Let me just say that my full love story would take pages, but I’ll share the abbreviated version about how I became “Mrs. B.”
I met my husband, Ryan, in the spring of 2009 in a driver’s education course (oh yes, how romantic). At that time, I was a goody-two-shoes home-schooled pastor’s daughter and he was a nice, but not so conservative (and unsaved) public school kid. Apparently, he thought I was pretty. Check out this photo to catch a glimpse of my irresistible 14-year-old self.
While he made every attempt to get to know me, I avoided him like the plague. However, a friend’s mom found out about how annoying we thought he wa s, and challenged us to pray for him and invite him to youth group. – Ugh! Invite annoying public school boy to youth group?? – So we invited him with a very nice, “You don’t want to go to youth group, do you?” He accepted and came faithfully because he was fascinated that we were studying God’s creation of the world as if it were true. He said he didn’t know that people actually believed that creation happened.
Fast forward three months later and Ryan had been peppering me with questions about the Bible. I remember once he asked, “So right after Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus came, right?” I smile now thinking of how he was so anxious to learn about God’s Word. When he got to the point where he wanted to accept Christ and live a life surrendered to him, I suggested that he talk to our youth leader. The day he talked to our youth leader, Ryan accepted Christ.
I have NEVER seen someone change as fast as Ryan did. His attitude, focus, servants heart, and life goals started changing very quickly. Because I knew that he was interested in me, I was worried that he was changing to please me. This made me want to back off and observe him for a while.
We’ll fast forward through three years of falling in love (high school style) and hanging out as friends (“I’m not allowed to date” style), and we’ve graduated high school and started officially “dating.” Someday I’ll have to tell you all about that process and how well my parents encouraged and advised without being controlling or “unfair.”
We headed off to Bible college in 2012 ready to spend four years in school together. I can honestly say that the past four years of college have contained most of the best experiences of my life. I you can’t tell already, I’m a very nostalgic kinda girl. I feel like I’m skipping over so much, but I could seriously write a book just telling this story. By junior year, we were so positive that we were right for each other. We’d made it through a “break-up,” struggles with family, struggles with finances, personality conflicts, and 3 years of college sticking side by side. We started to realize how long we’d been together and how much we wanted to move forward towards marriage.
Here’s where we come to a red light. We’re babies here. I’m talking 20-year-old college juniors living 700 miles from their parents and deciding that matrimony must be the next right move, before graduation. What you also may not know is that my parents had instilled in me early on that I wouldn’t get married until I had graduated from college. My parents tend to know best. My parents tend to stand firm on what they believe is best. My parents love Ryan.
Well, Ryan proposed (with my parents’ blessing) and our proposal could be its own story too. It was extremely sweet and in one of our “places.” I’ll tell you all about it sometime.
After many tears, heartaches, prayers, and respectful explanations (as well as a “finances meeting” with spreadsheets and income statements), my parents graciously allowed Ryan and I to set a wedding date for the summer before our senior year. Let me just say, we’ve always been weird/crazy/work-ahead kids. Why not work-ahead on the marriage thing too? Sure, a lot of people told us that we wouldn’t last because we were too young or that marriage would ruin our grades (totally didn’t). But, we’re stubborn.
Our wedding was beautiful, but our first year of marriage has been fantastic. We’re having the time of our lives together, and we’re growing up together as husband and wife. I hope we keep growing together throughout our whole life. Yes, “life.” Our life. With a team of fabulous family and friends supporting us, our life Is pretty fantastic. God is good and so is marriage.
This photo courtesy of C. Chira photography.
If you’d like to learn more about me check out “Why’d You Get Married So Young?”