I love reading other people's bios on their blogs, but I especially love reading their love stories. I don't know why I haven't thought of it before, but maybe its time for me to share our story! :)
My husband Dan and I went to the same church our whole entire lives. We were born into that church and both of our families still attend every week. The only thing is that I am 3 1/2 years older, so we were never in youth group together and had never even talked. Being that I was that much older, he was not on my radar. We even went to the same private Christian school, but were 4 years apart. He likes to kid about how cool he would have been in 8th grade dating the senior cheer leader, I however would have raised some eyebrows! :)
While I was in college I was very shy and wasn't really too concerned about dating. I had a few different guys who liked me, but I always knew that if I was going to get married that I only wanted to date my husband. I am extremely sensitive and breaking up with lots of people would be very hard on me, I'm glad that God spared me that pain. I should also add, that I was never very concerned if I got married or not. I am very close to my father and I have 4 older brothers so I have a lot of male attention in my life. For being so shy, I was also quite independent, and I thought I was quite capable of taking care of myself! :)
It was also quite apparent towards the end of college that something was very wrong with my health. I had lost lots of weight, my hair was falling out, my grades were suffering because of memory problems, and running track, which was always one of my greatest joys in life was a complete struggle. I was lucky to make it through the year and even graduate at all! Once I came home, we concentrated on finding a diagnosis, and I figured graduate school and all my future plans could be put on hold until the next fall. We eventually found out that it was Lyme disease, and that I had probably had it for almost 10 years undiagnosed. I was so extremely sick and I had no idea what God's plan would be for me. All my friends were either getting married, starting their careers or getting their masters degrees. Where did this leave me?
Well little did I know that I already had a little bit of an admirer. :) I always sat in the front of church with my parents, my mom always says that the seats in the back are the cheap seats :), and Dan and all the other young guys, of course were in the very last row. He noticed me every week when I walked up to take my seat, but he only knew my name and he wasn't really sure how much older I was. One of his friends noticed his interest and thought he should ask me out, but Dan was much too shy. He had never dated anyone before either.
Well during this time I actually started becoming friends with his mom. She is a nurse, but she also has MS, so we could really relate about how hard it is to live with a chronic illness. His mom eventually invited me on a trip to a beach house in Cape Cod with several other women from church. Dan's dad and grandparents ended up going for part of the week as well. They told me so many stories about Dan, but still to this day claim that they were in no way trying to sell him to me! Dan actually had no idea that I was one of the "ladies" on this trip, and I will never forget the look on his face after we started dating and he realized that I had already been on vacation with his family! :) The funny thing was, that I could not for the life of me picture who Dan was. I remember a little blond haired boy running around at church, but obviously had not paid attention to him as we got older. When we came home and I saw him at church the next week, I realized that he was indeed pretty cute! :) However, I also thought he was much too young, and that was that!
A month after that trip our church starting reading "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren, and we were put in a young adult small group together. Dan was pretty excited when I came in the door because he realized I must not be that much older than him, and second my illness wasn't terminal.......lol. He really didn't have any clue what Lyme disease was. :) The group was a mixture of girls my age and then a bunch of younger guys that we did not know at all, it was a little awkward at first.
We decided that we should all go bowling together to kind of break the ice and get to know each other. Dan realized while we were bowling that I could actually be quite funny and goofy (as demonstrated by us girls doing cheer leading spirit fingers when one of us needed to pick up a spare.........lol), and that definitely peaked his interest, more than just thinking I was cute. Afterwards we all went to Applebees for a late night snack. Dan really wanted to sit next to me, but wasn't sure how to do that without looking too obvious. Eventually one of the other girls, who I think might have secretly liked him, told him he should come sit in the seat across from me, that also happened to be right next to her. He came and sat there and we instantly started talking. It was like one of those cliche things from a movie, where once we started talking it was like no one else was there. He asked me about my illness, and before we knew it, we had ignored most of the table for more than a half hour. Again a cliche, but I felt like I had known him my whole life and I felt so incredibly comfortable with him. We all left that night, he ended up leaving in the same car as me, and saw more of my late night giddiness with the silly things my friend and I were saying in the back seat. Again he found this endearing, so it is ok! :)
That night when I went home, I did my devotions and prayer time like I always do before bed. However, this night was different. Right as I was ending my prayer time and opening my eyes, I felt God telling me that I was going to marry him someday. Now, remember I was a girl that didn't really care about getting married. I thought, "God are you sure you know who you are talking to?" I know it was God though, and I had never felt a leading like that before. Needless to say, I didn't fall asleep anytime soon.
Not too long after we sat and talked together at Applebees, did I start to get e-mails from Dan. I should add that we were also placed together as spiritual partners, meaning we were supposed to pray together and discuss our reading together. Dan thought this was a perfect disguise for his true intentions! Not that I didn't make him also stick to our lesson plan! :) He asked me if I would like to go to dinner with him sometime so that we could get to know each other better and better know how to pray for each other. At this point, I was still quite clueless. I knew what God was telling me, but I thought this must be way in the future sometime. Who would want to date someone who was sick like me? Actually I had forgotten with my health that dating was even something people did.
So we went out to dinner, at Applebees of course! :) I brought along my book and Bible because this was an official dinner between spiritual partners............I really had no idea. :) I must have looked like a total dork, because right away I wanted to discuss our reading and he had no even brought his book along. After awhile I started to relax and we just talked. We started talking about how we both wanted to live in the country someday. About how I wanted to live in a yellow farmhouse with green shutters, and how we wanted a big red barn. It was strange, but it was like we knew that we were talking about "our" future together. I started to notice just how handsome he was, and the twinkle in his eyes when he started to talk about things that he really liked or wanted to do someday. I started hoping that this indeed was a real date!! :)
Well, that was indeed a real date, and there were many more to come. There were some awkward moments because of how shy we were and the fact that we had never dated before, but they are fun memories that are good for a laugh now! Dan was so understanding about my illness and really was able to deal with it better than any of my girlfriends. He never got upset at me for cancelled plans and was never disappointed in me if I just couldn't do something. Because of my illness and the fact that I was not able to do very much, we just sat and talked all the time. We talked for hours together in person, on the phone and on the computer. We also started praying and reading our Bible together pretty much from the beginning. I wouldn't say opening up like this was easy for my husband, but it made us so incredibly close. This closeness made getting married such an easy transition. He truly is my best friend and we have so much fun together!!
So this girl that didn't need a man and could take care of herself is now a country housewife. We have a 200 year old house that we are in the process of redoing, and honestly we have many more years of work ahead of us, but its ok as long as we are here together! He is a sweet man, who takes such good care of me and I am truly blessed. I often ask him if he is disappointed in me because I don't work and he always says the same thing, "Your only job is to have a smile on your face when I come in the door!" I know to some women that might sound kind of chauvinistic, but he really means, "If your happy than I'm happy!" My life is so completely different than I had planned, but God's plan was so much better for me!! :)