Thursday, October 3, 2013

H O M E is wherever I'm with you : part four

If it seems slow, wait for it 
it will surely come; it will not delay...
the righteous shall live by faith. 
| habakkuk 2:3,4 |

Catch up if you're behind! :: part one // part two // part three

I wrote a blogpost in October about my grandparents' and great-grandparents' love letters I had been reading through and how they made me earnestly desire to love and be loved. It was a very deeply honest post that left my heart pretty raw and exposed. But to be honest with you, in hindsight, it was also a bit of a knee-jerk reaction. I wrote about being content and waiting on the Lord but in all reality I was falling apart. I was depressed, emotional, in pure desperation...I felt like I would never get married and that scared me to death. Everything concerning my "love life" seemed to be going at negative speed and my dreams of being swept off my feet by Prince Charming sped up, seemingly, by the minute. But I didn't just want romance. I wanted the grit and effort, the dying to self, the becoming one, the being best friends, the sharing heartache and joy and my whole heart with someone.
I was not content. I wanted to be in control and was not, could not be. I was miserable. Granted, though all my feelings might be relatable, they were wrong. I was barely 17! I knew other godly girls that weren't given a husband until their late twenties! But it became my day by day struggle. Should I even try to like someone? What if I did and he wasn't The one. Or what if someone liked me and I didn't like them? Would my heart get broken more times than it already had before I finally made it to holy matrimony?  Or *insert shutter* was I destined for singleness?
 For anyone that is stuck in this frame of mine, I pray for you. It is a very dark place to be, I know.
But nevertheless, I wrote the blogpost as an attempt at bravery. To show that I wanted love but was tough enough to wait patiently for the perfect love.  I was aware, deep down, that God was going to give me exactly what He wanted to give me exactly when He wanted. I knew He was going to protect and care for me. I knew those things but it took everything within me to live in light of it. 

Trevor, of all people, commented on that fateful blogpost. 

Later that day, he told me in a chat that he felt funny liking it cause of what it was about but that he agreed with it so much and genuinely appreciated it so he couldn't help but give some positive feedback and +1 it. Although I did find it slightly unusual for a guy to have taken time to read it, much less comment on it, I got the impression that he was just another single young Christian seeking to follow God's will no matter how difficult it may be. Our conversation was very pointedly about marriage, both before and after it, but not romantic. It was general, clear-headed, challenging, and edifying. 
Without me even realizing it, he had become a very familiar part of my life. Every week was saturated with his presence. What's funny is that I had subscribed to his YouTube channel midsummer because I subscribe to everyone I know personally. There was no other motive behind it. However, I didn't notice right away that I was his only subscriber. So as our conversations got more common he also started posting random videos that were somewhat obviously for me to see particularly because he did know I was his only subscriber. I was especially fond of his dog, Buck, which he knew full well because of glee-filled comments I had left that may or may not have been written in all caps....
When a rise in the amount of Buck videos occurred I briefly thought that I may be at least partially in mind.
The night of November 4th we were chatting about nothing really important. The conversation had hit a bit of a lull so I was just going to tell him bye and sign off when suddenly he says,
"How long have you been a Christian?"
I was rendered speechless. Here? Now? Tell you on a chat? Is that even possible?!
It was extremely difficult and intense but I typed it out little by little and within about 15-20 minutes I had officially shared my testimony personally with a guy for the first time. Of course after such a feat I wanted to hear what the Lord had done for his soul! He said he didn't feel like he could type it out on the fly so he suggested to start a hangout so he could tell me without writing it. {Yeah, that option would've been nice. ;P}
But it was getting late and I had to work the next day so I turned that down. But I assured him that maybe we could another time...soon! I really did want to hear his story because the truth was, I pretty much knew NOTHING about his background and life-story. I wondered if he even cared to share his...maybe he just asked for mine to be random. When will we ever hangout so he can tell me?, I wondered. I really wanted to know his story!!! My head was full of these frantic feelings. 
The next morning I had an email. There in my inbox was "Trevor Ruby has shared a post directly with you on Google+." 
I checked it.
"So I videoed my testimony. Sorry it's so long."
I immediately made a beeline for YouTube. There were two videos (part one + part two) that together were about 20 minutes of him telling his testimony. He had held his phone for 20 minutes videoing himself...for hear his testimony...which exceedingly blessed my heart and soul. I couldn't stop smiling and "Amen"ing the whole way was just that good! I appreciated it so much. At first I couldn't help but stare "into his eyes" because I was blown away by the passion with which he spoke. But halfway through something about it was too much for me so I just looked away from the screen the rest of the time and listened intently. Deep inside me something occurred. It was small...seemingly insignificant but there nonetheless. "So this is what makes this guy who he is. Like this is him summarized...." Then the tiniest of tiny voices inside me said, "I think I might kind of really like it." Whatever "it" was that made me feel that way....that "drawn to him" feeling I had never had like this before. Drawn to what? I wondered. Days went by and that little persistent spark remained as I read his posts, his thoughts, his words. Having heard how the Lord saved him had awakened a new sense of awareness to everything he did. That "it" that I found myself admiring was nothing less than his heart of hearts.

