Editors Note: This is the third part of a series discussing how I came to be married. The first part is here. The second part is here.
At that point in my life I was beginning to contemplate that perhaps it was better to be single. After all, that is what Paul said. And I didn’t know if I was ever going to get married, and I didn’t know if I wanted to. Devoting my life completely to ministry and to work for the Lord seemed like what I wanted to do. Yet, I still had a burning passion and desire for marriage.
In this contemplation, I began to think that maybe I should pray for a few months, fast, and make a decision if I was going to walk a life of singleness or a life of marriage. If I was to live a life of singleness then I would figure out the best way to serve God’s people as a single person. If I was to live a life of marriage, then I would figure out the next step in what I need to do to prepare for marriage.
A month had gone by and I had hung out with this girl that I disliked more often than I cared to. We had attended the same church for three or more years without saying hi to one another and I liked it better that way. Yet we somehow managed to always be at the same place together with our friends. We always had the same group of friends, but it wasn’t until this time that we managed to hang out together with our mutual group of friends. Of whom I was almost always with.
Over that month nothing changed. I barely spoke with her, but I was cordial. I still disliked her and she was still cold and distant, though she smiled with some of our friends here and there. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad.)
What changed was one Sunday evening.
Now, I must add this for details sake. The church I attended had a Spanish service, which met in the churches old chapel (this is a megachurch) on Sunday mornings and also at the other campus location in the evening. I volunteered all day Sunday at church, plus Thursday and Friday nights as well.
So after a full day of volunteering and hanging out with my brothers and sisters in Christ, it was the end of the day. We were at the other campus talking and hanging out after service. It was the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day and I had a free movie ticket.
So I brought it up to the group. I asked if anyone wanted to see a movie the next day, to which almost everyone (10 or more people) said yes. I said that I had a free movie ticket, to which another person said they also had a free ticket. Yes, she, the one I disliked, had a free movie ticket.
To make matters worse, everyone unanimously voted us to be in charge of setting up the time and place and movie. And then someone else had a bright idea: her and I should exchange numbers so we can set up the time and the day, as well as pick the movie.
Now, because I didn’t like her, I wasn’t trying to go out of my way to get her number. But, in the spirit of Christian niceness I said that was okay with me. She agreed to it as well. So we exchanged numbers.
The next day I text’d her some message saying that we needed to figure this out and good morning as well. So we asked who all was still able to go and which movie in the list of movies seemed good. There wasn’t much playing that I cared for, and I think we got a few votes on Les Miserables. So we decided the time and theater.
The horror began when our friends started to cancel on us. One by one our friends dropped out until it seemed like no one was left. In divine providence, God had set up a date with a girl I didn’t want to be with, on a day that I thought I could spend time with my friends, in a way in which I normally didn’t like dating girls: going to the movies.
But hark, that was what seemed would happen. I was silently freaking out but I needed to use this ticket soon and I’d rather not wait. So I made a joke, hoping that she’d say maybe we should try again another time. I joked saying, “Well, I guess this is just you and me. This will be my first date in years. hahaha!”
Instead of “protecting her brothers heart” or some hogwash like that, she simply responded, “awww, how cute. Have your mother dress you and take a picture.”
I laughed to myself, nervously. But, decided, why not? So I had my mom take a picture of me with my green Crazor flip phone in the age of iphones.
Thankfully she was silently freaking out too and made two of our mutual friends agree to go. I silently thanked God but instead of being honest, I joked, saying that they’d be our chaperons on this date.
At this point it’s hard to stress that I was not into her, I did not want to be alone with her, and that the last thing I wanted was to go on a date with her. But, here I was, and I was joking about it because I was so comfortable knowing that this was not any of that. If it was really a date I probably would have been freaking out in a completely different way.
So we get to the movie and she’s already there. So I go up and sit next to her. I say hi, ask her how her day was, and some small talk, while also joking about how it’s “our date” and how they’ll be chaperoning.
They walk in, two girls that I love dearly as beloved sisters, whom I had spent lots of time with. I joke with them about the date and they laugh, but they end up sitting a few seats away. Which I didn’t want.
But now here I was, joking because I didn’t want to seem uncomfortable. Which made it more uncomfortable for me.
The movie starts, and it’s the advertisements and previews.
Now, to not be uncomfortable, I joke during the previews. This is something I normally do during movies. Yes, I’m a talker during movies. I have to. I need to engage with it otherwise I don’t stay as involved in the movie and may doze off.
Two previews in, and instead of asking me not to, my future wife turns to me, and says with all the venom she can, “You’re not going to do this during the whole movie, are you?”
Ignoring the obvious poison in her tone, I laughed and lied. “No.”
Inside, I died. Now I absolutely did not like this girl. And if I even entertained the thought that there was a possibility she was marriage material, it all sank with that comment.
We watched the movie, which I slept most of it. We left. I complained about it. I hated it. I went home unhappy, but glad to know that I had no interest in this girl at all.
At this point I had been praying for a month if singleness the rest of my life was a good decision. It seemed like an answer to prayer. Life long singleness seemed to be the answer as time progressed. My dislike of this girl only spurred on that desire to be single.