Thursday, October 24, 2019

A Beautiful Day

Image may contain: David West and Debbie Staffieri Hudson, people smiling, closeup

Well, this post is long overdue, but when you work all day and then come home to being Mama to kids and dogs and cats, running a travel business, and also trying to get another business off the ground - time just isn't your friend any more.

Such is the season of my life right now. But I don't say this in negative light.

This season of life has been joyful. It has been fun. It has been edifying and rewarding.

One year ago - today to be exact, I met a man that forever changed the trajectory of my life.

To make an incredibly blessed and long story short, I met David when I was in a period of mourning...

Sitting outside on my front porch reading Scripture one rainy evening - I put the Bible down and picked up my phone. Started scrolling through facebook like most of us do. I had just separated (again) from a man I had been dating on and off for six years. I thought he was "the one." But, somehow - we always seemed to be on different paths and I couldn't quite connect on the level I needed with him.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Debbie Staffieri Hudson, people smiling
We had recently returned from a blended family vacation when I found myself once again separated and alone. That's how I ended up on my suburbian farmhouse porch rocking in the rain.

As I scrolled through facebook, a live feed came up from a person I didn't recognize or know, yet he was a "friend." His name was David, and he was doing a live feed from our local fairgrounds where a concert was taking place. I made a comment. He responded. That was it.

Normal facebook procedure.

But due to the infamous facebook algorithms, I found David popping up more and more in my feed. I wondered who this person was that I was friends with but didn't know in person. I surfed to his profile page (again, like so many of us do...) and saw we had a mutual friend - a coworker.

The next week at work, I approached my coworker and asked her how I might know David. She said she didn't know but maybe she had friended us together years ago because she thought we might be a good match for each other. Hmmm...didn't remember that, but okay...

Time marched on and David and I didn't speak again. I was still single and living my life. One thing I did consistently was go to the movies on Tuesday nights. (Did you know that AMC Theatres have $5 Tuesdays?) One Tuesday night, while sitting in a dimmed theater waiting for the movie to start, David messaged me and asked about the movies I was attending.

Image may contain: Debbie Staffieri Hudson and David West, people smiling, outdoor
At first, I was hesitant to answer because - honestly, I wasn't sure where my last relationship stood. Was I separated again temporarily or was it finally over and I was single? I was confused...but I digress... So, I kept the conversation blunt, short, and without feeling.

A week passed. David messaged again.

Again, I answered short and blunt and in a way that could in no way be construed as flirty.

A week passed, and he messaged again. This time, I let my guard down a little and began to wonder what was going on here...

Image may contain: 2 people, including David West, people smiling, outdoor
I will fast forward the story a bit here and tell you this - letting my guard down and letting David "in" was the best decision I ever made and probably one of the greatest gifts God has ever set down before me.

David has been a rock to me.

He is kind and compassionate. He is hard working and dedicated. He is not shy but makes friends consistently everywhere he goes. He supports everything and every decision I make. He is honest when I don't want him to be; he is kind when I need him to be. He knows everyone in his hometown of Dahlonega, Georgia, and he is famous for helping them all out when they need him from time to time.

And today - October 24 - is our first anniversary.

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This is that day. The day I wrote about above. The day David first reached out to me. We honor and celebrate this day because it is a day we believe God orchestrated our lives toward each other. A day when our lives changed forever - for the good.

Do you know that when David and I finally met in person (a few weeks later in November - a whole other story), we realized we had become facebook friends almost a decade earlier (!) through Treat the Troops. (Treat the Troops is a nonprofit national organization that sends homemade baked cookies to troops serving overseas.) I started our local chapter, and David worked for Home Depot in Dawsonville at the time.

Image may contain: Debbie Staffieri Hudson and David West, people smiling, beard and indoor

David's wife heard about Treat the Troops and told him about it. David, true to his Servant's Heart nature, rallied the employees and public at his Home Depot and on two separate Treat the Troop packing nights, brought large donations of cookies and other items.

Today, we are still amazed at what God has brought us from, brought us through, and brought us to! To think we met through a serving organization, both traveled through personal valleys of marriage and relationships, and then met each other years later is truly a miracle and a God story.

Today, our relationship continues to grow. We worship together, we serve together, and we love others together.

I absolutely could never have imagined the path God had for my life or where He has brought me to now. I am humbled to stand beside a man that fully loves his own Parents, family, and child as much as he loves and serves my own Parents, family, and children. He fits in perfectly with who I am, and if I am lucky, I will fit in with who he is just as seamlessly.

Happy One Year Anniversary David West. You are an amazing person. You Servant's Heart; your love for others; and who you are in general astonish me every day. I can't wait to continue on this path with you. You make life fun and worth living. You make me want to be a better person and to grow and serve like you do.

Thank you for being a part of my life. I can't imagine what life would have been like without you!

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