Saturday, February 11, 2012

~Our Love story...part 1~

~Every love story is Beautiful...but OURS is my favorite!!!~  =) 
(Sorry, I don't have any pictures with me of our courting years!)
Phillip was born in Phoenix, AZ...being one of FEW native Arizonans and had grown up living in between AZ and MI.  His best friend in high school was Matt Johnson.  Matt went to Hobe Sound and Phillip went to God's Bible School in 1991.  Earlier my parents had pastored in Louisiana and I became good friends with a girl named Kimberly.   While at Hobe Sound Matt and my friend Kimberly from LA became friends.    
Phillip's parents moved to GBS his 2nd semester and his Dad became the maintenance my opinion the BEST maintenance man they've ever had, I might add.
In January 1991 I visited GBS and the friend I was going to eat lunch with said, "Let's eat lunch with our new maintenance man and his wife, they are SO SWEET!"  So, un-known to me...I ate lunch with my future-in-laws.  (I bet God was smiling!)   
Then at IHC 1991 before I was to go to GBS as a freshman in 1992, my friend Kimberly told me about Matt's friend Phillip D. at GBS and told me that she thought he was a nice guy and that we would make a great couple.  I thought, "That's nice!" Then...because I knew I couldn't just run up to him when I got to GBS and tell him, "Hi, My name's Heather, and I think we'd make a great couple,"  ...I got busy with my Senior year in high school and completely forgot about this guy and his name too.
The summer before I was to come to GBS Matt Johnson called Phillip TWICE and told him, "Make sure and look up Heather B. for I think y'all would make a great couple."  
Meantime I was living in S. Dakota with my parents and during family prayer I asked them to help me PRAY that God would guide me to the right mate at GBS.  I knew I'd probably find my husband there, but I had NO desire to date around.  I also knew that a guy could put his "good foot forward" even though he might be a jerk.  I wanted a man who was committed to God, along with lots of other things that were important to me.   So, I asked my parents to help me pray that the guy who asked me to the GBS Fall picnic would be my husband.  I know that was a strange request...but that's how I was praying!    We all have a "child-Father" relationship with God and I just make my requests known, even if they are simple or "just a little thing," and then I just stand back and WATCH Him answer!   
My Daddy said to make things easier on me (so I could get to know people better) he'd make a rule that I couldn't date for the first 6 weeks (I think it was.)   
Phillip was working with his Dad and the maintenance crew that summer.  He had told the guys he was working with about me and that he had planned to look me up.  I had visited GBS several times the year before, but since Phillip lived off campus he had not seen me, but those guys knew who I was.  I happened to be the first freshman girl to arrive on campus in 1992.  Phillip was working up in the boy's dorm the day I arrived.  He looked down and saw me and said to those guys, "She seems like a nice girl, do you know who she is?."  To which the other guys replied, "That's the Heather you were told to look up!"  Phillip began to watch me from that day on.
One day I was in the dorm and I heard a lady in the hall asking, "Does anyone have a screwdriver I can borrow?"  I stuck my head out and told her that I did.  She looked at me and shrieked, "What are YOU doing here?  You are supposed to be Married and living in Pennsylvania!"  I stumbled around trying to say that I was here to go to college, etc.   To which she said, "Oh, I thought you were Jeff Paulus' wife look a lot like her!"  (That lady ended up being PHILLIP'S MOM!)  
About 2 weeks later (after seeing me my first day) Phillip started the process of becoming friends.  Phillip (who had grown up with no sisters and who felt quite backward around girls) finally got the nerve up to come and talk to me.  So, with fear and trembling…he struck up a conversation.   We conversed for a little while, but bless his heart... one of my friends walked by and I jumped up and left him sitting there alone.  (I don’t even remember this happening, but I can’t TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I WAS for that meant for ONCE in my life I had played HARD TO GET…like My Moma had taught me to do!  
Finally Phillip started getting my attention and on the Friday night of Fall revival we chatted some after service.  The next day I was working in my room, doing laundry, etc. and I looked out the window and lo and behold Phillip and his Dad were working on his car right outside my window.   So, every once in awhile I took a sneak peak at him.    Then later that morning after brunch he asked me to go to the fall picnic as his friend.  
Like I mentioned earlier, I had completely forgotten about the Phillip D. that Kimberly had told me about.  A few days later we were talking and he mentioned Matt Johnson…and it all came back to me about what Kimberly had said and I squealed, "Matt Johnson, You know Matt Johnson?...OH, NOW I REMEMBER, that Kimberly N. told me about you!"  Phillip rather calmly told me that Matt J. had told him about me too!  
Phillip had never had girlfriends (he was just friends with everyone) and thought that the dating "just to date" game was dumb.  His intention was to become friends with me to get to know what kind of girl I was and we became great friends.   But GBS back then had the policy that a couple couldn't talk much or hang out much on campus without being put on dating rules.  So, we were told that we needed to go on dating rules if we were going to continue being friends and being around each other! (I want to insert that Tim Dotson was the dean of men at that time, and he was a GREAT one!) 
Phillip had been asking around about me, and felt like I was a girl who was marriageable material, so he decided to go on dating rules.  My parents (who know A LOT of people but had never heard of Phillip nor his family, but knew a lot of people who knew him)  had been asking around about Phillip and got nothing but GREAT reports from everyone they asked!  They were told that Phillip was a top notch young man who loved God with his whole heart!  My Daddy made an exception to his rule about  "my not dating for my first 6 weeks" ...for I think it had only been 5 weeks when we started dating.
During this time Phillip's Mom went to AZ for SEVERAL weeks to take care of her Dad!  While she was gone, Phillip and I started being friends and started "dating".  So, I was Quite NERVOUS to meet her when she came home, since I was now dating her son. 
At GBS Homecoming in October…Phillip bought me some roses  ("to support one of the classes selling them at Homecoming"  ) and then after looking around at the booths in the gym, he took me out to Tios Mexican restaurant (YUMMY!!) with his parents.  It was such a special evening!
Phillip sang baritone in the GBS quartet that year.  Dr. Powell (GBS V. President) gave me permission to ride with Phillip’s quartet to spend the weekend with my family in Tennessee.   Wouldn’t you know…Phillip and I got snowed in (a RARE thing for Tennessee!)…only we were across town from each other.
~GBS quartet 92-93.  L to R: Mark Stetler, Anthony Webb, My Phillip, and Nathan Watkins!~
Christmas time came and it was time for me to go home for Christmas.  Phillip took me out to Cracker Barrel (one of my Favorite restaurants), gave me a special gift and then took me to the airport to fly home to South Dakota.  Of course back then, a person could go all the way to the GATES with the one flying.  Phillip was standing in line with me (I was the LAST passenger to get on the plane) and he told me that I was his best friend!  How sweet!  Then, we said "Goodbye" and I got on the plane.  I sat by the window and could see him in the airport window watching my plane.  As we went down the runway....I watched him until he was just a tiny speck, then turned around and tried to not to be sad.  That's when the stewardess came up to me and said, "Phillip told me to tell you, that he's already missing you!"  WOW!  that brought tears to my eye...WHAT A THOUGHTFUL MAN he was (IS!)!  
When I arrived home I let my parent's read Phillip's nice Christmas card to me.  It had a cute Victorian picture of a little boy and a little girl.  They were going to go ice skating and the little boy was tying the little girl's skates.  On the front it said, "Our first Christmas Together".  My Daddy said something like, "What's this, "Our FIRST Christmas together?  Something tells me that he plans on having MORE Christmas's with you!"
Part 2 coming tomorrow!


