When I was growing up (and still now for my youngest siblings) we were not allowed to date until we were sixteen. Even then it was to be mostly group outings and spending time with our families together. Wow, did that seem to suck at the time. How lame were my parents' rules?!? I rolled my eyes at my parents' attempts to help guide us into healthy relationships. They said the word "courtship" and my sisters and I groaned. Who does that anyway?
Well, I only had one boyfriend in highschool (I was homeschooled, which helped). We were together for two years before I felt God was leading me away from him. Two and a half years before I broke up with him. It wasn't a bad relationship... I just knew that God had something else in mind for me.
I was working for American Airlines at that time. When you are single is the perfect time for anyone to work for an airline. I did some traveling (I wish I'd done more). I was chosen for a six week assignment in SFO (San Francisco) training their new hires. It was so great to get away, see a city I'd never been to, be on my own for the first time. There was a brief romance with another another AA agent. But he was older and I wasn't ready to start anything with anyone, much less someone who lived across the country.
Being in San Fran was definitely a great experience for me and it helped me realize that since I wasn't going to be getting married anytime soon that I needed to find another direction for my life. I had been visiting a close friend off and on who was attending Vincennes University. I fell in love with the group of people and the ministry that she was involved with and a few of them convinced me that I needed to go to school there too. So I did.
That fall I went away to college (go VU!). There the ratio of guys to girls was something like three to one. I was involved in a Christian ministry where I met alot of "good" Christian guys. I thought surely one of them was meant for me. Just a couple of short lived interests during college (nothing that would even qualify as a "relationship"). Some great friendships came about during those years though. And it was a time of growth for me and all those "good" guys that weren't for me... they were my friends and because of them I was able to realize some things that I wanted in my future husband. I also knew I didn't want to "date". I had seen others' relationships come and go and the pain that went along with it. I did not want to go through all of that.
The summer after I graduated from Vincennes I attended a CIY conference as a youth sponsor with my home church's youth group. There was another youth sponsor there, a guy named Isaac. I had met a few times but since I'd been away at college I hadn't really gotten to know him. We spent alot of time together that week. We attended workshops together, shared meals and prayer time, stayed up late talking together. My curiosity about this guy grew the more I got to know him. He was kind of quirky, very OCD, funny, smart, interesting, firm in his faith.....