This is the story of how my crush became my husband. Each Wednesday I’m sharing another piece of the puzzle. Need to catch up? Here is last week’s post: Guatemala
Nate and I missed each other terribly while I was in Guatemala and he was finishing his last semester of college. I desperately longed for our reunion. Unfortunately, it looked like that reunion wouldn’t last long.
Nate applied to do an 11 month long mission assignment with Mennonite Central Committee. While I was in Guatemala we found out that he was accepted to the program and would be leaving for Jamaica in August.
I was conflicted over this decision. On one hand I was extremely proud of my boyfriend for wanting to do overseas missions. I had done several mission trips myself and knew how life changing this experience could be for Nate. On the other hand I was hurt that he would chose to be separated from me again. And this time for 11 months!
My homecoming from Guatemala was wonderful. Nate picked me up from the airport and once I got over my nervous shyness, we picked up right where we left off. Being with Nate felt right.
It could have been a summer full of more separation. Nate was from Pennsylvania and I lived in Ohio, but Nate surprised me and decided to spend the summer with me in Ohio! He lived with my brother, found a job, and settled in nicely.
My family loved him. I loved him. Everything was perfect. Everything except for the fact that each new day brought us closer and closer to our next big goodbye.
Nate left for Jamaica and I felt like I had been punched in the gut. For a solid two weeks I was walking around in a fog. Even good days felt awful and bad days felt completely unbearable. I honestly didn’t know how I would make it through the next 11 months until he came home.
Nate and I were desperate to see each other. I was ecstatic when my parents gave me permission to visit Nate for a week over Christmas break.
It felt like a dream come true. I got to see the man of my dreams… in Jamaica… over Christmas break. Talk about making a sacrifice. Ha!
Seeing Nate again took my breath away. He was beautiful. His hair was longer. His waist was thinner. He was working to improve human rights in a third world country. Being a missionary looked really good on Nate.
I was so happy.
Nate’s family sent Christmas gifts along for Nate to open in Jamaica. It was amazing to be part of his Christmas celebration. Everything meant more to him since he had been away from his family and the regular comforts of home for several months. His mom sent Christmas cookies and they were the first cookies he had tasted in at least 3 months.
Nate’s time in Jamaica might sound like a paradise vacation, but he wasn’t staying an a beach resort. Nate was living and working in Kingston, the capital city. His apartment had zero frills and no hot water. It was not the typical tourist experience at all.
Nate showed me all around Jamaica. We visited his office, traveled into the Blue Mountains, took a boat to a small island, ate jerk chicken, and visited the shore. It was beautiful. Side note: I searched all over for pictures of my trip to Jamaica and this was the only one I could find of the two of us. I am quietly freaking out over here that I might have lost all my favorite pictures from the trip.
The week went by quickly and before I knew it I was back in Ohio being picked up at the airport by my mom and sister. Mom asked me if I had a good time. I nodded and then burst into tears.
I’m not sure I can fully explain just how hard it was to be separated from Nate. I felt like I had finally found the person that I was suppose to be with forever, but I couldn’t even look into his eyes or hold his hand. At times my chest literally ached.
I was completely in love, yet desperately heartbroken.
Tell me your love story! Can you relate to my broken heart?
Read Chapter 9: Communication.
Top Image by Amanda Faye Photography