Monday, December 03, 2012

My Sweet Abigail...

I had finally settled into a somewhat normal life in SC, bought a house, finally had a church, solid group of friends, and was close to my family. I think I had about everything I wanted and was content with my place in life. This was the end of 2007 and life was good. I received an opportunity to start traveling to San Diego to support a project that was starting up there and I would be doing some consulting. At first it was temporary with only a flight here and maybe a flight there. Eventually I would get a call from a friend at my company about an offer in San Diego. He told me that it was a nice 72 degrees out and everything was perfect. He said I could go out there and work for a few years. When I heard this news, I was actually working out in the field (as a field engineer) and it was a Saturday. I was extremely flattered by the offer and a little surprised. My career wasn't something I had ever planned for, I actually planned to be an engineer for a year at Clemson then hated calculus, felt the call into ministry, so thought I would finish Clemson and continue itinerant speaking (which I had done for a few years in college.) So this career thing was kinda of something that just happened. I think I happened to be in the right place at the right time and had motivation to do something crazy. Long story short, I'm at a place where I have to decide on leaving my home of SC and moving to San Diego. I'm not going to be a tough guy, I remember crying on the steps of my church talking to my pastor. I didn't want to sell my life short for a job when I was supposed to be preaching. I had tried to go the seminary route and just didn't work out, so here I was trying to see if this was God's will for my life to move my comfortable life in SC for a life of unknowns. The offer was too good to turn down and after much prayer, I moved to San Diego.

 The first 4 months in San Diego were in a really nice hotel on Mission Bay and here. Eventually the travel schedule was crazy and I got an actual condo downtown San Diego, which was amazing. My good friend Gill actually moved to San Diego the same time and we started visiting churches. We went to 1 church, didn't really feel it, so we decided to visit another church after a mutual friend, Catherine, recommended it. We visited Kaleo Church when it was meeting in a movie theater in Mission Valley. I remember one of the first times I went, my eyes were focused in on the hottie playing the piano. I remember telling my friend, "I gotta meet keyboard girl." I did get a chance to see and meet her but I don't think I really hit anywhere on the radar of her interest. Life went on. One of the first Sundays that I went to this church, I knew all of 2 people in San Diego. I decided that the two people that I knew and I, would throw a cookout. We invited a few people from church and said to meet at my place at 7 that night. Next thing I know, there were about 20 people in my 700 sq. foot condo and he had a blast. These people wanted to hang out all the time and it reminded me of life back in SC right before I left. On July 18th, 2008 we all went to a Filipino talent show at a Filipino church just outside the city. A friend of ours was performing and I also found out that "keyboard girl" would also be singing. She was awesome and sang a song about a boy that she used to like and how they would be "just friends." I got to talk to her for a few minutes after the show and actually introduce myself. I still don't think I hit her radar at all. It took me a long time to show up on her radar. I had to work harder to get this girl than anything else in my entire life. I would visit her salon in which she was a student at the time. I would tape good tips under her chair and then call her later to tell her about them. It was easier to tip because the haircuts were only $7 and you were taking a risk on a stylist in training. A risk that would eventually pay off. I was invited one night to go out to a lil get-together with a bunch of friends and it was hosted by "keyboard girl" which at this point, I called Abby. It worked out that night that a ton of folks came over and not long after I got there, it was just Abby and I, sitting on the floor playing "Connect Four." She opened up a little and told me about her life and her history of growing up in San Diego, moving to Charlotte, then moving back to San Diego a year earlier. I felt like we had a good time talking and that I was finally showing up on her radar, matter of fact, that night I said to her, "I'm a straight shooter and I would really like to ask you out." She immediately said, "Yes". I was a little shocked at her quick answer that I didn't even ask her out. Since I had a 90 hour workweek schedule, we only had time to go to lunch. Well her favorite place was this lil fast food joint called "Hot Dog on a Stick." Yes, California is crazy. Well we went to this place and it was the most awkward ever. I tried to force conversation and it felt so unnatural. I actually told her that I would bring her lunch the next day at her school. I stopped at a sandwich shop on Miramar Drive and decided that we would have a tailgate in her school's parking lot. It was even MORE awkward. I've always felt like I have the gift of gab, but I could get nowhere with this girl. The next day I actually called to schedule an actual date which she had agreed to on the previous Sunday. I left her a voicemail. She eventually called me back and told me that she didn't see it going anywhere other than friends. OUCH! Was I really just turned down? Yep, my F-18 was shot from the sky by "keyboard girl" Abby. I asked myself, "How could I go from a RESOUNDING 'YES' to a 'Let's just be friends.' I have plenty of friends, I really didn't need another. I just let it go.

