I am sitting on the couch tonight, watching my husband as he so painstakingly puts together yet another worship set. He is such a passionate person. In moments like these I become keenly aware of how blessed I am to have him. A month from today we will have been married for two years. It's been a wonderful journey. This particular night my mind is flooded with the memories of our past. I push the rewind button and go back 2 years, before we were married and then 2 years before that. This is what my mind replays...
"No, I won't tell you," I said teasingly.
Jonathan and I had only known each other for a few months and had been "talking" for merely a few weeks. What I withheld was just petty information, but he didn't know that.
"Then what must I do to win your favor, m'lady?" He joked back.
"Well, lets see," I paused for a moment and then replied, "I've got it. You must cross a scorching dessert, slay a dragon and well, you might as well bring back a pot of gold while you're at it!"
"I can do that."
"Let me know when you have completed the quest and I will decide if I deem you worthy of such information, Sir Blair."
"I certainly will m'lady."
We joked back in forth with each other almost constantly. I guess it was our silly way of flirting. Sometimes my messages had an old english flair, complete with "thee" and "thou" and other times I tried ghetto-fab. Boy, did I know how to flirt! Not! Honestly, I had not idea how to navigate the strange territory I found myself in. My walls had become so thick after years and years of saying "no" to every guy I'd ever met. Now I had let him past my outer defenses...and it felt strange. Even talking to him on the phone was weird for me. Why didn't, why couldn't I say "no" to him? I wasn't exactly sure. There was something I just couldn't resist about this man.
"So when can I show you the proof of my conquest?" He asked a few days later.
I was astonished that he had actually taken my teasing literally. I couldn't imagine what he had up his sleeve. I laughed at the thought of him somehow finding a dragon to slay for me. Surely he knew I was just kidding! Well, I just had to wait because I couldn't see him for nearly a week. The suspense almost killed me! When the day of our meeting finally came I couldn't have been happier to see that green Tacoma pull up. I expected our teasing to continue, but instead I was blindsided by what came next.
"I've thought about it a lot these past few days and I really feel like we shouldn't date right away," he started to explain.
We must have circled my school a thousand times as he shared with me about a lot of things in his past, his mistakes and the things he hadn't done right. He wanted me to know before things went any further with us. I'm sure my heart stopped beating when he said I was exactly the kind of girl he hoped and prayed that God would give him one day. He saw me as a gem and wanted to treat me as such. His desire was to be absolutely sure of doing things the right way. He wanted to know for sure that this was where God was leading both of us. After putting it all out there, he asked that if I still wanted to move forward. If so, we could take it very slowly and if not, he would understand.
I was surprisingly relieved. I knew I wasn't quite ready for a relationship. All of this was so new to me. I liked him, I really did...but I was scared. I too, wanted to do things the right way too and I wasn't sure what that looked like. I told him I did want to move forward and he said to let him know what I needed that to be. We decided that only talking once a week was best for us. We'd see each other at Bible study on Thursdays and talk on Tuesdays and that'd be it for a while. It would force us to go slowly, and for us we knew it was best. Many hours later we pulled around to my drive way. I had completely forgotten about my dessert, dragon and pot of gold...
"I almost didn't bring this tonight because of what I was going to say, but I'd like you to have it anyway." and with that he pulled out a box.
I gazed at the box of Lucky Charms quizzically. Then Jonathan pulled a CD out of a case labeled "crossed the dessert" and put it in the CD player. Soon I recognized the words from an old song, "I was riding through the dessert on a horse with no name" and it clicked. "Oh...the dessert!" My mind was still a little fuzzy from all that had transpired, so I just sat there for a minute.
"Well, go ahead and open it," his voice interrupted my thoughts.
With curiosity I peeled pack the cardboard box flaps and pulled out the contents inside. What I found was a bag with not one, but hundreds of pots of gold. Apparently he had gone through the entire bag of Lucky Charms and picked out everything but the pots of gold from the cereal. But that wasn't all. Sitting on top of the pots of gold was a dragon's head that had been severed from it's body. What was most amusing was that the bag was sealed like it had never been opened. I soon found out that the dragon's last breath had sealed it's fate. I couldn't stop giggling as Jonathan told me how hard it was to even find a toy dragon, and that getting it's head off was much harder than one might think! Oh, and he burnt his hand when "the dragon" sealed the bag with it's last breath...aka a lighter. I was so impressed.
Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I love it tremendously? Absolutely.
As I got out of the car he said "I've marked a chapter of this I'd like you to read," and handed me a book called Wild at Heart.
"Just know that I want to do that...whenever you're ready. You'll know what I mean when you read it."
You better believe I tore open that book as soon as I closed the door to my room. The chapter was called A Beauty to Rescue. With the proof of his brave conquest clutched in my arms, I read about how a man must be willing to tear down the walls a woman has built up around her heart. He must be willing to guard it himself. "He wants to do that for me?" I thought.
After such a whirlwind of a night I could barely sleep. In the morning I knew what message I needed to send him. It was simple. All it said was this:
"You won my favor."
And what I meant by that was...
You won my heart.