October 26, 1997 was a sweet day for us. Josh and I met halfway between our dorms at Middle Georgia Junior College in the tiny town of Cochran to have a little talk about “officially becoming a couple.” Josh had asked on a Friday afternoon if I wanted to date exclusively. I took the weekend to pray about it. He says he wasn’t worried one bit about my decision. I made a list of pros and cons (analytical much??) and talked through my list with him on that Sunday night. My only con was that I was about to head back to Augusta to finish college. Josh was going to be at Middle one more semester and then would be transferring to University of Georgia in Athens to continue playing baseball. We ended that night with a side hug and walked back to our dorms, “officially a couple.”
So what did we do today, 22 years later? We had our coffee this morning together in the sitting room and just talked and caught up on a few things going on. Josh cooked a big breakfast, and we woke up our 15, 14 and 12 year olds to join us at the table. We all talked and caught up and then the kids went to a soccer game. Josh and I went to Home Depot for a few things and then picked up the dog from daycare.
When we got home, Josh asked me to help him put the dimmers on the light switches. I stood there holding a light for him so he could see what he was doing. I got this tool and that tape that he needed. I turned the main electricity off and then back on and then back off and then back on at his request. And I kept holding the light.
This little interaction reminds me of our relationship a lot. I feel very much like I have been the helper while he has been out and about doing so much. Whether he was playing baseball while I watched and cheered from the bleachers or when he has traveled to Turkey or Afghanistan or Iraq or Africa and India for mission trips while I held the fort down at home or when he meets important people at important places, and I have no idea who the people even are….and I stay home to make sure the kids are taken care of and that groceries are bought and clothes are clean. I am the helper. And I like my role. Just like installing the dimmer on the light switches today–he probably could have figured out a way to do it without me, but I know I helped make the process easier by simply holding the light and helping where needed.
We make a good team. I am thankful for the past 22 years of exclusively dating Josh. We celebrate 19 years of marriage in January, and we will celebrate then. But this special date, October 26th, is also worth remembering. A sweet, carefree time of learning each other. A season when side hugs were exciting. When dinner at Village Pizza was a good time. When we would travel to a little Dairy Queen halfway between Cochran and Augusta to sit and talk for a few hours and then head back to our separate cities. When we got lectured every month for having a long distance bill that our parents paid for. (Dating long distance before cell phones was expensive!) So grateful God saw fit to bring Josh and me together.
Sidenote: The girls had PSAT and PACT tests last week at school. They were worried and telling me how different friends said their parents are really on them about making a good score because it determines which college you would get admitted to. And I get that. I do. It is an important test, but God determines their steps. I told them that I had a terrible SAT score. My ACT score was good enough to be accepted to a Junior College–it didn’t take much. But I met Josh there! I am sure God held me back on the SAT score so that I would be at Middle and meet Josh (at least that helps me not feel dumb). Clearly, I missed out on nothing.