At the beginning of February, Grove City hosts the PACs swim championships meet, which takes place over three days. I'd been going to the meet since sophomore year when Luke and I had started dating, and I felt like I was really missing out (and missing Luke!) by not going senior year. But I wasn't really sure that I should go, or what people would think of me for being there if I did.
When a friend in my sorority asked me to come with her to go see her roommate swim, I couldn't pass up the opportunity and tagged along. The stands in the pool were completely full, and we couldn't even buy tickets to get in, so we headed to the overflow room where they were projecting the meet on a screen.
loved doing college with these girls
After seeing Luke swim, his parents asked if we could go somewhere quiet and talk. I'm pretty sure I responded with "sure, should I be scared?" Which of course his parents assured me I did not need to be, and so we headed down to sit on a bench in an out of the way hallway by the recreational gym. Once we were seated, they basically told me they just wanted to talk to me to get a better understanding of why I had ended things with Luke. From what Luke had told them, and from what they could see (um, obviously I wasn't avoiding him by coming to the swim meets), they knew I still had feelings for him.
Luke and me with Joe on Graduation day
In our conversation, I basically told them about my anxiety, and they encouraged me with Philippians 4:6- "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God". They talked to me about how God is not a god of anxiety and would never use that as a way to make a decision. His parents shared some more things with me, and then we prayed together. It was an incredible blessing and encouragement to me, no matter how things were going to turn out.
When the swim meet ended that weekend, they invited me to go meet Luke with them in the GeDunk (our student union) for some food. They had of course cleared this with Luke before asking me, so he was expecting to see me there. I remember feeling REALLY nervous, but jittery with excitement about seeing him after months of no communication and only random sightings around campus. It was so weird, but so amazing to be sitting with him, watching him and his family interact with each other once again.
me and Luke after a fun day at Cedar Point
And really, from there, you could say the rest is history. For at least a few weeks, we hung out around campus, did things with friends, and met up in the warmth of the hallways of the downstairs of the Alumni dorm to talk. And one night, I finally told him I loved him for the first time. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. Once we started talking and seeing each other regularly, we knew that this was it. There was no going back- we were definitely headed for marriage.
my sorority's spring party
The rest of senior year was really full- full of hope, fun, and excitement about the future. Luke and I didn't talk too much about marriage, but it came up every now and then, and we knew our plan was to marry each other. It felt so right to end the year with Luke, celebrating graduation with our friends and families, and heading back home to Maryland together.
We spent the first year out of college settling into new jobs, attending the same church and building friendships there, and dating each other in the real world. Our engagement came about seven months after graduation, but that's another story for another time!