Sunday, July 13, 2008

 {The love story}

I’m sure my bloggy friends know by now that I love to reminisce. There is something so heartwarming about it. I love how looking back and seeing God’s hand guiding me through stages of my life reinforces my positive outlook and faith. It was July 14th, 2000 that Dave and I went on our first (kind of) date. :) I thought this would be a fun opportunity to let you in on our love story. We actually met two years previous to the (kind of) date. My close friend, Sarah, had been traveling around the US with a revival team, Life Action Ministries. She met Don there and now blesses the broken road which led them to each other. :) They’ve been married for 10 years now and have 5 beautiful children. Don just happened to have a younger brother by the name of Dave. :) See where this is going? Yep, it really is that fun! Dave and I were both in Sarah and Don’s wedding. We didn’t notice each other through all of the festivities. One little reason could have been the fact that I was still a teenager and the 8 ½ year age difference was a lot more noticeable back then. Also, Dave had recently had his heart quite broken and really didn’t want much to do with girls at the time. After Don and Sarah’s wedding Sarah moved 8 hours away from where I lived. I missed her a lot, but we kept in touch pretty well. I began hearing about her brother in law Dave quite a bit. I heard good things; things about his heart for God and his desire for a family. I was at a place in my life where I was lacking direction and earnestly praying for guidence as to what my next step should be. I had also applied to travel with Life Action Ministries, but was turned down due to lack of experience. My ambitious life goal was to be a wife and a mommy, but you can’t really run with that when a key ingredient is missing. :) There had been a few relationships for me, but very casual and I felt like they were most often one sided (my feelings being the greater). Most guys my age seemed so immature and our priorities were vastly different. Apparently Dave had gleaned some positive information about me as well, because when he heard that Don and Sarah were making a trip out to see Sarah’s family (near where I lived) that July, two years after their wedding, he asked if he could go with them. He wanted to have a chance to get to know me better. I love that part. I had never really felt pursued up till that point. I still get a little awe struck when I think about the fact that he traveled 500 miles just to get to know me better. *Stopping the story to look off into space with a dreamy look in my eye* Okay, so he decides to come see me and he did this super respectful thing. He called my dad and asked if it was okay. Awww!! :) My dad agreed, but made sure we would be in group of friends and approach it in a very low key manner. I was a little bit nervous that night. We met Don, Sarah, the two kids they had at the time, my sister Trish ( click here if you want to read about how much I adore my big sister Trish), brother in law Mike, nephew, and brother at a bowling alley. I had no idea what to expect. I barely remembered Dave from the wedding. I wondered what he expected. I wondered if it would be awkward. I wondered if we would have any thing to talk about. When I saw him I began to feel at ease. He put me at ease. He was so funny and easy to talk to. I still love that about him. I suck at bowling. Really. So I made fun of myself and told him I was praying that he would get a gutter ball. We laughed. It was a little awkward, because we didn't have a lot of time to get a good perception for what the other was thinking. I kind of felt like every one was watching us. When Dave went to return his shoes Sarah encouraged me to go with him. I’m really glad I did, because that was our chance to actually talk for a minute. It was a moment we still remember and talk about. We sat down, alone for the first time, and these words came out of my mouth before I could stop them, “So, why are you here?” I hadn’t intended to be quite that direct, but I’m glad I was because Dave said it was that moment he knew he really wanted to continue pursuing me. As far as Dave is concerned direct is really good. It’s the coy games he is opposed to. We don’t know what those are though do we girls? :) So, he looked me in the eye and said, “I would love to get to know you better, I have heard some really neat things about you, and I want to know more.” Friends, my heart flipped flopped a little bit at that. :) I was still kind of unsure about every thing at the end of the night. That little conversation was the only real personal time we had. But the next day - oh the next day. :) This may sound a bit cliché, but after spending the day with him I knew he was it. That was really only the second occasion we had spent time together, but it was enough. We connected. That