Even more shocking was the answer to the "who" question: Eric. Eric. ERIC????? Dad had to be kidding, had to be getting mixed me up with someone else. But, he wasn't. He was dead serious. My mind was in a whirl, my world turning upside-down, my heart pounding somewhere in the region of my throat instead of where it belonged. I should pray, should take time to think. But in those seconds of gasping amazement, I felt absolute peace and joy. I knew I could trust Eric: I knew he would only have asked this if he had prayed long and hard over the possibility, and I knew that he would treat me honorably.
"Yes! Tell him yes! I would be...honored and...delighted!" My words fumbled and tumbled and tripped their way out of my mouth, but already I was grinning like my life depended on it. I floated through the rest of the day, world's most distracted teacher (sorry Anna! long division was not my strong point that day!) and adrenaline pumping.
At the end of my day, and the beginning of his, he called me. On Skype-I told you it came into the story often. I knelt before my bed in my tiny room at my host family and, hands shaking, answered his call. It felt so strange to be talking to just him, under these circumstances! We were both nervous, both happy, both awkward: I still remember the call lasted exactly 16:33 seconds. I lay awake a long time that night, pinching myself, grinning, and praying. It was the first of many, many nights that I would do so...
The calls continued, and the emails flew back and forth. Goodness it was hard communicating with weak internet on my side, clueless awkwardness on both sides. I know his mom often aided the flow of conversation in those first days-thank goodness! But oh, how I looked forward to each and every call: learning more about Eric, laughing with him, talking on deep and serious subjects, praying with him. Thanksgiving came and went, and December flew by until the day I got to go home for a month.
The lovely, lovely girls I lived with overseas.
Two weeks. Two adrenaline filled, exciting, scary, delightful, glorious weeks-the only time we saw each other in our courtship (yes, I know we're crazy!). Two happy, happy weeks in January.
Don't worry, that didn't last long. I'll never forget the day the ice melted, so to speak. It was January 2nd, and we went on our first "date" (cue gasp). No, don't worry, we weren't really alone-my big sister Anna was visiting with her birthfamily at a nearby table. But we talked. Really, really talked, without being nervous, without being afraid. I felt like I really trusted God for the first time in several days. And you know, that whole trusting God thing works! We relaxed...we laughed...we shared dreams and fears and really talked openly about our relationship and where it was going. We shared hearts. And we both felt the deep tug of something that could almost, someday be called the happy beginnings of love.