It is so difficult to sum up an entire love story in one page.
My prayer is that our love story will be expressed throughout this blog each week, month, and year that passes.
It has truly only just begun . . .
Portersville, Ohio is a “blink -and-you-miss-it” type of town. It has no post office, no police department, no public park. It does have two churches, a cemetery, and a small store that serves as a gas station, convenience store, and local pizza provider. My parents and I lived about a mile down the road from what we called the “Portersville Store”. My mom and I frequented the store to buy chips and ice cream more often than we were willing to admit. And that store, of all places, was where I would meet my future husband, Portersville local,Shawn Maynard.
I was fifteen years old and a freshman in high school. I had some wonderfully strong friendships, and truly couldn’t have been happier with being “single”. Freshman year was a fantastic year, and I had no idea it was about to get better. I casually waltzed in to the store only to stop dead in my tracks. The young man behind the counter looked startlingly like my cousin. I literally came to a halt, cocked my head, and smiled at him until he caught my gaze. When he noticed I was staring at him, he forced a smile while his face turned as bright as his cherry red apron. He moved swiftly to the kitchen where he was making pizzas, and I went about my shopping. After purchasing my items, and ceasing to stare, I went out to the car to tell my mother about the pizza guy and how I thought we could be friends.
That was March of 2011.
Weeks passed . . .
Months even . . .
If I recall correctly, we didn’t even have a real conversation until the following Thanksgiving.
Yet I still wanted to be his friend. Nothing more. Nothing less.
He had started to smile back.
One day, my mother and I were in the store again, and she began to tease me about my driving skills. I was sixteen at the time, and not at all eager to get my license. Nevertheless, I had my permit and was signed up for driver’s ed. Maybe this was the first real conversation. Shawn began to talk animatedly about when he got his driver’s license and learned how to pass the maneuverability test. He even offered to meet with me (outside of the store!) to work with me on my driving. I smiled, because it was starting to seem like he did want to be my friend. But hanging out with a guy and working on my poor driving skills was way too far outside of my comfort zone. I simply thanked him for the offer and didn’t bring it up again.
That was the summer of 2012.
After talking about my driving issues, our conversations began to lengthen. I started finding excuses to go to the store so I could talk to him. We enjoyed each other’s company even when he was making pizzas and could only say “hi”.
I found out he was a year older than me and set to graduate in 2013.
He was in drama club for the first time his senior year.
His favorite cookies were Amish-made sugar cookies.
He had an impressive coin collection.
I also found out he had a girlfriend, but I didn’t mind. He was finally my friend!
Then one day in February of 2013 . . .
My friend Anna and I spent nearly every waking hour together our Junior year of high school. I spent many weekends at her house, but one weekend, Anna was at mine. We were enjoying some unseasonably warm weather and working on some homework. We had gone to the store earlier in the day to
get some snacks meet Shawn. But later that evening, he called my house! I was literally sick with excitement. Without my knowledge, he had already spoken to my mom about taking me on a date as friends. He and his girlfriend had broken up ( also without my knowledge) and he wanted to get to know me outside of the store. He spoke to my mom again on the phone that night. Anna shrieked at the top of her lungs when they hung up, and I thought I might throw up.
I was so terrified . . . How silly, right?
Yet every date that he would suggest, I was already busy. I was cheerleading and busy with Junior class fundraisers and other things. It seemed like we would never get our first date. I was also still determined that he just wanted to be my friend . . .
Then he invited me to his school play . . . Oklahoma. His first play, and he did so well! The next week, he invited himself to my high school play. I was a bit taken aback, but happy that he wanted to come. After the play, we went out to eat pizza before going our separate ways. He ended up following us home, and presenting me with a bouquet of flowers with a note attached. This was the first time he asked me directly to go on a date with him. I wish I would have read the note right away . . .
I called him a day or so later to let him that I would love to go on a date with him! He didn’t answer the phone, so I let him know through a voicemail. When I saw him in the store later on, he never acknowledged my message. I began to think that maybe he had changed his mind.
Weeks passed . . .
One night he called the house. We hadn’t been in to the store for a while, and he was worried.
I called him back.
We arranged a date for that weekend. He hadn’t changed his mind.
Over time, we realized that he had never gotten that voicemail. He thought I hadn’t given him an answer. . . That is the last time I will leave any important messages over voicemail! The confusion it caused . . .
Our first date was lovely. He began helping me with my driving, and the rest you may say is history . . . I just had to actually agree to be his girlfriend.
The day I took my first driver’s test (and failed it) was the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. I rambled concerns about why I was concerned about dating until finally just telling him to go talk to my dad, and I would pray about it. I was sure that somehow God or my dad would say “no”. But they didn’t.
My senior year of high school we dated. A week before I graduated we were engaged. I shyly introduced my fiancee at the graduation party, and we were married the following August.
He has been sure and steady . . .
My rock in the middle of a storm . . .
My best friend . . .
My true love. . .
We weren’t perfect. We still aren’t.
Yet . . . “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:9
I pray the same for all of your marriages as well.