Colorado Springs, July 2005. I had been home from college about two months. My freshman year at Mercyhurst College was lacking something, so I’d planned to transfer to Northwest Nazarene University in the fall.
On day, a family friend (and NNU grad) named Reg invited some of my friends and I to see Parable with him at a nearby church. Parable was a six-member drama team of NNU students that traveled to churches and camps in the summer. Reg said it would be a good opportunity for me to meet some people I might see around campus in a few months. So I went, along with my friend Neil, who was going to be returning to NNU in the fall.
It was a long drive, but any time with Reg is well spent. We all had a good talk, but I learned something disappointing on the way out. By the time we arrived, I was still feeling a little raw, emotionally. So if you’d told me I was about to meet my future husband, I may have rolled my eyes at you or told you to shut up. (19-year-old Robin wasn’t as mature as she is now)
We watched their performance and afterward the church served ice cream in the fellowship hall. I ended up sitting next to Karissa (or maybe Emily?) and Eddie from Parable. We probably said hi and stuff, but nothing much. After almost everyone else left, Reg had us pray for the Parable members. He assigned me Kylee and Emily, Neil was given Jeff and Eddie, and Reg prayed for Mikayla and Karissa. It can be a little awkward praying for someone you’ve just met, but I’d known Reg long enough that it had sort of become normal, too, ha ha!
So that was kind of it. Just a Friday night in July.
Sunday morning, Parable performed the same skit at our church in the youth service. I skipped the main service and came to see them. Why not? Before the service started, Karissa saw me and came up to give me a hug. Wow–school hadn’t even started and I felt like I already had a friend! Though that’s just who Karissa is 🙂
After church, anyone who was an NNU alumnus, current student, or future student–and their families–was invited to lunch with Parable. Another group, Witness, joined us at Country Buffet. Witness was a five-member team like Parable, except Witness primarily goes to middle school and high school church camps. Instead of drama skits, they work as camp counselors and lead games and activities. Anyway, more future friends! I got to the restaurant a little late and ended up at the table with all the parents, and also Karissa and Eddie. This time we talked a little more, but I’m not gonna lie, there really wasn’t anything between Eddie and me yet. At least not from my perspective…
My church friends and I spent the better part of the afternoon tagging along with Witness and Parable as they hit up a laundromat. We drove out with them to another church to spend the evening with the youth group. As Eddie led worship, I noticed that he was connecting with everyone in the audience…except me. He always skipped over me as he made eye contact with people. I tried not to think about it too much, though.
That evening, my family hosted Tori, Ashley, and Stephanie from Witness. Monday morning, they left for our district’s senior high camp, which was only one hour from town. One of my friends, Jenni, was working at that campground for the summer. I had never been up there, so Wednesday some friends and I headed up there for the day. I actually didn’t see Eddie until we were ready to leave that evening. However, when my friend Nicole and I returned Friday, I found myself *hoping* I’d see him. Nicole and I came during breakfast so we could give Jenni a ride home for the weekend. I think it was her mom’s birthday. Anyway, we found her–and several members of the travel groups, including you know who–in the cafeteria.
“What are you guys doing here?” Eddie asked in a friendly way.
In one of the few instances in my life when I’ve managed to coordinate a funny response AND perfect timing, surprising even myself, I jokingly replied, “We’re stalking you.”
“Ooh, I feel special!” Eddie responded, without missing a beat.
I’m sure I laughed out loud and then explained the real reason I was there, but that part is hazy now.
The rest of that summer was fairly uneventful. By the time I headed up to NNU for the start of fall term, any hopes I had entertained had faded to a mere “maybe but probably not.” I wasn’t quite at the point of admitting I liked Eddie. I hadn’t figured out what I felt, and I didn’t want to commit to any specific feelings and then be let down. Especially since classes hadn’t even started!
Then once I moved into my dorm, I kept running into him! As a music major, he had many classes in the same building as I, an art major. But I quickly began to suspect it was more than just coincidence that I saw him around so often…