The summer after our junior year we traveled to Mexico together…along with about 100 other high schoolers. Prior to the trip he had started catching my eye and I hoped to get to know him a bit better. While in Mexico I remember sitting on some bleachers in a hot gymnasium and looking down to see Chris playing his guitar and singing with a bunch of local students. Strong interest became strong “I think I really like this guy”. A few days later a lot of us were at the hotel pool. I wasn’t swimming, but a group of us girls were watching a bunch of the guys swim. Most of them were goofing off, wrestling and focused on impressing us. Then I noticed Chris as the other end of the pool. There was a little boy wanting to swim, but he faced the difficult challenge of swimming without arms. Chris was tossing him in the air, laughing with him, and helping him swim. I knew in that moment God had a hold of Chris and I wanted to be a part of that.
Towards the end of that summer we went on our first date. It was in many ways a perfect date. I knew in my gut that once we started dating it would lead to marriage. Going into my senior year I also knew there were things God had in store for me that I didn’t need to be distracted by a boyfriend. The practical side of me also thought…why start dating in high school when we were both about to leave for college? So, after that first date I told him (nicely I thought) that I didn’t want to spend my senior year in a dating relationship. I think deep down I didn’t want to start dating because I was a little scared of the reality that I knew I’d marry him.
The next year we ended up at the same college. We went on our second date in December of our freshman year....and slowly continued dating. A year and a half later we spent a summer in Kazakhstan teaching English and volunteering at a local orphanage. Watching him that summer in so many crazy circumstances I knew there was no one else I wanted to live this life with.
A year later we were married.
Our wedding day was perfectly imperfect – kind of like us! I love thinking back on all the beauty that filled that day. What I love about that day was not that I mark it the ‘greatest day of my life’, but that it was the beginning of the ‘greatest days of my life’.
In a few months we will celebrate our 10th anniversary. Wow.
Now we’ve got 4 crazy kids keeping our lives an adventure. Chris and I have changed so much since we first started dating. We have both grown and matured. We have discovered new things about ourselves. I love that I get to change and grow with him. I love the man he was, the man he is and the man he will be. I am grateful that he knows me better than anyone and yet he is my biggest fan.