To Ends and New Beginnings…

As some of you may know I resigned from First Presbyterian Church in Billings, Montana about a month ago. If you would like to know the details feel free to message me and I will tell you about it, the details are not really important though.  The more interesting part of the story is what happened after that. After I left first Pres. I began to discover a lot about myself. I think the most important this is the one thing that is going to contribute to the biggest change in my life during this time. When i was going through the roughest time the months before this happening, I discovered that one thing made my life better than any of the others. I realized that i had one of the best things any man could ever ask for. I had a woman who loved me more than i could ever have imagined. This woman is Cathy my girlfriend of over a year. She stood by me through the bad times, fought for me when I didn’t have the strength to continue to fight myself, listened to me even when all I had to say was nonsense, and I realized that she is my everything. She makes me happier than any person has ever done for me. So I made up my mind that I was going to ask her to be my wife. As things got worse i realized that my resolve was not shaken. There is nothing in the world that I wanted more than to be with this person who makes me feel like I am home whenever i am with her. Before I move on with the rest of the story I think i need to tell the story of how we met.

January 2009: I  had just moved to Billings, Mt. over a month before and was just starting to get to know the area and the people. One of the people i hit it off with right away was the chaplain at Rocky Mountain College. She was a good friend to me and we seemed to be able to talk about a lot of things. So when it came time for Rocky to put on their spring production the chaplain was approached with the problem of there not being enough men to cast. So since she knew a little about me that I loved theatre she suggested my name. The director called me and asked if I would be in the show. I jumped at the chance! This was a great opportunity for me to meet new people and make friends in the community, which was something I was unable to do at previous churches. At our first rehearsals I felt a little out of place seeing as the chaplain and I were the oldest members of the cast. During those first rehearsals there was a girl that just caught my eye. I don’t know what it was but she just seemed genuine and had this grace and magic about her. I just went with the flow for a while since i was pretty busy starting new relationships at the church and in the community. During the course of rehearsals I came to know this girl a bit better and laughed and joked with her over the months it took to put the show together. One of the very first inklings that I had that I liked this girl was right after a rehearsal in the middle of March. We were asked to take seats on the stage in a semi circle and talk about each others performances. She sat next to me, and seemed a little eager to do so. I thought it was just wishful thinking on my part, but she has a different story. I noticed she just seemed so magical to me. I brushed it off thinking that I was too old for her. A few weeks later the chaplain and I were hanging out and just chatting about the show, life, and theology. The topic of relationships came up. I decided to ask about the magic girl. The chaplain told me that she was a theatre performance major, she was 20 years old at the time, and she was not looking for a relationship. But she did say that maybe if i were to continue to work with the theatre i would get to know her and maybe there would be a chance.  She also mentioned that the magic girl was excited about a guy that was going to be working with her that summer. After this meeting I decided it was probably best if I left it alone. I felt old, out of my league, and just well focused on other things.  So the show ran its course. I didn’t pursue the magic girl. I wouldn’t have any interaction again with her till maybe the fall. It seemed so far away. After the show I was sitting in my office working on my computer and kicking myself for missing another opportunity to ask a pretty girl out. Not to mention I was baffled by why she was still on my mind. Then all of a sudden I noticed a new friend request on facebook. I thought it was probably another turkish person who was trying to be my friend for some unknown reason, really it happens! So I check it and guess what it was magic girl. I was so happy! I had another chance! We chatted back and forth. I learned a lot later that she was actually facebook stalking me. She searched for me in the chaplains friends… Anyway… I gathered up my courage, which didn’t take much since it was online, and I asked her to coffee. I told you about that date, but I think this occasion requires a reposting.  This is what I said last summer:

