April 6, 2009

5 Years Ago

Five years ago today, I asked Kirby to go out on a (double) date with me (and two other people...obviously). This is not a picture of that day or that date. Just the closest one I could find to that time in my limited resources.

After seeing and talking with her at Island Party that weekend, it takes me almost three days and plenty of encouragement from friends to get the guts to make a phone call that went a little something like this:

K: (Hmm. I've never seen this number before.) Hello?

C: Kirby?

K: Yes?

C: Hey! It's Charlie.

K: Hiii, Charrliee...(Charlie who?)

C: Hey, I was wondering, if maybe sometime, that you and Cate might like to go out on a double-date with Ryan (Thompson) and me? You know...you being my date and Cate being Ryan's. (This was obvious. Ryan and Cate had been dating. Doof...real smooth and can you just taste the confidence...a real man!)

K: Sure, that be great! (WHOOOO HOOOO! I GET TO GO ON A DOUBLE-DATE WITH CATE!!!! I should really find out who Charlie is.)

C: Well, I will talk with Ryan and we'll get back to you on a date and what we're doing. OK?

K: OK...that sounds great.

C: OK, well...I guess I'll talk to you later. (Get off the phone before she changes her mind.)

K: OK, bye!

C: Bye! (My heart is beating too fast...I'm going to puke.)

And that was it. Cate cheated for Kirby and invited me over for some pre-date studying a few days before our scheduled date. And as they read and took notes (business school type studying), I hammered stuff together for one of my projects on their front porch (architecture school type studying). Again, real smooth.

I can't tell you how thankful I am that those days are over — for so many reasons. I do like reminiscing about how 'in love' or infatuated we were with each other. However, I much prefer this deeper love (which still includes quite a bit, if not more, infatuation) that has developed and matured through our relationships with Jesus and the trials and immense blessings that we have been through together over the years.

Another reason is that Kirby and I have learned so much in the past five years about dating and relationships that we would have done this so differently knowing what we know now. We love sharing what we have learned with our younger siblings and family members and with the college students that attend our Hope Group. The college students are probably the ones who have taught us the most, or, at least, given us hard questions that we've had to seek biblical answers for. And we're so thankful for the mentoring relationships that we've had with Aaron and Heather and others in our church. The Hendricks tend to help us with the answers to the bulk of these questions. They are so much further along in both dating research and their marriage.

So...our advice?

Love Jesus first.

Be involved in your church.

Have mentor/discipleship relationships (this is older than you, farther along that you, same-sex people that you see doing things very right) in place during 'dating' that both challenge you to holiness and accountability and protect you in the same manner.

Happy Day-Charlie-Asked-Kirby-Out-for-Their-First-Date Day!