1 John 4:16: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
#SydneyGoesSpivey 11 months from today! In honor of this milestone I figured I would share with y’all the moment I knew I was going to marry Stephen (it’s kind of a funny one!). In case you’re new here, you should know that my love story with Stephen has been five years in the making! We attended the same school starting in 3rd Grade, but did not officially meet until our second semester of our senior year of high school, where we were seated next to each other in Spanish class. Believe it or not, Stephen did not like me when he first sat next to me! He says he thought I was mean at the time (apparently I don’t have the friendliest of resting faces) and was so annoyed that our teacher put us at the same table! It didn’t take him long to realize that I am, in fact, a pretty nice person (I like to think) and that sitting next to me wasn’t so bad 🙂
Our relationship was very slow-moving and we didn’t actually acknowledge that we were “together-together” until it was time to move in to our dorms at college! Despite the fact that we were at different schools freshman year, our dorms were less than a mile away from each other.
I don’t know about you, but I have always been a night owl (as in, don’t start studying until midnight the night before the exam night owl — my bad!) so my freshman year of college consisted of a lot of late-night Waffle House runs with Stephen. We are creatures of habit, so we always went to the same Waffle House on Hillsborough Street and ordered the same exact thing every single time we went. We even got to know all the staff to the point that we would walk in and they would automatically start on our order without even coming up to our table — they had it memorized! Yes, that is just how regular we were at Waffle House.
Anyway, our late night Waffle House meals together became some of my very favorite meals. We were usually walking in between 1 and 2 in the morning after several hours of studying, so it was nice to come into the quiet, empty restaurant and sit down, unwind, and get our minds off studying for the time being.
Late night Waffle House meals provided rare times during such a busy season of our lives to focus only on each other. We were so young and going through so much, so that quality time spent alone together (even if it was in a super old restaurant that smelled like hash browns and bacon grease) is time that I will cherish for the rest of our lives.
Now, seeing how Waffle House is the center of this story, you should know what our signature orders were! I always ordered (and still do!) a chocolate chip waffle and hash browns with ham, and Stephen always orders a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and a side of hash browns with ham. Because his order includes a sandwich, he always got pickles on the side of his plate. Fun fact about me: I. Love. Pickles. Pickles are my favorite and have been since I was little. Seriously. It was only a matter of time until I built up the courage to ask Stephen if I could have one of the pickle chips that came on the side of his plate (I don’t usually ask people for food off their plate, but with pickles I admittedly don’t play by the rules!), which led to the admission of my obsession with pickles (it was basically a milestone in our relationship.).
The next time we went to Waffle House, I decided I was going to have control and refrained from asking Stephen for his pickles. We carried on our conversation and at the end of the meal when we had finished eating, I noticed Stephen’s pickle chips sitting there on his otherwise empty plate. “You forgot your pickles!” I exclaimed, kind of appalled that anyone would not eat the pickles they were given. In true Stephen fashion, he very nonchalantly said, “I saved them for you.”
Y’all, I should not have teared up over pickles, but that’s exactly what I did! Not just because I love pickles so much, it was the simple act of him having remembered that I like pickles, having sacrificed his chance to eat them (he likes them too after all!), and having put me before him. In this simple act, he showed that he was not only capable but willing to put me above himself. In one small little gesture, he conveyed a vast message about his abilities to be a life partner.
As it is in 1 John 4:12 “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” God abides in those who seek to love Him — we do not need to see Him as He is already in us, and in that little Waffle House in Raleigh, I saw His love in Stephen, wrapped up in that sweet little moment that we find so humorous now.
Stephen has saved his pickles for me every time we have gone to Waffle House since that day. Every time we go I am reminded that the love of Christ is not just found in large gestures and grand moments; it is found in the most unexpected of places in our every day lives. We don’t need to seek the love of God; it is already found and perfected inside of us.
Thanks for stopping by!