Within days of him sharing his testimony a dear pastor from Sedalia, MO and father of our friends, Bob Jennings, who had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for a few years passed away. It was two days before Rachel's 20th birthday. We were having a small employee birthday party for her at the office when we found out.

This is literally about 10 minutes before we heard the news. 

We both felt like the wind had been knocked out of us. Our hearts were so so heavy. We hugged and wept together...something we had actually never done before. She hadn't really planned much for her birthday but after the news, the plans became even more nonexistent. We heard the funeral was going to be on Saturday and the Greenes were definitely going. I expected that our sleepover plans would not stand and we would just spend Thursday {her birthday} together since they were leaving so early Friday morning. But turns out she did want me to spend the night Thursday and they said they could drop me off on their way to Missouri Friday morning. 
Thursday night we were hanging out watching the Voice with Mrs. Greene in their bedroom and I was on my laptop. Lo and behold, Trevor and I started chatting. We talked about the video I made for Rachel's birthday and then he mentioned wanting to watch our other lip sync videos that Rachel, Amanda, and I had made.
{call me maybe + baby}
As we chatted I thought to myself, "Rachel is about to see him...and all our other friends in a little over 24 hours."
The next morning we woke up, packed up the Greenes' car for their big whirlwind trip, and hit the road. It's a 30 minute drive from their house to mine. In the first 5-10 minutes Mrs. Greene had the crazy idea of inviting me to go with Missouri. I thought for sure it would be a no-go since it was such short notice but to be nice I called my mom to ask...she called my dad...
They said yes.
I talked to my mom on the phone the rest of the way to my house to tell her what to pack for me. I was literally shaking I was so shocked, and nervous, and excited, and overwhelmed. I knew the funeral was going to be a tremendous blessing and that so so so many people I know and love and MISS would be there. We swung by my house, I did a last minute check to see if I had everything I needed and then we were off. I was actually factually headed to Missouri. I was going to see Amanda! and Abby! and everyone!
Once we got to Sedalia we were able to go have dinner at the Hargraves' house, Abby's family! {I LOVE them!!} And Stephen, Abby's then fiancé {now husband}, was there too! It was a wonderful evening of much laughter, fun, rejoicing, sharing, praying, reflecting, and fellowship. :) 
The next day was, of course, the funeral. We got to the school auditorium, where the funeral was being held,  really early with the Kellys {Amanda's family} so we pretty much watched  everyone come in. SO many people I knew came through those doors. My heart was pounding and full...mostly because I hadn't gotten over the fact that I had really gotten to come with the Greenes; total spur of the moment. It was such a rush of overwhelming emotions all at once. Sadness, and joy, and thankfulness. It was a blessing to see so many Christians, who had been deeply touched by Bro. Bob's life and ministry, who were rejoicing even through sorrow because such a mighty man of God had gone home to be with his Savior. It was almost too much to fully comprehend. 
It seemed like the flood of people would never stop...I grinned from ear to ear as I saw each familiar face come through the door. All of a sudden I saw Ryan and Jamie, a newly married couple from Kirksville that I'm friends with, file in. The room was relatively packed at this point so I had to start craning my neck to see who was coming. Ryan is pretty tall so I couldn't see who was behind him at first but as he and Jamie came in and moved to the side a bit,
there. he. was.
In the flesh, Trevor. Ruby.
And for whatever reason I suddenly lost all feeling in my entire body and I'm surprised I didn't melt to the floor. My mouth got dry, my knees grew weak, and my head got dizzy. 
My thoughts were screaming and everything else felt sluggish and silent. Movies aren't always very accurate about these kinds of things but what I was feeling felt stupidly like silver screen material. I whipped around, faced forward, and slumped in my seat trying to focus on breathing normally. 
"Ooookay, that's officially the weirdest feeling I've ever had."
The funeral began. There were several men that stood up and gave outstanding and powerful gospel messages and memorials to Bro. Bob. My heart was extremely blessed by them as I sat there, tearing up, and trying to listen attentively. But there in the back of my mind was the thought of my poor body's random decision to stop functioning properly all of a sudden. As the service went on I was able to regroup and ignore what had just happened...I had almost throughly convinced myself that it was nothing. As the funeral came to a close, I wiped away my tears, slowly turned my head a bit and cut my eyes to catch a glimpse of him on the bleachers behind me just to confirm that it truly was nothing. The look lasted a millisecond at the most and I darted my eyes back to the front of the room as I swallowed hard.
