I started attending a singles’ Bible study in Atlanta called 7|22, led by Louie Giglio. It was a great study attended by hundreds of people. Honestly, I was also hoping to meet some eligible Christian singles of the male variety while I was there. (I know. God had already introduced me to The One, but since neither Russ nor David seemed to have gotten that same memo, I thought I must have been mistaken. David had made it clear he only wanted to be friends, so I was moving on.)
One night after the study, all of the cars had a piece of paper left on the windshield advertising a Valentine’s singles dance (to be held on February 28th, for some odd reason). Thinking that lots of the people in the Bible study might also be there, I really wanted to go. But I did not want to go alone since I had a history of attracting strange weirdos in situations like that.
Defying all logic, I invited David to go with me. The same David who had just recently started walking on crutches with his new leg for some reason agreed to go to a dance with me. So it was all planned. He would go with me to fend off any weirdos, and I would be there looking for love.
I needed a new dress for this occasion. Having never been a sorority girl, I kind of envied those who owned a Little Black Dress. I found one I thought would be just right.
David arrived on Friday afternoon (having recently upgraded to a cane), and the plan was for him to head back to Alabama that night after the dance was over. Since I had just gotten back from class, I went into my room to change into the dress pictured above. I walked out and, for David, everything changed in an instant. (Remember my big turning point that day in the hospital? Well, this was David’s big turning point. He finally realized his buddy Laura Pearson was a woman.)
He didn’t say anything right then, but he mentioned that it might be best if he spent the night on our couch and went back home on Saturday instead. (My apartment consisted of 4 tiny bedrooms – I had 3 roommates – two bathrooms, and a common living area and kitchen.) We went to the dance, and I have to tell you, it was one of the saddest looking things I’ve ever seen. There were all of maybe 10 people in attendance, and I was extra-glad to not be there alone because the other men there were of the creepy weirdo variety.
When a slow song came on, we hobbled out to the dance floor and did that high school homecoming dance stand-in-one-place-and-sway move. Each time walking back to our table, he’d hold my hand just a bit longer. Eventually, he quit letting go altogether.
After an hour or so, we decided to go get some supper. We ended up at J Alexander’s. While we were sitting in the waiting area, a random man started serenading us. (That sounds like it would be really weird, but he was a great singer, so it was actually an incredible moment.) After supper, we went back to my apartment and sat talking and laughing way into the night as my roommates, one by one, came back home from wherever they had been.
Then he kissed me, and this time, there were sparks aplenty!
We stayed up talking and smooching until around 4am. During that time, David started talking about making plans for our future. Yes, we were talking about marriage on our first real date.
We already had a solid friendship. We already had shared beliefs. We had already experienced some “in sickness and in health.” Now we had the one missing piece – chemistry.
We spent all of the next day together after getting some sleep (me in my room, him on my couch), and we went to the Coca-Cola Museum. Sunday morning, he went to church with me, and then it was time for him to head back to Alabama – two days after originally planned.
Less than 3 months later, I had a beautiful ring on my finger.