Dating Differently: Marissa and Tellan’s Story

by GfG on June 19, 2013 · 13 comments

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An exciting part of my series on Dating Differently today!  As I’ve shared our view of seeing dating differently as a family, I’ve wanted to share a story of a young woman away at college.  A real life story of a godly young woman who pursued the LORD first and then all else, including how to handle courtship while not at home full time. 

I’ve been hoping to share this sweet story of courtship with you. I don’t know Marissa well, but her mother has become one of my dearest friends here in NM.  I have enjoyed hearing about and praying for Marissa.  And then Tellan. 

Here is her story (with permission) in her own words, shared on her blog: Life in the Potter’s Hands

After a gap year, I arrived in Moscow, Idaho, for my freshman year of college at New Saint Andrews (NSA) as a twenty year old young woman.  I settled in, met my room mates, said a tearful goodbye to my family, then went down to a local coffee shop called Bucers with one of my roomies. We sat at a long table in the front and I met a lady named Mrs. Lloyd and her daughter. We talked for a while about who knows what, probably school, why I picked NSA, my family, etc.

A few days later was Orientation, my first Sunday at Christ Church, and then a church wide picnic. I saw Mrs. Lloyd and her husband and stopped to say hi. Their son Tellan walked over and introduced himself. He was an NSA Sophomore. Cool. Nice family. I moved on and prepared to start school.

What I didn’t know was that Mr. Lloyd and Jordyn (Tellan’s sister) had picked me out and told Tellan before he even met me.

As the first term began, Tellan made an effort to talk to me a lot at church, at school, at Bucers, and on my porch when he walked by (since he lived just around the block). By fall break my siblings (who live near by) and I could tell that he was becoming quite interested in me. Leaving coffee in my mailbox was just one of the many hints.

Meanwhile Tellan had talked to his parents about “ya know that girl you mentioned?” At the end of the term I left to go home for fall break and Tellan contacted my dad. He was interested in getting to know me and possibly pursue a relationship.

I talked to my parents for a while and my dad gave us permission to spend some time getting to know one another.

So the second term we spent time “studying” and talking at Starbucks, enjoying Sabbath meals with friends and talking at school. He also walked me home from school on days when our classes finished at the same time.

I headed home for Thanksgiving break and Tellan called my dad again. He was ready to take it to the next step. We talked about it  and then Dad began getting to know Tellan on his own and asking him questions.

The end of the term began to draw to a close and we studied for finals, had a pancake party at his house, and things were great. Or so he thought.

Two days before I left, with school off my mind, I had time to actually start thinking about where things were headed with this relationship. Stress and exhaustion got the better of me and I freaked out.

Things like “he’s kinda quirky,” “I need to focus on school,” “I can’t handle school and a relationship,” and “I don’t know if I even really like him,” were the thoughts my mom was bombarded with as we video chatted.

My roommates were out enjoying their freedom and soaking up every minute of Christmas break, while I sat at home, lights dim, tired eyes red from tears.

I received a text: “Hey, we should hang out before you leave.” The moment I was dreading.

I bundled up.  As he knocked on the door, I prayed for God to give me the words, prayed he wouldn’t be too hurt, and that I wouldn’t cry. We walked down to a coffee shop.

We ordered coffee, went up to the loft, and talked. He tried to carry the conversation, asking questions, making comments, but I was quiet and not my normal self.  It was obvious. All the time I sat trying to figure out how to broach the subject, how to tell him I wasn’t interested.

He finally asked, “Is everything ok? You’re really quiet.” I stared at my ceramic mug, fingers tracing the rim. “Yeah, there’s something I need to tell you.” Then it all came out. Silence.

How hard did it hit? Is he terribly hurt? Now what? We talked some more.  He said it was fine, and he understood. He wanted to know when we could talk about it again.

Ummm when I’m 25? 40? Never? “Probably nothing till summer” I said. He nodded.

Well, with that wet blanket thrown out there, we pulled our coats on and walked out. He picked up the gift he had gotten me, walked me to my house, and gave me the gift.

Why? After I just shot you in the arm you go and give me a gift? It was a Lee Brice CD and a bag of gummy worms. Man… he already knows me well.

I cried myself to sleep, confused, exhausted, drained, and annoyed that I didn’t understand my own feelings.

I left early the next morning to drive home with Caity and a friend of ours from NM. The ride was 21 hours and I slept through most of it.

Four weeks of Christmas break.  Four weeks of anguish, frustration, confusion, sleep, prayer, and talking to my mom. By the time I went back to school I was convinced I had done the right thing.  I needed and wanted to finish freshman year, and I wasn’t ready for a relationship.

Though Tellan had seemed calm and fine after coffee that night, I had no idea that all Christmas break he was just as miserable and upset as I was.  Though he had a feeling things weren’t really over, that didn’t keep him from feeling the pain.

When we got back to school, I was holding firm to my resolve and we avoided each other and didn’t talk for the first two weeks. As Providence would have it, that was “courtship” term in Lordship Class where we talked about the roles of men and women, courtship, and marriage.

Pretty soon I began realizing that we had gotten to know each other pretty well, and I missed my friend. I also realized as we read about what a godly man and husband should be like, that I knew a man with so many of those wonderful qualities and he was interested in me.

One day I was out shoveling snow (or rather chipping ice) on our side walk when Tellan walked up. He had been praying that God would give him an opportunity just to talk to me. Boom. Prayer answered.

He stopped and we talked for a few minutes, he walked home to get a better shovel, came back and finished chipping the ice.

As I stood there watching him, he apologized to me! What did he have to apologize for? I was the one that was so unsure of herself, the one that caused the pain. Wow! At least we could be friends again.

I talked to a professor one afternoon about Tellan and relationships and life. I began talking to my parents about Tellan again and informed them that I was interested in pursing a relationship with him if he was still interested.

My dad emailed Tellan to ask if he wanted to pick up where they left off. He was answered with an enthusiastic yes.

At the end of third term, my family went down to Arizona for spring break. That happens to be where Tellan’s family lives and so we met up with them several times.

Mid week my dad gave Tellan and I permission to start courting.

We began spending even more time together studying, talking, eating, sitting together at Church, etc.

We also began reading a courtship book together. My dad had given him permission to try and win my heart and he did exactly that.

Mariss and Tellan WEB

We got engaged on the front porch of my house where we had spent lots of time talking, studying, and reading. We are so excited to get married this summer and begin next school year as a married couple.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for us and were a huge encouragement to us both throughout our relationship.

~Striving for Christ,  Marissa

How sweet is that?!  Seriously sweet.

Marissa says she is open to any questions you might have about her courtship.  Please leave them in the comments.  It is our desire to bless you.

Do you have any questions about Marissa and Tellan’s courtship?  

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