There were times when I'd realize I (as in me) was dating Cody Deevers. THE Cody Deevers. Cody and I had met years before but never ever had any intention of dating each other, as in no real attraction to each other.
For one I was 4 1/2 years younger than he was. He was a freshman in college the year I moved to Oklahoma. He was on a presidential leadership scholarship to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. USAO. He was an English Education major. As a sophomore at Duncan High School he observed my English class for a week or so.
But that wasn't the first time I'd encountered Cody, we'd met the first Sunday I was at church there at Immanuel. Duncan was a small town and Immanuel was a large church. In preparation for coming our pictures had been plastered everywhere, including the newspaper. Everyone new us, which was a little awkward and talk about pressure to measure up! Preacher's kids don't always have a fair chance when it comes to presumptions. I was blessed to have met Mandy James, who turned into my beloved sister in law years later. She went out of her way to make me feel welcome and included. That first night in typical teenage fashion we'd crowded into the pews there at church. Mandy on my right and some new people on the left.Three people to my left was Cody Deevers. Confident and loud, he conversed with everyone. I had never officially been introduced, he was just known.
"Hi there SB"
"SB , we're gonna call you SB"
"SB, that's your new name"
(Looking around) "Are you talking to me?"
"SB. Look at your legs."
I was so new to this unbelievably strange place called Oklahoma. We moved so quickly. Dad had once told me we would live in Raleigh forever. Until "God" called HIM to Indian Territory (well it might as well been, I felt like I was on my own trail of tears from North Carolina) We flew out the first of November (1992) to come and let everyone "vote" on us. For those unfamiliar with that process- be glad- it's nervous, sweat city! You answer questions, smile a lot, meet people you'll never remember, and are paraded around like politicians. Then 2 weeks later I was on a pew with people I never cared existed a month before.And this one particular guy was calling me SB. I was too young and naive to make any connection of any kind to what that stood for. It was bizarre, he was bizarre. Who goes around calling people names?
And that was it, all he said.
Until later on at the after church social event. We are mingling around and eating, we played volleyball a lot too. He came up to me and referred to me as SB, again.
He obviously didn't care to make any kind of impression (I told you- no intent to pursue). So I inquired as to what SB stood for and why I had received the name.
"Squaty Body, SB"
" Cause your legs didn't reach the floor on the pew. Squaty Body, your SB"
And that was all, what do you say to that? Should I thank him for including me in his revelry or be mad that he'd highly offended a unique, fearfully and wonderfully made child of God. Child of the new pastor, no less?
If he called me that again it wasn't to my face. And after I met his dad it all made more sense, they just like to kid around with people.
Over the next few years we rarely had any contact. I was mourning the lack of malls and ex-boyfriends that had moved on and he....well he'll have to tell you what all he was doing...
So I occasionally had a moment of unbelief over the fact that I had actually begun dating the guy who'd called me SB my first Sunday in Duncan. Somehow we ended up together and were very much in love (and the physical attraction was only getting stronger :) The first time we really "noticed" one another Cody had come looking for advice from my dad about preaching. And the fact remained he felt called to be in full time ministry. He had a year left in college and plans to go to seminary. I had put returning back east on hold to "see where things went". All of sudden life was short and uncertain and I was wanting more, more certainty in the relationship- like a ring.
But a minister's wife? That was my mother. And no 17 year old teenager wants to become her mother (side note- by the time I was 25 there was no one I'd rather be and by 32 I've decided to write a book about her) I wanted to marry a farmer, I guess a rancher'd do, too. I wanted to plant gardens and raise chickens. Or live overseas and help African children. Or be Amy Grant.
I'd never thought about being a minister's wife. I knew what that meant, what that life looked like-interrupting phone calls, late nights, funerals and weddings, teas and programs, conflict resolution, trusting God for all your needs. I don't know. I gotta think about this one....