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Our Love Story: Part Seven

Friday, February 16, 2018

Three months later.. your next installment. Oopsie! Let's get this thing wrapped up over the next few weeks, shall we? Haha!

Where we had left off I told Ben that we didn't need to be in contact with each other for any reason. Even with our awkwardness of heartbreak, we still talked every so often and it just wasn't healthy. That semester I totally cut off and it was misery but I poured myself into other things. 

Side note: this is what my room in college looked like at this time.. I just have to share for old times sake. 



I remember thinking that this was truly the cutest room ever and that I had such a knack for styling and design... LOL!!! 

Anyways, I spent my time forming new friendships and just settling into life as a student at A&M. 




Around the middle of the semester the employee of the mission organization who lead our trip to Mexico reached out to me because he was leading a small group of college students on a trip to Romania and wanted me to consider going. I thought about it, prayed about it.. and really felt like it would be an awesome fit. I honestly remember even thinking that it might be a cool opportunity to meet some God fearing boys from other colleges to get over my heartbreak that continued to loom in my life. I specifically remember in this season of life that whenever I had long drives (something I feel like is common in college.. so many road trips!) I would cry and just not be able to escape my thoughts about the situation. I constantly prayed for the Lord to change my heart and help me be over Ben. It felt like something that was holding me back from living my best life, honestly. Why was I so on fire for God and His kingdom yet I spent so much time thinking about.. a boy? It didn't make sense to me at all. 

Thanksgiving break arrived quickly and I'll remind y'all of my close relationship with our youth pastor and their family. I was saying hello to people at church that Sunday and I told Josh about the trip I had signed up for.. and we were talking about the idea of me coming along with the youth group's planned trip for the summer to Seattle with the same organization. Josh said "Okay so I'm not trying to tell you not to go on this trip but I'm curious why you thought it was a good idea for you and Ben to go on the same trip?" What. This was an original mic drop moment. I immediately burst into tears and it was clear I had no idea. I had to hit the road to get back for finals but Josh was like "Breathe.. we'll figure this out." 

.... And then I proceeded to be really in denial about the situation and talk to almost nobody about it over the next month. I just processed I guess. It's pretty out of character looking back but I just needed to sit and dwell in this information. At this point I knew 8 or so students were going on the trip. Five would travel together from DFW. Groovy. I knew that the way airplane seats were assigned was in alphabetical order so I imagined it was pretty likely that Strader and Todd were seated beside each other for a long flight to Europe. Lots to process. I wondered if I needed to bring it up to Ben or not. Finally after a really hard Christmas holiday, I reached out to him and told him we needed to talk. We were both in and out of town over break so really the only time we could meet was back in College Station. We were both driving back on the same day so literally completed the drive separately and then met at a park by his house and I told him my discovery. 

I don't remember a ton about this conversation except for the fact that in later years Ben told me that when I told him he was like "okay cool so this is my wife!" Haha. I think in this conversation it also came out that Ben was considering going to Seattle too. The trips were almost back to back. Just five days at home in between two and a half weeks of travel. What a weird situation. 

Over the course of the semester we started talking again. It got to a point where we would text all day every day. We played words with friends with each other (haha!) and I specifically remember stopping responding to texts at a certain time of night so I could respond the next morning and ensure that we'd talk for another day. We met up about once a week or every two weeks and I didn't tell anyone about it because I didn't want to get my hopes up. 

One pivotal time we met at Starbucks because Ben had felt strongly lead to apologize to me for how he ended things and how he gave me so much heartbreak and so little closure. It was a really good conversation. I don't exactly remember what we said but we agreed to leave the status of our relationship up in the air and not talk about any of it until we returned from the trips. 

So.. we went to Romania. I can't remember why or now but we decided to take photos of this little plastic squirrel toy in all of our destinations... so make note of that in some of the photos. I was really passionate about not sharing any of our back story with anyone on the trip. It felt immature and dramatic to me and so basically we just appeared like two weirdos from the same hometown who clearly had some sort of relationship but weren't dating. No one ever asked me but I'm sure they wanted to.. we had so many rich conversations over the course of that week. 











Some of these photos are also from Budapest.. where we spent a few days at the end of the trip. It was honestly a great time and we enjoyed each other's company, and the company of everyone else on the trip. I was right, and we sat side by side on most of the plane rides. It was fun because I had grown up taking international flights, and I got to share a lot of those memories with Ben as we traveled. 

Towards the end of the trip our leader who had become a friend to all of us asked me while we were walking through Budapest.. "So you realize that when you get married one day you and Ben won't be able to be friends anymore.. unless you marry each other? Why haven't y'all considered that?" (paraphrase from my memory haha!) This was his way of saying okay girl the gig is up what's the deal... so I told him all of it. I remember him being like "Well I have an excellent feeling about this!" 

We got home, had a few days to recover, and I was loving every second. We were getting so much time together and it honestly felt like a dream come true. 

Going into this trip I felt the same way about the other one.. I was going to remain tight lipped about what was going on. Even though several people on the trip were my dearest friends. Looking back that is so weird, haha. On the flight to Seattle I sat by my friend Susan and her personality is very tell it like it is... the second we sat down she was like "okay spill." So I did. It ended up being really good for me that she knew what was going on and could be supportive of me throughout the week.

This time Ben and I were placed in the same group, so we spent the week side by side sharing the gospel with people, handing out food to the homeless community of Seattle, etc. I have a really sweet hard copy photo that someone took of us sitting together with a homeless man talking to him. I'm not sure where that is, actually. But we had a really good week, lots of growth individually, and together. 




And... we'll stop there! :) Promise you'll be hearing more in less than THREE MONTHS! Haha!! 

3 comments:

  1. Hey Victoria - so you are an Aggie! Whoop! Europafox x

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  2. That picture of you looking at Ben squinting his eyes looks SO much like Beau! It's like looking into his future teen years!

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  3. It's fun looking at early relationship photos isn't it? I was looking at some of Kevin and I's last week and it just makes me smile and feel silly all at once, haha

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