"Since WHEN has he been THAT attractive?!?! Is that a new thing? I'm pretty sure that has to be new."
When the funeral was over all the people in chairs went out first. As we walked past the bleachers I fully looked straight at him. Stared him down to be exact....once I noticed he wasn't looking at us, of course. Half of me was screaming, "Eye contact! Make eye contact with me! Please!" While the other half was more along the lines of, "Laaaawd have mercy, don't let him look at me or my legs really WILL turn to jell-o! I'll never make it out alive!"
Once we were heading outside, Rachel ran back in to go to the bathroom. I stood right inside the door to wait for her. I was keeping my eyes peeled for her in the huge convince myself that I wasn't frantically looking for him in that sea of faces.  
She finally emerged and we ran to the car. I hadn't seen him. "Oh well. I don't care. I mean...I do.....but why?! I shouldn't! But I do! Snap....something is seriously up with me today."
I was yanked out of the raging ocean of thoughts I was drowning in by Rachel saying, "I ran into Trevor as I was coming out of the bathroom." 
I looked at her for a moment, desperately trying to hide all that I really wanted to say and emote. In a very decidedly calculated voice I said, "Oh really?" And then made my best nonchalant, "Oh that's nice." casual, non-interested face. 
"I told him you were here. He was surprised...he didn't know we were coming. I told him we would see him at the meal." she said. 
My ears perked up.  The meal! I had forgotten about the meal after the graveside service! I had another chance to see him! And talk to him! If I could bring myself to put words together intelligibly and not melt into a puddle in front of him.
Her dad took this moment to interrupt. "We're not going to be able to stay for the meal. We're going to be getting home extremely late as it is staying for the graveside." Rachel nodded. She understood.
The practical part of me understood. But my heart was outraged. 
I had come all the way here and he didn't even see me?! No hello, even?! It took everything in me to stay calm. I was so confused with myself. I suddenly started silently praying, "Lord, I don't know why I care this much...but I do. Please...just let him be at the graveside...and maybe...just maybe...let him see me and me see him." 
I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that the people he was riding with might skip the graveside and head straight over to where they were having the meal. As we arrived and got out of the car my eyes flitted back and forth faster than my brain could keep up. I was getting a headache with all this "stuff" building inside me. Then, far away, I spotted Colin...Trevor's roommate. *Deep breath* and Trevor beside him. *Exhale* Now what?!
We were coming from the right and he from the left. I tried to not make my might-as-well-have-been-beeping-Trevor-radar very apparent as my eyes were locked on him. We got sorta close at one point...close enough for him to see me clearly...if he would just look up from his phone!! Our groups both kind of moved in different directions and a large group of people walked between us. I was pretty much hyperventilating. Then in a moment that seemed to be in slow motion and fast forward all at once, we walked right past each other. My heart was in my throat, "Did I look okay? I had a vague flashback to what I had looked like in the mirror when we left that morning. I had liked my makeup. My hair had looked nice. I was wearing my favorite black dress. But I had been crying. Had my mascara ran? Did I still have that zit I had been battling for a week?! Had the curls in my hair gone flat?!" This was it. A moment worth remembering. My moment to make it or break it. 
He looked up...we made eye contact, shyly smiled, waved, and then we were past each other. I resisted the overwhelmingly urge to turn around and watch him walk away. A wave of relief and panic all at once crashed over me...just in time for a new swarm of butterflies to engulf my insides. That's probably all I'm gonna get. It wasn't much...but it was something. "Whoa. That was an answer to prayer. Thank you, Lord." I whispered as we got situated where we were going to stand and the service began. It was over quickly, we got another short while to talk with Amanda and others. I met Helena and Melissa, some new people I had been looking forward to meeting for awhile. I was probably pitiful company, however. I felt like my eyes were glazed over and my sentences were jumbled. I mostly stuck to listening, nodding, smiling, and politely laughing. All the while my heart was working full steam trying not to burst. I kept him in my sights the whole time but never got any closer to him or spoke with him.

