Like the beginning of any love story, people ask, “how did you two meet?” and again, like any love story, there is always a beginning.
Spring Break – March of 2011
After loading a church van with my belongings for a mission trip I was soon to leave for, I walked into a home not expecting the next moment to change my heart forever. I spotted him . . . my future husband . . . and my heart dropped like it never had before (mustache and all – yes Brian had a mustache the day I met him). Looking back now, in that moment my heart knew he was the man God designed for me to love forever.
I had known of him for a year prior through mutual friends. I knew his name. I knew his friends. I did not know his face nor his heart. All it took for me was seeing his face to know his heart.
Despite attending the same university for two years our paths never crossed. It was a planned mission trip to Tampa with a christian organization on campus to bring us together . . . almost two years later (more on that in a future post).
Brian was going on the mission trip as a “leader” and I was participating as a student. He was working on his masters degree at a larger university several hours away while I was finishing up my first semester of nursing school. At that time I was in a good relationship with a man who I had been seeing for almost a year and he was (as society describes it) “talking” to woman who attended the university he was at. I was happy and felt as if the relationship I was in “was it,” therefore, my heart felt extremely guilty and wrong for being drawn a man I did not even know. But yet . . . I felt like I had already known. I later came to find out, Brian felt the same way. Drawn to me, a woman he did not even know.
Throughout the week long mission trip I did everything in my power to ignore Brian, knowing if I spent any time near him, I would want to spend more time getting to know him. I did not want him to know I was drawn to him and I did not want to be drawn towards him. I was in a relationship I cherished at that time, and knew my heart was wrong for wanting to know another man. When we tell our story to others, Brian likes remind me of how much I ignored him on that mission trip. It is a reminder of how much of a horrible “ignore-r” I am; I am 100% an include-r! I was literally that scared school girl you see in movies. The one that runs out of the room the minute her crush walks in. The one that turns her head away immediately the second her crush spots her looking at her. The one that purposefully avoids being anywhere near her crush.
As the week went on, I literally prayed, asking God to take the feelings I had away or to show me why I had the feelings I had. Honestly, I begged. As the trip concluded, for the first time, Brian and I sat next to one another for lunch and the experience was completely different for us both (as we later found out). I had been saving up for another mission trip to Africa and was desperate in raising money. The pastor in charge of the Tampa mission trip made a bet that I could not eat an entire BBQ sandwich. If I could, he would donate fifty dollars. Personally, I love bets and challenges; but that challenge was not one I wanted. I was about to eat the biggest sandwich of my life in front of a man whom I did not want to embarrass myself to. And to make matters worse? The sandwich had coleslaw on it. I
dislike hate coleslaw. But several minutes, fifty bucks, and one miserable stomach later, I finished that sandwich and endured more hours than I can count having an upset stomach in a bumpy van ride home. But what made me more sick was knowing I was embarrassed to a man I shouldn’t have been. It was two years later that I found out it was eating that sandwich that made Brian even more attracted to me. Men (cue eye roll).
I remember watching Brian pack his red two door sport car as I left that final day of the mission trip, wishing and wondering if he felt the same way I had; knowing I may never see him again. Those thoughts were immediately distracted the minute I walked through my dorm room door because there was my sweet boyfriend, waiting for me, surprising me with welcome home goodies.
Retreat – January 2012
The relationship I was in continued, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think of Brian sometimes. I did. We never spoke to or saw one another again until nine months later, when I attended a retreat that was hosted at, to my surprise, the christian camp Brian’s parents managed. Not knowing he was attending, all feelings returned the second I saw him. I wanted to know him while my heart felt like it had already known him for a long time. During those two days, I once again did my best to ignore him. Though no one knew it yet, my relationship was failing and I was using that retreat as a time for my heart to heal and feel at peace with the decision I knew I needed to make. I made that promise to myself and stuck with it, staying away from Brian.
Knowing my boyfriend was not “the one,” our relationship ended days later . . . one month after Brian began a year long dating fast he had promised to himself and to God. A dating fast I had no knowledge of until a month later when we spoke for the first time as a friends outside of a church group setting.
Facebook Message – February 2012
I was sitting on the couch in a tiny student ambassador office waiting to give my next campus tour when the screen on my phone lit up and like it had before twice, my heart dropped . . .
a Facebook message from Brian Powers.
In sharing our story, it is my hope that you know your story is uniquely yours and yours alone. No story is perfect but yet every story is beautiful. We share ours, knowing that if it impacts just one person for the better, then it is worth every detail shared. We also recognize that a heart can easily love if allowed and can be easily broken. We to this day, are sad for any hearts we have broken in past relationships but are so happy in knowing both those we were with when we met, are now happily in marriages of their own. Once again, we each individually have our own love stories God beautifully writes even in this moment.
love always, kylie