our story // samantha’s perspective

The following was written for our wedding website while we were engaged, when the story was fresh on our minds.

I met Eric one Tuesday night at Cru. I usually met lots of people at Cru, and the reason Jason was introducing me to Eric was because he was planning to go to Greece on Summer Project, and Jason knew I that had been taking Ancient Greek classes. Or at least, so I thought. We talked for about seven minutes (about Greek, since he was taking modern Greek, and Summer Project, since I was going to Alaska and he to Greece) before leaving.

I left thinking Eric was cute, and I looked him up on facebook, but his profile was pretty bare; I honestly didn’t give him a second thought.

Spring break was the next week, and the week after that we had Cru on Old Main Lawn. Eric and I ended up talking again, our conversation started this time by me overhearing him talking about his motorcycle and asking what kind he had. Once again, it was only for five minutes or so. I got home and friended him on Facebook.

The next week, I was wondering if I would talk to him again. I was about to leave when he came down the stairs and asked me if I had seen his friend Daniel, except he called him by a nickname that I didn’t recognize so I was super confused. He then started talking about how he enjoyed the short talk I gave the previous week at Cru and wanted to talk to me more about it so that’s why he was asking me to BYX formal. I thought it was kind of a strange way to approach spending time together, and I was taken aback by the idea of formal, but I still said yes.

Then I got to my car, freaked out with Noel, then we both left and I freaked out some more. I had never been on a date before, much less to a formal, so I called a couple of friends and had to share with them. I called Erica to make sure that she was going to be going and I would know someone else.

This was Tuesday. Formal was Saturday. The boy did not give me much notice! I couldn’t eat a thing Wednesday or Thursday, I was so nervous. Friday, I finally ate at the Cru Fellowship Dinner, which my parents were at, and they asked to meet Eric. I was embarrassed but my dad promised only to talk about motorcycles with him, not about his shotgun.

Formal was a lot of fun. It was in Memphis and we carpooled with another couple, Blake and Maggie. Eric and I had a lot of time to talk, and we connected with each other on a lot of things. Before he dropped me off at my house, he told me that he wanted to “pursue an intentional friendship with me.” (no pressure there!)

A week later, we went on a bike ride, and he told me he liked me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, but knew I was open to being friends for the rest of the semester and then being apart all summer and praying about it.

And that’s how we ended the summer – a conversation at Devil’s Den discussing our decision to pray about our relationship and talk in August to see where the Lord was leading us. I remember him saying that he really saw our relationship going somewhere. And I probably just nodded, nervously giggled, and said, “Uh huh.”

We talked while I was on the road to Alaska for Project, then decided not to talk while we were on Project. A week into Project, I freaked. I got all worried about things between us, and very uncertain. I was comfortable with the idea of being single my senior year of college, and I wasn’t sure that Eric and I really clicked. He was so serious and always talking about spiritual things – not bad, except when I didn’t feel like we could have light hearted conversation. I felt like I really didn’t know him, and I was feeling a lot of pressure from others to know how I felt about him – so I prayed and felt like we were just supposed to be friends. I called to tell him, and he wrote me back a long letter saying that he didn’t feel the same peace and wanted to pray about it more.

We got back in August and ran into each other right before school started. He came over one afternoon to catch up and talk about our summers (he ended up in Anchorage, Alaska, instead of Greece, and I was in Juneau, so we compared our Alaskan experiences). He then told me that he still felt the same way about me and wanted to pursue me in a dating relationship. I, once again, told him that I still felt the same way, too, and just wanted to be friends.

He tried a few times after that to spend time with me, but I wasn’t very open to the idea of anything besides being friends, so he ended up leaving me alone for three weeks. During those three weeks, I really started praying and talking through things with my roommate (and bridesmaid) Katie, trying to figure out why it was that I didn’t want to date him, because I knew he was such a Godly guy who wanted to do things right, and I couldn’t figure out what it was that didn’t click. I realized a lot of my fears and unwillingness to work things out and talk about issues like being serious all the time. I decided that I would be willing to give him another chance, but I knew it would have to be the Lord’s work because I sure as heck wasn’t going to pursue him!

Soon after, we ran into each other at Rick’s and he suggested spending time catching up. That Friday night, he came over and we walked to Wilson Park, where we talked about the past three weeks or so. Then he brought up the topic of “us” and how he still liked me etc… and he talked, and talked, and talked. And I couldn’t get a word in. Finally, when he took a breath, I asked, “So do you want me to say anything?” I then became kind of speechless in trying to explain that I was willing to give it another go-round. That was September 24.

Our first date was my birthday, October 20. He was an HOUR late to pick me up, but it was because he had cooked dinner for me (and not realized things like the need to thaw chicken). He strung up Christmas lights on the patio, and we carved pumpkins together. It was a pretty great first date. A week and a half later, on the 31, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

And one of the greatest things was never fearing that he wanted to break up with me. Because he had pursued me so consistently, and had prayed, I trusted that he really did like me (and suspected that he loved me), and I had such confidence in that aspect of our relationship. It took me a little longer to be as confident as he was, but after a couple of months I was pretty sure about him, as well.

The timing was perfect – there was no way I was ready to consider a relationship, nor did I need to be distracted by it over the summer when the Lord had a lot of other work to do on my heart through Project.


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