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After Those First 3 Days

From good friends and good convos to dating

**if you haven't read "The First Three Days" blog post start there**

After the summer of 2017, I started my Junior year of college. Avery and I had agreed to stay in touch, but what he didn't know was that the minute I got back from that trip where we hit it off, I ran to the local Walmart and bought a blank notebook. And that first day I had it I recapped the whole Southern California/Disney trip. And then wrote in it two more times when he made me laugh via something he said over text. Years down the road he'd be handed that notebook full of memories I didn't want to forget, convos that we had shared, and times that I missed him and couldn't talk to him due to him being deployed, etc.

Needless to say, we texted often and would end up on FaceTime for hours on end - still just friends. We somehow never ran out of things to talk about and laughed about 50% of the calls. From July - November I wrestled with the fact that he wasn't Catholic. After a bad break up that was the only true standard I wanted to cling to...but he was perfect in every other way. He was beyond respectful, we shared the same morals and standards for relationships, sex before marriage was non negotiable, he was a family guy, he was quite honestly becoming my best friend so organically and easily it was mind blowing. But he wasn't Catholic.

I spent so much time in an empty chapel writing and talking to God. Pouring my heart and concerns out. Asking God to please lead me, give me peace, and guide me. I didn't want to mess up what Avery and I had and I definitely didn't want to lead Avery on.

He came to visit me for a week in college - still just friends. I was FREAKING OUT. What dude just spends a couple hundred $$$ on a ticket to visit some girl who isn't even sure of him beyond a friendship? My dad assured me he probably just wanted to hang out with me as his best friend, but I swore I knew better. The trip was fine, kinda awkward cause I mean, we'd only hung out for 3 days and now he was here in my college town, meeting my family, etc. I pressured myself into believing I had to have some sort of answer for Avery by the time he left. A yes or a no to dating.

So when I dropped him off at the airport, I told him we were just friends. And I cried the whole drive home. Not to mention how Avery felt. He felt played, like I wasn't being honest with him, and like a fool. The following days were where clarity came into the picture. Because I knew I had hurt him and been unfair, I distanced myself from him a bit. I wasn't as eager to share my feelings with him because I had literally just cut him off after he had put big effort into showing me he cared and wanted to pursue me. I spent those next 2 days missing him so much. Missing his friendship, our conversations, his presence just knowing he was in my life.

A couple days from when he got back to California, he was leaving again to go to his brother's wedding in Australia. At this point I had talked to my mom, my friends, etc. it had been a couple of days, and I wanted to tell Avery I missed him. But I didn't want to not fully mean it and hurt him more. So I asked him for 24 hours of silence so I could spend time apart from his conversation/presence and fully be with Christ in an empty chapel again. Avery boarded a 10+ hour flight to Australia knowing I had something on my mind and probably anxious to know what it was, but instead all he said was, "take all the time you need with your Father." When I read that I couldn't help but reply with "how're you not frustrated with me?" to which he replied, "love begins where effortlessness ends." That phrase has stuck with us since and rang true since.

In that empty chapel I realized I was sitting parallel with a stained glass window of Mary on her knees receiving the news from the angel Gabriel that she was going to bear a son and name him Jesus. And I instantly related to the variety of feeling's that Mary probably felt; uncertainty, worry, wondering how this was going to work out, like hello, this isn't conventional. Exactly how I felt regarding the decision to date Avery; "how's this supposed to work? I'm in Alabama, he's in California, I have 2 years of college left, he's not Catholic, etc." But what if...what if I said "yes" like Mary did. To the uncertainty, unconventional-ness, and questions. "Yes" because I wanted to trust God instead of putting the weight entirely on myself.

That next day I asked Avery if we could talk. He had landed in Australia and I'm positive the phone call cost us some $, but he answered and I said, "I like you more than a friend" "as in you want to date me?" "yeah, I do." November 15th. He was halfway across the world. We had no clue when we'd see each other next now that we were dating, but we'd never been happier. He tells me that the minute his mom saw him after the call she knew something was up by the way he was smiling and he instantly shared the news that we were dating. And for me, there was peace. For the first time ever in regards to him and I and our relationship. Complete peace. And I took that as the best of signs from God.

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