Our Story: Part 1

Today’s post is the first in my series on Godly relationships and family life. I thought I would start by sharing our story with you — how Ben and I met and got married, for this first part.

How We Met

It was January, 2005. I had broken up with my previous boyfriend in May of 2004, but we had remained close until the end of 2004. It was only in January 2005 that I was able to admit that it was really and truly over between us. I sat down then, and wrote out how I was feeling, and that I felt I was finally ready to start searching for “the one.” I was 19, almost 20 (okay, do the math…now you know how old I am!). I wrote out a long list of characteristics: nerdy, into computers, not into sports, tall, big build, religious, local. Then I set it aside and started going to online dating sites.

I met a few guys, and had a few dates. They were all perfectly nice, but…just not for me. I never went on a second date with any of them. In May, I found a Christian dating site. On the general dating sites I’d tried, so many guys seemed into drinking, partying, and having sex outside of marriage — which I was not. My first experience on the Christian site was, WHOA! There were so many awesome guys with the same values I had. There was one profile in particular that caught my attention…Wattsdude. I looked at several profiles and sent many guys “smiles,” but that one…at first, I just clicked off it. But I kept coming back to it. I stared at the picture for a long time. The guy was tall, kind of angry-looking, and standing far back. It was hard to see any details of his features. But somehow, I thought, “I could see myself married to this guy.” So I sent him a smile.

The next day he sent me an IM (I’d sneakily put my screen name in my profile). I responded, and we talked for HOURS! I went to bed that night feeling…awesome, special. This was really something. His name was Ben.

We Knew Before We Met

Every night for the next week, we talked for hours and hours. Ben was working second shift as a retail manager then, and usually got home between 10 and 11. I would wait, eagerly anticipating his arrival, and we would talk until 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes even longer. He said I made him smile, and no one made him smile. I ran downstairs several times to tell my mom things we were talking about. He understood things I thought and felt like no one ever had before.

Then he suggested we meet in person, have a date. He lived two hours away from me, but was willing to drive to me. His location, by the way, was the ONLY thing that did not meet the criteria I’d written out in January! I agreed.

By that time I was in summer school. I remember driving home from school the morning of our first date, filled with hope, and…love. I knew I was in love with him and I hadn’t even met him yet. (I learned later that on his way to meet me, he called his sister and told her that he thought he was in love with me, too, and felt we would get married.)

I saw him walking up the driveway that night…he was TALL! (He is 6’2″ almost and I am 5’3.”) We were so very nervous. We went out for a walk, then out to dinner. He told me all kinds of ridiculous things, lecturing me on why Walmart was good and technology was awesome and telling me how special he is. But, you’d have to know him to understand, he wasn’t saying it to be pompous, he was earnest, eager, innocent. He did, and does, tell it like it is and he’s not afraid to say things that many others are.

We parted that night, afraid to even get near one another, but agreed to a second date. This time when I said that, I meant it.

I Could See Myself Married To This Guy

We continued to talk for hours every single night. Ben came to see me the following week, and this time we hung out with some friends, went miniature golfing, and watched a movie at my house. He spent some time messing with my parents’ computer. I stood behind him, wanting to put my hands on his shoulders, a bit nervous about doing so, and thought, “I could see myself married to this guy.” That was when I knew.

In the next few weeks we started to talk about getting married. By the time I’d known him only a month, I knew if he asked me to marry him right then, I would. We would get to know each other more and figure everything else out later. I was absolutely sure I would marry him. I remember going out with friends on June 18th (just over a month after we’d met, and only days after we started “officially” dating — which, by the way, amounted to him asking me over IM “so are we boyfriend and girlfriend or what?”) and telling them, “Do not be surprised to see me engaged by the end of the year.”

I visited him for the first time in mid-June, around the time we started dating (actually, we had the “are we dating” conversation that night, after I drove home). I was nervous to drive so far alone but I did. I was so emotional and crazy and excited to be with him. We drove around, and talked, and went bowling, and watched a movie. I was still afraid to touch him or even get too close. But strangely I felt totally comfortable. It was like coming home. That night was the first time we ever hugged each other…even though we were still both pretty nervous!

Talking About Marriage

Soon after, we got into seriously talking about marriage. By mid-July we were sure we would get married. Ben had met my parents a couple times, very briefly. I hadn’t met his. We shared our first kiss in mid-July, and said “I love you” for the first time on July 22nd (it’s in my journal and it’s exactly a year and a week before our wedding!). We talked on the phone now, for hours, and told each other every story we could think of, and spent time each night praying before hanging up. We both prayed for each other and for our relationship, and for other things going on in our lives. We also prayed separately that God would show us the way and bless us if we were meant to be together. We felt sure God had intended us for each other.

In mid-August, Ben decided to take me home to visit his family. There’s something you need to understand — I was his very first girlfriend, ever. His family had teased him for years about never dating, and about how tight-lipped he typically was about his personal life. They barely knew anything about me, other than that we had been dating for a couple months, and he was bringing me for the weekend. I was so nervous, but the second I walked into his parents’ home, his mother hugged me and welcomed me. I felt so comfortable being there and talking to everyone. I had never been so comfortable in a new place before, when I was essentially surrounded by a bunch of strangers.

The next morning (keep in mind I met most of his family, including his parents, for the very first time the night before), we got up (from our separate bedrooms!) and had breakfast. We sat and talked while his mother cleaned the kitchen, and just as she was about to walk out of the room, Ben said, “Mom, we have something we want to tell you.” (Now, I can only imagine what was going through her head at this point…looking at her 20-year-old son sitting there, eager and goofy with his very first girlfriend, whom she didn’t know at all.) She came and sat down. Ben tossed his arm around my shoulders and we looked at each other, all silly and excited, and he said, “We’re, um…thinking about getting married next year.” His mother just looked at us, and said, “Okay….”

We spent the next hour discussing all of this. His mother was trying to process through all of this…so much at once! Towards the end of the discussion, his father walked into the room. Ben told him our news, and his father just grinned and said, “Yeah, I can see that.” He wasn’t surprised in the least.

At the end of the weekend, we drove back to my parents’ house. They weren’t home, and Ben had to leave. But when they got there, I told them our plans. My mom laughed. My dad seemed a bit upset. The ironic part (I learned later) was that while I was gone, my dad told my mom “If it goes well this weekend, they’re going to get married.” And my mom
said, “No way! It’s not that serious.” Our fathers somehow knew that we were meant to be, while our mothers worried more.

