My hubby and I grew up in the same church, but didn't really get to know each other until I was in junior high and he was in high school, when we started moving in the same circles. Many times, the high school and junior high church youth groups would do things together. I was his friend first, but towards the end of eighth grade I started developing a crush on him.
My wildest dreams came true in the ninth grade, when he asked me to the Spring Banquet in front of our entire youth group...right in the middle of a skit we were performing. :D
Throughout my high school years, we had our ups and downs. The following year (when I was a sophomore), he told me he didn't want to be seen as a couple. His idea was to wait on girls until college. Something obviously changed his mind, though. Perhaps it was the way I handled it (I honestly figured that it was the end of the road and I'd never hang out with him again. Not that I didn't want to. I just saw it as God closing a door.). Perhaps it had something to do with all of my guy friends I made in drama class that year (not to make him jealous, there were just a lot of sweet boys that I genuinely became friends with). And, the fact that he made me late to math class one day towards the end of the year, and it was my third tardy...and I ended up with a detention (my first and ONLY detention!) actually drew us closer. He felt absolutely horrible. While I didn't enjoy the whole experience, I'm thankful that it brought us closer together. From that time on, we were basically a couple, whether officially or unofficially.
After my senior year, I went through a period of doubt and pushed him away somewhat. I was so overwhelmed by all of the changes in my life. I'd been to the same school since Kindergarten, and now I was going somewhere else, learning to drive, and missing my beloved drama and choir classes. It's really silly...I was pushing away the one thing that was remaining constant in my life.
During this time, I read this amazing book called "The Cinderella Syndrome" by Lee Ezell. While not everything in the book applied to me, there were some things that really convicted me. I realized that I was depending on my boyfriend to make me happy instead of leaving that to the Lord. I also realized that I had filled my head with so many romantic heroes from literature and the movies, that there was no way my boy could compete. That book really turned things around for me. I stopped blocking my boy out. Wow, I'm sitting here trying to remember if I apologized or not. I think I did...but don't quote me on that, just in case. :}
We grew closer throughout our college years. I remember that I was really stressed at this point about whether he was "THE ONE" for me. You hear that all the time, even in our Christian circles. I had a strong desire to follow the Lord's will in my life in every aspect. I was so worried that I would get married and find out that my boyfriend wasn't the person I was supposed to marry. I think I unknowingly added a bit of Disney and the movies...you know, the whole "true love", "he's your match", "soul mates" thing?
My mom really helped me during this time. She explained that as long as I had prayed about it and didn't see anything in my boyfriend's character that was dangerous or directly violated God's Word (and of course, taking into account personalities and compatibility), I could marry him. Once we were married, he would become "the one" for me, because divorce was not Christ's intent for the Christian. [Side note here: I realize that there are circumstances where divorce is necessary for a woman or her children's safety...what I mean is the current trend of getting "bored" with each other and divorcing, or deciding that your differences are too great to work out.]
I felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders after this conversation. I suppose it may sound naive to some of you, but it was something I really struggled with.
My husband proposed to me on Christmas Day 2001, during my 3rd year of college. He drove several hours to the house on the beach that my family was staying at over the holidays and called me from the beach. It took me a while to realize that he was actually there...I could hardly believe it!
As we sat on the sand, he gave me my gifts. First was a Cracker Jacks box (he had always joked about giving me an engagement ring from a Cracker Jacks box). Next, he gave me a beautiful bell jar with a wooden base and a little circular wooden box under the jar. The box had a beautiful wooden rose on top. When I opened it, I found my engagement ring inside. Oh, and I almost forgot...the present was signed: "To: Beauty From: Your Beast". :D Of course, I said yes! Later that night, we shared our very first kiss.
On June 29th, 2002, we were married in the same church we'd been attending since we were children. Our pastor married us with joy. It was a perfect day. We were surrounded by our family and friends, and everything went without a hitch. The video of our wedding is now one of my daughters' favorite movies. ;)
It's been a great 9 years. We've been through a lot together: moving, babies, job changes, financial changes, diapers, potty training, the first day of school...I could go on and on. Through it all, my husband has been a constant source of love and encouragement. He's always so patient with me, even when I'm not acting in a lovable way. I am so thankful for the man he is, and all that he has done for me. My life would not be the same without him.
Happy Anniversary, Babe! I love you. I can't wait to see what the next 9 years hold for us. :)
The beautiful roses Hubby brought home for me! :)