day we went to the zoo with Trish, Mike, and my 8 month old nephew (Fun to see how great Dave was with babies). It was a 1 ½ hour car trip and we had lots of time to talk. We stopped at McDonalds and I named the fish in the large fish tank which was at this particular McDonald’s. At that point he must’ve gotten a pretty good idea that I was not normal. He stuck with it. Poor guy. Lucky me. I was able to spend one more afternoon with him the following day before he had to accompany Don and Sarah back to his home state, which is now my home state. Again, we were able to spend some time alone. This time we knew that the visit was drawing quickly to a close and our conversations were of a more in depth nature. We discussed some of our ideals in a relationship. We talked about his past relationships and some of the hurt he had encountered. We talked about our futures and our priorities. I was astounded at how much they lined up. That night we left each other, each with our own cautiously hopeful expectations. He said he would write me a letter. I didn’t believe him. I mean, he was a guy after all... I got a card and letter from him in the mail 4 days later! I was, again, astounded! I found out later from Sarah that on the car ride back he told her that he thought I was beautiful. I thought I was the farthest thing from beautiful. I wondered what was wrong with him to think such a thing, but I loved hearing it. :) Three weeks later he was back. This time just him. To see me. He stayed at Mike and Trisha’s for the weekend, but spent each day with me. It was truly lovely. It was such a time of breathless hopefulness. I love to remember this time. I remember how the look in Dave's eyes confirmed the hopes of my heart. Our relationship flourished quickly. We got to know each other on a deep communicative level. Since it was a long distance relationship we were able to talk on the phone, e-mail, and write letters, with out other distractions and pressures taking away from that precious communication. It gave us some great tools for later on in our marriage. Oh how I treasured each letter. I still have them all. We talked about every thing and any thing on the phone. Sometimes it was really crazy silly stuff and learning to laugh together. Sometimes it was deeply significant issues. We learned to pray together. We talked about out fears, our goals, and our plans. One night we talked on the phone for 8 hours (Um, yeah mom and dad, you guys were gone and he called me so it wasn’t on our phone bill). :) 'Amazed' by Lonestar became our song during those dating months. :) Previous to that first wonderful weekend we were each beginning to wonder if perhaps our standards were simply not going to be met. And then God said, "Okay, it's time" And there it was. Amazing. We still dance to that song on special anniversaries. Dave made that long trip to see me one weekend each month. Six weeks after that night at the bowling alley he told me he loved me. I gladly vocalized my assurances of the mutuality of these feelings. It was a relief for me to be able to finally tell him. I had been telling the phone how much I loved him frequently after I knew he was no longer on the line, because I didn't want to be the first one to say it. :) He asked me to marry him that afternoon. I said yes before the words were completely out of his mouth (yes, you read that correctly - 6 weeks. It was only his third trip out to see me, counting the kind of date. I would not be one to recommend this rapid rate of dating to others, but for us it was so right). He put the beautiful diamond on my finger and I knew I would never be the same. Six months later we were married. I moved out of state, away from most of my friends and family and began a new life. We’ve had our share of difficulties. We’ve encountered things we weren’t prepared for. We muddled our way through disappointment, disillusionment, and forgiveness. We’ve been selfish and stubborn. But God wrote this love story. He gave us a beautiful thing called grace. He is weaving us together as one. He is teaching us the meaning of true love. I love this man so much more today than I did yesterday. I love how God brought us together. I love the passion, the laughing, the times of silence, the sharing, the tears, the joy. It’s real. I love that our first kiss was on our wedding day. I love that it wasn’t just our first kiss with each other, but my very first kiss and Dave’s very first kiss. What an amazing moment that was! It was not an easy ambition, but something we both agreed to and committed to the second weekend we spent together. God provided the strength for that. Suffice it to say it had to have been a God thing. ;) If only I had the words to describe the moment that I walked down the aisle, my eyes dancing with joy. The pure delight as we committed the rest of our lives to each other with no regrets.