Pre-Wedding

We began planning our wedding in September. By this time, I was driving down and staying with Ben every weekend. He had roommates, so I stayed in his room but slept on the air mattress across the room. We did lots of fun things, and even just hung out (this started his journey to eating better…he’d take me grocery shopping and I’d shake my head when he started to fill the cart with frozen pizzas and fries, so he’d say “Fine! Tell me what to buy,” and we’d shop and cook together).

At Christmas, Ben’s grandparents picked me up and took me to his parents’ house (there were many, many other interesting adventures in there, of the times I met his grandparents, etc. but I don’t have time to tell it all now). It was Christmas Eve. Ben said, “Let’s take our suitcases upstairs so they’re not in the way.” His sister had hugged me twice by then, which I thought was a little weird, but whatever. I agreed. We went upstairs and Ben (who was wearing gray sweatpants and a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt, something I never let him forget) started talking to me. Then he said, “Well, I need to change my pants,” and went to close the door. I was really surprised — didn’t he want me to leave the room before he did that? Unlike a lot of couples, we were waiting until we got married and I’d never seen him undressed at all. But, nervously, I went with it. He came over to talk to me again, then got down on one knee, pulled a ring box from beneath the bed, and said, “Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes! (After that I did leave the room and he changed, lol.)

We went downstairs and everyone else knew exactly what had been going on upstairs, and they were all thrilled. He’d driven up the night before and had shown everyone the ring and had told them his plans. I make fun of him all the time for the way he proposed, but he said that if he’d gotten dressed up and taken me out somewhere nice, I would have immediately known. That’s true, because Ben hates getting dressed up and going out, so doing so would have meant something big. He said he preferred to surprise me. I wasn’t entirely surprised because he had promised to propose by the end of the year and it was Christmas, but I didn’t know where or when he was going to do it exactly.

Our wedding date was set for July 29th, 2006. We continued to pray and plan and were so excited to start our lives together. It was torture not being able to be together every second of every day. By May I was spending 5 days a week here (he already owned the house we live in now) and only 2 days at my parents’. The more intimate details of our courtship, I’ll skip…but suffice to say that we did wait until we were married.

Anyway, we were married on July 29th and we began our life together! It was wonderful and we feel so blessed and happy to be together. We are sure that God brought us together and we are just thrilled with our life.

More on our story (including children) later….

How did you meet your spouse? Do you feel God brought you together?

 

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I've read that debit cards don't have the same security if they are lost or stolen as credit cards have. If someone gets your card number and PIN, they have access to all of the cash in that account opposed to the $50. responsibility you have with a credit card.

    The consumer reporter for our newspaper says to NEVER use a debit card, so there are definitely two schools of thought amongst the financial advising community.

    Since I buy things online, I use a credit card for the theft protection. I know you have mentioned shopping online. Aren't you worried about someone stealing your information and accessing your acouunt(s)?

  2. says

    Anonymous,

    This is really posted under the wrong post, but I wanted to answer it.

    Some debit cards DO come with the extra protection — you have to ask your bank. If the debit card has a credit symbol on it (VISA or Mastercard), it should have the same protection as credit, even though it is really a debit card. Most debit cards are these now.

    And no, I'm not worried about it. Ben lost his wallet once and we canceled everything and were not liable. As for online payments, Paypal is also a good option and is perfectly secure.

  3. Carreen says

    I like your story, but I can't grasp how you knew you wanted to marry Ben after only knowing him for a month! People must have told you you were CRAZY! Do you think this is how all or most marriages are formed? That is, is there a moment when you just "know"? What were you doing when you were 19 or 20 that you could spend 5 days a week at his house? Did you feel you really "knew" him when you married him or were there surprises? I just can't believe how quickly it all happened for you! I hope everything continues to run smoothly =)

  4. Liz says

    I was wondering some similar things to Careen. Were your parents supportive of you spending five days a week at Ben's house? My parents would have considered that "living together." They refused to help pay for any part of my wedding if I lived with my husband before getting married. Looking back, I see there point – playing house is not the same as committing to a lifelong partnership.

    Will you be supportive of Bekah living with her boyfriend as you did, particularly at such a young age? Will you be supportive of her looking for a husband online?

    Also, didn't you have a job or school to attend? How did you find the time to be at Ben's five days a week? Did you get married before graduating from college (I'm assuming you graduated but perhaps I'm wrong). I think I would want my daughters to graduate and support themselves for a while so that they KNOW that they never have to stay in a bad relationship. That way they will know they can take care of themselves and not need a husband to take care of them.

    What are your hopes for your children? Were your parents supportive of your decision to marry so quickly and so young?

  5. Anonymous says

    The credit cards with the Visa or Mastercard symbold were EXACTLY the ones the consumer reporter said to avoid at all costs. She said the kind with just a bank logo are better. I don't remember why. Do you have any insights as to why she would say to avoid, in particular, the Visa/Mastercard debit cards? You are right, Paypal is a good option. They only have your checking account information.

  6. says

    Anonymous,

    I searched online and can't find a reason why the reporter would say that — there were other reasons why one would avoid debit cards, but that wasn't one of them, and that issue wasn't even mentioned in all the articles I looked at. So I really don't know if I'd trust that opinion since I can't find any verification for it. Usually if something is true, more than one person has said it! I'd look into that more carefully if you are concerned, but since I can't find a single source who agrees, I don't buy it.

    Liz/Careen,

    Our parents were totally freaked out that we wanted to marry so quickly. BUT they had nothing to say! My parents were 23 and 25 when they married just 6 months after they met (and none of their parents met the other until their wedding!); Ben's parents were 21 and 33 when they married, barely a year after meeting. For us at 21 and 14 months after meeting, well, it was really longer than any of them! Which we pointed out. :) The only time I was with Ben 5 days a week was the last few weeks before we were married. I worked only on weekends so I went back to my parents' then, and I was out of school for the summer. I hadn't graduated yet, but I did finish after we were married and I do have my degree now. Our parents were worried about that…but it worked out. And they understood that we felt that we were right for each other and that the timing was right, and we had their blessing.

    I do feel like we knew each other well when we got married. There weren't really any "surprises," just the usual adjustment period that all newlyweds go through. People did tell us we were crazy. :) And I do think for a lot of people, they just "know" when they meet the right one. I've heard that from many people. I have some friends who met on the missions field in some foreign country, then returned to their homes (sometimes very, very far apart) and got married not long after the missions trip ended so they could stay together. One couple has been happily married for at least 3 years; the other for 15 I think (actually the latter is the pastor who married us)! Sometimes it just happens fast.

