Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Our Story


Today will be a long post full of lots of interesting facts, a story that I absolutely love and treasure and some raw honesty as well. I haven't ever done this before but have felt compelled to share Zach and I's story from the past five years.. I think being a blogger is more than just sharing beauty and fashion tips but also sharing a glimpse of real life.
I can't believe it's actually been five years since Zach and My journey began. It feels like just yesterday (but also decades ago) that we started "dating." I use that term lightly only because we were fifteen and sixteen and couldn't drive anywhere together. 😉  So let's just say friends that liked each other a lot. lol

It all started back in the summer of 2011 when I met Zach's mom (Chenoa) and sister (Bailey) on a church youth group trip. We were headed to Daytona Beach Florida for a conference and I immediately hit it off with his mom and sister. (Fourteen hours in the car will do that to you, right?)
Our trip was sweet and fun and Chenoa had mentioned that she had a son and another daughter. I didn't think much of it until after we came back from Florida and I saw Zach. I'll just say that the first time I saw him I was a little starstruck but it turns out he was dating another girl. So I let that go and went on my merry way.

Later that summer, in July I want to say, I saw Zach, Bailey and their dad (Tom) at another youth event. We were camping on the church property but eating at a restaurant before. It had been awhile since I had seen Zach but I felt a little more confident to approach him since another girl wasn't with him. I was my loud bubbly self talking and carrying on about who knows what. Zach didn't say too much because lets just say, back in the day, he was rather shy, but that didn't really stop me. 😂  Nothing happened that night other than a sweet conversation between the four of us.

In August, Zach, Bailey, my brother Zak and I all hung out together one day in August. It was a fun time, but Zach was still dating the other girl so nothing really happened. Just a sweet cordial friendship hanging out outside, watching movies and just having good fun. Zach had asked for my number that night we all hung out (not really sure why, to be totally honest) and I gave it to him but we never texted. 

Now, let's go to November of that same year (2011).. I was going to a Christian school part time and being homeschooled the other half (interesting fact #1 if you didn't already know that about me). There was an event at the Christian school and it turns out Zach and his mom were at the event. Again, Zach and I's relationship at the time was purely friends. We didn't talk other than if I saw him on Sunday's or other events. Zach's throat was hurting that night and his mom asked if I could find Zach a glass of water. Once I got Zach the glass of water he asked me if he could sit with me. To be totally honest, I was completely shocked. I had no idea why he wanted to sit with me or even hang out with me but I said yes and we enjoyed the show. Zach was much more talkative than he had ever been towards me that night. He asked if I was attending a youth event that weekend and I was. This is where I like to say that the spark started. 😉

That weekend at the youth retreat, Zach and I completely hit it off. Everyone in the group was talking and basically predicting when we would start dating. It was that weekend that I was just 😍  for Zach.

High school spirit day! 


Between the time of November and January 1st is when we were talking and I was basically getting permission to date Zach before I was 16 (interesting fact #2, in my house the dating age was 16). My parents agreed to let me date at fifteen and a half which is what age I was when Zach and I officially started dating. Before we started dating though we hung out lots of times, but a chaperon always had to be with us and we also had to use separate blankets (interesting fact #3) 😂. My dad actually had to go out Zach to chat about his intentions, why he liked me and go over some ground rules. One of those ground rules was.... no kissing until you've been dating a year. (When I tell people that, most fall out of their chair completely and say "you didn't actually follow that did you?") Zach and I went 11 months before we kissed (interesting fact #4). It was right around Thanksgiving when we finally did. But I'm jumping a little ahead of myself... in between January 1st and November, lots happened! We celebrated our first Valentine's Day, went on a huge mission trip to Guatemala, told each other we loved each other and all that mushy gushy young love stuff. I want to say for that first whole year we weren't allowed to drive alone together, one of our parents always had to be with us. I don't think our first date was until December or January of 2013. I can't quite remember but regardless there were lots of rules that Zach and I were asked to abide by and we did. As hard as they were, it was really good for us and truly what I believe to be the beautiful Godly foundation that we have. Another thing that Zach and I talked about and agreed on from the beginning was that we would save sex for marriage and I am proud to say that we are still saving that. I don't share that to make you impressed or make anyone feel bad if that's not the decision that you've made but to encourage you that if you set your mind to something and really feel strongly about it, you can do it. Don't let society or anyone tell you its not worth it. Fight for what you believe is right, regardless of what it is.

