I recently bought this wall sticker from Next as I really loved it, not least because I really do love mine and Ben’s love story, but also because I’m hoping to give our bedroom a bit of a make over in the near future! Our story – It’s not really a ‘normal’ one, nor is it a – we’ve known each other since we were babies one, it’s more of a we got engaged after 3 weeks of dating and married another 14 weeks later sorta one!
I’ve talked a little before about the times that I have spent in Uganda. My first being in 2003. In 2006 Scott, from the charity that I had gone to Uganda with, got in touch again to see if I would be interested in returning with a team and this time as one of the team leaders. I was very excited. Part of the role involved interviewing potential team members. As I read through the applications I have to confess that there was one in particular that stood out. This guy sounded just like my cup of tea!! But, as I read on, I discovered he was taken and thought nothing more of it.
Well, that applicant got accepted onto the 2006 team. And he was great. We all commented on what a lucky lady his fiancé was, for he was really one of the best, a true gentleman. Him and I got on well, he was a nice guy, we had a few things in common. But I NEVER contemplated liking him as anything other than a friend.
We did get to go on this tiny little plane to an extremely rural part of Uganda, which was definitely a bonding experience!! Gosh, it was like starring in a documentary for the BBC!!
We both went out to Uganda again in 2007 on another team, and this time, dare I say it, I wasn’t so keen on this guy, Ben. I found him kind of annoying and the feeling was reciprocated!!
Abaana decided to do a Christmas team that year and Ben and I were asked to lead it, along with another guy, Mark. I was really excited about spending Christmas in Uganda, I knew it was going to be amazing but Ben and I weren’t that keen about working together after the last team! Little did I know, that the whole experience would be a turning point for Ben and I.
We actually became good friends on that team, and with different things happening on the team, Ben and I were kind of ‘forced’ to rely on and confide in one another and as a result we did become close. But again, just as friends. Nothing more. I didn’t have any feelings for him, other than that of a great friend.
A lot was going on with Ben at that time and he had been struggling with a few things before the team. That time in Uganda had a huge impact on him, and I think he found the whole experience overwhelming. Shortly after coming home from Uganda, he and his fiancé split up.
I wanted to support him as a friend. Me, Ben and a few of the others from the team met up from time to time after the trip. When you’ve been to somewhere like Uganda you want to be with people who ‘get it’. You need to be with people who you can rant and rave about the state of our world with. You cling to friends who have been there, have seen it, and who aren’t going to think you’re crazy when you tell them, you were overwhelmed at the choice of breakfast cereal in Tesco and burst into tears in aisle 12!
And so, I found a new best friend – Ben. He was single. I was single. There were no ‘feelings’ on either side. It was great. We went and told of our time in Uganda in various churches and different organisations. We met up for a bite to eat or a coffee. If Abaana were having an event we travelled to it together. We hung out as friends for a good few months, but then God started to so something in us………
But that’s for another night…..