    Finally, before I met Ben my plan was to graduate, get my own apartment and get a "real" job (I was teaching music privately then, but I mean get a job as a school music teacher after graduation). I found this idea very depressing. I knew I could, and of course I still could get a job if I wanted or needed to. But I hated my first year at college, in a dorm. I left that school and moved back in with my parents because I wanted to be surrounded by family. And I wanted to go straight from my parents' house to my husbands' house. And I did. I would want that for Bekah. I would have faith that any boyfriend she had, especially any she was very serious with, was a truly good guy whom we knew well and that we would give them our blessing to marry. I'll be talking about that a lot more in future blog entries. As for looking online — it's a bit unorthodox, yes, but I felt that I needed to find a man who truly measured up to my standards, and I just didn't think I'd find him at a club or a bar, or even at school or church. Not in the situation I was in (I was in fairly small groups, limited selection). I wouldn't be unhappy if Bekah decided to look online because I would expect they'd meet in person well before they decided to get married…or at least tell me so at first. :)

    I hope that answers your questions. And by the way, we were often staying in separate rooms, or at least separate beds when we were staying together, and my father frequently came down during the week to help me paint, clean, move furniture, etc. So for the few weeks I was here a lot before marriage we were quite busy and our families were involved. :)

  7. says

    Liz,

    Kate didn't really make our situation completely clear, but the 6 months before we got married, I was working a full time job, a part time job, and going to school full time. Kate was going to school and working on Saturday. I graduated a month before we got married, and Kate graduated just under a year afterward. Since we lived 2 hours apart, we literally would never have seen each other if we didn't stay overnight.

    I stayed in her parents guest room when I was there, and Kate slept on an air mattress in my room. I should also point out that I had 4 roommates in the house as well, so it wasn't exactly living together.

    That being said, I decided to not have sex before marriage, and to not live together before marriage from a young age. The only reason I bent on that rule, in terms of her staying the night, was because of our distance situation. I'm not saying that it was the best decision for a Godly person to make, even though it was only for a few months before we got married, but honestly we were both crazy in love at the time.

    In terms of our kids, I would absolutely support them, or anyone for that matter, meeting people online. I know that it has a bad reputation because there are some freaks out there, but I think that 95% of people are honest.

    As far as living together, I hope that our kids are stronger then we were. We all make mistakes in our intemperate youth, and I'm glad the worst mistake I made was sort of living together for a few months.

    Your last paragraph is more of a difficult one to answer. Kate and I believe in what the Bible says; that the wives role is to stay home while I support the family. Now some people might say that she is being submissive, or any number of negative things, but in my mind, what she does is far more important then what I do.

    Raising kids is the single most important thing that we will do in life, and Kate's role as a mom is far more important then my job. In addition, my health is considerably better now then it ever has been, because of all the effort she spends in preparing 100% home cooked meals, among other things.

    Of course for the Biblical system to work, the man has to have these kinds of values. Unfortunately, most men feel that they are the important ones because they earn all the money. If Rebekah met a man like me, nothing would make me prouder then her making the ultimate sacrifice to stay home and raise her children, even if that meant never having a job after college. For the record, my mom never had a job until after my sister started college.

    I hope our kids have the same experience that we did. Yes, our parents were supportive because both sets married quickly after they met. If you truly know who you want to marry, before you met them, once you do, there is no reason to wait. We believe that you get married to date, not the other way around. Once you know it's the right person, you spend the rest of your life getting to know them.

  8. Liz says

    Ben and Kate-

    It sounds like your situation worked out. My grandma used to say, Marry in haste and repent at your leisure." I guess it's good that the repenting part isn't something you're experiencing!

    Ben- It's nice that you value Kate's role as a mother. You are correct that parenting is more important than a job, but it is a BLESSING not "the ultimate sacrifice." What, exactly, do you think is being sacrficied?

    Kate – It's too bad that you picked a career that you anticipated to be depressing. Why didn't you choose differently (change majors, etc.)? It seems from your comments about moving back to your parent's that you are a person who likes to be surrounded by family. I do too, but I also think knowing you are able to care for yourself, taking TOTAL responsibility for yourself and not relying on anyone else, is a very empowering experience. I think it's something every young adult, girls as well as boys, should experience – just like Ben apparently did.

  9. says

    Liz,

    I should clarify — it wasn't the career I found depressing (I found teaching very fulfilling until I had kids, at which point I preferred to be with them). It was the idea of living alone, not sure what the next step of my life was. I knew I wanted to marry and have kids, and ideally, when I was young. So I was quite happy to meet Ben and be able to do that!

  10. Liz says

    Kate-

    Sorry, it sounded like you were unhappy with the career path you were on. I didn't realize you actually were a school music teacher and that you liked it.

  11. Carreen says

    Ben,

    What if Rebekah did NOT want to "make the ultimate sacrifice"? What if she chose to have a career and sent any children she had to day care? Would you still be proud? I'm just wondering because you said "nothing would make me prouder." Will you be disappointed if she chooses to have a different lifestyle than your own?

  12. says

    Carreen,

    Of course I wouldn't be disappointed in her. My dad's dream growing up was being involved in sports and to this day is something very important to him. I, on the other hand, pretty much hate everything to do with sports. Do you think my dad is disappointed in me? Quite the contrary.

    Being a parent isn't about making mini versions of yourself. I said it the way I did because unfortunately most people think that a woman who stays home with her kids is a second class citizen; that somehow her life has no meaning if she doesn't have a career.

    I will love her unconditionally no matter what she chooses to do with her life. Whether she stays home, like my mom, my mother-in-law, and Kate, or she chooses to work like both my sisters. There is no wrong answer, and it will be something that each of out children decide for themselves.

  13. says

    Reading this story makes me have to laugh, because I remember being one of the people who told Kate she was crazy that she wanted to marry Ben after knowing him for such a short time. Having gotten married myself since then, I really don't think it's that crazy, and I'll attempt to explain my thinking.

    Too many people think that love is some sort of never-ending fairy tale. You meet the person, you know immediately he/she is the one, you get married, and you never fight about anything. You agree on everything, and life is full of smiles and happiness. If you're taking the world's definition of love, this usually involves having sex and the hormones are out of the roof, and you think that he/she is perfect. The problem is that hormone one, which is only made worse by sex. If you abstain from it (which my husband and I did, although, like Kate and Ben, we weren't as faithful to being completely abstinent…no sex, but we were crazy for each other), your judgment is clearer, and you can actually address any issues you two have to – fighting doesn't have to happen because you're less defensive as you haven't completely bared yourself to them (literally), and you don't feel as betrayed if they're frustrated or angry with you.