So lets fast forward to graduation in May of 2014. Zach and I have been dating for over two years at this point and are about to endure long distance. His family was moving to California and my family was moving to Texas. We didn't know if long distance would work but we wanted to give it our best shot, praise God we did! Long distance, up until that point had been the hardest thing that we had endured. If you are currently in a long distance relationship, be encouraged to know that they are hard hard work and you aren't alone in thinking or feeling like that. How can you connect with someone other than over Facetime or the phone? The physical aspect of your relationship is out and so with Zach at times it just felt like the sweetest friendship which is great but its not just a friendship, its more than that. My advice for you is if you're currently in a long distance relationship, make time for talking on the phone every night (or whenever is best for you) just like you would with every other relationship. Get games that you can play each other like Words with Friends or something competitive that makes you feel like you're close throughout the day. Get a book and read it together and talk about it a couple times a week. Pick a TV show and designate a time you can walk and then text each other throughout. These are just some of the things Zach and I did that made all the
difference.

Now back to the story..

After about 8 months or so, on March 10th of 2015 Zach enlisted into the Air Force and was off to boot camp for 8 weeks. Our communication was cut off completely only to a few mere letters. This was about the time when I personally hit rock bottom and started to struggle with major anxiety and depression. I wasn't passing my classes, I had no friends in Texas and I felt my absolute worst. Zach had been my companion during the huge move to Texas and starting a brand new phase of life. When he left, I really struggled. I learned a lot about not depending on the person you are with to complete you but instead compliment you. It's okay to be sad and miss them but you can't stop your life if they aren't with you. You have to keep pursuing what you are called to. I was becoming co dependent and so I had to work through some of that as well. But through it God was faithful.. I learned a lot and grew a lot in 8 weeks.

Excuse the poor picture quality, but this was when we were reunited for the first time in October of 2014 after saying goodbye in July!



Zach made it through boot camp and we were reunited in late April right as I was finishing up my freshman year. After basic Zach stayed in San Antonio, he pursued two different career paths with the Air Force but the Lord shut the doors. During that time period in the fall of 2015 was when I actually thought for awhile that Zach and I were going to break up. I was struggling to love myself with my anxiety and depression and couldn't even begin to think about another person and caring for them. I felt in my heart that we needed to take a break and to be totally honest, I wasn't sure if we were going to get back together but I asked him for some space with zero communication. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. It wasn't something I had been planning but one day just woke up and knew it was what I needed to do. I really hurt him by doing so because I didn't have an explanation other than "this is what I feel is right" but I had to trust my gut and know that if our relationship was going to last I needed some space. Throughout those six weeks I cried a lot, sought Jesus and worked at becoming healthier. In October, we were able to talk through a lot and I was in a more stable place to be able to love someone. Even though that period was one of the hardest I truly believe it's the reason we are so close and have such a deep appreciation for one another.

Zach's first day in Texas = no more long distance!

So like I said, during our break Zach's original career plans were being rerouted and he opted for become a Mechanic. He left for California not long after we got back together. Once his training was done he was stationed in west Texas in April of 2016. I cannot believe that he has been within a few hours of me for close to a year! We are now in 2017 and absolutely loving life and our situation. 

It's been a roller coaster for sure. I can't believe how far we have come and what more life will throw at us. Zach is so much more than I could ask for, such a Godly man, who loves me and treats me with so much respect. He has such a heart to help and serve others. It's one of my favorite things about him! We laugh till we are practically peeing our pants and I truly can't get enough of him. 😊


Anyway, if you're still reading..thank you for listening to my long winded story! I hope throughout you've been encouraged. I am not a relationship expert by any means but if you need encouragement please shoot me an email! I'd love to chat with you! Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Thank you so much for reading!!! 

5 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing!! And good for you for being true to yourself -- you're absolutely right in that you have to be able to be ok on your own and not burden the other person with making you happy. I wish you both all the best in your future!!

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  2. Such a sweet story :') This post was so fun to read!!

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  3. Wow what an amazing love story! I relate to a lot of what you shared (long distance relationship with an Airman, struggling to fight anxiety/depression, finding your independence) and it is SO encouraging to hear your story. Thank you for sharing :)

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  4. I loooove your story! My hunk and I are also waiting til marriage, so I can totally relate to you. I struggled with finding my independence also, it was rough! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story!

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  5. It is so awesome to read about another believer who is staying Pure and not afraid or ashamed to share it with the world! I also loved reading your open, and real post about your relationship and life. I would love if it you did more posts like these, sharing whats happening in your world and what God is teaching you!

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