His version of the story is that he noticed me and thought I was cute, but is extremely shy (which is true) and wasn't interested in me at that point either. He was friends with a girl I went to church with. At some point in my freshman year he gave his life to Christ. We ended up on a spring break retreat together, sharing a ride. Everyone else in the vehicle was engrossed in what they were doing. And Jason was sitting with his headphones on. I attempted to start a conversation but all I could get out of him was yes or no.
The fateful spring break trip
So finally I started being ridiculous and asking how many siblings he had, what their names were, if he had nieces or nephews, really just anything to get him to talk to me. It was a long car ride, and I wasn't going to sit in silence. By the time we arrived at the camp we were getting to know each other. We apparently had the same quirky sense of humor.
He later shared that it takes him a couple of weeks to talk to anyone as much as he did after a couple of hours with me. From that point we were pretty good friends. Over the summer he drove to see his brother close to where I lived, and came and spent some time with me.
The start of my sophomore year was when 9/11 happened. All of our classes were cancelled and so Jason and I, along with some other friends spent the day praying, and hanging out together. We had also been trying to co-lead a Bible study through the book of Romans, for non-believers.
Through that series of events; and through studying the Bible together we ended up spending lots of time talking. We talked about past relationships, our families, friends, and what we were going through at the time.
Neither of us was actually interested in a relationship. But somehow that seemed to be where we were headed. So on September 17 of 2001 we started dating. We did it knowing that it was either headed towards marriage or over. We were both over the dating to date sort of thing and wanted only to date if we thought it might be "the one."
In 2003 I spent the summer in Appalachia doing missionary work. I was helping lead groups of high schoolers as well as working on people's home to make them warmer safer and drier. Jason was at home with his parents, seven hours away. He did come for a week to stay and see what I was doing. We had talked about marriage before that. However he said seeing me there, and watching my heart for people made him realize that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. We had been dating for almost two years at that point. He went home from there and bought a ring.
In October of that year I went with him to his parents house for a weekend, and through a beautiful couple of days was showered with two dozen sterling roses from his family (if you don't know what they are you should look them up) with notes attached to each one saying why he loved me. Jason gave me the last one and it said, "I love that we will spend a lifetime together." When I looked up he was of course on one knee and asked me to marry him (with his family standing around giggling and taking pictures).
So on July 3rd, six years ago Jason and I got married. We decided to do a very small wedding and chose to go back to where I had done my mission trip. Our vows took place down a long path at an amphitheater in the middle of the woods, and on the side of a mountain. The only music was a flute. It was beautiful, and I wouldn't have done anything differently.
Our wedding kiss.
It's hard to believe that six years have passed since then. We have walked through quite a bit in those years. That first year was a hard adjustment to learn how to be selfless, fight fair, and share a bed. Since then we have bought a house and a car, not been able to get pregnant, adopted a sweet little girl, and as most of you who read this know, walked through a myriad of medical issues with her.
I can say though that although marriage is not always easy, it is WONDERFUL! I love my husband more every passing day. He keeps me grounded when I am off in left field with worry and fear. He makes me laugh all the time. He encourages me to be who I am, and wouldn't hear of me doing anything but being at home with our girl (which is what I have always wanted to do). My life is fuller because he is in it. I still get butterflies when I see him walking up to the house after work. I love snuggling in next to him on the couch, and I like when he calls me in the middle of the day. His voice alone can make a bad day feel better.
I am so grateful to have met and married a man who loves the Lord, and his family before anything else. I'm certain that we will always have our ups and downs, but I am also certain that he will be standing with me through each one. There were so many people who told us when we were dating, engaged, and newlyweds, that the "magic" feelings would go away. They haven't, and they aren't going to!
What life feels like now. :) Trying to maintain our marriage as well as taking care of a little girl who demands time and effort.
Still in love,