This is the part of the story that could be extremely hard to believe...some of you will wonder if I'm lying, others will call me things like "idiot", "cocky" and "sexist", and some may question Tricia's sanity...you'll also be tempted to start a theological discussion in the comments (which I'm more than happy to delete)...I'm just warning you.
So, here I am, sitting in my pickup with a girl I'm crazy for, about to tell her something that I know is going to totally change our relationship forever. Either she's going to ultimately feel the same way about me and we'd live happily ever after, or she's going to be scarred for life and never want to speak to me again...the next few minutes would prove, one way or the other, to be a culmination of the past 9 months of my life...
Needless to say, I was shaking.
Our conversation lasted for about 30 minutes, and there's no real easy way to share everything about it, so here are the cliff notes (imagine that the following is Nathan talking with Tricia)...
I really like you. I think you're just about the most incredible girl I've ever met. I think you're beautiful and fun. I love your personality and how you love God with all your heart. You seem to bring out the best in me and I have literally been crazy about you since the day we met last August. I have no idea if you have been aware of how I feel for you, and I have no idea what you think about me, and I know that this conversation is going to change everything, but I've been wanting to tell you for a long time, and I can't hold it in any longer...
Umm...I really like you...as a friend. I love hanging out with you, but I don't think that I have those feelings for you. I'm not really attracted to you in that kind of way. I don't think you're the one.
So, basically, I had no plan about what I was going to say to that...even after so many months of imagining this conversation in my head, I really didn't have anything planned out beyond what I had already said. So, the next part was completely me going into desperation mode...honest, but desperate.
I basically had a theological discussion about the will of God with Tricia concerning marriage, attempting to persuade her to give me chance. Without going into details (and giving anyone even more reason to have a discussion with me), I shared with her about what I believed God wanted for us as His followers...that He has given us certain guidelines about certain things, but has left the decisions in our hands (with His help). (I'm purposely trying to keep this part vague...if you absolutely have to know exactly what I said, as some of our college friends about the "steering wheel analogy")
I explained to Tricia that I didn't believe that she was "the one" for me either (because I don't believe in "the one"), but from what I knew and experienced about her so far, I would be very, very happy with her for the rest of my life...and I knew I could make her just as happy. Even if she didn't feel the same about me, I told her that (and here comes the really crazy part), if she'd just give me a chance at this deeper relationship thing, I knew that, within a matter of days, she'd be just as crazy about me (you don't know what "stepping out on a limb" really means until you've told a girl that she'll fall in love with you).
I knew that I was taking a huge risk at being so open and honest and blunt with Tricia. I knew that what I was saying could come off as incredibly cocky and jerkish...but I was hoping that, in the time we'd spent together, Tricia had come to a place where she could at least hear what I was really trying to say.
All of this time, I could tell that Tricia was listening and thinking about what I was saying. I could also tell that I hadn't convinced her yet. So, I asked her to, at least, take what I'd shared with her and think about it for a while. I told her I'd give her as long as she needed to give me an answer (I'm not sure if I ever really asked a question).
As she stepped out of my truck that night, and I watched her walk into her house, I felt a great sense of relief...I also felt a new sense of anxiety, knowing that the last 30 minutes could have been the beginning of the end for us.
Back to the waiting game...