I like to think of relationships as an epic adventure. Perhaps akin to Homer’s Odyssey, or Iliad–but with less vengeful gods and hungry monsters. Last Tuesday, December 29 2015, I began a new, beautifully epic adventure: one which I like to call the Chameliad.
This is Amelia Tam.
She is very pretty, I know. (Photo Cred: Gina Curcio)
Somehow, I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last two months getting to know this young woman and being amazed by God’s grace and His sovereignty.
For your sake, I’ll skip writing the paragraphs upon paragraphs praising God’s goodness and how He has displayed his character through my relationship with Amelia. Paragraphs that I could easily write. Paragraphs that are true and essential to the story. But for this post, I’ll keep those potential paragraphs to a sentence or two and make sure you know all the juicy details about how Chad got a girl. Nope, clarification: how God works in our lives in crazy ways.
I met Amelia at Southeastern, through a club called Soul Food. Soul Food is super cool and I would love to tell you about it, but that’s not what this post is about. All you need to know about Soul Food for the sake of the Chameliad is that I am part of the script writing team for the club. So is Amelia.
For the majority of the fall semester, our interactions were only through Soul Food. This is not a love at first sight story. I didn’t walk into the room on the first Soul Food gathering and a ray of light shone on the radiant Amelia Tam. There was no angel chorus.
Although, speaking of angel choruses, you should hear Amelia sing.
Back to the story–Amelia and I didn’t really start talking and hanging out outside of the Soul Food meetings until the beginning of Novemberish. At first, our hangouts outside of Soul Food were only to work on a script we were writing together. But rather quickly, “working on our script” became a convenient excuse to spend time together and get to know one another.
Just so you know, there are a bunch of specific moments and dates that contributed to the growth of our relationship. I’m just gonna go over the important bits, but I love talking about Amelia, so feel free to ask me about it. Not only do I get to brag about my girlfriend, but I also get to share the amazing testimony of how God works things together for good. Amelia is not perfect. Neither am I. A wise friend reminded me that any relationship involves two broken people. It can’t be perfect. It’s Christ that holds it together. We serve a generous and forgiving God.
For about two months, Amelia and I went on a few dates and spent time simply getting to know one another. We went on one date over Thanksgiving break and she was able to meet my whole family (she had met my mother previously) and join in card games. Later, she sat with my family for SEU’s Christmas concert. We went to the honors Christmas party together and we struggled through final projects/papers/tests together.
Throughout all this time, we discovered that our values–in life, in faith, in tv shows–were similar and we could engage in challenging conversation about what God was teaching us individually. I had never experienced such genuine and caring encouragement in the way that Amelia expressed it before.
For two weeks in December, Amelia went to Ecuador to spend time with some missionary friends. Before she left, I told her I intended to ask her to be my girlfriend sometime when she returned, but I wanted to take the time she was in Ecuador to really pray and seek godly counsel/direction.
The night before she left for Ecuador, we had dinner with two of her best friends (it was an honor to be included), went to see a concert, and then had one of the best late night conversations I’ve ever had. I felt convicted to share some of my struggles and be straightforward about who I am and what Christ has done in me, and the acceptance and encouragement I received from Amelia can only be because of her intimate relationship with her Savior.
It was encouraging, humbling, and my mind was pretty much set right then and there that I didn’t want to lose my chance with this incredible young woman.
Over the two weeks when Amelia was out of the country, there was a lot going on. Spiritually, on the home front, at work, sickness–but through it all our relationship continued to grow. And every day I became more sure of it being the right thing.
So now the fun bit: on December 29th, Amelia and I went to Disney World! How we got tickets is another really fun and incredible story about generosity and God’s goodness, which I would love to share with you. But that morning, I asked Amelia to be my girlfriend.
Yes, I used poetry. Those who know me well shouldn’t be surprised. Those who know me well are also laughing and rolling their eyes. Whatever.
Fortunately for me, and for the rest of our time at Disney, she said yes.
Disney was a LONG day, but SO MUCH FUN. It was a treat to be able to spend an entire day with her and learn more of who she is. Especially who she is late at night when she’s imitating dancing dwarves. And then, she hung around the next day to get to know some of my family’s best friends from PA. Even though she got interrogated by my little brother’s best friends, she still somehow wanted to be there. Then again, I guess “Would you rather trip over a root or a rock?” isn’t really a relationship-breaking question.
So now a new chapter has begun in the Chameliad. I’m excited and nervous for the days ahead. Pray that God guides and leads us. Pray that we seek Him before anything and anyone else.
And if I could just reiterate one more time: it’s incredible to find someone who daily reminds you of the character of God. Whose actions reflect Christ. Whose words are both challenging and comforting. And then it’s even more incredible when that person wants to hold your hand.
I’m so thankful. Praise God. He is so good.