I saw from a blog I read that a group of bloggers is hosting a link series this month about love and marriage. It looked fun, so I thought I’d join in too! Click here and here for two other participants.
I graduated from college in May 2009 and moved back home with my parents while I searched endlessly for a job. While job hunting, I worked at the beloved Scrap Shack (a scrapbook store that I started working at while in high school) and really loved it. While I obviously wanted a “real” job, it was also nice to do something fun that I enjoyed in the meantime. As soon as I moved home I wanted to find a new church to attend. I previously went to a Methodist church, but while in college, I developed an interest in the more contemporary, non-denominational style of church. I knew it would be a great opportunity to meet new people, especially since I didn’t keep in touch with too many people from high school and most of my friends no longer lived there. I went to a church in Huntersville a few times, but never attended anything other than the weekend service. I had planned to join a Bible study group, but that didn’t happen because God had other plans! One Sunday, I was running late and knew that I wouldn’t make it in time. I had seen signs for awhile for The Cove Church, but had never been. I saw a sign on the interstate that said the service started at 11:15, which was perfect for my late self! Before I knew it, I was getting off the exit and heading to what would be my church home to this day.
After attending for about six months, I had made a few friends and joined a girl’s Bible study group. There was also a guy’s group and the leader, Josh, invited everyone to his house for a New Year’s Eve party. My friend Jess was visiting that weekend so we went together. I knew a lot of the people there, but after a little while this guy arrived that everyone knew, except me. Who was this guy? Van of course! Jess and I talked to him and another guy for most of the evening and when we left that night I was definitely nervous and couldn’t stop thinking about Van. Later that night, Van friended me on Facebook and sent me a message about joining him and his friend at the Sunday night service at church that weekend. I was so excited that I accepted his friend request and wrote back pretty quickly, much to Jess’ dismay! I didn’t even think about it, but I’m not one to play games so it really didn’t matter to me. We ended up seeing each other twice in the next week at church and another church event with friends. We exchanged phone numbers and I think we’ve texted/talked every day since!
From the very beginning, Van was incredibly respectful of me and even of my time. We even went out on our first date on a Thursday night because he didn’t want to tie up my weekend! Our first date was really just a first hang out because it came just six days after we met and we had never hung out just the two of us before. We went to see Sherlock Holmes at Birkdale and then got a drink and Fox and Hound. It was slightly awkward because we didn’t really know each other. I was so nervous and not exactly sure about where this was headed so at the end of our date Van reached out to hug me goodbye and I turned it into a side hug! Even more awkward! Thankfully he didn’t think I was super weird and we continued to talk and get to know each other. He even came over and met my parents the next night!
Van lived 45 minutes away on the far side of Concord. That was probably the most challenging and frustrating part of our relationship! A friend invited him and he started attending The Cove several months before I did and had gotten plugged in with a great group of people who we are still friends with today. I’m so thankful that a long drive didn’t deter him from going and that our groups of friends were so interconnected!
We spent the next two months keeping things quiet between us so that we could get to know each other without the pressure from our friends. We officially started dating on March 5 and then got engaged just five months later on August 3. We had gone to San Diego to visit a family that I used to babysit for and then flew to Portland for my family’s annual trip to Oregon. I wrote about the whole thing here. It was truly wonderful! To top off the week, I was offered my first “real” job just a few days later!
Even though I was only 23 when we met, I was already concerned with whether or not I’d ever meet someone. Getting married and having a family has always been such a strong desire of mine and I was worried that it wouldn’t happen! However, during the time after I graduated and into the next several months, that concern had gone away and I was just enjoying life day by day. Isn’t that how it always goes? It happens when you’re not expecting it?!
We got married on April 16, 2011 in Concord, NC and the day was so reflective of us. We loved it! Family and friends came from all over the country to be there and it really was one of the best days of my life. We made a commitment to love, honor, respect and serve each other before God and our loved ones.
We had a wonderful honeymoon in Riviera Maya and are looking forward to our next all inclusive vacation someday!
Since we have gotten married, we have purchased our first house, had a precious baby girl and are constantly reminded of how God has blessed us. We are so thankful that the Lord brought us together and that our marriage is built on His foundation.
Our two year anniversary is coming up this month and it’s so hard to believe! But when I look back on the past two years and see all that we’ve done, I’m so thankful to have had Van by my side. We have learned a great deal about marriage in this short time and continue to discover how we can love each other better. Van is my very best friend and I think it’s so important to not only love your spouse, but to LIKE them too! We enjoy spending time with each other, whether that means working on a project, traveling or simply just “being”. We’re now learning how to be parents together and I have a feeling that the fun has just begun!
Let me know if you link up too! I’d love to read your love story!