    I wish we were still in our grandparents' time, when two people in love made a commitment to each other forever and meant it. They didn't expect fairy tales out of their marriage, they realized that it was going to be hard and they would have to work at it. But they made a decision and they stuck with it. It doesn't sound as romantic if you describe it that way, but love isn't a happy feeling. That's, well, hormones. And a lot of the time, you'll have that when you meet someone and you'll have that sporadically throughout your relationship with them. Love is that decision; it's waking up early to make them breakfast before work even though you hate mornings, it's taking out the trash even if you don't want to, because you know it will make them happy. Love is a decision, and that's why people claim they fall out of love – if you think love is that tingly feeling in your stomach (or elsewhere), then when the tingles stop you don't have what you think is love anymore.

    That being said, I think that Kate and Ben had plenty of time to realize that they were compatible enough to be married in the amount of time they were together before getting engaged and married. I was fairly certain before my husband and I started going out that I'd marry him. We started going out a few weeks later, just under two years later we were engaged, 5 months later we were married, and 7 months later we're enjoying marriage. It's not always rainbows and ribbons and giggles, but I love him. I still get the tingles too. :) We are newlyweds, after all!

  14. says

    Winifred,

    I never did get a job after graduation. But I ran my own music school, teaching privately 5 – 10 hours per week up until recently (although I was only teaching 1 student after Daniel was born). I taught privately for about 8 years.

  15. Anonymous says

    Emma- I think you have to understand that life in our "grandparents' time" still included things like adultery and abuse in many forms. While many couples stayed together because they made a commitment (or more realistically the woman had no other option than to stay) it caused just as much grief and sorrow as it does today (and as divorce does too.) There's always too sides to the story and the grass is always greener on the other side right?

    I'd also like to point out that acts of service (taking out the trash) should never be done to make another person happy. I don't ever want my husband or kids to think they have to do "things" to make me happy. My joy comes from within and like Ben posted earlier, I love my family members unconditonally. I take out the trash and do laundry because that's what needs to be done to make our home function. We all pitch in to make our household run and our happiness stems from God, the "author and redeemer of us all."

    Kate- Darren and I met at our home church in Pennsylvania though we did not start dating until much later when I came out here to go to college. I fully believe it was God who brought us together and though our path is very different from yours and Ben's, our faith is the same. Darren is 7 years older than me and was living out here for a previous girlfriend. We saw each other at our home church the summer before I started college and in talking, soon found out I would be going to college in the town he lived in! Had we not seen each other that day we never would have crossed paths here in Columbus. We started hanging out… then dating after I came to school. We dated for 4 years before we married! Though we didn't abstain from sex before marriage, looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing. There's a lot of story to be told and too much to post here. God works in miraculous ways.

    Liesel

  16. Anonymous says

    Kate-

    Five to 10 hours aweek sounds more like a hobby than a job. Are you asying you've never held a real, full-time, professional job? How on earth would you care for yourself and your children if Ben lost his job?

    I agree with Liesel. women in our grandmother's time had just as much adultery and abuse. They stayed in unhappy marriages from lack of choice because they had no way to get jobs that would support them and their children. All women should be educated and should have the knowledge that they can take care of themselves. This knowledge comes from actually doing it!

  17. says

    Anonymous,

    I did have some experience "working full time" when I student taught. Technically I had to do so from mid-Sept. until late Nov. but I chose to start mid-Aug. and finish early Dec. Then, I was getting up at 6 am and getting work by 7:15 or so and working until 3:30 – 4. No, I haven't held a "real" job but I have a happy marriage and I do have a degree so I could get a job if I needed to. I just don't believe that women NEED to be independent. They should have a plan, in case the worst happens, but they don't have to have that experience to be complete in life. I certainly don't feel like I missed out. As far as Ben losing his job — his field is big enough that he could get one before our emergency fund or his severance ran out.

  18. says

    Anonymous – I totally agree with you about abuse. Abuse is one situation where a woman should get out as soon as possible. No waiting, just leave and end the marriage. In my post I was referring to the 'irreconcilable differences' that are suddenly a huge problem in marriages. It bugs me because the things that people today fight about that become those irreconcilable differences were around back in those times (for the most part; no, they didn't have facebook then, which apparently is listed in almost half of divorce decrees now as a contributing factor) but they did have adultery and things like that.

    I don't think that everything back then was so much more superior to what we have now, or anything like that, but the fact that over half of marriages fail (irreconcilable differences), and up to 75% of second and third marriages fail.

    I personally don't think that there is a such thing as an irreconcilable difference. There is a such thing as two people not willing to compromise on an issue, or making a huge deal out of something tiny (people have actually gotten divorced because he wouldn't put the toilet seat back down…really? Are we serious?).

    As for the 'taking out the trash' comment, I'm not saying that everyone doesn't have responsibilities. My husband usually takes out the trash (at least 80% of the time), but sometimes I give him a break when he has something important to do and do it myself. I do a majority of the cooking, but sometimes he'll make me dinner to show his love (and to give me a break). Looking out for the other person's needs is crucial – if he's trying to solve a problem, I can take out the trash. It won't kill me. If I'm working hard on a project around dinner time, he'll take care of dinner. That's one way to show your love to somebody. There are tons of other ways, and acts of service aren't everyone's 'love language' according to the book about them, but they are ways of showing love.

    One other thing – I'm not writing this on some rant…I find the discussion about this stuff really interesting. Keep in mind that I work more than 40 hours a week (I'm at work at 0615 and don't get home until somewhere between 1500 and 1600 every day, depending on what project/training I'm doing at the time) and I'm spending a lot of time leading two ministries at my church. And my husband loves me even though I'm not at home caring for kids and cleaning up around the place. That's why we have a Roomba that we can schedule to run at different times of the day. :)

  19. Anonymous says

    Kate-

    Student teaching as job experience – really? Did you get paid and support yourself? Didn't you have a cooperating teacher who gave you guidance and and who stepped in when necessary. 7:00 -3:30 or 4:00 is a relatively short day. I bet you put more hours in as a mother. With the illegalities of the funding of education in Ohio and the cut-backs that so many schools are making, I really doubt that you could get a job teaching very quickly. It could take years of subbing and proving yourself before any school system would hire you. You also have to be highly qualified
    which means having a license. When does/did yours expire?

    It's great that you are so confident in Ben's ability to keep or find a job. So many people accross this country, and particularly in Ohio, are really struggling with unemployment (perhaps you've seen reports of this on the news?). Many of these people are very experienced workers who thought the same as you. They are now working at minimum wage jobs to, almost, make ends meet.

    I'm glad your marriage is happy. I believe that all adults, men and women, NEED to be independent or at least to know they can be. How can a person be a full contributing PARTNER if they are really a dependent. I doubt that we will ever see eye to eye on this issue. You chose your path because you wanted to be dependent on someone. I, too, stay home with my children but worked for a while before they were born. This allowed me to pay off all of my debt AND to know that I could do so myself. I don't need my husband to take responsibilty for my debt for me. I'm sorry you will never know that feeling. Perhaps your daughter will.

