In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Real Life Love Story - Part 1 (How We Met)

My real life love story continues with a post about how I met the one God wanted me to be with.  You can read more about the introduction here.

It was March of 2008.  I was in my second year of teaching, and a much needed spring break was approaching.  With my summer savings, I managed to get by that school year without having to have a second job.......that is until one early spring weekend…….  

As I was depositing my paycheck on a Friday night, the bank was getting ready to close for the evening.  It's important to note that this was out of the norm for me.  I usually deposited my check during the afternoon when my students were in gym class, but this particular Friday, I wasn't able to get away.  Naturally, I found myself rushing to the bank after work before it closed its doors.  I deposited the paycheck without reading a very important sign in the bank's lobby.  I would later find out that the small print on the unread sign would lead to a big turning point in my life.

What was the big deal about that sign, you ask?  Well, the sign informed the customers that all deposits made after  on Friday would not be cleared until the following Monday morning.  Now this may not be a big deal to most people.  In fact, if this were to happen to me today, it wouldn't really affect me, but at that time in my life it was a HUGE deal.  I was living paycheck to paycheck on a very tight budget.  In fact, if I told you how much my teaching income was and how much my monthly bills were, you would probably wonder how on earth I managed to live on my own.  Don't get me wrong.  I have no complaints about my teaching salary.  I chose to teach in a small Christian school as a ministry not job, so the salary had little to do with me choosing the teaching position.  All I can say is that God was always faithful to me, and He always provided my needs.  I could write a whole post on that, but that's not what this post is supposed to be about.  Anyway, back to the subject.....ah yes, I was living paycheck to paycheck…..My account was nearly drained at the time of deposit.  Once I made the deposit, I went about my regular weekend business.  I used my debit card nine times from Friday night to Monday morning.  Most of my transactions were under five dollars thanks to the fact that I lived off of the dollar menu at Wendy’s and McDonalds.  Dollar chicken nuggets were cheaper than cooking for myself, so I went through a drive-thru several times that weekend.   I also picked up a few groceries, got gas, went to the laundry mat, and paid a few bills.  Boy was I surprised when Monday rolled around, and I discovered I had nine $33.50 fees from all of my debit card transactions!  Yikes!!!  Again, let me remind you I lived paycheck to paycheck, so all of the money that I deposited was pretty much accounted for before it even got into my account!  You can imagine my devastation when a perfectionist like me discovers my account was overdrawn, and I had $301.50 in fees!  At that point in my life, I would say that I was not an emotional person, but tears quickly filled my eyes when I realized that I didn't know how I was going to fix the problem I found myself in!  I met with bank management, but they wouldn't budge on the fees, because it was my fault I didn't pay attention to the sign!  The thing that disgusted me most about the whole situation was that if I would have just cashed my check and gone about my business, I wouldn't have had one fee, but because I made the deposit after 4:00 p.m., the money was not available for me to use until the following Monday!  What kind of bank does that?   Needless to say, I canceled my account with that bank and was determined to find a way to pay them back.

         I began looking for a second job immediately, and by the time spring break rolled around I ended up finding a nanny job forty-five minutes away from my apartment.  The family needed someone to take care of two girls on Saturdays from 8-2 and Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 4-8.  That was highly unusual for nanny positions, and those were the exact times I was available to work a second job.  What are the odds of that?  You can say what you like, but I know that God had that job specifically set aside for me.  By picking up eighteen hours a week as a nanny, I had the means to pay the bank back their fees.  Oh, and I should mention that the family who I began nannying for is the same family that I currently nanny for full time.  If I didn't have the devastating bank fees, I would have never been looking for a second job, and I probably wouldn't have the job that I have today. 

         Over the next eight weeks, I cashed my paycheck at the bank where my school had their account.  There was a branch conveniently located down the street from my school, so it made it easy for me to cash my check each Friday when my students were in gym class.  It just so happened that at that particular branch, there was a quiet but cute bank manager who greeted me at the door every time I entered.  While all of my banking woes were were interupting my quiet life, he had just been transferred to the branch down the street from my school.  I'd later find out there were a lot of things about his life that led him to that place at that time. 

         So what was so special about this bank manager?  Well, he was definitely good looking.  He dressed well, and although he was small in stature, I could tell that he was fit.  I guess you could say there was an instant attraction.  It wasn’t just his looks that I found attractive.  There was just something about the way he carried himself and interacted with his staff and customers that drew me to him.  I'm not gonna lie, I also happened to notice that this cutie didn't have a ring on his left hand ;)  Now, while I did notice all of those things, I didn't think too much about it.  So he was a good lookin’ guy, and he was nice to me ~ but I had no idea that one year later I would make him a promise to love and cherish him all the days of my life.  You see, that good looking bank manager ended up being the one God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with, and I would have never even met him if I didn't have $301.50 in bank fees.  Sometimes God takes the unexpected things in life that we call "bad" and turns them into something so much better than we could have ever imagined. 

          Through all of that, God taught me to trust Him more as He provided my needs.  He provided me with a job that more than supplemented my financial needs the rest of my teaching ministry, and He blessed me by bringing the kindest, sweetest man I know into my life ~ the man that would eventually be my partner through life.  You know, I was loving life before God brought Matt into it, but I'm loving life in a whole new way now that God had blessed me with such a wonderful man!

This picture was taken on our honeymoon.  Not only was I lucky to marry a sweet, caring and thoughful man, but God went over and beyond and gave me a hottie!  Yes, God is so good to me:)

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