She was rather stand-offish for sure. I remember saying to myself, “Man, this chick’s got issues”. At the time that’s how I felt about the matter, but soon I started learning just how intentional, disciplined and boundary-savvy she really was. Honestly, I had no clue that she was thinking all of the things that she later revealed.
As my sister Lauren and I drove home after the day at Cape Point, we got talking about the girls on the team. We shared some good banter, then I popped a question to her. “Which girl do you think I would be drawn to?” She responded, “Julie.” She nailed it. Nevertheless, I’d only known Julie for five days, so I didn’t view my conversation with Lauren as one of great significance—merely two siblings catching up and testing our knowledge of one another.
Tuesday, June 11th was a good day. I remember it as if it were 313 days ago. Well, it was 313 days ago. I actually remember it as if it were this morning!
I woke early that morning and went to gym (not “the gym,” just “gym”). Nothing like a good ole workout “sesh” to start the day. Then I fetched the team from the Wynne’s house. When I arrived in Noordhoek, I felt as fit as a fiddle. I even shared a devotion with the team that morning before we went to Rainbow Preschool. Evidently, I assumed I was part of the team and felt comfortable around all six of my new friends.
I encouraged the team to love people who are difficult to love. We can’t only love the people who are closest to us, attractive, or have skills that we consider valuable. Preeeaaach! We are, indeed, called to love everyone as Christ loves His bride—the church. I approached the day charismatically and guns blazing, no doubt. And looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
After meeting the children at Rainbow, we had lunch, loaded up the van, and transported the team to their new abode in Simon’s Town. It’s the most southern coastal town on the Cape Peninsula and home to the South African Navy, False Bay Yacht Club and Boulders Penguin Colony.
Let me rewind to the hour before we arrived at the flats. I went into the lounge where Julie was packing her things. I tried making some small talk with her, then I intentionally took her bags to the van. I wanted to serve her, to show her that I cared, and to express an interest in her. Single men, write this down—serve, serve, serve.
My brother and I landed up staying the night with the team—our first time on sleeping pads! We both have a God-given gift of building strong relationships with those around us, so it’s not uncommon for us to be welcomed into people’s homes.
Chase loved being around the team too, and our time together that month sparked restoration and the deepening of our relationship as brothers. We went into June 2013 as brothers who had, for far too long, passed like ships in the night. By the end of the month, we were best friends—open, honest and vulnerable with each other like never before.
To Julie, much thanks is necessary. She challenged me to be real with people, to not wear a mask in effort to impress the people around me. For several years, I thought I needed to make people believe I was perfect. I had put up a facade, and it needed to come down. The peacock in me needed to go, and the eagle in me needed to spread its wings and soar.
I was hungry for more, and this new girl on the block was turning out to be ok. I was actually completely ok with her.
To read our full story, visit our Love Story page.