  20. Anonymous says

    Nineteen and 20 year olds are notorious for making GREAT marital decisions! Have you ever looked at the statistics for early marriages?

  21. says

    Anonymous,

    Statistics mean nothing to the individual. There are plenty of people who are older who make poor decisions; there are plenty of young people who make good decisions. We are happily married and have already decided to commit to working out any issues that come up in our marriage. We take this commitment very seriously. I hope that you and everyone have good, loving marriages, and I also hope that you wish others the same. Please think twice before posting sarcastic comments again, it is really not very polite.

  22. Anonymous says

    Kate-

    Fine. I won't use staistics to make my point if you don't use your early marriage to romanticize life. You may overcome the odds, but holding yourselves up as examples simply encourages other 20 year olds to follow your path. That's probably not a good idea since most of them will fail. Romeo and Juliet seemed like a great love story too, but both of them wound up dead! Not much of an example.

  23. says

    Anonymous,

    We in no way encourage — or discourage — others from following our lead. That is between the couple and God. Our story is meant to be our perspective, and an introduction to our thoughts, feelings, and why we believe in Biblical marriage (which is coming up). When we get there, I'll be quoting and referring to many authors and pastors who know more than we do. While we do not encourage anyone to marry (or not) at any particular age or in any particular situation, we do encourage all to have a Biblical marriage and to keep God at the center.

  24. Jern says

    1. You use statistics when they work in your favor (ex. saving for college), but not when they don't (ex. success rates of early mrriages).

    2. Didn't you commit to solving any problems in your marraige the day you were married? Haven't all couples who marry "already decided" to commit to work through any problems? Isn't that the definition of marriage?

    3. Will you present the thoughts and ideas of authors and pastors who think couples should wait until they are whole individuals before marrying, or will you only present the thoughts and ideas of authors and pastors that reinforce your own situation?

  25. Lila says

    Emma-

    I agree with you about "love language." Taking out the trash, fixing dinner, and driving the kids to practice may all seem trivial, but, really, that's the stuff most couples fight about. Doing acts of service, or acts of love, for others is one way to show that we respect the efforts and needs of each other.

    I think you are on the right track and you and your husband should keep doing what you are doing. Self-interest is what kills love and, eventually, marriages. Good for you for having the ability to see another's perspective and for having the ability to adapt and change in repsonse to your family's emotional needs.

  26. says

    Jern,

    1. Most people don't save (enough) for college, and many early marriages fail. We believe it's possible to save fully for college and make an early marriage work. How does either statistic work more in our favor?

    2. Unfortunately, not all couples actually, truly commit to working out problems when they marry. They hold divorce as an option in the back of their minds in case something comes up they feel they can't deal with. We have already decided divorce isn't an option for us (and before you say that's naive, we were told by couples who'd been married between 10 and 30 years that we must agree never to even say that word in a fight). A lot of people have trouble in their marriages because they haven't discussed important issues before they got married — children, jobs, location, money, etc. We discussed this thoroughly together and in premarital counseling (which we recommend for any couple planning to marry).

    3. We will present a wide range of authors and opinions. But why is it that you define "being a whole person" by a person's age? It is possible to be a whole person at 20, but not at 40. People mature at different rates.

    There will be no further comments along these lines published. This is turning into rude, personal attacks on our beliefs and lifestyle. You are welcome to disagree but you are not welcome to attack us. I am very, very sorry that people are not being mature about this and I sincerely hope I don't regret my decision to share our life, which I have done merely to show the good AND bad parts in hopes that it might help someone else someday. So if I receive any further rude comments, they will not be posted and this post will be locked from future comments.

  27. Tara says

    Is pre-marital counselling done only by priests and religious officials? Can you get pre-marital counseling if you aren't religious?

  28. says

    Tara,

    Traditionally it's done by religious officials, but yes, you can get counseling if you aren't religious. Any licensed marital therapist should be able to meet with you for premarital counseling as well (except that it would be preemptive, of course, and probably you'd meet weekly or bimonthly for 6 – 10 sessions). http://www.therapistlocator.net/ That is a website I found from American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, so I would start there if you are seeking a non-religious premarital counseling experience.

  29. Ginger says

    Did you go to a religious counselor or a marital therapist? How much education do marital therapists need to have? How much education in counseling do religious counselors have? It seems like there could be disparities, and that some counseling would be more valuable than other counseling. Which do you recommend?

  30. Jern says

    Kate-

    I don't define being a whole person by age. I define being a whole person, or adult, as someone who is self-supporting emotionally and financially. Until a person can take care of their own emotional and financial needs, they are a dependent not an adult. I don't think it's a good idea to always be someone's dependent. Even though I am a guy, I don't think a paternalistic society is a good idea. I think girls need to become women and boys need to become men before they can commit to a partnership. If one person is still dependent (be it the male or the female), the marriage is not an equal partnership.

  31. says

    Ed,

    It's not "young," it's "naive," "innocent," "irresponsible" and other words that basically mean because we're young (and yes, we are!), we have no idea what we're doing or talking about. We — just like everyone — will learn more in time and there are many things we just don't know yet and can't predict, but having people come on here and point it out, and say "Look how cute you two are! Oh, to be so innocent and naive again!" is like someone patting our heads like we're just children. You know? And regardless of what we know or don't know yet, we are doing the best we can and would like respect from fellow adults. If you think we are naive, go ahead and have a private laugh about it! I do that all the time when I talk to others or read other blogs. But I don't go on and tell them just how silly I think their ideas are. It's about being gentle and commenting in a way that furthers ideas and debate, which that sort of thing doesn't do.

  32. Linsey says

    Kate

    While I do think 20 is VERY young I can’t say much. I did go to college away from home and was never a homebody. I am close to my parents – but we get along best with a few hours or states between us (with daily phone calls). I returned to Ohio for graduate school and at age 23 I decided it was time to settle down. I too did the online dating thing since I was in a new city and didn’t know anyone here. I had a 2 month rule to dating. In 2 months I figured you would know if you could marry the guy or not – and if not, after 2 months even most "christian" guys expected a level of physical intimacy I was not comfortable with. So, I had only had two boyfriends in my entire life that had made it past the 2 months. I too was a "good girl" until I got married.

