To understand this next part, how completely random it was, you have to understand a thing or two about Kyle. He never gets lost. Ever. In fact I am relatively certain that in the entire time we have been together that he only has gotten lost once, that first night when we went on date night.
|Our first picture together|
We decided to go to mass off campus together the next day and so in the morning Kyle picked me up at my dorm and we went to Saint Peter's. During the mass that verse that I had been meditating on for the past nine months kept coming up. The responsorial psalm, "The Lord is my Shepherd I Shall Not Want." The homily, "The Lord is my Shepherd I Shall Not Want." The communion hymn, "The Lord is my Shepherd I Shall Not Want." By the end of mass I was sure God was trying to tell me something.
After mass was over we decided to go out to breakfast and on the way there we started talking about Canada and how I had never been before. Kyle said, "Well, it's like four hours from here. We could go sometime." I said, "What are you doing today?"
We turned the car around at Lovers Lane (I'm not kidding, an actual street in Steubenville), headed back to campus for our passports, and took off for Niagra Falls. At that point both of our roommates, a future best man and bridesmaid, were convinced that we would get married.
Over the course of the day and the long car ride we discussed our relationship and decided to discern whether or not we were called to date while we worked on growing our friendship. I was sure of one thing though, no matter what happened I had never felt as much myself as when I was around Kyle and I had never felt like that self was so appreciated, all of its different aspects.
I gave it over to God and over Thanksgiving break Kyle showed his friends back home pictures of the girl he liked from Connecticut. We spent a lot of time together when we got back from Thanksgiving and decided that he should drive me home to Connecticut before Christmas break, ya know... on his way to Texas, and spend some time with me and my family. I also strongly suggested that he should ask my dad permission to pursue me. I'm traditional that way.
My family loved Kyle. My mom, who had known all my previous crushes were not right within the first few minutes of meeting them, told me how much she thought he liked me (and of course reminded me about her comment to me the semester before Austria). He talked to my dad about wanting to pursue a relationship and discern a future with me and my dad gave us his blessing and then bragged to his collegues about the young man who showed him so much respect the next day.
Our first "official" date was to New York City where we went ice skating again, dined at a fancy restaurant, and went to mass together. He headed back to Texas as my boyfriend, although even at that point I was pretty positive that he was also my future husband.
Over the next eleven months our relationship progressed steadily. We spent time with each other's friends and families, talked about our dreams, prayed about our future, encouraged each others independent growth, and he took me flying in those tiny, little planes. Kyle took me out on sweet dates and always made sure that those dates included at least a little time in prayer, usually at our favorite church in Pittsburgh.
He showed me respect and love and selflessness that I had never experienced in a relationship before. He protected my purity. I had also never experienced so much growth before. I was able to love him and still keep God as the center of my world and my highest priority. Our friendship was natural and we talked and laughed effortlessly. We shared many interests and what we didn't already share we learned about out of love for the other. I didn't look for him to complete me, I was already a whole and confident person, but he made me a better person without changing who I was.
By the time we went back to school for the fall of my senior year we were both positive that we would be engaged by the end of the year. Our relationship couldn't get any better.
Or so I thought....