Matt sitting by the lake at GWU sometime around 1999.
I've got a little bit of free time this summer so I thought I would share a few pieces of our (mine and Matt's) love story with you. We are 3 weeks shy of our 8th wedding anniversary, hard to believe.
Matt and I went to Gardner-Webb University for college. I remember the first time I saw him. It was in the caf, he was standing by the microwave and I was sitting at a table with all my girlfriends. I was a sophomore and he was a junior. "Who's that" I asked one of the girls at the table, oh that's Matt Hannam she said, he's from Lynchburg, Va. We both remarked on his cuteness and went on eating our salads with french fries on the side (so typical of a college girl.)
Fast forward a year it was now my junior year and his senior year. Fall semester I was sitting in a science class, Oceanography and Meteorology (my 2nd time in the class, yes I needed it for my major.) And in he walked, he'll tell the story that he tried to sit by me, but I grabbed the seat closest to the front...I had to pass this time.
Everyday in the class we would walk outside to the flag poll in the middle of the quad to "observe" the weather. And after a few days of walking outside he strummed up a conversation that went something like this, "hi" he said, "hi" I said back. We smiled and walked back into class. A few weeks later I saw him at a campus ministry thing and afterwards he asked me to go for a walk.
And so it began...it is important to note that I was still real new to the whole Jesus thing. Matt on the other hand had been walking for a while. So for about a month we walked, we talked (on the phone, on AIM, through email, went for car rides.) He lived off campus so we weren't really together every waking moment, although my sweet roommate Lacey might tell the story differently. I made sure I had a quiet time everyday, b/c I knew he would ask. I tried to direct our conversations on "holy" things because that's what I thought he wanted.
And then one night after a football game he asked me if I wanted to go for a drive. So we got some coffee and headed off, then he pulled the car over ( I think in a church parking lot...there were a lot of those in Boiling Springs.) And he simply said, "Whitney, I have loved hanging out with you and I might even could see myself marrying you one day, but I think God just wants us to be friends."
You might be saying to yourself, oh no not that speech. But what happened after that I will never forget, I took off the veil of trying to be religious or holy and just...was...me. Friends I thought, hey I can do friends. And that was the night our relationship began. As I've told this story countless times over the years to Young Life friends, Matt had to break up with me to get me to fall in love with him.
Moral of this story...just be yourself, not who you think others want you to be, you never know what might happen.
How about joining me in telling your love story, I would love to hear it!