A series of 21 gifts wouldn’t be complete without at least a mention of one of my favorite gifts, right?
And while he’ll be embarrassed that I’m dedicating an entire post to him, I think it would be wrong to ignore someone as important as him in this series. (Sorry, chico.)
I met Gray almost 2 years ago on the third floor of HAL for a study abroad meeting. I remember the moment I first saw him because my very first thought was: Oh my goodness, that kid is so tall! I could never date anyone that tall. Although he was nice and sweet, I didn’t really see us being close friends and I didn’t talk to him again until the Newark Airport flying to study abroad in Málaga. To sum up a long story, we ended up having practically the same life while in Spain and we became good friends – which ended up with us dating by the end of the program.
I see Gray as a gift for so many reasons, but the primary reason is because I told God I didn’t want him. I went to Spain after a particularly hard Fall semester and swore off guys. I distinctly remember telling God to (please and thank you) refrain from sending any great guys until after I had graduated. I didn’t have time for them and I wanted to focus on my faith, academics, and career plans.
It was only a few weeks after that prayer that Gray and I sat on the dirty floor of the Madrid Airport and started a friendship.
I didn’t want to date anyone because I wanted to focus on God, but it was through Gray that I was really encouraged to do better. I had someone to go to church with, someone to avoid 4 am drinking games with, someone who understood my family, life, beliefs, and more.
You know the saying: “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” Well, I told God my plans, and he definitely laughed. There is no other explanation for why I’m dating Gray, because even after I met him – I made a million excuses to avoid a relationship. I’m convinced that God used Gray to redeem me from the mess I had gotten myself in, and the mess I probably would have returned to in the USA had I not been dating the tall kid from Arlington.
Gray isn’t just a gift to me – he is a gift to his family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. I see it all the time, and I’m thankful for his spirit of kindness and concern for others. I’m thankful for his dedication to his work, studies, and our relationship. I’m also very thankful that we only have 26 more days for the Atlantic Ocean and six time zones to divide us.
And I’m sure that he is thankful that this blog post is done. :)