Charity said...

Love it! Too sweet! God works in fun ways, doesn't He?

Daryl Hausman said...

That's so sweet! I enjoyed reading this and can't wait for part two! Love you all bunches!

Daryl Hausman said...

Enjoyed reading your love story!!!
Can't wait to read part 2!!!=)

lila said...

Very sweet story! Of course I already knew some of it but it's fun reading it. Love is such wonderful thing. You did get an awesome man. We love him and you all dearly and think you all are the best. love and prayers Looking forward to part two!

Kimberly said...

well, i don't feel like i deserve much credit in this story ;) but i am so very happy to have played the smallest part! Thankful for the beautiful, God-honoring life and family you have created together...Much Love!!

Kira said...

That was so adorable and fun to read sweet !!!

Cannot wait for part two ....

Daryl Hausman said...

Loved hearing this again... I got many a letter (some times even in Rhyme) about this young man during your dating years! Love ya'll!

mmsbryan said...

Heather, you are doing a great job telling one of my favorite love stories. ;-) I love how God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Even if He does have to use your good friends Matt and Kimberly. Just another reason to name your first baby girl after your good Lousiana friend. Love, Moma

mmsbryan said...

Phillip, what book is that you are holding?

College Dating said...

Aww.The two of you look cute together. Great love story! God bless the both of you in your lives together as husband and wife. :') I was really inspired after reading your post.

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