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When I first met my husband, I actually thought he was simply being nice to me because he was on the church welcome team. Turns out he wasn't on the greeting team, which a laughing friend told me when I later asked her, "Do people on the welcome team usually send Facebook messages to new people?"
Let me go back and fill in a few details that led me to this point. When I was a year out of college, I moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia to start a teaching job. I missed my hometown and family, but settled in to life with the help of several teacher friends and new church friends. I attended a very large church (15,000-plus congregants) for a few years, but as friends moved away and church dynamics shifted, I found myself looking for a smaller community that I could settle into for the long run.
At the encouragement of the friend mentioned above, I began visiting her church, which was much smaller than my current one but still had a thriving young adults ministry. I was struck by the friendliness of the people as well as the solid, in-depth preaching and teaching. In January 2012, after about two months of visiting, I decided I wanted to commit to the church. I joined a small group, volunteered with a children's program, and also started going out to dinner with the young adults group after the Sunday evening services. It was a couple weeks into that month when I met Jeremy at one of these dinners.
I usually went into new social settings with my antenna up for men on the radar, but a long-term relationship had never panned out in previous church and friend groups. I prayed a lot about what I was looking for in relationships as I entered this new community, and I sensed the Lord encouraging me to focus on building intentional friendships with friends of both genders. I think that's why I was surprised when Jeremy began showing interest in me so early into this time.
We began spending time together, discovering that we lived only about five minutes away from each other. I immediately felt comfortable with Jeremy. We genuinely enjoyed each other's company and found that we had many common interests — running, music, reading, to name a few — and that we both loved the Lord and the people in our lives.
As our relationship progressed and we got to know one another on a deeper level, we had some personal issues to work through. Although I had always loved the idea of marriage, I had also seen my mother battle cancer for four years and ultimately go home to be with the Lord when I was 21. This led to some trepidation about being married on my part — I was living in fear that I would die and leave behind a husband and family. Through my relationship with Jeremy, the Lord began to work on my heart and help me see that while there are no guarantees in life, I could rest assured in Him while moving forward in faith.
On Jeremy's part, he began to see that he had subconsciously put marriage on a pedestal over the past several years of his life, envying those who were in relationships and viewing married people as being somehow "better." He had experienced the sorrow of a broken engagement several years before, and some emotional wounds connected to that relationship surfaced during our time of dating. The Lord was faithful to us in this as well; our church had an abundance of godly pastors and members who helped us walk through our respective brokenness.
After about a year of dating, we decided that yes, we did want to get married. At this point it was early in 2013, and as a teacher, I knew I wanted to get married in the summer to have the most time off for a honeymoon. So we set about in a whirlwind of planning, which looking back on we can say only came from supernatural strength! We were married July 27, 2013, in the church where we met.
Throughout our relationship, we individually and together referenced many Boundless articles, blog posts and podcasts to help guide us as we moved toward marriage. I would actually listen to the weekly podcasts as I drove to premarital counseling sessions; listening to them kept me sane while I sat in traffic.
We are so thankful that the Lord wove our lives together in His perfect timing, and we want to continue to look back on His faithfulness as we continue in marriage. Thanks, Boundless, for providing us with timely wisdom to help us along the journey!
Are you engaged or newly married? We'd love to hear your story and how Boundless was helpful to you along the way! Email us at email@example.com. For more stories like this one, go to Engagement Stories.
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--That was a very beautiful and encouraging engagement story. Thanks for sharing.
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