I have a crazy, great friend named Matt Carter. I don’t recall when or where I first met Matt, but I did, and it’s been a great friendship ever since. He lived in the Dallas area and I was in Arkansas as our friendship grew. He had moved to Georgia for work and to be closer to his family while I moved to Austin. Fast forward a few months to April 2013.
I received a text message from Matt one day in April stating that he had a great friend from the Dallas area who just moved to Austin. He described this friend as an “incredible Godly dude.” Then he asked if he could send this guy my name and number. If nothing else, it could be two people who love Jesus and are new to Austin meeting and becoming friends. I was usually turned off to that sort of stuff, but I found it hard to turn down an opportunity to meet an “incredible Godly dude,” so I said, “Sure.” That was that. No more words about it from Matt or this “incredible Godly dude.” I forgot all about the conversation and went on with my life. I later heard from Matt asking if his friend had called, which he had not. Then he told me he was coming to Texas in the summer. We made plans to hang out for the three days he’d be in Austin. Fast forward to June 2013.
Matt arrives on Monday, June 24, and tells me that he has another friend in Austin who was going to meet up with us when he got off from work. I like meeting new people and making new friends, so the more the merrier! Matt wanted barbecue for dinner, so we decided to eat at Stiles Switch BBQ. His friend was going to meet us there. As soon as we drove into the parking lot, it was very clear that this restaurant was not open on Mondays. So, we waited in the empty parking lot for Matt’s friend to show up so we could make up a Plan B. Fast forward just a few minutes.
A maroon Honda CRV pulls up next to us, and then out walks a tall, dark, handsome, Chucks-wearing guy. I immediately turned into a shy 12 year old girl who couldn’t make eye contact or words. This guy was cute! Matt quickly introduced me and then they began talking music pedals (something like that…who knows). While they talked, I sat in the passenger seat thinking, “He’s cute AND has the coolest name on the planet.” But, he didn’t look at me except one time to say, “Nice to meet you.” I kept reminding myself just to stay cool and not let any crazy show.
Once we finally got seated somewhere to eat, conversation went well. I enjoyed watching and listening to the two of them catch up and then throwing my nervous two cents in every once and a while. After dinner, we went to Mozart’s for coffee. We sat out by the lake for hours. One thing was confirmed. I had a big ol’ crush on Jeff Jack after just one night. I remember going home that night and praying, “God, if this isn’t my husband, please don’t let me fall for him.” Then I fell asleep with this boy on my mind.
Matt and I spent the next day hiking the Green Belt. Matt got us miles off track, but we did successfully complete about a million of them in the heat of Austin summer and didn’t keel over. Even though I almost killed Matt for getting us so lost! I was just too distracted. Not wanting to be “that” girl and talk about Jeff the entire time, I just kept all I wanted to say inside my mind. I was hoping and wishing he would hang out with us that night, which he did. We met for take 2 of Stiles Switch BBQ. We ate dinner and then played washers and darts….or attempted to play. This is where the flirting began. I mean, doesn’t everyone’s hands brush across each other when handing darts over to the next thrower? ;) There was also some competitiveness, which I loved. For some reason, I like to compete in things I’m no good at. It gave us plenty to flirt about, so all was well. This night ended the same way. “God, if this isn’t my husband, please don’t let me fall for him.” Then I fell asleep with this boy on my mind.
Now it’s Wednesday. This was Matt’s last day in Austin, which meant my last day to spend with him and probably my last night to hang out with Jeff. Matt and I went to Top Golf. It was my first time there, and I got hooked! On the way, he tells me that the guy he texted me about in April, the “incredible Godly dude” guy, was Jeff Jack. I was totally ok with that. I was ok with him finally using my number if he ever decided to do so, and if he even kept it. There was excitement inside of me. But I was also very guarded. I had obviously fallen for this guy, even though I asked God not to let me just in case. I was to a point in my life where I was ready for the next guy I date to be my husband. I honestly had the thought, after two nights of hanging out with Jeff, “Could this be my husband?” I kept myself guarded and my hopes down just in case he wasn’t my guy. Jeff met us that night for dinner and Putt Putt. I honestly did not want the night to be over. I had kinda liked hanging out with him. We said our goodbyes. Matt and Jeff hugged bye, and I gave Jeff a nice pat on the arm (like a dummy). As soon as we got in the car, Matt said, “You could have at least given him a hug!” I knew I blew that chance! When Matt and I got back to my apartment, I checked out the Putt Putt score cards. Jeff only beat me by 3 shots. Of course I took this as my chance to talk to him more and made Matt text on my behalf to rub it in. This is young relationship flirting at its finest. Instead of responding through Matt’s phone, he responded to my phone. This was the start of a lot of text messages over the next two days. Oh, and he hit me on the head with his golf club. There was mention of that in all of our text messages as well.
After lots of text messages, and then not hearing from him for a couple of days (I refused to text him at this point), he finally texted. There were two more days of lots of text messages before we decided to hang out in person with no Matt. Just the two of us. I wasn’t sure if it was a date or a friend thing, so I went with no expectations in mind. Jeff did a good job not to lead me on via texts. As soon as he greeted me in the parking lot of Mozart’s on Tuesday, July 2, he stopped me and said, “Ok, there are few things I want to tell you. I like you, I think you’re gorgeous, and I was hoping we could make this a date.” “Heck yea,” I said…or maybe that’s what I thought. I did say, “Of course.” I was thrilled and respected the fact that he wanted to ask me out in person. The way I always felt it should be done. We walked hand in hand the rest of the night drinking coffee and climbing up Mount Bonnell to watch the sunset. I knew on this night that I could marry him. This night my prayer was more like, “Thank you, Jesus!” And then I fell asleep with this boy on my mind.
We went out every night that week, and then I was off to Arkansas for 9 days. While I was gone, there was constant communication via text messages. There were also phone calls every evening. I missed him. I couldn’t wait to get home and see him again. And I did. The rest is history. Wonderful, happy history.
As I type this, I am 68 days away from marrying him. I thank God for bringing him to me and for not letting me doubt one second that this is the guy I choose to spend my entire life with. I chose him 10 months ago, I choose him today, and I will choose him every day until I die. And that, folks, is how we met. Thanks for your support, love, and encouragement! It has been a fun journey and will only get better from here.
Signed the future Mrs. Jeff Jack,