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Dating Mr L- Our Love Story

I started writing this a while ago. Sometimes the right words come in random moments and we have to capture them as they might not return quiet the same way.
It’s hard to begin our love story without wanting to paint the real picture. Sometimes we take images and memories and place them into neat little boxes to present to the world but I don’t want to do that. I realize in our story there is restoration that is placed in between the letters He wrote when He was fashioning our story. For the sake of those He wants to kiss with our story, I will to leave it untouched.
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I don’t want to type out a fairy tale and leave out the rough edges. It’s in the roughness him and I have learned to smooth each others ruffled feathers and gift each other new perspectives when we need it. I tease him because I feel like a goose with a million feathers flying upwards in various directions at any given moments, while he remains constant, steady, unmoved even in my wildest moments.He assures me I am indeed a swan in beauty and composure. I tell him I am convinced he only has one feather and it only gets out of place one every 3.5 years. I have yet to see this happen.
So this is for you: a part of our story, a glimpse into us. Raw, gorgeous, messy, unedited, beautiful… ours. And because I am a story teller I must begin with…Chapter One:
When he opened the door for me that day, I didn’t notice him.
I wasn’t there for him.
I was there for because of the stirring in my soul and the intense hunger for the more of God.
Andre would soon become a part of that in a way I never knew.
The kids ran ahead of me dressed as they always were; she was in a princess gown and he was in a super hero cape.
I didn’t  know it then but it was a prophetic declaration of Andre and I. I still wear my princess gown. He wears a super hero cape.
Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 11.20.53 AM(( Image from that day! Just before we walked into church March 17, 2013))I never expected him to be so heroic in my life but in so may ways he saved me from myself. My heart was locked and bound and through patience that mirrors the Father’s love in the gentlest way he taught me how to be willing to open up.He had a key to me I never knew existed, and patience became his anthem of his love.He watched me and waited for months. He listened and learned about who I was without me knowing. Interestingly enough he learned a lot about me here in this blog, the same place you are learning a lot about him. He asked his leaders, my leaders and pastors for permission to pursue me long before I even knew he noticed me or was interested. He wanted a covering, and leaders to submit to that would offer guidance, love, and incredible incite from God. And that they did.

“Say yes to want he asks.” I heard God say as I drove to our second “date”

