My favorite love story: Part 2
Jared and I met in New Zealand and got married exactly seven months later. Many of you were interested to hear about our whirlwind romance! For the story of how I came to NZ and met Jared, click here to read part one of our love story.
It was the morning after I had met Jared and he’d asked for my number. I didn’t check my phone right away because I had stayed the night at my friends house and I hadn’t had much time to think everything over. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to text him back.
When I first announced that I was moving to NZ for six months, e v e r y o n e told me I would meet some cute Kiwi guy and get married. I informed them that, in fact, my one goal was to *not* meet a guy. I wasn’t interested in falling in love with someone who lived on the opposite side of the globe. Nope, not for me.
At this point I had been in NZ for over three months, and to be honest I was homesick. I had a great church and friends and had been on lots of fun adventures, but I still missed home. I was very sure that I would visit NZ again sometime, but I wouldn’t want to live there long-term again.
All this was going through my head but at the same time, just the week before, I had spent a lot of quiet time with the Lord and finally surrendered to whatever He wanted for me. Even if it meant a Kiwi guy sweeping me off my feet. You never know what the Lord has in store for you, and when you say ‘I absolutely will not…’ you might miss out on some pretty amazing things.
Finally I decided to reply to Jared’s text, and we began to get to know each other. Over the next few weeks we texted more and more regularly and I found he was a kind, genuine, and godly man. I decided to ask him to come visit me (he lived in Whangarei and I lived in Arapuni – around five hours drive apart). I asked Ben and Adalia if it was okay, since I was living with them. They didn’t mind, but my sister gave it to me straight up – a long distance relationship is very hard.
Jared was more than happy to come visit me and we began to make plans. But as the date of his visit drew nearer, and I thought more about what my sister had said, I began to grow anxious. I knew that Jared visiting, and seeing each other in person again, would be a step forward in our relationship. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that.
Jared and I had only known each other for a few weeks at this point, but I knew that he really liked me, and because we were from different countries, I was due to go back home in a few months, and we believe in intentional relationships, I was already thinking about the future. If our friendship continued, and turned into something more, and if we did someday get married, one of us would eventually join the other. It wouldn’t be fair to ask Jared to consider moving to the US if I wasn’t willing to move to New Zealand. We both had to be willing. I wasn’t, not yet, anyways.
I finally decided I had to tell Jared not to visit. The whole morning I was so anxious and I didn’t text him because I didn’t know how to say it. He had quickly become a good friend and I enjoyed texting him. If I told him not to come, he might get upset, and never want to talk to me again.
Eventually I couldn’t put it off any longer and I told him, I’m not sure if you should come visit.
His response surprised me. Yes, he was disappointed, I could tell. But he moved on and continued talking to me as usual. He still wanted to be my friend, regardless, and for that I was so thankful.
Towards the end of January, Adalia and I went on a week-long holiday to Australia. We had an amazing time relaxing in the sun and eating an embarrassing amount of ice cream, and had a few fun adventures as well – you can read more about it here and here! While we were in Australia, we ran out of wifi and I couldn’t text Jared for a whole day. I was upset because I didn’t want Jared to think I was ignoring him! I felt so bad – I really didn’t want to hurt him. Finally the next day I was able to connect to wifi and I was so relieved to text Jared and let him know that I wasn’t ignoring him!
It was then that I realized that I really liked him…