Thursday, June 11, 2009

Anniversary Month My Marriage Story Part One

I'm REPOSTING this to include in Chatting at the Sky's Link Party. I promise to continue the story soon! Since Emily shared her anniversary celebrations, I thought it appropriate to repost the beginning to my anniversary story.
So June is my anniversary month. It's the month I met my husband...and the month I married him. In. The. Same. Year. Yes, in the same year. We met in person on June 6th, 1997. We married June 28th, 1997. Everyone thought we were crazy. Many thought it wouldn't last. Well, this month, we're celebrating 12 years of meeting and marriage.
So, how did this crazy thing happen?
Well, on June 28th of 1996 my mom kept telling me to go to this new place, an internet cafe.
I reluctantly went with my best friend, Alison. I had never been on the internet before. I thought it was STUPID!
We both managed to get on two separate computers. There were all these weird CHAT ROOMS...which I had no idea what that meant. I thought it was so dumb to CHAT to strangers.
I mean FER REAL--I had just earned an A PLUS on my final paper for my Problems in Computer Technology class. We had studied Bill Gates, this new internet thing and predictions for future technology. I was all about how this internet thing was evil and would rid the world of personal relationships. Yeah, I was super smart and everything.
I was also a single Christian girl that had vowed not to date until God brought along my husband. I prayed for every single guy I came into contact with and always asked God to steer relationships. I was single for three years on that fateful night of June 28, 1996. My A Plus earning self was unaware of just how big of a foot would be inserted into my big fat contradicting mouth. Good thing I trusted God with my prayers and desires. He answered back in such a magnificent way. Because I truly think I married my soul mate. And, he's amazing.
SO, back to the story.
So my friend was chatting to this guy (my man) just saying hi. It was all very innocent. We were just in awe at the technology! So, she ended up telling him about me and he asked for my user name--so then I clicked on his username which was "Bud." Well, "Bud" and I ended up typing back and forth for four to five hours. I was at that internet cafe until about, gosh, three or four in the morning maybe. At one am, the internet cafe manager had told me he would stop charging me and the rest of my time was "on him."
So, off went the conversation between Bud and me!
We typed about loads of things, our lives, our families. I shared my faith with him. He told me all about his family, I told him about mine. Several times, we typed the same thing at the same time. The eighth thing we typed according to my journal was ((((((((one of our names)))))))) which was an internet hug. I had so much excitement in talking to him. I was in love. Weird. Yes. But, I was infatuated with what I was reading. We both typed how weird we both felt. There was a "connection." The worker at the internet cafe overheard me telling Alison over and over what was going on. When I said, "he wants my details..." all the crowd advised me not to give out any personal information. I was glad to have all these bodyguards! So, I shared that with him and he gave me his details. South Africa.
Gosh. I had known that from the start, but to then write down his information. Ugh, he was so far away. We typed good-bye back and forth for an hour. We even made comments about what if one day we tell our grandchildren about this. Something clicked with us and though completely incomprehensible and unusual, we both felt the same thing. We liked each other. I felt my heart pounding though. This felt real and deep and pure. My heart felt invested, suddenly, quickly, irrationally invested.
So, finally I said good-bye, but not without promising to stay in touch by writing to one another. I never considered that I could be in touch through the internet again--because after all, this was my only experience with the internet at the time. I didn't even have a computer at home, so I guess I'd be visiting that internet cafe again soon once I realized I could!
We left building and drove home, my bestie and I. I must have talked her head off. I was so glad that she was there and experienced the whole thing with me. My heart was full. But, I did what I always did when I met a guy. I told the Lord all about it. "Lord, so now I'm in love Lord" or something like that. Seriously, I said to my friend, can we pray about this. And while she drove, I prayed. I prayed that God's hand would be on this. If I were to never to talk to this guy again, let it be. If I were to just pray for his life and salvation, let it be. If I were to meet and marry him, let it be. The next day, I decided I was going to try to find this man's number, I started to wonder if it was all real. I did journal about it. In a new notebook I had never written in before. I must have known I'd want those words later on. I didn't mention the part about how the picture he had sent my friend wasn't his real picture. I don't like that detail, so I usually leave it out. But she always remembers! : )
I stayed up that morning until about 6am composing a letter to him. I remember writing several drafts. Then I decided I needed to call him before I sent off my written words and photos to make this this was a real live person. I certainly couldn't trust my heart even though it was full with hope and romance.
I Googled. No, I didn't. Remember no computadora then! So, I called operators who told me how to contact international operators and I was able to get my man's number. And, I called. It wouldn't connect. It wouldn't ring. It wouldn't go through. Busy signal after busy signal. I couldn't find him. So, I stopped and prayed. And, I tried once more and then he answered. Oh my goodness, I now heard him.
In my journal I wrote down the conversation this way:
R: hello?
me: Hello, is Ryan there?
R: speaking
me: hi Ryan
R: yes
me: Hi, this is Katrina
me: Were you sleeping?
R: Well, it's the middle of the morning here...
me: It is? What time is it?
R: It is almost 11 actually 10:30 [at night, so I must have startled him from a deep sleep]
me: Oh, I'm sorry it's 4:30pm here. Don't think I'm crazy I just wanted to know for sure about you before I wrote.
R: Oh of course, you never know with the internet...
me: Look it's costing a lot to call so I can't talk but, you don't think I'm crazy do you?
R: I thought we already went over this? [Even sleep his dry sense of humor comes through]
me:Yes, but I think I'm crazy, I've never done this before.
R: Yes, well it is costing you, but I'll be waiting for your letter and all your details and your pictures. [ I just about died when I heard him say this, I would have married him on the spot after hearing him say this, he sounded so yummy!]
me: OK I'll marry you, I mean I'll mail it tomorrow.
No I did not say that!!!
I said "OK I'll mail it tomorrow."
me: bye
R: bye

I wrote in my journal: I can still hear his accent. I can't believe I called. But, at least I know. He didn't sound happy, but I did wake him up. I prayed for God's peace to cover me in all this. I wrote a 3-page letter and pictures. Now I have to wait 7-10 days 4 it to get there and wonder if he'll write back. Either this was a totally spontaneous thing ? part of God's plan or he's done this before. If the latter is true my feelings will be hurt but what can I do. That night there is no way to hoax what we spoke of, typing the same things etc. I pray for peace in all this, and for continuation only if its God's will. It is so exciting though and scary. I wonder will he find me ugly (pictures) or what I don't know. Will he write? Peace, Peace, Peace only from God------ July 3rd 1996.

To be continued...


Leslie said...

Happy anniversary! What a wonderful story! I wanna hear more, so get writing chica!

Blessings beloved~

Elinor Dashwood said...

Oh come on now...don't leave us hanging Katrina!!!! ha ha I can SO totally relate to the accent thing. When I went to South Africa, I melted at every man who talked to me - for an entire year! =)

Happy Anniversary! May you have many many more wonderful years together.


Mrs Manz said...

Can't wait for the conclusion! :-D

Dawn said...

oh how i love a love story!
will be back to hear what happens next!

Anonymous said...

I used to think online romances were dumb. Then I met some of my best friends in the universe online and I can totally see how you can get to know someone that well on the internet. :)

Anyway, happy anniversary, and I hope you link up the rest of your story so I can read it too! :)

Beth@Pages of Our Life said...

Hey Katrina!

I read part I & II. Wow! You remind me of myself, journaling and talking. Your story is awesome! As I was reading it I couldn't help but think what a God-moment that must have felt like.

You guys are so blessed!!

Happy Anniversary friend