The beginning of hope.

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably gathered that while I thought I knew everything as an 18/19 year old, obviously, I didn’t. My emotional and mental health was trashed, and I was so beyond tired of feeling like the second option.

In October 2006, I went camping with my best friend. We both were getting away from college and life for a few days to relax.

I had met the new owners of the campground earlier that year in June, after my graduation present of living on a house boat for 4 days. Little did I know, the new owner of the campground would soon become my aunt-in-law.

I don’t remember all the details of the weekend, but I remember a tall, dark haired guy coming over to our fire. My dad and step mom had their camper there, and my friend and I were staying in a tent.

He wasn’t my type, exactly. I was typically into bearded, stocky guys…and old, and he was young and skinny. He was so kind and attentive, though. We chatted that weekend, and when we got home on Sunday night, he asked me if I wanted to go out that evening on a date.

Of course, I’m having this mega dilemma. If older man who doesn’t give a crap about me finds out, he’ll be pissed. If I don’t go, would I be missing out on the next big thing in my life?

I took a chance. I went to Field of Screams with the new guy. We had so much fun. He held my hand. Did you read that? He. held. my. hand. Do you think that ever happened with previous guy? Sure didn’t.

I cut it off with the older guy. Cold turkey. Done. I was so over it. I didn’t care.

With new guy…we did all the normal dating things. Went on dates, hung with our families, got to know each other and so forth.

One night in December, we were sitting in his truck in his parents’ driveway, and he said something that rocked me. I was obviously coming out of an emotionally, mentally and (really) sexually abusive relationship, and this one felt like actual love.

Not just an excuse for sex.

SO…I was trying to do all the things right.

He said, “I just need you to know that I can’t be in a relationship with someone that doesn’t love the Lord.”

Put on the big brakes. The Jake brake, too.

Now what?? I’m finally feeling somewhat secure. I’m finally feeling like I have a “normal” relationship, and now this.

He wasn’t like – hey get out of my truck or confess your sins right this instant, but it was definitely an ultimatum that I was going to have to face sooner rather than later.

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