I remember the day we met. I was a couple of weeks into my new job as a sales associate at Old Navy in Fayetteville, working my way through college (rent is never cheap). I showed up to work and my manager told me it was time I was trained to work the register. Jake was the best cashier we had, so he was the one chosen to train me. My first impression was that he was cute (duh). We realized we had a connection, his ex had dated mine, so we were off to a great start (HA! riiiiight...). He was a great teacher, but a little intimidating. I assumed he thought I was slightly immature - mostly because he seemed so much more mature than anyone his age. He was always above all of the petty drama that happened on a daily basis at the workplace, or anywhere really. I remember telling one of my friends about the cute guy who trained me at the register and she told me to stay away because you never wanted to date someone you worked with. I told her it didn't matter because he had a girlfriend, and I had an ex-boyfriend I could never seem to shake completely (even if I wouldn't admit it).
It took a while, but eventually we built a pretty decent work-friendship. We enjoyed the shifts we worked together and I always knew it would be a good day if I showed up to work and he was there. After a bit more time, our working-friendship turned into a more genuine friendship. We spent some time together outside of work; mostly just me going to his house and playing RockBand with him and his roommate, Nathan. We weren't besties, but we were friendly and we enjoyed each other.
It's hard to determine the exact moment when the feelings started to change. I was always interested in him, but the timing never seemed to be right. He and his girlfriend broke up at some point in our friendship and I remember feeling a little more pleased than I should have, but I didn't really dwell on it. Then one day, I went to hang out with him at his house like I had done a couple of times before. There wasn't anything different about this time. He played me some of the songs he had written and we watched a movie. Nothing happened and everything happened. Our casual friendship quickly turned into a dating relationship that then quickly turned into a serious relationship. There's nothing earth shattering about our story; it's fairly normal, everyday stuff to most people; but to me there's nothing normal about it. The timing that always seemed to be slightly off turned out to be beyond perfect.
It took me a long time to realize that the relationship was real and that it was going to last. It seemed a little too good to be true. Jake couldn't be that interested in me, he had to eventually get tired of my drama/goofiness/insecurities/general lack of know-how about life. But he never did. The first time he told me he loved me I stopped him and told him to take it back because I didn't think he could mean it. He was so together and he seemed like he had his life all figured out and I was so far from all that it was laughable. He couldn't love me, not really. He might be infatuated with me, he might think I'm pretty or interesting or fun, but he couldn't love me. He must be confused. He refused to take it back; he said he meant it. So, I told him "thanks" and explained that I wasn't ready to say it yet. Love is a small four-letter word with some pretty gigantic implications and I wasn't sure if I could commit to what that would mean. I look back on that now and laugh at myself because I was WAY off. He had me hooked from day one whether I realized it or not.
Two years ago today I gave my heart and my life to the only man on earth (other than my daddy, of course) who truly deserves it.
No one could love me better or more unconditionally. No one else suits me so well. He is everything I am not, and I am everything he's never known how to be. We frustrate each other, drive each other crazy, make each other laugh, pray for each other, help each other, hold each other up, support each other, encourage each other, tell the other when we're acting stupid/rude/irrational/arrogant; we love each other. We don't let a day go by where we don't say it, regardless of how much we might like each other that day. I am grateful that God placed me with someone so perfect for me. I am grateful for every day in the last two years being married to Jake and every day from the 3 years before.
Jake, thank you for loving me every second of every day. Thank you for the past two years and for all the years ahead of us.
I love you.