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Our Love Story: Part Six

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Where we left off, Ben and I have just broken up. Sad. Even typing these parts of the story is hard because I remember how deeply this rocked me. I had found such stability and encouragement in our relationship. It was just really hard. I threw myself into personal growth and really grew in my prayer life. I tried to do whatever I could to not be "a girl who was broken hearted over a boy" and begged God over and over daily to remove the sadness from my heart. I knew that no matter the feat He could provide that but he didn't. Summer was approaching quicker than I would have guessed and the last thing I wanted to do was be at home and risk running into Ben or his family members in our worlds that overlapped in so many ways. Our close friends felt torn and divided between us. I should note that my friend Kristen kept a photo of Ben and I together on her bulletin board this whole time because she believed we'd work it out. 

On a whim I got an email about working at a small Christian camp in Colorado, with a hiking and climbing focus. I emailed and told them that I loved the Lord but had no outdoor skills. I went through the interviews and they assured me I would be fine without those skills. So I went to Colorado. My plan was to get over Ben. 

I got there and pretty quickly it became clear that it was ridiculous that I was ever hired. The job was literally to teach children to repel and things during the day. Not going to happen. This girl was not going to repel herself let alone STRAP PEOPLE'S CHILDREN into repels. NOPE! The head of the camp who hired me also thought this and so we talked and he offered me the position to nanny for his sons while his wife could be more hands on with the camp. I thought about it, prayed about it, and decided to return home. I was embarrassed, but I went because it sounded like a good dramatic story. I thought I was going to have this huge life change in the nature. But I didn't want to be there. So home I came. 

I was so glad to be home and with my people. I had to get stronger though, because I was going to be seeing a lot of Ben. Pretty sure he was playing softball behind the taking of the photo above. 


Here's a photo from after serving at Vacation Bible School, shopping for food for the food pantry with the senior adults. Future grandmother by marriage pictured in the green shirt. This is how involved these worlds were, haha. 

I include this photo of my youth pastor's daughter and I from the family night of VBS that week because I remember breaking down and telling my youth pastor how hurt I still was. I remembered him and his wife telling me when the breakup happened that it was okay to be sad, but they didn't want me to be this sad six months later, or a year later. I told them here we were at the 6 month mark and there wasn't a moment that went by that I didn't miss Ben. This was hard to swallow. It just felt immature and foolish and I hated that. Ben and I still spoke from time to time, but it was hard. I actually can't remember if this was before or after this VBS but when I got home from Colorado the opportunity to take a girl's spot on a mission trip to Mexico had come up. I was really excited about this opportunity, and took the spot. It was a small group from our church, including my future mother in law, father in law, and brother in law. That was really hard and broke my heart. 



The trip was amazing and really strengthened my faith. It was a sweet time, but being in close proximity to Ben's family was just hard at times. I tried really hard to be strong. 

Look at these sunburns!

In true small town fashion, literally Ben and his other brother who remained home from the trip were in charge of picking everyone up from the airport. I'll never forget my mother in law awkwardly trying to encourage conversation between Ben and I, saying "why don't you tell Ben about the man in Mexico that you shared the gospel with?" and me like muttering a few sentences and hoping he didn't notice my sunburn. Things like this are heartbreaking but also hilarious now knowing this is the man who holds my hair back when I get sick from carrying his babies. :) Haha! 

To close the summer, I decided to rush and pledge Kappa Alpha Theta. BEST DECISION EVER. This group of women became the source of my community and friendship for all of college. If I had been really dialed into a hometown relationship, I don't know that I would have done it. One reason I'm thankful for that time apart. 



Shortly after the start of school, I told Ben that I needed to know that we wouldn't speak to each other. I said if we weren't going to be together, we needed to not talk for any reason. We both still texted from time to time and it was just plain unhealthy for me. Fall continued and the fire that had been stirred in my heart in Mexico for international missions grew. The opportunity to go on a really small trip of college students to Romania the next summer became available and I thought and prayed about it. I decided to go. I paid my deposit and actually dreamed of a member of the small team, maybe one of the guys from the other schools, would be able to help me get over Ben. When I went home for Thanksgiving, I was at church after Sunday School sharing with our youth pastor (who if you can't tell was a huge source of guidance and encouragement for all his students) how excited I was for the trip. He took my shoulder and asked me why I thought it was a good idea for Ben and I to go on this small trip together. UH OH. Didn't know that information. Yikes.

More soon! :) 

4 comments:

  1. I am loving these--especially since we know how it ended ha! I don't think I could read these if there weren't a happy ending haha
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  2. Quit teasing us, Victoria! I love reading this story and seeing how God orchestrated things in His perfect timing!

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  3. Ahhh, I love reading these-even though like Sarah said, we know the ending-the suspense to know what happens next kills me!

    xoxo, SS


    Southern and Style

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