This new guy didn't try to hit on me. He was a good looking guy and was nice. We started talking. Soon, he was coming to a small group at our house on Sundays and participating in the study we were going through. He and Amy and I began going on Sunday hikes. Not too long after that, we found that we liked each other more than just friends hiking every Sunday. He asked Mom and Dad if we could begin a courtship. I know that sounds antiquated, and I don't particularly like the word either. The whole point is to get to know the other person's strengths and flaws in developing your friendship, but also protecting that person's heart at the same time. The relationship began wonderfully. Once again I felt beautiful and intriguing. But it was all a facade. Underneath it all, I was still trying to find my significance in the relationship I was in. I was still so insecure. It tuns out that we both were looking to each other for our significance and meaning.
After we had been together for just over a year, some big issues came up and I told Heath that I needed a break from the relationship. We didn't talk for over a month. Then we began to write letters to each other. I knew that something was different in Heath. There was also a difference in me too. The Lord had shown me things that I had been either ignorant of or had ignored before. Eventually we got back together and I thought that everything was going to be all right. I still had my "significant other" to make me feel significant. We did things together a lot more since Amy had moved away to work at a camp full-time and our outdoorsy friends had moved away too. Most of the time, it was just us hanging out. I went to work for part of the summer at the camp where my sister was working. She had just gotten engaged and I was feeling very jealous. I didn't want to admit that it was jealousy, but it was. She had been in a relationship for a short time compared to mine and was already getting engaged. She had the seal of approval from our parents and everyone was excited for her. I silently wished it were me. I had never expected her to get married before me. I tried to be happy with my relationship, but I wasn't.
I got back from camp and Heath and I got a lot more serious in our relationship. I began thinking of how we should be meant to be together even though there were things that weren't right. I tried to push aside things that bothered me about us. I tried to forget about things that worried me and that could (and probably would) cause problems if we got married. We started talking about getting married. My parents had told me some things before that they had noticed that were concerns to them, but I didn't want to listen. If I did, I would have to admit that something wasn't working. I'd have to admit that something was wrong. It would throw my plans off. I didn't want to loose control of this relationship like I had the last one. I definitely didn't want that. I convinced myself that I wanted to be married to Heath and that any dreams that I had previously had for my life before that, were not dreams that I had now. I spent so much energy trying to make everyone happy. I was giving up so much that I was passionate about. I have never felt so drained in my life. I didn't even have the energy to have fun anymore. I still felt strangely empty and alone. But, this was what I "wanted" and if I just got engaged and then got married everyone would be happy for us. I would be happy... I thought.