July Fifth Eight Years Ago

5 Jul

Eight years ago on July 5 of 2003 I received a simple e-mail from David Denton in response to an e-mail that I had sent him a few months earlier.  Like I said, the e-mail itself was simple, but if you can bear with me you will learn how that little e-mail rocked my world in a mighty way.

Bear with me.

I went to India in late January of 2003.  I met David there.  Over the course of the two weeks that I was there he and I became friends.  However, for me, by the time I got ready to say good-bye to my friends and head home to Arkansas I knew I was going to see David Denton again and one day marry him.  And for David, to him I was just a friend and he didn’t think twice about whether or not he’d ever see me again.  He just said good-bye (and I’m sure some funny stuff) to all of us as we boarded a bus and headed to the airport.

Now keep in mind, David was from California and at the time he was temporarily living in Michigan.  I live in Arkansas.  Miles apart.  He not interested in me.

I was confident that God had revealed to me that I was going to marry David.  I was already in love with him and came home and told my parents “I met the guy I’m going to marry”.  What I didn’t know was how it was going to all come about, but I felt like my job was to sit still, trust, wait and watch God do the work.  (I didn’t do that very well at times)

Over the course of the next few months I was amazed at how our paths crossed.  In most cases I did nothing to manipulate the situations or scheme plans to make a way for me to see David.  God had a plan and it all started to unfold….slowly.

In late February David and one of his brothers were traveling through Arkansas and his brother contacted me to see if they could meet up with some of the India team that was from my church.  Well, since they’d be in our area in the middle of the night, me and my trooper friend, Katee were the only ones up for the midnight visit.  So, on February 23rd I got to hang out with David for about  five hours.  FIRST VISIT

In  early March I booked a flight to Michigan to go visit a friend that I had met while in India.  Now, I did know that at the time David was living in Michigan.  However, I also knew that he was out on the road somewhere on the East coast.  I really had no expectations to see him.  Much to my surprise, on Monday, March 10th David and his brother showed up at my friends house.  (come to find out David drove through the night so he could get there and hang out some before I left the next day to head home)  SECOND VISIT

Sunday, March 23rd David called my cellphone (first time he ever called my phone, I nearly fainted) and said that he and a friend were in Texas and headed home by way of Interstate 40, they would be passing through West Memphis.  He wanted to know if I was up for a visit.  Absolutely.  My friend Katee joined us for a about a four hour visit.  THIRD VISIT

April came and went.  I didn’t have any connection with David.  My faith and trust in God were stretched during this time.  I waited.

On the evening of May 19th David showed up at my house!  He was alone.  He was traveling from Michigan to Florida and decided that my house was “on the way”.  I’m pretty sure I screamed really loud.  I’m pretty sure I thought “oh, he’s got to be interested in me”.  He ended up staying the night at a hotel in West Memphis and the next day he had dinner with my family.  Since all his other visits had either been in the middle of the night or in another state, this was the first time my family really got to meet David.  This was huge.  This was the FOURTH VISIT.

While David was with my family we had talked about this comedian that we both liked.  After he left my home, I sent him a real generic e-mail with a link to a video clip of the comedian that I had found and wanted to share with him.  I sent the e-mail on May 21st. 

On May 25, June 6 and June 8 I had phone conversations with David.  By this time, without telling him that I loved him, I had made it pretty obvious that I did love him.  I was so confident that I was going to marry him it made it really difficult to just remain cool.  There were so many things I didn’t know that were going on in David’s mind and heart.  But knowing him now it all makes perfect sense.

From June 9 until July 4 I did not have any communication with David.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nothing.  Remember this was after his visit with my family and three lengthy phone conversations.  All of a sudden there was nothing.  I was miserable to say the least.  After all my confidence and faith that I had that this was going to happen, it all got ripped out from underneath me.  Over the course of these few weeks I crashed.  I cried.  I worried.  I didn’t eat much.  Didn’t sleep well.  It was a roller coaster.  I wanted so badly to pick up the phone and call him.  I wanted to write to him.  I wanted to reach out and make a connection with him just so I could feel better.  But I knew that I had to let it go.  I knew that if I was going to truly trust God then I was going to have to let go and trust that God had a plan and I needed to wait patiently.

On the 4th of July my family had a cookout celebration with friends.  I remember this afternoon so clearly.  I know what I was wearing, where I was sitting when my friend came up and asked me how things were going with David.  I told him that I wasn’t sure what was going on–  that I had not heard from him in a few weeks.  Then I said “this waiting and trusting thing isn’t easy.”  He apologized for asking and bringing it up, I assured him it was ok (although it was the last thing I wanted to talk about).

That night as everybody left and we cleaned up, I made my way upstairs to go get ready for bed.  I just laid across my bed and cried so hard.  The big ugly cry.  I begged God that if I had this all wrong then please, God, don’t let me see or hear from David until my heart can heal.  I literally begged and cried out to God until I eventually fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up with an emotional hangover.  I eventually made my way downstairs for breakfast and then headed to the computer to go online.  When I opened my e-mail…..yep, there it was…an e-mail from David M. Denton that he had sent in the early morning hour on Saturday, July 5th.  I couldn’t read it fast enough.  My heart was racing.  I was crying so hard.  THIS WAS MY ANSWER!  This e-mail was a response to the e-mail that I had sent him back in May after his visit.  This e-mail ROCKED. MY. WORLD!

Of course, I replied to him immediately.

And since then we’ve never stopped our ongoing conversation.

I am reminded about how God heard my cry and answered me.  David and I often say to each other, “if God gave us both clear direction on our soul mate, He’ll definitely give us clear direction on fill in the blank“.

Wait for the LORD;  Be strong and let your heart take courage;  Yes, wait for the LORD.  Psalms 27:14

“God makes us a promise…Faith believes in it, Hope anticipates it and Patience waits quietly for it.”  Charles Stanley


7 Responses to “July Fifth Eight Years Ago”

  1. cvalentino July 6, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    This is so sweet. I love how you knew after first meeting him and how your paths crossed until you were brought together! Not many people have an amazing story like this! You’re truly blessed!

  2. Brenda Moreland July 6, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    It is amazing what comes to up when we apply patience in our lives.

  3. Kandi July 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    I loved reading this just as much as I loved hearing about it in person. I love you & Dave! I love this story! I love that box in your attic.

  4. joyboudreau July 6, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    Please tell me that those details are journaled and that your memory is not that amazing. That was fun to read! Being on the “other side of the fence” – there were lots of details I didn’t know about the pre engagement time… Thanks for sharing.

  5. sarah July 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I just love a good love story, Jill!! How amazing our Lord is in showing us His will. However patience is key even though hanging in there can be diificult. I couldn’t help but giggle when you said “a big ugly cry” :] That’s a cute way to put it and I’ve had those kind of cries myself.

    XO- Sarah

  6. Jill Denton July 7, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading this. Thanks for taking the time to do so. It was fun to go back and read through all my journals from that time in my life.

  7. eatsleepandrun July 8, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Loved reading this! And, added you to my blogroll :)

    What a neat story of what truly waiting on God does to our heart. You went through a roller coaster of emotions, but God grew your hope in Him and your trust in Him all the while. I love how you called it an “ugly cry” – I’ve had those… they don’t look good on me the next day ;-)

    So glad David was blessed with you!

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