On April 9th I had gone on one of the best first dates in my life. It was wonderful. It was a woman who had been in the play with me so I am quite pleased with the organic “normal” meeting. Side note: Internet dating sucks! :side note over. Anyway this date was just incredible. We met at a coffee shop and just sat there and talked about everything for a couple of hours until I realized it was probably time to say goodnight since it was going to be Good Friday the next day and I was going to have a long day. So i walked her to her car. On the way over there she grabbed my hand and it was just like magic. I have no other words to describe it. I still lack the ideal way to put it into words. So I have to succumb to using cheesy Hollywood cliches to clarify and emphasize my point here. You know how people speak of sparks and how there is just this knowing that you are supposed to be there in that moment? That only begins to tip the iceberg on how I felt. What is even more awesome is she felt the same way. She still does. When we arrived at her vehicle I gave her the first date hug, which led to a kiss I’m not going to lie. It was a great kiss. If there were not fireworks somewhere in the world at that moment there were in my mind. We said goodnight, and I went home. I had a smile plastered on my face that entire night. I had it plastered there the next day too, except the frustrations that came with a busy day of ministry. So we planned to go on a second date. We decided to go out again on Saturday, which only being two days after the first, was a little quick. I didn’t mind the rapidness of this though. We did the classic, dinner and a movie. Wasn’t the best movie ever but it was very nice feeling like a teenager again and wondering, “Are we going to hold hands? Does she like me? I hope we do!” After the second date it was solidified. We decided it was supposed to be and who cares what people think. So we spent pretty much every day together since. Well besides the time spent at work or at school. I have just loved getting to know this woman. She is incredible. She makes everything seem better and brighter. Like I said earlier it is like she turned on the light switch in my heart and I can finally see what it is I was supposed to be seeing all along if that makes any sense. Now this may seem odd since I have been in love before. I have loved my ex’s yes, but this one just seems different you know. I mean it seems, I don’t want to get ahead of myself now but…, meant to be. Like for once the planets aligned. God, finally said yes. I don’t know however you choose to describe it. It’s so completely wonderful that even when i begin to try and describe it words don’t seem to be enough.

That was magic girl. That is Cathy. I still feel the same way I felt then. I love this girl very much. I was trying to restrain myself there, which now that I re-read it I wasn’t able to do.  But that is the story of our first date, now to move on with the original story.

I started looking for positions all over the country again. I knew that long distance would be difficult. I had dealt with it before, but this was a different situation. I was going to ask this girl to be my wife. So we talked about it all. She graciously told me that she would follow me to the ends of the earth. I really hope not to take her up on that promise but it still felt nice to hear. I felt confident that God was going to take us where we needed to be this time. I feel strongly that despite other reasons, one of the biggest reasons i was moved here to Montana was to find Cathy. It was nice to know that despite where the winds of change took us she would eventually follow. We discussed her last year of college and that she needed to stay and finish. That was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had with someone. Knowing that I was going to spend the rest of my life with her if she would have me, but be apart from her for 9 months. Well the time came for the vacation I promised her. We were going to Southern California to see my mother. This was the first meeting she would have with my family, needless to say she was nervous. On the second day we were there I took her to Santa Monica Pier. I really wanted to ask her in a place that we would see constantly in movies, tv, and media. I also wanted to ask her on one of the most symbolic places for new beginnings, the ocean. Yes, I know I am a nerd… So that entire night and day before i was nervous. I kept going over it in my head and thinking about how it was going to happen. Finally we got there. We walked around the mall there and walked along the beach. We sat in the sand and watched the ocean and the people on the pier. I couldn’t wait anymore and I asked her. She said, “OF COURSE!” One of the best moments in my life. So while we were on the beach i got an e-mail that a church in New York wanted both of us to fly out the next weekend. Well I thought, “ok that is really far  away, but I haven’t been to New York yet.” So after our fun vacation we returned exhausted only to get on a plane 2 days later. We went and fell in love with the area, church, and people. They were so nice, and it seemed like such a healthy place. I saw Cathy and I growing old together there. I saw us raising a family in one of the turn of the century homes there. I guess all I needed was word from God that it was ok to go there. I got that word in church the next morning. the Sermon spoke right to me. Told me that God is in control and I shouldn’t worry about the future. Well long long story to just a long story… I was hired. So here I am sitting typing this out as a distraction from packing. I am moving in 2 weeks to New York State. I am excited, scared, and nervous all at the same time. I just needed to vocalize what has been happening in the last month. It has been a lot and there is much more to the story, but that is all I can type right now. I should continue packing…

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