Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Chapter

As many of you know-thanks to facebook (a very hard decision for us to decide whether to post it or not...haha)- Chris and I are in a relationship. Yes, I know, you're going to be collecting your money from your friends because you've been betting on it for a long time. Although you are now probably rich, there is so much more to this story than something that should be happening, or that regularly happens to two completely normal 15 and 17 year olds. Don't stop here because you think it's going to be some mushy love story about how two ordinary people came together to love each other extraordinarily, because that's definitely not the story.

Chris and I met through Stephanie, and the joys of facebook stalking. (Stephanie never even said my name, and he somehow found me, and added me as a friend. Yep. Stalker.) I flipped through his pictures, and was absolutely flabbergasted that he had just finished telling me, "I've wanted to capture the emotion you capture for a long time." SAY WHAT?!
We ended up finally meeting each other, and talking only with a "hi, hello, how are you?" "Great. It's nice to meet you." You know, the first meeting stuff.
I don't know how or when it happened, but we just started talking more and more and more. We started meeting twice a week, once to do a photography lesson, once to shoot. In between, we'd be doing different things with everyone else. I soon found myself learning more from him than photography-I started learning about God, because we were so much alike. It was beautiful.
And then people started talking. And I had to face the fact that I had feelings for him. We talked about it, and both said that we felt it was not the time to be in a relationship. We said we were going to meet, and talk about it, and change things, but we just never "had the time".
So, about three weeks ago, my Mom, Steph, Chris and I sat down around the dinner table, and had the conversation I was avoiding.
We have feelings for each other-and we either need to take a few dozen steps backward and be "just friends", or stay where we are with some boundaries and some other things, and be "dating". My brain felt like it was exploding.
We decided to "fast" from each other for two weeks, and really seek God, and what He was wanting with us through this.
My first reaction, "Heck yeah!"
My second reaction, "No, absolutely not."
One of the first things I wrote about it, "God, search my heart and know me. I want to do your will. I want to know you better, what is going to get me to a closer relationship with you?"
I met for coffee with Alyssa, and she helped me to see both sides of the situation. God used her to show me I have a lot of things in my past that I had buried deep inside of me, and was unwilling to face.
God was showing me my past is completely forgiven. He was showing me my skewed view of a relationship. He was showing me who I am, and how just because something is in my past, doesn't mean that it will always happen that way.
There was SO much going on, that I didn't take the time to think about it. I avoided it, and I got overwhelmed.
I was not allowing God to speak to me clearly, I was using other things to cloud that.
I went to Stephanie, "Stephanie, I'm struggling. I feel like one day He's pulling me this way, and the next He's pulling me another, and back and forth. I just don't know!" And she said to me, "Mel. I know you. Sit somewhere, put on some worship music, grab your notebook, and ask God. I guarantee that He has an opinion about it. Once you get writing, it will all come out. So do that. Because He does have something to say."
So, I took her advice. "When I think of dating Chris-I am excited for the things we are going to be able to do together. When I think of stepping backwards-my heart feels closed tight. Is this from you?"
One word came to my mind, "Yes."
"God, I am scared."
One phrase came to mind, "Live pure and pleasing to God."
And in that moment, I knew as long as it was done right, God was telling me, "It is okay."
So, I began to go to work. I dug deep inside of my heart, I wrote angry letters to the people in my past, and finishing it up with, "I forgive you." I listened to a ton of sermons. I took advice from my Mom and Steph. I went to coffee with Audrey.
And I kept hearing encouragement. Excitement.
I learned so many things. God spoke to me more deeply than I've ever experienced before.
Going back and looking at my journal, one entry sticks out to me-
"Looking back on my entries, I see the word Believe. I never addressed it more than that. Maybe because I have no clue with it means. But I haven't exactly been looking. Running away from honest thoughts from God. How typical of me, a human. (forgive me, God!)
Here it is. Believe. A word of trust. A word implying truth. A word ensuing hope.
Trust our relationship. Trust that accountability will not fail. Trust that boundaries are for the best. Trust that boundaries will not fail. Trust that because God is in it this time, it will not turn out like all the other. Trust Chris. Trust God. Trust God. Trust God.
Truth is, I suck at relationships. Truth is, it's different this time. Truth is, God is my foundation. Our foundation. Truth is, I do love Chris. Truth is, God is okay with that.
I have hope for what is coming. I have hope for a bright future. I have hope for two loves stories written by the hand of God. A love story of God and I, a love story of Chris and I. I have hope that God is going to make this work. I have hope for it all.
All of this, from the word BELIEVE. "Be still and know that I am God."
I believe God is supporting me one hundred percent. I believe that my decision was not my own. I believe it was the right decision."

Two days before I saw Chris, I had ants in my pants, ready to just see where it was going.
But I really wouldn't have traded those 48 hours for the world.

Saturday came. 10 came. And finally, after two weeks, Chris and I met for coffee. (He passed his first secret test, and bought me my coffee. haha.)
We talked about what God was doing inside of us, the things He has been speaking into our hearts. We talked of the trials that will come, and the joy that we will have, because it is SO God-breathed. We talked of boundaries, we talked of our families. We talked about time spent, and words said. We talked and talked and talked, and there was still SO much to say.
I wish I could explain to you the relief that flooded over me. The love that I had found out I had for him, it all was there in that moment. Seeing him, it all came flooding in, and I felt SO much overwhelming me. In the back of my head, there was always this little crush. But God showed me it was something SO much more than just a little crush. God showed me, sitting there at that table, hearing his heart, that I LOVE Chris. I do.(sorry, a bit mushy.)
That night, he came over, and we talked with my parents. We got down to the business of things, and set up physical boundaries and emotional boundaries. We talked about the "business" of it all. And in that moment, we were dating. And I didn't realize it until he left.
Last night, he called me, and we planned for this coming week, and what we'll be doing together (a shoot wednesday, and coffee Saturday). We talked about so many things. And there was still more to say.

Today, I've had time to stop and think while I cleaned out my room. I can honestly say, I know God is smiling. This is being approached so healthily, and so differently than anything else.
Today, I am not a single woman. I am in a relationship. Dating. He is my boyfriend, and I am his girlfriend. I never thought this would happen.
God is showing me His grace. I have messed up SO many times before, and here I am, in a relationship. Not only a relationship, but a relationship with Chris Mueller. I do not deserve to have another chance. and yet, I have one.
This is going to be an adventure (something I dearly love). In the words of Chris, "It will be like a roller coaster... crazy and scary but ridiculously exciting and fun."

I am incredibly blessed to take this roller coaster ride with him by my side.

I'm excited to seek the face of God with Him. To begin this new journey of my life with someone like Chris by my side, to lead me to new places.

So here it is, the beginning of a new chapter in both of our lives. Here is the story, of the way God has whispered into our hearts an example of His love for us.

Feel free to collect your money from your friends.


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