We watched movies in the car on the drive home but I felt like I was looking right through them. I didn't want to talk, or think, or...anything.

Watched North + South and Sound of Music. I should've known something was wrong since I couldn't concentrate on either of those two epic classics! ;)

So much unexpected roller coaster emotion coupled with the sadness of the occasion in the first place left me utterly exhausted. I felt like years had past since just a few days prior, when the world was young and I didn't know any of this was going to happen.
It seemed like I had an inkling of a sudden spiritual "crush" on him the previous week. Check. And now an extremely sudden physical "crush." Huge check.  I tried sorting and contemplating what I was feeling. I just wanted to be home to pour my heart out to my mom. Was this it? Had I found who I officially might like...a lot? Kind of. Maybe? I think. I'm clearly a very indecisive individual. Maybe it was just a fluke moment brought about by shock. 
But then. There it was. That split second moment...that glance of each other that we had shared....replaying in my head like a treasured family movie reel tucked away in the attic that is only brought out on special occasions. He had seen me. He had looked right into my eyes. And smiled. 
I felt completely numb just thinking about it the entire drive home.

to be continued.


  1. Ohhhh the suspense! I can't handle it! :)

  2. how cute is this?!?!? I love it. can't wait for the next installment. :D :D :D

  3. Allix! Ah, this is so good! Cannot wait to read more!! :D

  4. oh my goodness! allix, i can't wait to read the rest!!!

  5. asdfghjkl! this is so freaking cute.
    i can't wait to read the next part.

  6. My goodness, this is positively exciting! You certainly know how to keep your readers in suspense, Allix. :) Can't wait for the next part!!!

  7. lovelovelovelovelove and LOVE this. :)

  8. This is so awesome, Allix! I can't wait till the next part!

  9. I sure hope that "to be continued" is quite soon. Because this is like 10 times better than a chick flick.

  10. The suspense is killing me. Like, literally. :)

    :O :O

  12. Love this so much!! Please post more soon!! :)

  13. Wow so so blessed by Trevor's testimony.. Thanks for sharing and for sharing your heart :)


Hey!! You're commenting!! You are so nice :) Thanks for making my day. :D