A year later I arrived at Franciscan a bright eyed, bright haired, exuberant college freshman. I was excited about everything, all the possibilities that lay ahead for me. My future. God's plan. I would study Theology and Catechetics, find a household, meet life long friends, and maybe even find a husband. I moved into my room in Marian Hall and set out to meet as many people as humanly possible.
I had just gotten out of a three year relationship in high school and wasn't actually interested in dating right away (more just perfecting my eyelash batting) when my parents showed up for Parent's Weekend in the fall. I took them around, introduced them to my friends, dragged them to a Lord's Day, and worshiped with them at a Festival of Praise. After the FOP was over and we were walking around campus my mom said, "I feel like God told me something about your future. He told me that your future husband was in attendance at the FOP and that it was someone you had already met but someone you would never guess." My mind started reeling. "BUT I HAVE A CRUSH ON EVERY BOY!!!" I said in my best teen girl squad voice. I thought back to all the guys I had met and never once did the nice guy from my college visit cross my mind. I learned later that he was, in fact, at that FOP.
I wasn't exactly one for studying first semester freshman year and therefore I found myself spending a lot of time across the courtyard at Trinity Hall. From what I could tell, boys studied far less than girls and they also ate more pizza. Plus if you were a girl they would generally give you this pizza for free. I became friends with many of Kyle's friends. I did remember him from my visit a year prior but since I doubted he remembered me I kept my mouth shut.
Over the course of many months we because friends. I helped him bake a cake for his girl friend's birthday and he talked to me about my crush and encouraged me to "go for it". Over the summer I went to a retreat in San Antonio, Texas and he drove from Houston, just for the day, to visit with me. Still, no where in my mind did I think that we would ever date.
Kyle went to Austria in the fall of my sophomore year and during that semester I began my plans to study there in the spring. I thought about him occasionally but nothing more than I thought about anyone else who was studying abroad that semester too. During the winter, after he had gotten back from his semester, I had a complete nervous breakdown about traveling. I had never left my family for that long before and was scared out of my mind. I sent him a message online and he immediately called me and talked me down. Then he spent a good half hour talking my mom down too. After my mom hung up the phone she turned to me and said, "Who was he and can you date him?" I laughed at her and said, "Oh that's Kyle. We are just friends."
Over my semester in Austria I remember vaguely feeling a little, tiny bit disappointed to learn he had started dating someone but was confused as to why that was and pushed it out of my head. Really, what was going on back on campus was the furthest thing from my mind. When I got back from that semester I had changed a lot. I had seen the world, spent so much time before Our Lord in prayer, been there for a wake of John Paul the II and the installation mass of Benedict the XVI, made new friends, hitchhiked an 18 wheeler, and gone through my first ever heartbreak.
I would go to adoration every day and had spent every moment praying to understand the verse, "The Lord in my Shepherd, I shall not want." I had realized that there was so much in my life that I had desired that I had lost sight of the only One who could truly fill my heart. I prayed every day to love God above all else to the point where I would want nothing else except Him. I prayed that I wouldn't want to have a husband but to have Jesus, to not want to be a nun but to want Jesus, to not want friends but to want Jesus, to not want people to admire me but to want Jesus. I had never focused on something so hard for so long in my entire life. The ADD girl who couldn't focus a thought was gone, I was focused on becoming God's and God's alone.
As soon as my plane touched down in Connecticut I began making plans to visit campus before everyone left for the summer, as our semester had ended a couple of weeks before theirs. While I was visiting Franciscan before summer break I met up with Kyle and we decided to get lunch. I told him all about my semester and my heartbreak and how God was changing me. He told me how glad he was that I was doing so well and said, "You'll find someone. I mean, I'm not sure if I could ever date you because you are crazy but I'd marry you." And then I cracked up, because I am crazy, and he knew it.
The next semester Kyle broke up with his girlfriend and I tried to be there for him as best I could as a friend. After I visited my family over a long weekend he picked me up from the airport and we hung out, got ice cream, and just talked. Kyle told me later that he remembered thinking, "I just need to find someone like Sarah" but that he didn't think that would lead to dating me. And I was happy being his friend but I figured that I was God's now so I didn't want to be in a relationship.
Or so I thought....