I didn’t know our first one was even a date or what I was saying yes to…
“Um, ok?” What in the world could he ask me, that I would need to say yes to? I was really clueless.
We sat at lunch, sharing stories and laughing too loud. Before he even held my hand or gave any inclination of interest he asked if I would interested in being in a relationship with him. I didn’t even know if he was interested as he never gave me any inclination he was. But I had my answer already. And before my mind could talk myself out of a great gift, I said yes.
We went from zero to dating and he created a safe little covering for our love to unfold.
God knew I needed that safety. He knew the callus my heart had felt and how I was locked inside myself. He knew my heart and knew I needed a soft sweet gentle romance to kiss my soul open and allow Love to rid me of fear….Fear. It was their. Laying low, sneaking in as I agreed with it.
There aren’t enough pages in books to describe how this man has pursued me in the most gorgeous ways. Far beyond the romantic dates and bunches of flowers that decorated my home, or the dishes being washed and put away while I tucked the kids in bed, he has the most incredible heart of a servant leader… completely!
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But I want to give a little incite from one princess to another; the most incredible men in the world will need time to learn how to romance YOU.
Andre didn’t “just know” what to do. In a lot of ways, his incredible heart lead the way to things I needed that I didn’t even know I did. He cleaned my house, took me to the fanciest restaurants in town, wrote me love notes, brought me flowers, listened to my heart, and told me how gorgeous I am almost daily. He texted me every morning prophesying life over me, telling me how God sees me, and gifting me his words and perspective about how God sees me. WOW!
But in some ways he was still learning me and this confused me for a long time. It made me question a lot of silly things because I had in my mind, the man of my dreams would just “get me.” And he sometimes he didn’t. He had to learn.
AND learn he did.
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(( FOR Christmas he bought me the very mug I wanted, tulle and all! And he went on my pintrest DIY and MADE me glitter jars to decorate my house!)
I also had this fabricated idea that I had gathered from a lot of other love stories. I imagined that when I met the man God wanted me to be with, I would just “know.” Right away, no questions asked.
KNOW.
And when I began dating Andre, I didn’t “just know.” And so I became very anxious. I began building this fear wall little by little to keep me safe from Andre. I had my list of things I wanted in a man and when things weren’t just “perfect” another brick got put up. And so after 3 glorious months of dating the most incredible man, I did what any anxiety ridden princess would do…I ended it.
I broke up with him.
Now this is the part where I had to get really real with God because my heart was broken. I had chosen to love this amazing man who was as sweet and gentle as he was bold and strong. We decided to still be friends and when I called him a few nights after we broke up and these were his words.
“It was an honor serving you.” WHAT! Who says that!? My man 😉
And so I let my broken heart do all of the talking and got real with God. I have never felt as much pain as I felt not being with Andre. My body physically ached.
I wrote this in my journal during that time:
“I don’t know if I’ve written the last  the last paragraph of the last chapter of the last page of the book of us, or Its the first sentence of a new book. But I know this. I’m thankful there was an us, because without you, I didn’t know if I was too broken to love. I didn’t know how Adele and Taylor could write the songs they do when they’ve lost it all. Loosing everything means I gained everything because I can look at you and know I loved. And for that I am thankful. You’re free to fly and if you even come back to me, and your soul wants to kiss mine, I’ll smile because I know, you introduced me to me again. You unlocked my heart to love again, and you didn’t leave me with a set of empty keys to no where, you left me with a ring of keys to everywhere. You left me empowered to unlock every door inside of me I ever locked for fears sake. You left me unveiled to the mystery of being most honest in a whole full of lies. You left me full, of everything, full of you and the parts of you left with me. I hope Love empowers you to feel that way <3 ”
I have learned through this experience that when women cross paths with the other ladies on our lives, we compare notes. we cross the t’s and dot the i’s of the expectations of the men we date in hopes that our guy makes the cut with our bffs.
No one ever talks about the next few paragraphs that I feel are about to spill over onto the white and black space of this moment so bare with me as this will be beautifully raw.
After I broke up with Andre, I was heart sick. I brought my list of expectations of a man to a spiritual father of mine. I frantically told him my expectations of my life, how I had it beautify mapped out and had a plan to keep me safe by creating an imaginary man out of a list of Idealisum. I really believed, that if I had everything on my list, EVERYTHING, I would never repeat the patterns of the past. I was proud of the list. I made me feel like I was not like the naive girls who just run forward with wishes  and give their heart to every heart throb who crosses their path….
And after I stopped talking, he told me to throw out my list.
“WHAT? What do you mean throw it out?”
“That list won’t make a marriage last….”
“But what about the women who had lists. The ones who got everything on their list and more?”
“What are their marriages like?”
“Um…. I don’t know?”
“Throw out the list.”
We can’t keep ourselves from repeating the past by looking at the past and trying not to be it.
We won’t find our story in someones story, so close the books of comparison.
I’ve heard all of the stories. I guess being a story telling innately makes me want to ask anyone and everyone to read me the book of their lives while I rest my elbows on tables and lean my chine to my wrists in eager anticipation of the next page.
