This is the second part in our second "How we met" story this month. Read on to find out more about Gina's story.....
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In the spring, Marlin and Teresa officially began dating. But Ed continued to show up—maybe even more frequently than before. Slowly it began to dawn upon me that Ed had other motives than just giving Marlin company. I had my suspicions why—and who—was luring him back.
And I was angry. By now this group of youth had become comfortable casual friends. I enjoyed volleyball, games after church, hikes, cook-outs. Why did he have to go and destroy the companionship? My first reaction was to avoid him. My friends would say that I “play hard to get.”
I told my dad my suspicions so I could have his input. Dad loves to talk to youth (actually he loves to talk to anyone) and he made it a point to talk to Ed whenever he had opportunity, which was often.
During the summer, I saw Ed more frequently than ever. I tried to ignore him, but the harder I tried the more I thought of him. My prayers were a convoluted confusion. I prayed that God would make Ed disappear, that Ed would find a cute little Mennonite girl—one that would fit seamlessly into his life so that my life could return to normal. But in the next breath I asked the Lord that if He wanted Ed and I to get together—that nothing I would do would discourage him.
Sometimes I played volleyball beside him all evening, speaking as little as possible to him, biting my tongue to keep in all the topics of conversations that I thought to begin. I felt rude and unsocial. But when I asked Ed long after, he said he didn't think I was being rude since I never had much to say to any of the guys.
One evening that summer Ed invited our group back to his house after church for a cookout. I couldn't think of a way to excuse myself so I went with my stomach tied in knots. Would his parents be home? I didn't know much about his parents except that they were part of a very conservative Mennonite church, which Ed had left a few years before. What would they think of a liberal Brethren girl?
Ed's parents were home and as we walked into the yard Ed's dad burst out of the house, eagerly greeting Ed's guests. If Ed's parents were uncomfortable with Ed's choice of friends, they didn't allow their feelings to show. Both were friendly and the perfect hosts.
I left the evening more confused than ever. Why had Ed invited us to his house? Was he only taking his turn at being hospitable? Did he want his parents to meet me?
I found out much later that Ed's dad would bound out the door to meet anyone. He is the ultimate people person and delights in new acquaintances. But that night he did have extra motives to meet his son's guests. Ed had told his parents about me. Though they shared their concern with him that he choose a wife wisely, they did not harp on the subject in the coming years. In the future I would find them the most loving, accepting in-laws that a girl could ever desire.
I have no doubt that both of our parents were praying for us. Maybe more than anything, their prayers give our story a happy ending.