That is how a girl and a guy 500 miles apart came to be together, start a family and fall more in love with each other every day. I’m so thankful he wanted to get to know me better. Aren’t you? :)

18 comments:

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

When I got to the end of this story, I was sad because I wanted to keep reading! Just beautiful, and it is so obvious that God was in this from the very start.

My hubby is 9 1/2 years older than me, so I can relate to the age difference. But it's never been an issue, and I love it.

So glad you posted this today. You should put up a wedding picture sometime soon...I love seeing other people's wedding pics!

Rachel said...

I am not sure I ever heard your side of the story completely before. I remember Dave in those days. I remember a bunch of us from church eating at Country Kitchen when you were engaged. He found a pay phone (pre-cell phone days) and called you because we had to wait to get seated. So sweet!

Man I wish I had gone to your wedding! Who knew I would be missing one of my best friend’s weddings? Oh well!

Love you!

IA. said...

Wendi, you have a very beautiful love story that tells me once more how God supplies all our needs! Thank you so much for sharing, I am blessed and my heart is warmed knowing we have a wonderful God who cares about every little detail of our lives! God bless you and Dave as you continue to serve Him together!

Sarah M. said...

Great memories! God alone gets the glory for both your marriage and ours! It is so neat to watch how God's ways play out so perfectly!

MamáChanga said...

What a beautiful love story and a testament to God's role in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of your life.

Hot Air said...

Isn't it amazing what a marriage can be when God is a partner in it? I believe any two people in a marriage can find "true love" as long as that's the case. And it is so wonderful to hear about yet another unique and beautiful success story. I love visiting this place- you make me feel right at home. :-)

Rebecca said...

what a beautiful, beautiful story, wendi! thank so much for sharing!

dani said...

our love story is a God thing as well, wendi:) yours is so sweet... i cannot believe your first kiss was your wedding day!!!
amazing!!!
love,
dani

Tonya said...

That is too funny. My hubby and I's first (kind of) date was on July 14th too but in 1996 :)

Becoming Me said...

I have been away from reading blogs for too long and I have really missed you!! I just loved reading more about you and Dave. What a precious story!!

Elizabeth said...

I JUST LOVE THIS STORY. I must tell you. I was with a former fiance (who was living with Dave at the time) when he met you...he came home from that first weekend STARSTRUCK...I think it was by the 2nd weekend he told us you were the one. We thought he was CRAZY b/c it was sooooo quick...but as soon as we met you for the first time...I knew why!!!!!

The crazy thing is that Dave announced his engagement not long before my fiance and I broke up...then I watched him float on air at church and was so sad but SO happy that Dave had found the woman of his dreams.

I can't beleive you never thought you were beautiful! YOU ARE!!!!!!! Dave is right! :-)

Little Candle said...

I loved reading your story! Thank you so much for sharing!

Hugs,
Sarah :)

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

This is the makings of a great movie! What a tremendous love story. I imagined each scene and finished the story longing for more. I'm serious. This is good read. Thank you for penning it for us to read. I think it is a good remembrance that your children and grandkids will enjoy reading and hearing about for years to come.

I pray your love will continue to grow and that the storybook which started so beautifully will finish just as lovely.

peace~elaine

kt mac said...

Hi Wendi!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the lovely little comment you left :)

I have also visited your blog a few times via Leslie's too and am in awe by what I read. Your faithfulness and the way you glorify God in everything you say and do is simply amazing! I have wanted to comment you for awhile, but have not known where to start...
But I want to let you know that many times this past month or so that I have uplifted you and your family in my prayers.

hugs all the way from Australia! :)

ooh and this story is beautiful too!

SKELLER said...

Awwww, I love to read/hear people's love stories. Yours is a special story. God is sooo good.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you love your husband. It is such an amazing reminder for me to choose to see the beauty that God has filled our men with.
love you,
Beck

Kari Dawson said...

So sweet! I'm insprired to write my own. I've gotta do my "mission statement" first though.

esty said...

have I told you yet how I love this story? Love it because the Dave I knew was goofy but aloof and so utterly single and single-minded for the Lord, quite inlike cottonball-headed me. He was a grown up way beyond the rest of us on White Team in 1995. How amazing that what I saw as independantly oblivious God was just keeping hidden so that he would only wake up to you, sweet Wendi.

Love you, girl.