Monday, September 17, 2012

Chapter 20: Howdy, Cowboy!

It was a cold and beautiful snowy night as I sat in the corner of the ranch staff room after dinner working on my laptop.  Well, I wasn’t actually working… I was emailing a guy I’d met back in Mississippi.  See, I’d been praying since that first Beach Project in Daytona for the Lord to guard my heart for my husband.  I didn’t do such a great job of guarding my heart that freshman year in college… so after the heartbreak of sophomore year, I became very guarded.  It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes.  Every once in a while I actually would start to like a guy, but it was always right before I moved somewhere!  Like right before I left for Africa, right before I left for the States, right before I moved to Colorado...  The timing was just never right, and I was always left lifting my eyes to the heavens and crying, “Seriously??”  What timing.  Because I’d always wanted to meet someone and get married, and the wait was getting harder as friend after friend kept getting engaged.  But this was my life, and I couldn’t see at the time that this was the Lord’s way of guarding my heart.;)  So once again I was emailing a guy I’d already said good-bye to.  I’d been at the ranch for two weeks, and new staff members were coming in every day.  I was older than most, who were mainly right out of college or high school.  There was also a no dating policy for ranch staff, so I went into this knowing that nothing could happen in that department.  I was here to serve the Lord and have fun.  So when the staff door opened and in walked the hottest, most handsome guy I’d ever seen in my life, I knew I was in trouble.  “Oh Lord, guard my heart!” I thought as I watched him out of the corner of my eye.  He was tall, muscular, and seriously looked like one of those football players I’d always had a crush on from a distance.  He glanced my way, and I freaking melted.  “Hi,” he said, “I’m Hank.”  J
Ranch life was really hard work and super busy.  I worked on cabins, and I feel like all I did was eat, sleep, and clean.  But twice a week I had the opportunity to pick up my guitar and help lead worship for the staff.  Our worship team was small… normally only two guitar players; me… and Hank. 
This was how we initially got to know each other.  We would jam with whoever showed up for practice, play through different worship songs, and sometimes hang around afterwards to chat.  It was one of these days that he shared with me his testimony.  His story is absolutely amazing.  I was intrigued by this cowboy who had been through so much and had come out shining in a very unique way for Christ.  We wanted to keep talking after he finished telling me his story, but we had to get back to work.  I remember walking with my guitar to the door while he walked out the other door.  I turned to look back just as he did, and it was at that moment that I knew I’d fallen hard for this guy.  I remember thinking, “Ah well, if it doesn’t work out, he’ll be a really good friend.”  That lasted all of like two days.  I tried to stay focused, but it’s hard when you work and basically live with someone in such close proximity.  I had no idea how he felt, and I knew it had to stay that way.  Wellll… that was before I realized my little high school graduate roommate was starting to pick up on some vibes!  Before I knew what was happening, she had become our little go-between.  “Michelle, he totally likes you.  He said so himself!”  Yeah, stuff like that.  Well, that’s pretty addictive when you’re not allowed to talk with the other person alone or give in to your feelings.  So this went on for a couple of months.  Until one day, I saw an envelope in my mailbox.  It wasn’t brightly colored or cute and small, so I knew it wasn’t from any of my friends or family.  It was a plain white envelope, with notebook paper inside, no stamp… My heart jumped up to my throat.  I grabbed it, ran up to my room, and ripped it open.  It was from Hank.      


  1. I'm so intrigued...can't wait to read more about the meeting of your true love!!!!

  2. Oh, I love this Michelle! Can't wait to read the next part! It was so fun to see you at the grocery store earlier this evening. :)