10 years ago I made a couple key decisions in life.
1. I wouldn't live in my parent's home again. I would spend my summers on campus working and taking summer classes.
2. Single again, I listed all the qualities I wanted in a boyfriend/future husband and promised myself I wouldn't settle for anything less.
3. I ordered a pizza.
Looking back I am amazed how God orchestrated all these (at the time-small) decisions into something HUGE.
Especially ordering that pizza.
This is because that pizza was delivered to recently sub-let-for-the-summer apartment by Ryan.
My first thought when I saw him at the door was, "Great. The last person who I ever wanted to see again." I managed to quickly cover that reaction up with informing him that I was just accepted into pharmacy school. (I had just received my acceptance letter and was so elated I told everyone that made eye contact with me.)
You see, we knew each other at the time but we didn't exactly like each other. I had dated his roomate/good friend for the 6 months previous. He thought I was a dumb blonde sorority chick and I thought he was a loser Star Wars loving pizza delivery guy. He took every opportunity to make fun and be mean to me while dating his roomate/friend.
For reasons I can only attribute to God, he asked me out (on what I believed at the time to a big group "date") while standing at the door with my pizza still in hand. And for the same reason, I said yes.
I remember being pretty excited about the date. I don't know if it was because I was going to a comedy club where you have to be 21 to get in (I was 20) or if it was Ryan. Regardless, I know that I got dressed up as though it was a date.
No other friends ever showed up that night.
We sat at a table emmersed in conversation while the comedy and laughter went on all around us. We didn't hear a word anyone else said. We continued talking, learning everything there was to know about each other (erasing our preconceived notions) till after 3 am in his car outside my apartment.
As I got out of the car I thanked him for a fun night and leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.
I was pretty sure something special had just happened but I convinced myself that it hadn't. Ryan was the complete opposite of every guy I had dated – especially the roomate/friend who I was still getting over.
I worked hard to convince myself that I was making something out of nothing as we continued to see each other every Tuesday night (for comedy night). I hated being single….surely this is why I'm beginning to feel this way.
Remember your list of qualities, Kelly.
By the midde of June it became clear to me that the line between "hanging out as friends" & "dating" was becoming blurry. Everything in my brain said that this was not supposed to be happening but everything in my heart was telling me to go ahead and fall in love with him.
And on June 23, 1999, while playing pool at a local campus pool hall, I gave into my heart and kissed Ryan for the first time. (Like, really kissed him…no peck on the cheek this time.)
From that moment on, my life has never been the same.
I knew with every fiber of my being: this is it. I don't have to look any further, worry any longer, date another; he is everything I want and more than I need (or deserve).
I knew then – in June 1999…I will marry him.
And exactly 2 years later I did just that.
We are just as much in love today as we were 10 years ago when in front of random college students and under the influence of alcohol we defined the rest of lives by kissing at the poolhall.
A day doesn't go by that I don't thank the Lord for giving me Ryan as a husband.
Thank you for 8 years of marriage and 10 amazing years of being together.
Happy Anniversary. I love you.