We had the same circle of friends so we stayed in touch with each other and I saw her all the time. She would actually text me a lot and often call for directions when she was lost. This went on for weeks, I eventually had to put the smack down on that. I couldn't do the back and forth and really wasn't looking for a convenient "girl" friend, even if she was hot, smart, and a good singer. :) It took her some time, but eventually I noticed that something changed. She started being a little more friendly with me. She even told me before this happened that she felt "neutral about 'us' and that if that changed, she would let me know." Well she didn't let me know but something did change. Being the over communicator, I called her on it and we had a long talk. Things were beginning to change, we started going on normal dates and the weirdness was starting to wear off. Even her hugs were becoming less awkward. Have you ever had an awkward hug? She was the queen of them. We had fun together and we had a common thing, we loved the Lord and we loved food. We went to so many restaurants in San Diego. During this time Planet Earth was HUGE. She came over one Sunday and we watched a marathon of it. At some point we decided to get food and below is what transpired according to my journal:

 Abby came over for a lil planet earth marathon. Somehow or another I ended up playing with her hair by the 3rd dvd. Girls hair should not smell so dang good. that's not even right. We ended up leaving, renting a movie, and walking downtown to find food. Somehow or another, I was crossing the street with her and our arms ran into each other and next thing I know, we're holding hands. I'm like, "what in the crap just happened?" Well, at this point, it wasn't like I could just let go, so I held on for a nice street crossing. The mexican place was not happening so we walked to Albertson's. No hand holding. Got some stuff for sandwiches and some stoufers, nasty deviled eggs, etc. Came back home and watched Pride and Prejudice. Somehow or another, I touched her arm, her hand fell down, and we're holding hands again. This was just a hilarious night. The ride home, we listened to some Augustana, Norah Jones, and then I intentionally held her hand. I am so not smooth. I dropped her off, she very quickly opened the door. I hope she didn't think I was going to kiss her, I'm a slow mover. I like that she doesn't really know me and I don't really know her. This is fun. I gave her a big hug and told her goodnight.

I ended my journal that night saying:  She is flippin amazing and it's neat getting to know her.  I feel like she should have had at least 200 guys after her.  Something like the parable of the treasure in a field, I feel like there is something special about her.  I am being patient and I want to let things happen if they are going to happen.  I'm so picky and with her I'm just letting myself go.  I am even writing journal entries, this is kinda crazy.

To sum up a book, we started seriously dating soon after that and had our ups and downs.  I really don't know how it worked other than the Lord because I was working sometimes 100 hour weeks and don't know how I ever had time to invest into a relationship.  

The crazy thing is that two weeks into dating, I knew I would marry her.  I always picked on those guys who said those type of things.  I remember walking out of her place and walking back to my car in Point Loma, saying, "Yep, I'll marry that girl."  

I came to San Diego with literally a stack of clothes, a guitar, and a computer.  Today, 5 years later I now have a wife and a son.  Crazy to think that somehow in my prayers to move to San Diego, God was whispering to me that He had big things for me here, even if it meant I would leave the comforts of my life in SC.  It was one of the best choices I've ever made.  

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