How We Met, Part One

You know, I’m not really a believer in love at first sight.

Which is ironic, because from the first moment I encountered David, I knew he was mine.

It has taken me quite some time to compile our love story because honestly, it’s quite the saga (but who’s isn’t?) and it felt a bit overwhelming to sit down and write it out. Reliving it has been wonderful and terrifying and humbling. I still can’t believe that God pulled this whole thing off, that I actually married David Spears, and that he’s sitting across from me on the couch, sleeping with our baby. I make babies with David Spears. That’s awesome.

But let’s back up and lay some ground work, shall we?

Dave and I both grew up in Kentucky, but in towns one hour apart from one another. However, our towns are in the same diocese. The first time our paths crossed was at a diocesan youth event. David had been attending this youth event ever since he can remember. You see, Dave and his siblings are very musically talented, and they frequently play music together for various youth conferences. It’s such a cool ministry that they pour their hearts into, even to this day. His family had been playing music for our diocesan youth conference for years. But I? I never wanted to go.

Finally, when I was 16 years old, my mom made me go to the conference. I was so angry with her (but so thankful now, mom!). At this time, I was playing volleyball year-round and was out of town nearly every weekend for tournaments. The weekend of the youth conference that year was the one weekend I had off of ball for the entire semester, and I certainly did not want to spend that time at some Jesus-freak event. (Important side note: this was pre-conversion, and, coincidentally, our love story began in unison with my love story with the Lord, but that’s another story for another time)

Alas, I had no sway over Mama O, and I lost the battle to avoid the event. Luckily, some of my girlfriends’ parents were also making them go, so we were in it together.

Now, some of my girlfriends had been to this conference before, and I’d heard them rave about the Spears family many times before. “Oh they are sooooo cute!”, “The Spears boys are the studliest men on the planet.” and on and on. In my pissed-off-about-this-whole-conference-thing-iness, I set myself in total opposition of everything about it, including the Spears family. I was absolutely not going to think that they were cute. There was no way I was going to gush over the Spears boys like my friends did. There was no way I was going to enjoy anything about that weekend.

{insert Jesus laughing}

So the dreaded weekend rolled around, and I dragged my feet in camaraderie with my buddies and walked into the hot, stuffy basketball gym with my face toward the ground. Suddenly, I heard the music start and my attention was forced toward its source. There they were, the infamous fam-band.

“Dang. They are cute.”, I thought.

My eyes scanned over my future sister and brothers-in-law and finally came to rest on the saxophone player.

“Megs, which one is that, playing that horn thing?”, I asked my best friend who knew the family well.

“That’s David”, she replied, “he’s our age.”

David.

david circa 2007, about a year after we first met. d, i promise i tried to find a picture of myself around this time…but i couldn't. sorry charlie. ;)

david circa 2007, about a year after we first met. d, i promise i tried to find a picture of myself around this time…but i couldn’t. sorry charlie. 😉

I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Like, y’all, I was embarrassed, even then, over how much I was staring, but I couldn’t peel my eyes away from him. There was something about him, something deeper than just his physical appearance, that attracted me to him.

I was soon thrusted out of my gaze as the kids around me rose and went outside for a snack break.

I got up with them and scurried awkwardly with my friends to get in line for some Sun Chips and Grandma’s cookies.

Before I knew it, David and his younger brother were approaching us. My girlfriends and the boys exchanged enthusiastic hellos and caught up for a minute while I stood sheepishly in their shadows because oh. my. gosh. David was right there. I became annoyed by how strongly I was drawn to him. What was this about? Why did I think he was so cute? He’s just a guy. I was determined that this weekend would be miserable, but suddenly there appeared a silver lining in the form of a handsome musician.

“Hey! I’m David, and this my brother, Joe.”

His friendly greeting quickly transported me out of my internal musings and into the present moment. I’m sure I mumbled some sort of hi, nice to meet you, yada yada. But I can’t remember the rest of the conversation because I’m pretty sure I was in a state of paralyzing nervousness.

We parted ways as we headed back into the gym for Mass that evening.

I’ll never forget the next moment. Once Communion began, I watched as David stood in line to receive. He was profoundly reverent. I’d never seen a guy be so prayerful. I liked that. Which is funny because I was not prayerful at all. After I watched him receive the Eucharist, I leaned over to Megan and whispered, “I’m going to marry him.” She leaned in closer and responded, “Ok.”, as if we were both in on a secret that would navigate the course of the rest of my life.

engagment

a foreshadowing: engagement photo

The remainder of the weekend passed in a flash, and we mingled with the Spears a few other times. The more David talked, the more I genuinely like him. He’s just a likable guy.

But those thoughts I had on the first night of the conference? I had already stifled those. He was too good for me. A guy like him would never waste time on a girl like me. He was going places, wonderful places, and he would need a fantastic partner to come along with him. I didn’t think I could fill those shoes. David had become my standard, my example of an ideal man, but I knew that I would never have the privilege of being his standard, of his ideal woman.

He and I casually exchanged goodbyes on Sunday morning, and I left the youth conference happy that I had met a new friend. Right? He was now my friend, and that’s all he’d ever be. And that was fine. I was fine. It was all fine. Right? {wrong}

From there, we occasionally interacted via instant messaging (remember that?!) and Facebook. But it would be nearly two years until I saw him again.

And the next time we were in one another’s presence, David made it clear where he stood in relation to me.

Screenshot 2014-09-06 15.12.28

Comments

  1. Ahhhh! I love this so much! And boy how I miss instant messenger 🙂

  2. What a great story, I used to go to those conferences with the Spears band and all, however it was the late 90’s. I was so shocked to realize that your Spears were the same I knew. I found your blog from another blogger and never made the connection. It made my day.

  3. You were my first stop during naptime, friend!! LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Can’t wait for more!

  4. THIS! I have been transported to the seashell and it’s like I’m listening for the first time all over again. I love you two so dang much. Panda love forev.

  5. I love reading how people met! I can’t wait for the rest of your story 🙂

  6. Love this, Olivia! Can’t wait to read more…

  7. This is so sweet! Looking forward to more!

  8. We want part two, we want part two! 😉

  9. I love this, every incredibly detailed sidetrack! So selfishly glad you are able to share so freely 🙂

  10. I’m going back through reading these stories (a year later and they are still gold!) and I had to stop at the part where you told your friend that you were going to marry David the first day you met him to say that almost the exact same thing happened to me! I actually had a dream that I was going to marry Tommy and I told my friend and we laaaaaaaaaaaaaughed and laughed and laughed because THAT would definitely totally NEVER happen. Hah! All the lolz….

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