The first months of our relationship were a bit of a whirlwind. I was 18 and working as a surgical assistant, 11-12 hour days. Brady was 23 and had quit his job and started up his very own business, Lifeguard Computers, which he was running out of his parent’s garage at the time.
I tease (but not really) that I was a bit of a damzel in distress when we first got together. It was definitely a year of transition for me. The months before I started dating Brady, I had broken up with my high school boyfriend that was what I would imagine what most post-high-school-break-ups are like in a small town. My high school friends were in the position of picking sides, and the reality of that hurt me. I was suddenly shoved into the real world where my life-long friends were no longer acquaintances. I moved TEN times that year, I had a Jetta that broke down more than my single-girl salary could keep up with, my parents had both moved out of state and all my sisters were married and raising their own families. I was drowning in a sea of mechanic fees, packing/unpacking, 50 hour work weeks and desperately trying to stay afloat.
It was then, and still is beyond me how and why Brady stayed around through all that craziness. Constantly moving me from this apartment to that, picking me up from work when my jetta was in the shop, eating ramen noodles with me in my empty apartment when that’s all I could afford to do…
But he did. He stuck around and never so much as batted a lash at the tornado I called life. When my roommate was moving to another state, or getting married, or moving back home, Brady was right there with his truck to move me to the next place. When my Jetta was broken down, Brady was pulling it into his dad’s shop to see what we could do to fix it on our own. When I needed a friend to talk to, to lean on, a shoulder to cry on, Brady was right there giving me just what I needed. He was the best friend I ever had, and he loved me. He loved me like no one else in my life had ever loved me before. He was understanding, and unconditional no matter what problem arose.
After about six months, I needed to get away. I loved Brady dearly, but neither of us were ready for marriage and I knew that if I wanted to ever move out of this small town, I better do it now. Like all the other crazy circumstances that had come up in that 6 months, Brady was supportive as ever for me to get away for a few months. I think he knew how hard it had been on me and how desperately I needed a fresh start and that this was the only way I could think of to get it. Breaking up with Brady when I moved to Austin, Texas was never so much as a thought. It never got brought up in conversation and it never crossed my mind.
The days leading up to my move, Brady helped me pack what would fit in my car and store the rest. We talked about our phone conversations and how we would stay in touch. We talked about visiting and how we would schedule a visit every month and take turns flying each place. I have no idea if Brady was secretly falling apart about me going, but he never showed that side to me. While I knew he would miss me, he seemed so proud of me for making such a big decision and sticking to it.
I changed my phone number, email address and everything I could think of. I needed a fresh start, I needed something different than what I was doing. So I packed my jetta, prayed that it would make it and set off for Austin.
I felt immediately relived and while I knew I had made a good decision, leaving Brady behind was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
My first week in Austin, I got invited to attend a huge non-denomination christian church there, Gateway, and from the second I sat down, I knew why I was in Austin. My world had been so crazy in Utah because I wasn’t following any divine guidance. Gateway Church made that click for me and immediately I desperately wanted to seek out the life that God had intended for me.
True to his word, 3 weeks after my move, Brady was on a plane to visit. We had a wonderful time wondering around, discovering the city, celebrating Christmas together early and seemed to had fallen into a deeper level love that trip.
I don’t remember a time really when it hit me like a ton of bricks that I loved Brady and he was the one for me. Our relationship and our love was just so easy. It came so natural. We laughed at all the same things and having fun together was just a given. I could talk to Brady without feeling judgement of any kind, no matter the subject. Sometime after we started dating, while I was living in Austin I realized there was no one else I would rather spend my life with. That I could, but didn’t want to ever live my life apart from Brady. My life began when Brady walked into my life and I never wanted that to end. It just became apparent that he was my answer. To everything.
My time in Austin was one of my most treasured times in my life. Brady and I both fell in love with the city and swore we’d make it back one day, together. The perfect place to raise a family, we agreed. I lived there for 5 wonderful months. Every 3-4 weeks Brady and I would travel back and forth to visit each other. Our nights were reserved for talking on the phone as we had vowed to keep each other involved in our lives, even though they were separate at the time.
On January 11th, 2008 as I was visiting Utah from Texas, Brady asked me to marry him. We were sitting in the front of his truck when he pulled out a necklace he had found for me as a gift. It was a long silver chain with a sparkly, vintage inspired pendant. As he placed it around my neck, my engagement ring slid down the chain. It was the most romantic proposal I could have ever dreamed up. We left to attend our dinner reservations, where my family was awaiting our arrival as a surprise to me. We sat surrounded by the ones we loved in eager anticipation to start this next chapter of our lives.
That night as I lay in bed awake into the wee hours of the morning, I thanked God over and over for bringing me this amazing man. I couldn’t believe that this was really my life.