Jul 14, 2014

Our first "Friendiversary"


(NOTE: This post has originally appeared on gentilenextdoor.tumblr.com on September 24, 2012.)

Of course it’s a little strange getting requests from people I don’t know…but you seem harmless enough so I’ll approve it. – my thoughts after reading the message above

This, ladies and gents, is what started it all.


A year ago today, a certain Carlo Victa sent me a friend request and a message to go along with it. It was apparently because of Pastor Brian (a common friend) and his Wall post on old school cartoons, which I kept commenting on, that this guy’s curiosity was roused (but I won’t find out about this until after a couple more weeks).

 A bajillion profiles on Facebook and you had to click mine.

I did not want to assume but for some reason, my discernment told me that there was an ulterior motive behind this friend request. (Okay, so I did assume but this was validated later on as we moved forward).

INITIAL CONTACT AND GOD’S SENSE OF HUMOR
I looked at his profile, saw his buzz cut, and thought, “Eh. It doesn’t work.” I saw that he likes Star Wars and we listen to pretty much the same artists. I also noticed that he’s a Literature/Writing major. Hey, +30 points for you. I replied to him saying, “You like Star Wars so that’s good enough for me!” In my book, if you’re a Star Wars fan, it is kind of a big deal. Also, I happen to be a voracious reader so I thought it was cool that he’s a writer. I then asked him about his ministry in Baguio.
A couple of days after making contact with Carlo, I told God that He had quite the sense of humor. Weeks before Carlo added me up, I had just given up what I thought was a potential relationship. I was reminded of the time (February of last year to be exact) when I opened myself up to the Pauline calling of perpetual singleness. I actually made a resolution! I told my mother about it, then she laughed at me, telling me that I’m getting way too ahead of myself. She also said that I’d most likely end up getting married. But I’ve embraced the possibility that God may want me to be single for life so I may serve Him with undivided attention.  Then Carlo comes along. I had to fervently ask God what sort of plan He had for connecting the two of us.

Why am I reading too much into this? What if he really just wanted to be friends? And so a couple of messages later, I reflected and I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray. I asked for God’s grace to spare me from heartbreak. I was only beginning to appreciate how human love is not on par with God’s. I could not afford to invest too much emotionally. I prayed hard for His will. I’ve had my share of pursuing certain immature boys (the fact that I was the one pursuing should make you think that there’s something wrong with the picture). I asked God to make His purpose clear early on because I greatly desired an unhindered walk with Him (I still do).

AN EXCHANGE OF TESTIMONIES
I then asked for God’s wisdom to help me see if this Carlo Victa will actually take the time and effort to build a friendship and eventually pursue a relationship with me. I also decided to put up my testimony on this blog as a litmus test to see how he would respond. I’m curious about what you’ll say and do after you’ve read about the kind of person I was.

I was pleasantly surprised when one message led to another and that they got lengthier by the day. Carlo also sent me his own testimony and I found myself immensely appreciative of the sincerity and vulnerability he displayed. A couple more days passed by before we swapped mobile phone numbers. I thought it was silly of me to be nervous whenever he would call (this is probably what denial looks like). We were getting more and more personal in our conversations and Carlo was consistent. I then felt the urge to “define” things once and for all. I think that any person who would be so steady in sending me messages and wanting to know more about me is not after “just being friends.”

During one of our phone conversations, I mustered the courage to ask Carlo if he was in any way interested me. I was running low on oxygen when I asked him that and he responded with “Absolutely” (which meant I didn’t have to hold my breath that long). Several things then raced through my mind: He and I have a lot in common. I wanted to date an artistically inclined man of God and he just happens to be one. He knows what he wants to do; he has plans. He communicates well. I thought, hey, he seems to be a great guy. You should know him better. Don’t be chicken. I then realized while he was confessing to me that I actually liked him. We’ve then resolved to commit our friendship to the Lord and we prayed that He would lead us to what He wanted us to do. I asked God that we would have to see each other for things to be clearer. Of course, God knew what He was doing.

THE FIRST MEET-UP!
We eventually saw each other about a month later. We’ve met each other’s families and exchanged awkward hugs and high-fives. Many other things happened during the subsequent months. He went back to the States in December and he stayed there until April. I didn’t know that he would be returning after four months; I initially thought it would be longer. While waiting, we were busy with our respective ministries and we still kept in touch. I tried not to dwell too much on the possibility that we’ll end up dating. We’ve talked about it but during those four months, I wondered how things would progress since he’s halfway around the world from me. During this waiting period, however, God was doing crazy things in my life. There was much revelation, much pruning, loads and loads of blessings that I haven’t always been thankful for. Carlo wasn’t being a distraction. He was quite supportive of my studies and everything else I was doing. He actually helped me stay focused.

AND SO THE COURTSHIP BEGINS…
May 2012, he came back. I was glad that he arrived earlier than expected, but I was even gladder that God made a way for us to spend considerable time with each other in Baguio. I was willing to wait for him because I understood that he had plans to study again and get involved with other ministry engagements. Unbeknownst to me, he would ask me to be his girlfriend on the first day I see him since his return. He made me cry that night (they were tears of joy, though).
So today marks our first “friendshipversary.” Last year, Carlo was just a guy who added me up on Facebook. Today, he’s my boyfriend (I’m still not used to calling him that. I’m not ashamed or anything. Being someone’s girlfriend is still just so novel to me). He’s also my best guy friend. Seriously. He’s seen things in me that I haven’t seen before. I can be my weird self around him and he actually likes my weird self. He keeps me grounded and he’s a solid encouragement to me. In our friendship there is honesty, commitment, and dependence on God to sustain it. I’m blessed beyond words to be loved by someone like Carlo. Looking back, I definitely see God’s hand in leading us into this relationship. I pray that He will continue to do so.




 You are a treasure. I don’t deserve you but God led us to each other anyway. I’m in awe of how God is faithfully molding us into the kind of people He desires us to be. I’m excited to know our Lord in more profound ways through our relationship and I’m looking forward to more adventures with you. Imperfect as we are, I trust that as we seek God together, we will grow stronger and wiser.
 You’re so cool and you don’t even have to try =) I love you. 

ENGAGEMENT
EDIT: As of June 13, 2014 (a day after my birthday), Carlo and I are engaged! :)

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the engagement! What a wonderful story :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Natalie! We couldn't have written a better one for ourselves :)

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