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I love life! I love the multifaceted things about it and about God.  I love to enjoy each day to it's fullest. I love my boys and I love change!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ruslan and Jessica meet for the first time...PART 1

So as I mentioned on facebook this is National Marriage Week! I only found out yesterday, that definitely inspired me to write on this subject.  And I decided I would spend this 7 days telling OUR story...

Well, when Ruslan and I first got married I thought that because God so divinely set it up, it would be simply a fantasy, a fairy tale, and I thought Ruslan was so blessed to get ME (haha-there was one big problem right there) how could anything go wrong!

We met in YWAM, Youth With a Mission, Chico, Ca.  It was a 7 month discipleship training school to grow closer to God.  Ruslan flew in all the way from Lithuania and I drove 6 hours from a tiny town in the hidden Surprise Valley, Cedarville Ca, population 800.  Our YWAM team was told that a Russian applicant was having issues with his visa and we were asked to pray him in (Little did I know this was my future husband!).  I was already intrigued just cuz he was a foreigner. Maybe God put that in me, but once he arrived, 3 weeks late, his accent definitely pulled my interest further along. I decided, I wanted to get to know him.  We started out as friends, I had STRONGLY decided before coming to YWAM that I DID NOT want to be distracted by "guys" or even think about getting married someday, something I normally thought about often.  I wanted to get closer to God and that was it!  God probably smiled as I told him MY plan.  Ruslan and I played a lot of ping pong on the veranda of the beautiful hotel/conference building, and one time I remember Ruslan going to fetch the ping pong, that I had just shot across the table into the bushes, and he briefly asked me something about wanting to have a relationship together.  Honestly, I thought it was a different culture thing, that he was just asking if I wanted to be his friend, and I said, “Yeah, sure.”  Little did I know, he thought I was agreeing to something more.  I also saw quite a competitive side to Ruslan that I thought was kinda cute (not so cute later in life especially when it came to my competitiveness), but it also made me feel bad when I would beat him at ping pong, so I always felt torn whether or not to try my best or let him win.  Of course I didn’t have to let him win much he just plain beat me (dang it)! hehe
This is YWAM Richardson's Springs base. So beautiful! That's the huge hotel we played ping pong in front of.

A week after Ruslan’s arrival, we took an outreach trip to my hometown Cedarville.  We drove in a 15 passenger van and I got to sit next to Ruslan (well intentionally planned that) and got to talk to him a lot more.  .  So on our drive I noticed Ruslan was acting a little annoyed with me?  Finally at a rest stop I asked him if I had done anything to offend him, and it was at that point that he explained the misunderstanding about “being in a relationship.” I was so shocked, I was relieved to get that cleared up and we were on friendship ground again, “phew (I think? - At least for now anyway).”
While our team was all hanging out in a Church member's home, my Mom had come to hang out with me and meet my team mates.  As she was looking around the living room she glanced at Ruslan and very clearly heard the Lord speak, "that is your daughter's future husband." Numb struck for a moment, she took in a deep breath, and pondered it in her heart, thinking inside, "Oh Lord, not Lithuania, it's so far away!" She kept this to herself and told me nothing of it, thank goodness! (I would have been a LOT freaked out and put under some very unneeded confusion and pressure, because I had only known him for one week, and had no idea how I felt about him). Good job Mom!

That's Ruslan in the big coat and maroonish shirt third from the left. This is the house behind us where the Lord spoke to Mom

As Ruslan and I got closer, I was becoming more intrigued with this very kind, very smart, and muscular (hehe yes I noticed right away) Russian guy.  I started to get a little nervous because I didn't want to be distracted, and I needed to focus on God, I didn't know if this was "the one" or not. Plus for some strange reason I knew He was serious about his interest in me (asking to be in a relationship after 1 week of knowing me!?), this wasn't like a junior high crush or something, this was a young Man who knew what he wanted and was a much more mature guy than most guys I had liked in the past.  I also didn't understand how he could be so quickly interested in me beyond friendship (did he know something I didn’t??).  He came to me a few days after we returned from Cedarville, we were back at the Richardson's Springs YWAM base.  He had missed the first 3 weeks of our training school so he also missed the orientation.  Meaning, he was not aware of the rule; “no guy/girl relationships allowed” beyond friendship, until finished with the school.  
  That being said, he stopped me, on my way to take a walk to these beautiful waterfalls we had on base, and said, “Do you have a minute?”
Ruslan back then, cutie.  
“Sure what’s up?”  I asked very non chalantly.
“Well since we just finished the “Relationships” videos with Dean Sherman, and he said to make known your feelings, when you have feelings towards someone, I just wanted to let you know that I like you more than a friend.”
I tried to act completely un-phased, and I did (as Ruslan reported after getting married, sorry babe).
“Oh…, well thanks for telling me that.  We can’t really have relationships during this school, and I’m enjoying getting to know you as a friend.   I was just on my way to take a hike, I’ll see ya later.”
I know I was a bit harsh, I was really nervous and I didn’t know what to do, except pretend I felt nothing. Nice (a coping mechanism that would reveal it’s ugly head later in marriage as well).  
 to be continued........

Nikki, Jeni, and I, some great girls from the school as well

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