I’ve read the love stories over and over. The Christian ones seem to head a main thread that runs along the lines of “I knew when I saw him”… and “God gave me everything on my list and more…”
So where does that leave the rest of Christian women society, looking for the pages of our love stories in the similarities of others?
I stand with my Christian woman hand raised.
Guilty.
I have looked for my love story in the stories I’ve heard. I have walked into a room full of your people waiting for the green angel orb to fall around “The One.”
I never saw the green orb.
What was keeping me from seeing Andre was my own fears that somehow made me feel safe and my false expectations of what I thought would happen.
I had made a list to protect myself but what was incredible was Andre was so much more than a piece of paper with a checklist. He has amazing qualities that I never knew NEEDED to be on that list, like having the heart of a father….
After 2 weeks of my heart being wide open to God I realized along the way, I made a choice to Love Andre. And so I wrote him a letter and told him I love him. I asked to meet with him. I told him, I had let fear rule and and that I had chosen to love him a long time ago, and then I gave him the letter.
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A few weeks later, after much praying he asked me if we could try it again.
I said yes again.
I told him yesterday, it felt like a jump start to our relationship. We both stepped into a transparency we had yet to experience together. We grew together , trusting each other and becoming so much closed because we were both building on our relationship, dismissing fear. Anytime it would creep in Andre would remind me to “remember what God has been telling you…” **SWOON**
Our story is real. We have been through incredible ups and downs and have learned what it is like to stay connected in the most amazing moments and more difficult ones. We don’t have a fairly-tale-perfect- everything- story, we have a God story, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I had no idea that even through the intense healing God brought me through I would still have things to work through, but what is incredible is to have a man who constantly leads me to God’s heart, all along the way. He is a gift, and from the moment he was born his life carried restoration. And then God lead him to me, opened his big brown eye to a short- glittery-cupcake-loving-queen and gave him permission to pursue my heart forever. God is faithful.
And so that is just one chapter in our story, laid out for you to take pieces of it as you need to. I hope this has given you wings to fly in areas where you need them, but most of all I hope this give you hope of God’s love and they ways He choices to restore the things you thought were lost…
Love always,
Julie
FAQ:How long have you been dating? 11 months <3Why didn’t you share your relationship online while dating? At the beginning of our courtship, we did not tell my kids. We wanted to wait until we were at least a few months into dating before they knew. We both attend to the same church so he knew them and took extra time to get to know them whenever he could, even before dating. We really wanted to wait to guard their hearts so we dated in private only inviting our leaders and close family into our relationship until April. We both understood the importance of us dating as a unit and it is most important that those two kids are honored as people in our dynamic! We chose to wait to share it online because we wanted to not have any pressure to move our relationship forward faster. Let’s face it ladies, when a cute girl and a cute boy start dating, we want them to get married ASAP. 😉 We also felt like it would be wise to keep online media posting for when we were engaged because we wanted to honor each other and what God was doing.  Plus we really enjoyed soaking in the moments, putting down our phones and not feeling pressure to post our lives online 😀When’s the wedding? We are still looking at dates but most likely within 4-6 months. We want to have plenty of time to celebrate, plan and prepare for our marriage! Leilie wants it to be now 😀 We kinda do too…;)
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We had a cupcake icing fight. I won 😉
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HOW handsome is he?? I mean really… 😉
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October 13, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Karisa Johnson - I want to cry. This is amazing! I’ve prayed many times for God to bring this man into your life and here he is!! And um, hello handsome. You guys make an adorable couple!! SO happy for you, Julie!

October 13, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Leaha Bourgeois - You GO girl. He is upstanding and handsome! BONUS :)

October 13, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Alicia Candelora Daw - This story, Julie. Is AMAZING. God is so very faithful and I am SO excited for you guys! And…holy handsome!! Jesus definitely wanted to give you an extra specula kiss there 😉

October 13, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Taylor Peak - Swoooooning. This is the BEST! So excited for you my love!

October 13, 2014 - 7:07 pm

Jana Long - oh goodness Julie this is making me all teary eyed! What a beautiful story that could only be written by God – and yes girl – he IS handsome! I am sooooo happy for you! <3

October 14, 2014 - 5:04 am

Kristina Robinson - “It was an honor serving you.” WHAT! Who says that!? My man;) <--- KEEPER FOR SURE! Love everything about this. Love that you kept it off line, love that you placed God as number one, love that we all get to now glow with you. Prays HIM

October 14, 2014 - 5:08 pm

Sabrina - I love your story and I love you so much!! It’s such a true testimony to how beautiful and amazing and wonderful waiting on God’s plans and purposes are! I could not be more excited for you and your handsome man. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you online! 😀 MUAH!!

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