    Ken and I met in April of 2003, we were exclusive by May 9th. We were engaged September 23rd and married January 3rd 2004. When you know you know. Oddly enough, though we met online a mutual friend also tried to set us up. I guess it was meant to be. I was 23 – he was 24. Ken was much like you – he had gone to school, didn’t like it – came home and lived with his parents. He had a good job but he had never really lived on his own. I had always been a loner – only child, single rooms, RA, my single apartment. I have had professional jobs over the past 6 years of our marriage but currently find myself out of work and having difficulty conceiving. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to wait. Thankfully my husband has a wonderful career now.

    So be glad you had your children while you were young and healthy. I think we share many of the same convictions of organic, healthy, local eating, natural birth, and debt free christian living. I’m glad I met you and read your story!

  33. says

    Wow – this is obviously a top that makes some cat’s fur stand on end! LOL! In reading the comments, it seems some people get almost hostile about the subject and your choices.

    I think that when you’re seeking God about bringing you a Godly mate who fits the desires of your heart (which are there because God gave them to you) – He can choose any avenue He wishes to bring your spouse to you. And, no, it doesn’t alway take a lot of time.

    I met my husband in October of ’94. Our first date was New Year’s Eve that year. And we got married mid-April of ’95 – just 6 months after meeting and 3 1/2 month after our 1st date. We KNEW! He was every. single. thing. I wanted in a mate, and I was his. And we’re not just talking superficial things like looks, although it certainly includes that. I agree that once you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt – what is the point in waiting to get married? I knew I wouldn’t love my husband any more after a year or two than I did at that point, and the physical temptation would be too great to bear. We just celebrated our 15th anniversary and I can honestly say that it just keeps getting better and better. We don’t fight – never have. We respect each other and work out our differences of opinion as adults. We realize that we are on the same team and have the same goals – that goes a long way in having a happy life together. I would marry him that quickly all over again! I have never once regretted it. Next, to my son – he’s the best gift God has ever given me. We truly have a spectacular life together.

    I know it doesn’t work out quickly for everyone. That’s OK. I just think it’s sad to hear the judgemental overtones in the comments towards you, because they don’t understand. Or like you’ve let your life become something other than wonderful because you chose not to have a career and support yourself. They simply don’t understand the dynamics of a relationship where the husband loves the wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And that’s OK. It’s the most fulfilling and wonderful relationship there is.

    I’m glad that God brought you and Ben together and wish you a life full of love and happiness!

  34. says

    I think it’s funny what people view as a marrying in haste….14 months of dating is a pretty decent length of time…especially for a couple not having intimate relations before marriage. Everyone I know who waited for marriage met and married in about 6 months! My husband and I had our first phone conversation December 20th, 2005. We talked about 4-6 hours every day until our first in person date on the 26th and we continued to talk long hours on the phone. We probably covered normal people’s 6 months of dating talk in the first couple of weeks. I was very clear—I wasn’t interested in games and facades and being on our best behavior. I wanted honest straight info about who he was and what he wanted in life or why bother with date number 2? So we went to Vegas and got married on St. Patrick’s Day 2006! I’d met his parents once, he’d met my mom twice (he worked with my step-dad). It’s not the length of time that matters but the depth of the knowledge shared and can you really communicate with each other. Now I do think planning to do anything simultaneously with pregnancy is a huge mistake! You can’t really depend on those 9 months–my first was born at 29 weeks, so I ended up having to drop out of the classes I was taking (I already had my Bachelor’s degree before getting married.) I’ll be SAHM at least 2 more years before returning to work. At your age I never thought I’d want to be a SAHM, but when my maternity leave ended the day my baby was released from the NICU the thought of letting anyone else spend the bulk of the day with him went right out the window. I can’t imagine anything being more fun or fulfilling or important than raising my babies.

  35. brande says

    i think this is fantastic! thank you for sharing your story and being open, honest, and humble enough to answer questions about your courtship, etc.

    my husband and i got engaged a month after we met, and married 3 months later. we do question the wisdom of not going to pre-marital counseling, but other than that we have not regretted a thing. God is so faithful to sustain us, and His sovereignty is proved to us day by day! i do not think we have run into any problems that we wouldn’t have without moving so quickly, and it sounds like you feel similarly. marriage is ALWAYS going to be hard, no matter how long you courted (or dated, whatever) for. thanks again for your example in humility and for sharing your story! i stumbled on your blog looking for a cloth diaper tutorial and will be a frequent visitor now!

  36. Amy says

    Kate –

    I am very happy to have found your site/blog. I am 35yo SAH mom(who also works 10-20hrs/wk night/weekends) of 3 (4yr, 2 1/2, 8mo) who is in awe of a 25yo mom of 2 who is able to do organic living. I am also soooo blessed to have read your story of God directing your life and marriage. I live in an area where organic living comes with the assumption of "earth worshiping" and so I have been very hesitant to explore. your site makes me very comfortable to become better steward of God’s creation while worshiping the Creator, not the creation.

    by the way, Awesome that God gave you a husband and children while you were young. God blessed me with some opportunities for grad school and a wonderful career before He introduced me to my husband and now my children. You are young, but you are NOT niave. you are intentional. May God bless you and your family.

  37. Kelsey says

    Anonymous –

    I just felt like I should add something here because you seem to be very discouraging to how these people have decided to live their lives. It's not a path that everyone should take, but in their case, it worked out and they're happy and I see no reason why you should be unkind about it. Kate obviously has skills that she could use should she ever need to, and there is nothing shameful about not being completely "independent" before you get married. That's a myth being perpetuated by our society and it is false. I always thought that I would finish my degree before getting married, but it ended up not being the right decision for us, so I still had two years of school to finish after getting married, which I finished right on time and have no regrets about it. I work outside of the home right now because we have not yet been blessed with children, but given the chance I would have gladly never built a career outside of the home, because I feel that is where I belong. That is not everyone's opinion and that is fine, but you should be careful about being unkind to those who follow a different path than your own. I applaud Kate for staying home and nurturing her children and family.

    P.S. And to Emma – there are many different ways that people show love to one another. For some, acts of kindness are how they feel the most loved. And for some, acts of kindness is how they best SHOW love. There is nothing shameful about performing kind acts to show love for another human being. Isn't that exactly what the Savior did while he was on the earth? It's called service, and it is an excellent way to show love for one another.

  38. Nicola says

    What a beautiful story Kate!! And very similar to my own story. I married my husband 18 months after we met. I was 21 and he was 23. I told my friends 4 weeks after we started dating that I had met my husband. He was, or should I say is, everything that was on my list too. I was still in college & I left without graduating. I only worked full time for 8 months before we decided that I should stay at home. We are happily married just over 8 years now & have 2 children & hope to soon have a quiverful.

