8 Years folks.
8 years ago on July 12th, I was waking up filled with such a mix of emotions, remembering all that brought me to this decision, on this day.
I was excited to start a life with this incredible guy I had first met, a year and a half earlier, while sitting in a room with some of my closest friends from college, worshipping the God who brings purpose to it all.
Jason was the new guy to school.
We were all in our second year of school at Columbia Bible College, and had spent hours upon hours singing in this room the year before. Yet somehow this “new guy from America” wound up joining us.
At this point, I wasn’t really on the look out for any relationship. I almost have to laugh at writing that because how often do we say that? “I wasn’t really looking, and then this incredible thing dropped into my lap.” But it’s true! Only at that point, I had no idea.
We heard Jason would be leading worship at his Dad’s church that weekend, so we thought we would all go and support the new guy. And as crazy as it sounds, all I remember from that night was this moment. I was in my zone, singing along with the rest of the room, and I looked up on stage and saw Jason, and instantly heard such a clear, strong voice in my mind saying, “that’s the man you’re gonna marry.”
And then I heard it again.
And I thought that I was just being one of those girls who sees a cute guy singing on stage, and becoming overwhelmed with their smooth muscianness and tried convincing myself that’s who I was going to marry.
But that’s not what it was. Seriously. This statement actually totally freaked me right out and I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world. This guy was awesome, adorable, and super cool to hang out with up to this point, but come on, to marry? I just remember coming back home after the church service, and dinner out with the rest of the crew, telling my roommate Nikki that I had heard this everytime I looked up at Jason. And so, rather than ignoring that voice, I actually released it to God. I remember writing about it, and should almost find that journal entry, saying, “Man, if this is actually a guy you want to me to take notice of and get to know, then I ask YOU to make it happen.”
White Hot Chocolate Wednesday’s.
This was a thing. A local coffee shop would have White Hot Chocolate’s for a super cheap price on Wednesday’s and so a group of us made it a regular thing to go to together. But on this particular night, nobody was able to come except for Jason. If I’m remembering correctly, my bff Nikki was able to go, yet she thought it sure sounded lame going with me and this guy “I was gonna marry”, but knew nothing about and had no reason to feel this way.
So I went.
Totally curious. Totally doubting this voice. Totally thinking there was no way this would even be the guy I was supposed to marry. I had my list of reasons why, duh.
But it was such a fun evening. It was so easy to talk to him. I remember thinking for the first time in my dating years, this was a guy that got me. I didn’t have to over explain my passions, my direction and hope for my life. I was blown away by his similar dreams and goals. His convictions. His passions. He was legit.
And so over the next chunk of life, Jason and I spent a ton of time together just doing life together, and a beautiful friendship developed, that turned into a beautiful love. And before leaving school and heading home to Oregon for the summer, Jason had planned an evening of FINALLY talking through our obvious feelings for each other. And I took it to a whole notha’ level…like I do best.
I told him to buckle up because God told me 9 months ago that he was the guy I was gonna marry, so…we should prob start dating. Way to freak a guy out right?
But I was that confident.
1 month later we started dating. 8 months later we were engaged. And 7 months later, 8 years ago, I woke up ready and excited to leave my family, and start that journey as Jason’s bride.
And 8 years later I still say some outragious statements that cause Jason to shake his head.
Saying I do means more to me now than it did the day I said those words. We have walked through a lot in 8 years. We’ve gone through seasons of immense joy and ease. Then seasons of unrelenting stress. There’ve been tons of dates filled with laughter and fun. Then dates filled with hard conversations and disagreements. We’ve had endless prayers answered. Then deep sorrow and deep loss. Doors have been closed while other doors have been opened. There is no one I would rather fight with, fight for, and journey through life with than Jason. This is marriage. And I praise God I get to experience it with this guy. May I continue to flourish into the wife God has created me to be.
And here’s a side ”tid bit for ya. May you be reminded that life and marriage is real and raw and full of ups and downs. We are imperfect people. I haven’t met a couple yet that has a perfect marriage. But I’ve met many with a rich love and inspiring commitment to work at serving each other and loving each other on the good days and the bad. There’s more to each journey than you would ever need to know. So embrace YOUR story. YOUR journey. And work at it. Hard!
It’s so worth it.