I have been saying for awhile now that I need to blog our story. It is a true love story, one of those fairy tale ones ... a story i never thought would happen to me. At the time, i felt like it was taking FOREVER - my roommate & i were the only single ones left out of all of our friends. But our own love stories finally did begin - & i am forever grateful to God. He is most definitely the one who brought us together & it's because of Him that we are so totally & completely smitten. =) So get comfortable & enjoy! (It's kind of a long story!)
In 1978 (see?), my parents started to attend a Baptist church near their house. They were not church goers before this. But when mom was growing up, her best friend (who i am named after) invited my mom to church sometimes & the church they went to was Baptist. Mom told me that she felt like church would fix their problems, so she & my dad got us girls dressed & they headed to the nearest Baptist church. I was only a few months old. My sister, Michelle, was 3.
It is so funny to me how little decisions like that can set the course for your entire life! My mom picked that church because it was the nearest one that was Baptist. Zoar Baptist Church - and that is where our family met the family of my future husband. =) The Venables had a 3 year old son (Brad) & a baby girl on the way (Jaimie). Our parents were fast friends & I remember getting together with them while we were kids. I remember going to their house & playing and i remember Jaimie breaking her arm at my 9th birthday party! After that, i think we kind of lost touch for awhile. Until i was a senior in high school. My parents had left the church we were currently attending (Victory Harvest) & began to attend a different nearby church, Covenant. Covenant was where the Venable's were going to church! So, the families were reunited. I remember being at play practice at school on a Saturday & i knew that the Venable's were coming to visit that afternoon. After practice, my sister came to pick me up - & Jaimie & Brad were in the car! I felt a little shy at first, because it had been awhile...but it wasn't long before we were all laughing & goofing off again!
I did not switch churches with my parents because I was very involved in the youth group where i was & wanted to stay there. But after the two families were reunited, i started visiting with my parents sometimes on Sunday mornings as well! No one knew that i was only doing this to be around Brad a little more! I had a tiny crush on him! But after a little while, i got over it, figuring it was just a stupid crush, and i went straight back to services at my own church. I forgot about Brad (at least as a crush!). A few months later, Brad called me out of the blue & asked me out on a date! I was 18 at the time, but had never been asked out on a date before! I was very excited & freaking out a little bit! I had no idea he was even thinking of me that way! He said he had a Christmas Banquet with his work & they were told to bring a date. So he wondered if i would come. I said sure & that was that. It was a bit of an awkward conversation! The date was not until December 9, 1996. It went well & we went on another date the next weekend. Then the next weekend & the next. We were not an official couple, but we were definitely enjoying each other's company. That January he told me he had to talk to me. He told me he realized he liked me as more than a friend & wanted to "go out" with me (or whatever it was we said back then)! I said okay. And we became an official couple. We were inseperable. He was my first kiss & my true love. I knew that we would get married. There was no doubt in my mind. We were perfect together, a true match made in heaven. There was no doubt in my mind that he was "THE ONE". And so our relationship began. I was 18 & he was 21. It was love.
Brad Venable & Melissa Perry - 1997
Sorry for the odd shape of that last one! It was framed in a heart-shaped frame while we were dating! But can you believe these pictures!? We were SOOOO YOUNG! HAHA!
Our relationship was wonderful, perfect! We were best friends. But on January 3, 1998, we broke up. Brad broke up with me, yet i had been knowing that God wanted me to end things with him - i just wouldn't do it. I liked having a boyfriend. I liked being with him. But we weren't seeing eye to eye on things anymore. In fact, we were disagreeing about a lot of important things. It just didn't feel like we were on the same page. So we ended our relationship. After we broke up, even though i knew it was the best thing, i didn't understand & was heartbroken. I missed him SO MUCH. I wanted him back in my life. But i knew that it wasn't right & that it just would not work. SO we continued to live 2 separate lives.
To be continued...