I have been dreading this post for a very long time now. Even though things worked out, some of the memories and hurt are still raw.
I wish I could say this was love at first sight.
I wish I could say this was from a fairy tale.
I wish I could say that this has been the most happiest experience in my life.
But I can’t say any of those things and once you finish reading, you’ll understand why.
Javier and I have always known of each other from meetings at our Kingdom Hall but we did not actually befriend one another until seven years ago. We instantly became best friends and spent so many good times together.
As best friends, I saw the good, the bad, the ugly, the heartbreak and disappointments Javier faced. I remained by his side through it all.
Whether it was personal, girl problems, or just needing to vent, I fondly remember staying up and sacrificing my sleep just to assure him things would be okay and that I was proud of him no matter what obstacle came.
As the years passed by, I grew close to his family to the point of where I felt like a sister. Sometimes people even mistook me for being a Garcia and not a Vargas.
As the years went by, our bond grew closer and our foundation for friendship was never stronger. In my eyes, we were strictly platonic and there was never anything more.
I had been asked, questioned and even teased about Javier having a crush on me but I never suspected anything because he was just a good friend. The way he treated me, he treated all his female friends. At least that’s how I viewed it until it was brought to my attention that Javier placed me on a pedal stool in comparison to his other female friends.
I started really paying attention to him and how he treated me, how he talked to me, how he introduced me to his friends and coworkers the few times I stopped by and I didn’t really notice any significant changes but after meditating on things and really dissecting previous actions Javier took, I started questioning things too. I put those thoughts in the back of my mind and ignored them.
Then one day everything changed.
I prayed because I didn’t want our friendship to change.
I prayed because I didn’t want our friendship to end.
I prayed because I didn’t feel the same way for Javier initially.
I prayed because I wasn’t in the right place in my life to even think about dating.
I prayed because I was scared and I knew that no matter what happened, nothing would ever be the same again.
Even though Javier initially tried to deny his feelings for me, he also felt he could no longer bear them in.
I felt very overwhelmed and dropped my phone and didn’t know what to do.
I snapped out of it and assured him it was just a crush and that since he was at a crucial age, things would change rapidly and so would emotions.
I guaranteed him what you want at 18 is not what you want at 21 and what you want at 25 is not what you want at 30.
From the beginning he was persistent that what he felt wasn’t temporary and that even though the timing wasn’t right and my feelings for him were not there, that maybe some day they would be.
We prayed together, we prayed individually and we came to the conclusion that we would speak to our parents to let them know that our friendship would come to a halt and why we no longer would be spending time together anymore.
We ended our friendship with the note that if Jehovah wanted this, wanted us together someday, that HE would make it happen down the road.
We agreed we would no longer hang out, text, call, take pictures, study together, or plan any future things and we didn’t have a designated date of when we would.
We even decided to not hug at meetings anymore and that if we happened to see each other, we would look the other way.
While I won’t go into too many details, know that after we expressed everything to our family, we had opposition on both sides. We even faced strong opposition from “friends.”
I was not baptized at the time, I was only an unbaptized publisher and had been for some time but was a few steps away from baptism. I was older than Javier. I was not the ideal candidate to date for my place spiritually and also emotionally. (I am not the most affectionate, expressive or loving type of woman.)
I had to face multiple people, very harsh words and abusive speech, judgment, ridicule and that’s not to mention the cold shoulders, silent treatments, ugly looks and disassociation I endured.
It was as if I was shunned.
Things got so bad that the very conversation of me getting baptized at the next assembly was pushed back and it was over a year before I could even bring up the subject again.
I went to meetings and carried on in life and felt like an outsider. I no longer was the bold, confident, strong Rocio I once was.
I was no longer wanted or welcomed with certain people anymore.
I was so discouraged spiritually, I even considered not studying anymore.
I got to the point where I really asked myself if I should leave the truth all together. (Keep in mind I am the only member in my family who is in the truth.)
I felt so alone and heartbroken.
I felt I had lost everything.
As if things weren’t difficult enough, I watched and heard through mutual friends that Javier was going on with his life. Partying, meeting other young women, growing as a young man and living a life without me and though it hurt, I had to let it.
I never wanted a relationship with anyone. I built my life revolved around me and my service to Jehovah. I never wanted to rely on any man for anything. It was not my desire to date or to be in love.
But why did I feel this way?
I cried nearly every day in 2015.
It was as if the tears I had saved up from all my years in life had finally been released.
I can’t say I’ve had a very hard life but I have gone through some very difficult hardships and even with those trials, my life had never been more of a mess with all that went on with Javier.
I was completely unstable and I didn’t know how to fix anything.
Even though Javier would try and speak with me at meetings, leave me little hints that he still cared, I felt I could no longer fight this fight.
I felt defeated.
Because of everything going on and the absence of everyone, I truly learned how to rely on God.
Never in my life had I talked to Jehovah so much.
From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep, I talked to Jehovah.
In 2015, I really learned what it meant to feel Jehovah as my father, to be his child and to know that he felt every single emotion I felt and why I felt it.
I did not question why everything was happening, I just prayed for better days ahead.
Not only did I publicly declare my life to Jehovah and get baptized in 2016, I was able to auxiliary pioneer and Javier and I were able to mend our friendship once again.
We did not rush into a relationship.
We had to yet again take more time to work on our friendship and make up for all the missed time.
The days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into years and it was evident to everyone who opposed that this was not a simple “crush,” they initially thought it was.
In 2017, Javier asked me to be his girlfriend the day after he turned 20.
In 2018, Javier asked me to share my life with him and finally asked me to marry him the day he turned 21.
We have loved, we have lost, we have cried together, we have cried apart, we have dealt with negativity, we have overcame and we have had to do all of that and more to get to this point in our life.
Javier is my loyal love.
Just as much as I could have given up on him, he could have given up on me.
True love waits.
Seven years of being best friends, three years of being in love, over a year of courtship and one hundred days until we say, “I do.”
The lesson I can share with you all is that sometimes Jehovah gives us things we never knew we wanted. Things we could have never imagined in life if it wasn’t for him.
I fell in love with someone younger than me who has treated me better than anyone I knew my same age, younger and older.
I never wanted to settle for anything less than I deserved with anything in life and after years of cherishing my solitude, at 26 I live confidently knowing I did not have to settle with a partner for the rest of my life. Never settle.
While we will not read our vows at our ceremony, I wanted to share them here.
We have come a very long way and Jehovah knows if I wasn’t serving him with a full heart, I would have never reached this day.
You are everything I never knew I wanted.
You have cherished me and accepted me for years and you saw my true potential when everyone else passed me by or never gave me a chance.
I will never know what you saw in me but I am so grateful that you did.
Life is very hard and this world is very cruel but you make my life bearable.
Our love is just that, o u r love. Just you and I.
I vow to not ever let anyone come in between it.
I vow to not give up or give in when things get difficult.
I vow to never forget our past and to keep enduring.
I vow to remain loyal to you.
I vow to give up my freedom and independence for you.
I vow to be your companion eternally.
I vow to never violate you or lose your trust.
I vow to serve my life to Jehovah with you.
I vow to love you for the rest of my days.
I vow to be your wife, not until your last day but until my very last day.
I vow to forevermore be crazy, stupid, and hopelessly in love with you.”
Future Mrs. Garcia
All photography content was shot and edited by: Carpe Diem By