So like I said Stu and I had become friends or “aquaintences” as he would classify it. (We had this whole HUGE discussion with a couple of friends of ours one time on the topic of if guys and girls really can be “just friends.” Wow, I’ll have to do some posts about that sometime because it was pretty intense! Me and the other wife were convinced that of course you can be friends, and the guys were completely determined that there was NO WAY it could be that way. It ended up boiling down to a difference in terms more so than actual ideas, but it was pretty funny! But I digress.) That school year after we had counseled together I went back to PCA to teach and he joined The War and traveled for a semester doing youth rallies. Beyond exchanging an e-mail or two, when he told me about wrecking his beloved car because he just HAD to stop at a new Apple store in TN, there was no contact.
That school year was an interesting one for me. It contained a lot of “learning experiences” which when you’re going through them means “issues.” Ha ha ha! I learned a lot of things about the school, both the one I was teaching at and the one I graduated from, that still to this day bring back painful memories. I will be forever grateful for the education I got. College is not just about academics, but about a lot of life experience and growing up! It was good, but not good too. I had worked at TWR for 2 summers now and my heart was very involved in the camping ministry. I realized the importance of it and the spiritual impact that it had both on the campers that I had seen come through, but even more on the staff that were there for entire summers. So in a nut shell…. since there’s no point in spilling all the gory details, I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that God DID want me at that camp, and that I most likely didn’t have a long career in teaching ahead of me. 😉
Stuart was learning things as well as he traveled with his team and the VanGelderen family with the War. It’s neat how God uses places and people that we may not like or appreciate at the time to teach us valuable life lessons that we draw from for the rest of our existence. Stu and I were talking the other day about something ministry wise and he brought up a lesson he’d learned based on observation from that very point in his life. Looking back is always fun to see just how perfectly God can orchestrate our lives! And yet how much time do we spend in worrying and fretting about what “might” happen next as if He doesn’t see the whole story already? 🙂 It’s something for me to remember that’s for sure!
One of the things Stu was doing while traveling though was thinking about some OTHER girl!!! In fact, he began a correspondence with this gal to just “test the waters.” She was a GA at BJU so had the “older woman” appeal, even though he later found out that she wasn’t much older than him. 😉 Ha! I too started dating someone in the spring of that year, and I’ll tell you all what will shock you and curl your toenails, we met on eharmony.com!!! 😀 And despite what Stuart likes to tell me about him, he was not a weirdo, psycho, freaked out person of any kind. He was a very nice Christian guy who just didn’t end up being “the one” for me, but I didn’t know that yet. I figured it out later in the summer…..
(Forgive all this preface, “Our Story” doesn’t really get started till later, but I think some of the background is still important to how we “found” each other.)