Sunday, March 8, 2009

My love story

My husband is the most important person in my life. So, it seems only right to explain how we met and fell in love. It's truly an amazing story, although I may be slightly biased. I'll try to be brief but you know how girls are, we tend to like details......
Chris was paralyzed in a car accident on June 10, 2000. I was working as a physical therapist in Virginia at the time and he became my patient in a rehab center in September. The rehab center was his home for as long as he needed therapy, which turned out to be 8 weeks. We worked together one on one 2 hours/day, 5 days/week. So you can see how it's easy to get to know someone in that environment. A little background is needed at this point. Chris was coming from a lifestyle of partying hard, very hard, which is why he ended up paralyzed. I was a christian, very committed to my faith at this point, a girl who liked rules and followed them (I still do!). It's amazing we could find anything to talk about when you look at our paths!! Anyway, we got into some deep conversations and light-hearted conversions, we joked around, we almost cried. I felt like I was experiencing this dramatic change in his life with him. He talked about everything - every detail of emotional and mental pain, every memory of his accident, the pain of friends leaving him and moving on with their own lives while his life had come to a screeching hault. He talked about God and at times seemed interested in learning about Him, but the next minute he'd be on to a different topic. But here's what started to happen with me......
Like I said, I was a christian who was very committed to knowing more about God and trying my best to follow Him everyday. But I had never, and have never since experienced this same thing with another person. At random times during the day and even in the middle of the night sometimes I would feel such a burning need to pray for Chris......I would try to get it out of my mind, but I just couldn't do it no matter what I did. It was always for something different: for him to be able to truly experience God and His love, for him to be free from all the lies he's been living, for him to be free from the need to drink and party, for his eyes to be able to see, to REALLY see the difference between what is true and what is a lie, to see it in peoples' actions and to know it in his heart, for him to no longer be suffocated by this world and the experiences he's had in it but that he would experience true freedom, true freedom. These types of prayers would pop into my mind throughout the 8 weeks that he was my patient. So I was pretty attached to him as you can imagine, he seemed to occupy my mind because of the prayers but also because of all of the hurt that he was experiencing as he adjusted and adapted to this whole new way of living, this "paralyzed world." At the end of the 8 weeks we still had 4 weeks of therapy to go, but Chris got an infection and had to leave the facility. After a few weeks of being at home with his parents he decided to return to Radford University where he was before the accident. We had been keeping in touch initially but after he went back to school it only took a few weeks before he returned to his partying lifestyle. So a few months after he was discharged we drifted our own ways. I have to admit that I was getting a crush on him by the time he was discharged, but of course that dwindled with everything else as we went separate ways. And, to be honest, I was thankful for our separate ways because then I didn't have to worry about the fact that I had a crush on a person who wasn't really interested in God, was 5 years younger than me, and had been my patient. Whew! So along I went on my life.....when about a year after we met his mom emailed me to tell me that Chris had completely changed, became a christian, and was now dedicating his life to getting to know God better and better. Honestly, although I was glad for him, I had no desire to contact him because I didn't want open up that whole scenerio again. I was content in my own little world and didn't need the drama of bringing Chris Skinner back into it. (not very Christian-like I know, but I'm only being honest). About 9 months after I had gotten that email I got a surprise. I walked out of our offices after lunch and here comes Chris Skinner driving through the PT gym. He literally took my breath away and I was speechless, felt my face get hot, and felt tongue-tied all at once. Fortunately he's never been at a loss for words in his life, so he just jumped right into conversation and I had a moment to gather myself and compose some sort of response before I tried to hurry to my next patient. I've known many people who have become Christians after I had known them, but he was completely different. In that one conversation it was like every good trait that he had naturally was increased 10 times in my eyes when he talked about God and how much his life had changed. The rest of the day I tried to figure out why it had been such a big deal to see him and why I had such a dramatic response. That night I couldn't sleep. I couldn't get him out of my mind and I couldn't get the idea that I should pray for his faith in God to increase even more. But honestly I didn't WANT to pray for his faith to increase (here's the selfishness in me coming out, again, not very christian-like, but honest). I didn't want to pray because I thought it wasn't fair for ME. It wasn't fair for ME to have to pray for his faith to increase only for God to answer that prayer and then bring some other girl into his life for him to marry......I would have done all the "work" of praying for him and "she" would get the results of the answered prayers. I know, seriously, how ridiculous is that? But that's really what I thought. But eventually I prayed for him and then went to sleep and after a few days was able to convince myself that I was back to normal and didn't need to think about him again. However a few months later I was on instant-messenger with one of my other friends who is quadriplegic. He was he was also on instant messenger with Chris and asked if I'd be willing go to Radford with him to visit Chris for a weekend. He needed someone to go with him to help him physically with a few aspects of his self care. So I agreed and just kept telling myself that it was entirely possible for me to go down there and come home without having any "feelings" for Chris. Entirely possible. So I made that my goal. But alas, the weekend was great, the conversations were great, Chris started calling regularly and asked me to come back to visit by myself, and......before I knew it he was telling me he wanted me to get to know him NOW as the new person he'd become in the 2 years since we'd met......and yes, I fell face first in love with Chris Skinner! We dated 9 months, were engaged 9 months, and were married January 10, 2004. My life has never been the same!

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful love story. There should be a movie about you guys :)