Before the flowers.
The I do’s.
John and I started dating on February 20, 2014. We met at North Carolina Central University at an Impact Leadership conference. We went through the initial honeymoon phase that most couples go through, staying on the phone till 5 am on some nights. Since I didn’t have a car John took any opportunity he could to come see me. On our very first date we were literally inseparable (my love language is physical touch, don’t judge). But around August things started getting heated, and not in a fun way. I was entering my senior year in college and he had just graduated. So the amount of stress we were under in addition to the distance, started to take its toll on the relationship. We argued over simple things. It got to the point that every time we talked on the phone we were yelling at each other. This caused me to shut down emotionally and start looking for acceptance in other places. Since I couldn’t do anything right, I started spending more time intentionally hanging out with a group of friends later…and later. Just so I wouldn’t have to end my day with an argument. It got to the point that I dreaded talking to him on the phone and I’m sure he felt the same way. The mistake that both of us made during this time was continuing to “talk” to other people while we were mad at each other. This led to John getting so mad that he drove from Charleston SC to Durham, NC after he got off work one night, uninvited. The argument that happened once he got there was not pleasant. My friends were so worried that they came by and checked on me because they didn’t know if we were physically fighting or not. I don’t remember how but we managed to make but we did. The sad part came when John got in an accident on the way home that should have killed him. I was so thankful he was alive I forgot that we neglected to do something very important; we didn’t deal with the root issue of our problems and we didn’t cut off our “backup” people.
We paid for this mistake later in February 2015.
It was our one year dating anniversary and John came up to New Bern, NC to visit, through a horrific ice storm no less. Tensions were already high from the argument the night before, so by the time he got there the only people that talked to John when he came to pick me up were my parents. I was in graduate school at this point and still under and enormous amount of pressure to perform. John had a job at a mental health facility which put him in harm’s way on a daily basis. Needless to say we were both at the end of our rope with this relationship. I didn’t want to deal with the pressure anymore, and as John was helping me with some of my homework, he looked at me and closed the computer. He knew I was distracted by our issues and therefore nothing he said could help me understand my assignment. So we finally put everything out in the open. After a long conversation and a lot of prayer, we switched phones, I deleted his back up people and he deleted mine. It wasn’t easy to do but it was the turning point in our relationship. We started opening up to each other emotionally in ways that we hadn’t before. By forcing myself to be faithful emotionally he started getting under my skin in a good way. Letting him into my heart where I hid all of my darkest secrets, even when it hurt solidified our relationship. Fast forward to April 20th 2016 and it’s the day before my wedding. Amazingly I wasn’t really nervous. After all we had been through I couldn’t wait to be Mrs. Sells, I had earned it!
So what’s the moral of this love story?
Be completely you and completely present in your relationships. Sweeping issues under the rug will cause extra tension. It is ALWAYS best to pull problems up from the root and to stay emotionally open at all times. Yes this will cause you pain at times but in the long run it is worth it. Love is always worth it!