That was all it took. That little boy went home that day and said to his mom, "I found the girl of my dreams. I'm gonna marry her."
Fast forward to high school and we were best friends. We babysat together for church functions, went to McDonalds and Starbucks together having countless "dates." I, however, never saw them as dates but merely just an afternoon or evening with a friend. We went to movies together, our families would hang out. took long walks on the beach. We told each other everything. It was no secret he loved me. He had told all our mutual friends, swearing them to secrecy. Turns out we didn't keep them as friends for their secret keeping abilities. Pretty soon, everyone knew he liked me, including me. That didn't stop our friendship. He would tell you that one day I was super friendly to him, the next day ignoring him. But what's a girl to do when her best friend likes her, but she doesn't feel the same way back? Senior year we tried dating but I knew both of us needed some growing up to do. We just weren't in the same place.
A year later, I was in Denver going to college and he had joined the Army. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. We still talked, although infrequently. He decided he wanted to come out to see me, and he did. We tried the dating thing again, but even more so, our hearts were worlds apart. He was about to get shipped to Iraq and I was a freshman in college still discovering myself and life as an "adult."
Iraq was the best thing to ever happen to our relationship. We emailed or wrote letters all the time and we really reconnected and discovered whatever had been lost over the years. He started to know my heart, and me his and I began to see how much he had matured. The Army had made him a man. And that was it. I knew I was his forever. June 2008 we began to start dating which is kinda lame because he was still in Iraq. There were definitely no dates happening. His brother and fiance were getting married later in the year and God did a miracle and he was able to fly back from Iraq and be in the wedding. I picked him up from the airport, still smelling the Iraqi dirt and it was the happiest I've ever been. He was on leave for two weeks and those were a magical two weeks. We truly got to date each other and I was devastated when he had to go back to the desert. February 2009 he was on leave again and asked me to be his wife. We were so elated as any newly engaged couple is. That leave was even harder than the last. But soon his time with the Army was coming to a close and we married July 24, 2010. It was magic and he never lets me forget that his dream came true.
We lived in Dallas the first few years of our marriage but moved back to our roots in California. But Texas still had our hearts and on Halloween 2013, we moved our family back to Texas. This time though, there were three of us. Our precious boy, Liam came into our lives in April 2013 and things have never been the same. He's enriched our lives and made me dream bigger than ever.
I can't thank the Lord enough for that Sunday when I was in fifth grade. Through my husband, He's given me a tiny picture of His unconditional love.