    I must say I am very surprised to see such a negative response to your story. In my experience, it is not unusual to see people get married at, what is generally considered, a young age within the christian community

  39. says

    I enjoyed reading your story. God certainly has His own way of doing things, and no two couples are exactly alike! Good for you for doing the right thing. All I can say to those naysayers is that it appears to me that you both are living by faith and not by sight. Sure having a college degree and supporting yourself and regarding statistics is the American way, but not necessarily the godly way. I feel that being stay at home mom is not "depending" on anyone. It's a partnership.

    (I found your blog through Keeper of the Home.)

  40. Rebecca Pemberton says

    Wow, I cannot believe most of the comments on here. Christ is not glorified in shaming what He has brought together, or casting stones for past mistakes.
    Our story is similar in a few ways to you and your husbands. My husband and I met online when we were sixteen (GASP ladies), and married a little over a year and a half later. So I was 17 and he was 18. We had our first child when I was 19. Do I think it is wise to marry this young, for most no, but for those who follow God and know that He has brought them together, it is a blessing.
    We were members of a fundamental Baptist church after we had our first child, and people were condemning of us, (in many ways). What were they wanting us to say, we'll get a divorce just to appease your mind?

    We have now been married 11 years (throw the statistics away). Things are harder now then they have ever been, which has nothing to do with our age when we married. I desire to go back to the love we once had. It is hard when life gets so hectic and satan is throwing pain at you left and right, but I know with God we will endure. Don't think your marriage can never hit rock bottom either. We were madly in love as well. We now have four children, my husband was unemployed for 6 months (just got a new job!), I lost my mom a few months ago (I cared for her through a battle with cancer), etc. Life can get in the way and you can lose eachother. Stay strong, surround yourselves with supportive people (we lack that), and put God first (we have drifted) and all the rest will fall into place.
    May the Lord bless your family

  41. Gayle says

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your story after I ran across your blog tonight. Although I doubt you will, please don't let anyones negative comments discourage you in your view of marriage. Sadly, it is true that the majority of marriages end in divorce these days, but the majority of people no longer regard their marriage vows as sacred and binding. Like you, my husband and I believe that marriage is a lifetime covenant, and we are fully committed to it no matter how difficult it can be at times. We have been married for nearly twelve years now, certainly not a REALLY long time yet, but long enough to weather some serious storms, including the death of a child, something that unfortunately greatly increases the statistical odds of divorce for a couple. The Lord has used the struggles that we have been through to bring us closer and to strengthen our commitment to one another. Do we fight and drive each other crazy sometimes? Of course! But we love each other more deeply as each year goes by, and the more we cultivate our relationship with God, the more he strengthens our marriage. To remind us of that, we both have Ecclesiastes 4:12 engraved inside our wedding rings: "A rope that is woven of three strands is not easily broken."

  42. says

    I have read about half of the comments and am shocked at the negative tone. Thank you for sharing your story. I met and married young as well. And we made mistakes – WHO DOESN'T!?! But we are coming upon our 10th anniversary and couldn't be happier. Thank you for this awesome blog!!

  43. brandi says

    When you know its the one, you know!!!!!! good for you to follow your instincts! I met my husband at my university graduation party, we got engaged 3 months later, and pregnant a month after that. We got married 6 months from when we met (gorgeous free country wedding! that God made all possible even with a brides dress and matching flower girl dress, friends from out of state, and an organ player, and much more!) I delivered at home that following June, and 4 months post partum got pregnant with our 2nd! we were trying to have them as close together as possible for homeschooling. : ) we only plan on having those two, and I am due this July with #2. We are the fairy tale couple the previous poster said was unrealistic. We have never argued. we discuss everything all the time. we dont do chores because we have to, in fact we encourage each other to rest. During the days, we do what we feel like doing and some days I honestly do feel like cleaning and organizing everything and some days I feel like going to a playdate and the beach. Im now 26 and he is 32, in May we will have known each other for 2 years! We had plenty of sex before marriage so I think its your choice. That feeling of KNOWING the one is unmistakable, unquestionable, and completely assured. There is no thinking you are mostly or pretty much sure, or mine as well, or prob the best decision, its an overwhelming I FOUND IT!!!!!

  44. RachelK says

    I know this post is over a year old and such, but the comments on here are terrible. Do people really entertain themselves by putting other people and their choices down? I know where you are coming from. I can really relate to your whole story. My husband and I are the same age as you, we met on the internet, got engaged only 3 months after we met and then married just over a year later, then had a baby 9 months after that. We are also Christians and try to live that out in our daily lives. I also stay home with our kids because I believe it is the best thing for our family. I don't think I am absolutely dependent on my husband. I also have a degree, so if I needed to find a job, I could. We've been through my husband's unemployment a couple times without my having a job and God pulled as through just fine. 1 Timothy 4:12 says not to let anyone look down on you because you are young but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. Keep up the good work. Love the blog by the way!

  45. says

    Hi Kate and Ben,

    I know this post was written almost a year and a half ago, but I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading it. Your story is similar to my own in some ways. I want to encourage you to ignore the naysayers and keep your focus on God. It is clear that He has blessed you richly. Don't worry about what the world has to say about your relationship or your lifestyle. It appears that you are striving to honor God in everything, and that's really all that matters.

    Like you, my husband and I are also 26. We got married when I was 19 and he was 20 (we married a couple of months before I turned 20 and he turned 21. I just turned 26 on Easter and he will be 27 next month). Unlike you, we dated for close to 5 years before we got married. I actually wish we had married earlier than we did, but it's impossible to change the past. People tried to tell us that we would never make it…most didn't even believe that we would stay together long enough to get married when we were teenagers. Several people thought we were too young/immature to get married when we did, even though my husband had been living on his own since he was 17. He had obtained an associate degree while holding down a job by the time he was 19.

    I didn't live on my own for very long before we got married, but I did have a "real" job (I was a flight attendant) and my own apartment…I lived alone long enough to know that I could take care of myself if I had to, but that I would really prefer not to be alone. A few months after we got married, I became pregnant with our first child. I had to quit flying a couple months later, as my morning sickness made it impossible to work. I spent a month on leave, then worked light duty for a couple of months. I ended up in the hospital when I was 5 months pregnant, and didn't leave until my daughter was born two months later…two months premature. That was an extremely difficult time in our lives, but our relationship was strong enough to endure it. I recall my sister telling me that she was impressed that my husband stayed with me and took care of me though all of the trials we went through. My response was something along the lines of, "Of course he has, we're committed to each other for better or for worse." I couldn't believe that she thought he might have thought of leaving me during that time.

