The summer Chris and I spent interning for Velma Baptist Church was a challenge, but a blast. We invested our time in kids ages 6 to 12 for almost ten weeks! Planning pool parties, attending summer camp, directing Vacation Bible School. Our personalities fit perfectly together for the job. Chris was fun and spontaneous, always making the kids laugh. He had a heart to serve and to play. He was an excellent role-model for the young boys we served and became one of their best friends. I was organized and determined to plan every detail perfectly. My heart was set on teaching Bible stories in a way that made them come alive to the children.
The summer was a challenge because even though our personalities worked well together…they also clashed. Chris, in my opinion, rarely took things seriously, waited until the last minute for everything, and seemed to be only concerned with the ‘fun’ aspects of children’s ministry. To Chris, I was bossy and controlling, too picky, and often acted like his mother cleaning up after him and forcing him to do the mundane tasks he didn’t want to do. We butted heads quite often, faced off in yelling matches most days, and argued over almost every detail. Looking back…we should have known then that we were meant to be together, since we acted just like an old married couple.
Somehow, we were able to push our differences aside, mix his fun personality with my administrative qualities and pull off a pretty impressive summer. I can remember Chris pretending to be “David Letterman” on his own late show and stealing all of my funny jokes and Logan won our talent contest by yelling “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” in a scream voice that the other sponsors couldn’t understand. We had so many church members volunteering and providing anything we needed. Chris and I learned a great deal about ministry. I discovered that children’s ministry is just not the right fit for me.
We averaged around 20 kids on Wednesday nights. The children seemed to enjoy the activities we had planned as some of them, who are in high school now, still come up to us today sharing memories of that summer. The biggest joy of the summer was watching several of our kids commit their lives to Jesus. Whether it was at church camp or VBS or Sunday School, a few students in our ministry dedicated their lives to bringing glory to God and they have carried it out to this day. And we both know that is something we always want to be a part of.
By the end of the summer, I had gotten accepted to OU. Not necessarily by choice, but by God putting things into place, I was off to Norman. I’m pretty sure I made Chris jealous going to ‘his school,’ which he had previously left. Not soon after my decision was made, Chris decided he was going back to OU also. I always said that he followed me up here. Looking at how things turned out, I think I was right. Our relationship grew in so many ways. We had made it through the rough patches and came out closer on the other side. The idea of dating was thrown around by both of us. We spent time with one another’s families and dreamed about a future together…
Yet, it just wasn’t the right timing. And we both knew it. I had a few tough issues to overcome in my personal life. Chris was still in the process of sorting out exactly what he wanted to do after college. The idea of dating soon faded away. We both went to OU fall of 2007 still best friends.