anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Our Story | His Words

We did this home shoot about a month ago now. I really wanted to do a shoot in our apartment because I wanted to showcase real parts of our relationship. So while this was somewhat posed, it's also true to who we are and how we really are together. I also wanted Brian to write his side of our love story for this post. We've been married two years now and I wanted to see how he would tell it :) So this post (with the exception of this introduction) was written entirely by my sweet husband, Brian.

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Rachael. Rachael was the most precious princess in all the land. And one day, there was a boy called Brian who fell madly in love with the princess and sought to win her heart. The story that follows is the miraculous tale of how Brian managed to sweep Princess Rachael off her feet and carry her off to create their very own fairy tale:

Hi, it’s Brian and this is my story. Like many great stories, things started out pretty bleak. Before my wildest dreams came true with Rachael, I was at the lowest I’d ever been and I was hurting in more ways than I could count.

I was at the end of my rope and felt like I was just barely hanging on. I had no one to turn to and I was desperately lonely, even with the friends and family I had nearby. So on October 4, 2014, I broke down. I cried and then pleaded in prayer that I could find a friend. I didn’t want just any friend, though, I needed someone that would help me to put my own broken pieces back together. I wanted someone who would listen to the mistakes that I had made and then still be kind to me. I wrote a list of things that I believed I needed in this friend and who I hoped would be able to help me.

Ironically, I also prayed that I wouldn’t date and/or marry this friend that I would meet. I felt that would mean I was relying on them to put me back together instead of learning how to put myself back together. As you have likely guessed, this part of my prayer was not fulfilled.

Later that week, thinking nothing of the prayers I had made, I arranged to meet up with an old friend of mine named Rachael Campbell for ice cream at Cold Stone; something we had done once together when we were in high school. I thought it would be a casual night of catching up with a good friend and enjoying some time together. Little did I know, though, that the events of this night would end up changing everything.

After we finished eating our ice cream, Rachael and I realized that we were still enjoying the night and we decided to go back to my place to continue our conversation and maybe watch a movie. As we talked, we delved into subjects and topics that I didn't normally discuss with casual friends because of how personal they were. It was terrifying to do so, but Rachael was incredibly understanding and empathetic regarding some of my painful experiences. Our discussion went late into the night and we both discussed our heartbreaks, fears, and dreams and it was a very special and therapeutic night for me. As the hours waned on that night it slowly occurred to me that she exhibited many of the qualities and attributes that I had earnestly asked for in my prayer earlier that week.

The outing that was supposed to only take a couple hours ended up going until 10 am the next morning. We stayed up all night talking, exploring, eating, and more. By the end, I was sure that I had found the friend I was needed.

It was ideal, too, because I had known Rachael for more than eight years by then and so I knew that neither of us had any interest in dating. My plan was perfect because neither of us could possibly fall in love with the other. In retrospect, however, I’m convinced that I did fall in love with Rachael that night, but it would be a long time before I would be able to admit that to myself.

So, finding the friend I was seeking, I was excited to do more things with her. I decided to ask her on a date, because that’s what friends do, right? (Further proof I’d actually already fallen in love but refused to admit it to myself) So on October 13, we went to a Jazz game together. Rachael looked super cute, and I thought how lucky I was to know cute girls like her who were also great friends who I could take on dates.

After the game, we again talked for a long time. I was once again impressed with her empathy and her ability to discern the best in me even when discussing difficult things. This furthered my desire to see her more and to keep her close in my life, but just as a friend.

After the Jazz game and after getting approval from my Alisa, Rachael and I started to hang out more often.  Previously, our friendship had been based on seeing each other maybe once or twice a year. However, I now found myself wanting to see her at least couple times a week. Our time together did wonders for me and I truly felt like I was learning to put my broken pieces back while also being a good friend to someone else.  Over the next month or so, we continued to see each other more frequently.

Now, it’s difficult to say when exactly, but then one day, it finally hit me in such a way that I could no longer deny it. I liked Rachael.

This was devastating to me because I knew that Rachael was about a million leagues above me in every way. I started referring to her as "stupid girl" in my head because I was irritated that I liked someone with whom I had no chance at all. I was also depressed because I realized that it wasn't just a simple crush, but instead, I had fallen head over heels for an angel. I knew that were I to try, it would only end in disaster. It would be the equivalent of trying for a moon landing with no experience in rocket science.

This was disastrous for another reason, too. We were best friends. Her friendship meant more to me than anything and I did not want to jeopardize it. Hadn't I prayed for a friend like her? Was acting on these feelings worth losing such a precious friend? For me, the answer was clear and I knew Rachael's friendship meant more to me. So I decided to do nothing.

I remained deeply unhappy for a couple weeks after this. I tried increasing my running to see if the feelings would diminish and did other things to distract myself. It was to no avail, though, and I found that my feelings for Rachael only kept increasing.

After weeks of struggling, I finally came to the conclusion that I had to try. I knew that my chance of success was minimal, but I knew that success would bring more happiness and joy than I could imagine. Because of our strong friendship, I knew that if we could start a relationship, it would never end. And so, imagining the happiness we could have, I knew that I had to give it everything I could.

The first time I tried to kiss Rachael, she quickly turned away. Of course, I was hurt, but not entirely surprised. Again, I knew that this was an endeavor most likely to fail. Her friendship still meant the world to me, though, so I made sure that we could still be friends.

Over the course of November, we stayed best friends. We continued to hang out nearly every day, we went on many dates, and our bond only grew. I even started to feel like she liked me, based on how close she would cuddle with me, how affectionate she was in and out of public, and the way she would talk to me. But every time we discussed it, she reaffirmed that she did not want to date.

By December, Rachael started to lose patience and I realized that I was about to lose her friendship as well. From the beginning, I knew that my cause was hopeless because she had valid reasons for not wanting to date me, and there was nothing I could do to change them. But the pain that came from being pushed away was nearly intolerable.

Not wanting to lose the friendship, I did my best to back away and withdraw. She will tell you, though, that I failed.

Then January came. And what can only be called a Christmas miracle, Rachael started to change her mind. To this day, I can't tell you what changed or why. But on January 3, 2015, Rachael and I officially became boyfriend and girlfriend. And as I predicted, once we got together, there would be no going back.

Thanks for reading! I'm so grateful for this life I have with Brian and also for this blog!

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