie we both wanted to see. Well hey since neither of us was doing anything... no one else could probably go... so why bother inviting anyone else right? ...right?!
Wrong. They were what I like to call "pre-dates". Unofficial dates. Our first official date was a Friday. He ran into me at the coffee shop and said, very clearly, and I quote:
"So, can I take you on a date tonight?"

I think my outside voice said someting coy and cute, like... "Yes". My inside voice, however, screamed like a giddy school girl "yes yes yes yes yes!!!" hahaha

At that point, I finally (finally!) allowed myself to get excited. Really excited. Really really really excited.
Ohhh it makes me smile just thinking about it... :-) Here are some photo our from our time in the friend zone. Little did we know...

At a retreat with the college group we were a part of.

Our first picture together. Me in my chubby phase. (I can say that, you know, because I'm no longer in the chubby phase, so there!)

At another event with Plugd.


  1. I got a shoutout in this blog. Yay! Honestly, though, the biggest thing I remember is when you guys went tree climbing and he touched your hand to help you up and you were like "oooooh" :)

  2. For some reason, this post didn't show up today. Anyways, I've been very excited to hear more of your two's story. So I was so happy to see it pop up today as a new post ( 8 days later..). You guys are so wonderful and such an inspiration. I can't wait to hear the "being official/ engagment" part :D

  3. I gotcha on trying to getting it just right! Sorry for sounding too anxious! I'm just excited to see what comes next!

  4. Love your story! So cute!!! :) And the comment on my blog was so sweet of you! I loved the poem. It was simply lovely and as you said, just how I feel. You are a fabulous writer! Thank you for sharing your poem with me and reading my blog!!!