My first love experience was with my parents.
I mean, they practically created me. I’m half of my dad and half of my mom. Plus they raised me well, in a household full of love.
Then when I found church, which for me was much later in life, my next love was Jesus. And that will continue to be my greatest love. Because God is love. And if we love, we are embodying Him.
Of course I had love for friends and love for other boys throughout my life. Like any teenager does! But, like normal, friendships fade, boyfriends become ex’s and that love fades. Life happens.
Little did I know that through all these fading friendships and relationships, one certain boy walked into my life when I was least expecting it.
Noah and I met in middle school. Like WAY back in middle school. Sixth grade to be exact. But until our senior year, I heard him speak probably two words. (If you think I’m exaggerating, I am not.) He was SO SHY! And I was the opposite of shy. I was crazy and hyper and loud. So we never really talked, because like any loud, hyper, crazy human, I was intimidating.
We went through youth group together. We were in the same class. We played in the worship band together, but still, no interaction was ever made. One year, I messaged him on Facebook to invite him to a band party at my house. He never came, he had a baseball game.
When senior year rolls around and we actually have our first full conversation together and I learn that he’s actually the coolest person ever, I was shocked. I was even more shocked when we became great friends. Texting all the time, talking on the phone, spilling our guts to each other about things no one else knew. So imagine my disbelief when I realized I was actually starting to have feelings for this boy.
Our first date was one for the books, lemme tell ya. He CALLED me, like actually called me on the phone to ask me out on a date. My mom was impressed and so was I. But the night before our date, it snowed 8 inches. Noah and his dad plow during the winter. So when it snows for as long as it did that night, they’re out the whole time; plowing and re-plowing the homes and businesses they’re in charge of. By the time we met for our date, Noah had been up for over 24 hours. He was pooped. So I was the one that talked the whole time. I think he had a couple things to say, but boy, I’ve never heard anyone be so quiet. But it was actually a really great time. He took me to my favorite restaurant, so I could get my favorite mac and cheese (I’m a mac and cheese snob, so I can only have the best), we hung out at guitar center and jammed on the acoustic guitars, and we saw the new Star Wars movie that had just come out. And at the end of the night, he asked me on another date for New Years Eve. The rest is history.
I always imagined myself dating an artsy boy. One who listened to classical music, sang as a tenor, and loved to be different. A boy who wore his long, curly hair in a man-bun and wore skinny jeans and Doc Martins. Yet, the boy I fell in love with drives a black truck (usually covered in mud stains) with a lift-kit and tinted windows, wears cowboy boots and camo, listens to country, loves to hunt, work on his truck, and doesn’t even mouth the words to a song he knows on the radio.
Yep, I was shocked.
But God knew that this was who I needed. Because in the two years we’ve been dating, I’ve mellowed out. I’m still loud and crazy and hyper because that’s just who I am, but now I have the ability to be calm, contained, and serious when I need to be. And he is less shy. He looks people in the eye when he’s talking to him, he’s way more confident when he’s playing in church now, he smiles and laughs all the time. He’s a joyful boy. We are as far opposites as we possibly could be. But you know, opposites attract. He pushes me to be the best Claire that I can be. He never holds me back from amazing opportunities, he’s just there and supportive and ready for a hug if I fall on my face. He doesn’t let me settle for what I know I don’t deserve. He’s a pretty sweet boy.
Two months before we became friends three years ago, Noah and seven other people from our youth group went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic to put on a bible camp for a school down there. That’s the kind of mission trip I DREAM to go on. And I had the same opportunity to go on the trip. But when filling out the application, I didn’t feel called. Someone else needed to go on this trip instead of me. I think about this moment a lot. I wish that I had gone, because I would have been able to take part in something incredible. But I also would have met Noah sooner. And maybe, we could have started our relationship sooner. If I had gone on that mission trip, we wouldn’t be together today. I’m convinced of that. Because I wasn’t ready for a relationship. And neither was he. God called me somewhere else that summer to get my heart broken and prepare me for what was yet to come.
And that was Noah.
Life is weird, guys. But it’s pretty amazing if you just hang on and enjoy the ride.
God knew my heart needed Noah. And now we’ve been dating for over two years. With many more years to come.