School started with a bang and the first semester went pretty smooth. I made some great friends and had a blast in the dorm. Toward the end of the semester, I accepted a new job with a retail shoe store called Track ‘N Trail. I also got a call from the past. When I first moved to Michigan in 1995, I dated a girl named Amanda. To make a long story short, Amanda and I just did not work out. We had reunited again at Steve’s wedding. I admitted, even to her, that I still had a thing for her. Toward the end of the semester, I got a call from her. She was in town and was bored and wanted to know if we could meet for coffee. I was bored, too, but excited about seeing her so I agreed. We shared some joe and had some good conversation. A couple of weeks later, she called me and was wondering what I was doing for New Year’s. I had no plans and did not have to work. She asked if she could me dinner at her place in Grand Rapids. She was still a student at Calvin College and lived with several girls in a large house. I agreed.
After an exquisite meal, we sat down and she said that she had something that she wanted to talk to me about. She told me that she had been thinking and praying about some things and she had felt led to ask me if I wanted to date her. I was a little shocked and I said something like, “Well, I don’t really feel comfortable enough right now to be your boyfriend, but I would agree to take you out.”
“I don’t think you understand. I’m not looking to merely go out. I have decided to date only with the intent purposes of finding someone to marry. I will not just date you, if we are together, we will date exclusively.”
Needless to say, I was pretty shocked, but after thinking about a short time. I agreed. It did not take long to realize that I was head over heels for her, but only after two months we showed signs of not getting along. “But I’m in love,” I thought. “It’ll work out.” It didn’t. When Amanda broke up with me for good in March, I was devastated and close to burnout. For the summer, I agreed to stay at a friend’s apartment in Lansing for a couple of months until I returned to school for summer classes. But when summer classes started, I found out that I could not take classes because of my financial aid limitations. I called my parents in North Carolina and asked if I return home for only a month or so, until the fall classes started. I immediately called Dan and he invited me to spend a week with him in Long Beach, North Carolina. He had rented a beach house for the whole week. When I explained to him that I couldn’t afford it. He agreed to pay for everything. I was shocked, but I took him on it.