    Fast forward a year and a few months, and we found out I was pregnant with baby number 2. That was very stressful for me, because I was sure that the complications I had with my first pregnancy would happen the second time around. And they did. Our son was born 3 months premature, after I spent almost 5 weeks in the hospital. As a result of the complications I suffered during both pregnancies, we can no longer have children. I was 22 when my son was born, and I was heartbroken that I would no longer be able to carry another pregnancy. I had to have my tubes tied as soon as my son was delivered; another pregnancy would likely kill me and the baby.

    My husband and I have been through many difficult circumstances, but we are 100% committed to one another and to God. We take our vows seriously, and never even mention the "D" word as an option, even when we're arguing (we don't really fight…we disagree at times, but it rarely becomes angry and antagonistic..I can think of only one or two fights in more than six years of marriage and eleven years of dating).

    I say this mostly to tell the people who think that couples who marry young are naive and unprepared for the harsh realities of life, that there are plenty of young couples who are not naive nor unprepared. Many are, but that doesn't mean you need to try to tear down those who have a good grasp on their lives. It's more productive to encourage and support those who have figured out what is most important to them in their lives. A woman doesn't have to get a college degree or work a good paying job; if it's her desire to become a wife and stay-at-home mother, that is commendable and honorable. So few do, but I think we're becoming less of a rarity as more people realize that there are more important things in life than getting ahead financially.

    I love that you (Kate and Ben) are pursuing a traditional lifestyle. My husband and I have always had a desire to do so, and are just now beginning to take steps towards making it happen. We recently bought a house on five acres, and plan to raise a large garden, chickens, milk goats, etc. so we can be as "self-sufficient" as possible. I think it's more accurate to say that we will be relying more on God to provide for our needs than we will on ourselves, as so many things are out of our control and completely within His. We want to provide as healthy a lifestyle for our children as possible, and I'm excited about finding like-minded Christians who can offer support and encouragement as we venture into new territory.

  46. says

    I know this is an older post but I just wanted to chime in as I am so surprised at the level of rude and belittling comments you have received. I wanted to share my store, which is also on my blog briefly. I knew my husband a total of 5 weeks before we got engaged and a total of 4 months before we got married. I was 20 and he was 22 when we married. We just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary and have three beautiful children together. We are much more in love now than we were when we got married. I will say that the first few years were ROUGH but God pulled us through as he always does. So don't let anyone get you down because you are doing what God has called you to do and living the life he has designed for you. I'm honestly just amazed at some of the comments. It's sad really.

  47. Sheridan says

    Dearest Kate

    I found your blog as we are doing the GAPS diet and was checking out some of your recipes. When I saw your listed topics included God as a subject, II immediately went to read about who you were and am so glad to have found a real foodie lover that is also a Christian. :)

    I must say that some of your readers need to "get a life" instead of heckling you about your decisions. Thankfully you have many supportive readers and a family whom love you very much.

    Looking forward to reading your updates!

    :)

  48. Jayme says

    Whoa, crazy, July 22nd has so much meaning for us! My husband and I realized on a date that both our lucky numbers were 22, then tracked back and realized we met on July 22nd and then ended up getting married July 22nd and my I designed a symbol, two hearts linked together, made from two 22's on forward and one backwards and my husband had a necklace made for me of that symbol…anyway July 22nd is a great day! :)

  49. Jayme says

    OH and I didn't mention that we also, unplanned, my husband's job moved us here to Bucharest, on our 4 year wedding anniversary, July 22nd, 2009! My dad took a wrong turn and was asking my husband for directions, that's how we met!!! Crazy, lots in common, we also waited until we were married, great story!

  50. monica says

    I think your story is great. And if we are supposed to agree that everyone must have a degree and five years of full time employment and living completely independently to prove they are a worthy candidate for a successful marriage, then what do we say about all the people who have had those "maturing life experiences" and end up divorced and irresponsible anyway?

    So the suppositions of Anonymous are absurd. You both seemed mature and responsible at 19 and 20, moreso than many 30-40 somthings I've known. Good luck to you both!

  51. Sarah F. says

    I know this is late but I am just discovering your *amazing* blog and loving every bit of it. And what can I say? I am a hopeless romantic, so I simply had to read your “how we met” story! :)

    I was just married on August 6th of last year and our stories are quite similar. I had recently given up on finding a man, was packing up for college and just before I left, my father prayed that at school, I would find the man “God had designed for me” there. Secretly, I rolled my eyes. I just knew that I had been doomed to single-hood and didn’t think I’d find a man.

    But God sure does have a sense of humor. I called my dad three weeks later telling him about this young man I had met in debate practice and we were going out to dinner that night and I thought it might be a date. :) We started dating that night after we had talked about everything under the sun. By the end of dinner, he said, “So, should I ask you out now, or later?” To which I replied, “We’re hanging out all the time, we really, really like each other, and we agree on all the foundational issues, so why not call it what it is?”

    The following August (7 months later) he had a ring and we sat down with our parents to tell them we wanted to get married. My dad was the one taken aback. My mom said, “Honey, how did you not see this coming? Of course they are serious! Sarah and Matt were born serious!” :)

    He told me he would propose between Thanksgiving and January but I wouldn’t know the particulars (I had several false-hopes, of which he didn’t even know I was expecting to get proposed to!). On January 1st, he took me on a dirt-bike ride out to the middle of field in VA and asked me to be his life partner. Then, 8 months later, we were married. And now we live happily ever after, pursuing God’s plan for our marriage, and knowing that we were designed for each other.

    Anyway thanks for sharing your story. And I also and trying to convert him to healthy food. I discovered a way to make asparagus that he adores, so that’s a good first step!! :)

  52. Gwen says

    Your story is lovely. So wholesome and sweet. It almost sounds like a foreign language or a foreign culture to me , honestly. My husband and I have been married 18 years and emerged from an entirely different world than yours: single parents, major east coast cities, college, career, travel, extreme independence. No discussion about Karats for engagement? Afraid to drive two hours alone? I would have eaten your story for breakfast years ago… Now i see the beauty in it. I’ve matured and mellowed tremendously since then. I’m extremely blessed with a truly wonderful husband and children. I do find your completely different perpective very interesting. I find myself wondering if I’d thrive homeschooling and working in my home or if I’d waste that joyful chance missing granite countertops and the chance to take my children on airplanes to new surroundings. I know you wouldn’t prefer my commute or office politics. Please know that I appreciate your knowledge, stories and lessons. We might need travel companions to explore eachothers life landscapes but we worship a gracious God who makes us sisters.

  53. Jennifer says

    I love your story! It is sooo similar to my own …except for it took my husband MUCH longer to propose! We met around the same time you did…and weren’t married till May of 2008! :)

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