Our Love Story: Becoming Husband and Wife

(This is the story of how my husband and I met and fell in love. If you are just now jumping in, you can catch up on last week's post or start back at the beginning.)
Over the course of this Our Love Story series, I've been looking back at how my husband and I met and fell in love. To give you something of a timeline of everything that's happened so far: We met in June, started dating in August and dated long distance for the next nine months. During that time, we had our share of ups and downs, but through it all, we became more convinced—even after less than a year—that we wanted to be together. Like, get married.

To some, it might seem that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and that we were letting our emotions rule our heads. I understand the sentiment and the fear, but the truth is that there was more at work in this relationship than just me or him. I truly believe that from the very beginning, God was at work here, too.

So in May, after nine months of dating with a 16-hour car ride between us, my husband asked me to marry him. By this time, we had gotten to know each other very well through our daily phone chats, which weren’t just limited to how you spent your day but also what you think about this aspect of faith or how to deal with this dilemma or that hope. We also had gotten to know each other through even the conflict that comes hand-in-hand with relationships.

Through it all—the ups and the downs—we knew that this was the real deal. We saw in each other things that made us both want to be better people, to love God more deeply, to have a more humble and compassionate spirit. In some ways, we were very different (I talked a little bit about that here), but we saw in each other complements—that we had so much to learn from one another and be inspired by and be challenged by.

So that night in May, when my husband got down on one knee, I said yes. (After inquiring multiple times, "Are you serious?" because I had convinced myself an engagement wouldn't be happening for a few more months and was actually shocked it was happening! Plus, I'd also gotten upset at him earlier in the evening so the fact that he still proposed even in spite of that added to the shock.)

As I’ve said all along, this relationship was nothing if not humbling for me. How he could keep loving me after the things I said or the way I behaved just was proof to me again and again that this man really practiced what he preached. He loved a compassionate God, so he showed compassion. He loved a forgiving God, so he forgave.

It was truths like that that made it easy for me to say yes to him and be ready to marry him. Ready to marry him, like, tomorrow.

But of course, that’s not how weddings work. They take time and planning. And so even if you’re ready to get married tomorrow, you usually don’t. You print out invitations and buy a dress and make cute little crafts and have everything look picture-perfect.

So since tomorrow wouldn’t do, we settled for ten weeks. (If you're doing the math, we got married just a few weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of our first date and only a year and a couple weeks after the first time we met.)

I think a lot of people probably thought we were crazy for that, too! But for us, we were simply ready. It wasn’t a wedding we cared about, but a marriage and a life together that we were after. It’s kind of what we’d been after all along; neither one of us were dating for the fun of it. We were doing this thing because we thought it had potential, and for us, that potential all along had always been marriage.

That was just over three years ago. And now we're getting ready to add even more love to the union with our baby-on-the-way!

It’s thrilling now to look back on all that’s happened between us and to see how the Lord wrote and directed this love story of ours from the very beginning, when it seemed like all I could do was put my foot in my mouth and make a fool of myself. But of course, God is bigger than that and he always has a way of working these things out, whether it’s overcoming our own mistakes or hundreds of miles of distance.

And here we are today, three years in and it keeps getting better every day. Thanks, one hundred and ten percent, to the grace of God who cares about every detail of our lives, even who we fall in love with.

Thanks for reading along in the Our Love Story series. You can catch up on all the posts in the series here.

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  1. Oh how I wish my husband and I had a shorter engagement! According to our non Christian friends it was still quick (9 months engaged after 5 months of dating) but it was a lifetime in comparison to yours! Looking back I think we did it to appease our non Christian parents, but I certainly would have preferred if we didn't ;)

  2. I find it so inspiring how God-focused your relationship was, and that your marriage was the priority. Obviously a wedding should be a special day, but nowadays it seems to be the main thing!

    1. Thanks, Louise. That was one of the things we intentionally tried to fight. Especially when people would tell me, "It has to be PERFECT!" (Especially when I was picking out my dress.) I think it's that kind of pressure that has made so many people focus on the wedding instead of the marriage, and it's such an impossible expectation to live up to! We just threw all of that aside and still had a wonderful wedding--and marriage!

  3. I love this. I just got married (one month this weekend) and your story reminds me of my own story. My husband and I started dating in high school. We were both really level headed kids and we talked about what we wanted in a relationship, a marriage, a family, a home, etc. It was just obvious from the beginning that we wanted the same things in life. We were apart for one year while he was going to school out of state, but ended up back together the next year. After five years of dating we got married (we were 22). Everyone says you're young, you should experiment, but that wasn't our game. I see dating just for datings sake as pointless. There has never been any man that I've met who I could see myself with. We did have a very long engagement though, so that we don't have in common! :)

    1. Congrats on finally getting to tie the knot with your husband! I know how much of a relief it must be, especially after 5 years! But there's beauty in how God has written each of our love stories and he knows what is best for us, whether it's a short or long engagement!

  4. Sarah (Proverbs 31:30)September 6, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Happy endings *sigh*- I'll never get tired of them.
    I hope God has written me a love story as beautiful as yours. I'm sad the series is over, though! It's nice to know that there's someone else who believes dating is to be taken seriously as some of my friends and relatives have dated at least 15 boys... and my cousin in high school dated 3 at the same time! ewww...
    Thanks for the encouragement Carmen!

  5. It sounds like you also had a short engagement. I dated my husband for about 5 months before we got engaged and another 10 before we got married. We were 22 and 19 when we tired the knot. I've heard I'm crazy for getting married so young but I reply that every relationship is different and it was part of God's plan that we married when we did. I've spent almost 7 (if you include dating and engagement) wonderful years with the same man and I'm looking forward to many more. :)

  6. While I do not doubt that you and your husband have a blessed marriage, and I am certainly no authority on God's timing for our lives, I do think it's quite important to think about marriage very soberly. I see the multiple comments on here about marrying young and after a short time. While I am not one to judge whether or not someone is actually ready, I have seen enough Christians in my own life rush into marriage. I think that many Christians jump into marriage thinking that it's going to be easy because they are Christians. That's just not how it works. I've seen people marry people who claimed to be Christians and then two years later, the marriage is over and my friends were left alone and betrayed by someone who says they are no longer a Christian. I know I may sound bitter and jaded, maybe it's just because I'm 29 now and I am so thankful I did not get married until later in life. I dated a few guys but they were not what God wanted for me. I met my now-husband when I was 26, after years of contented singleness interspersed with a couple of short dating relationships. I read Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Eliot and honestly thought God's plan might be for me NOT to be married, but I wanted to trust Him for whatever He had for me. I met my sweet husband at 26 and we dated for a year and a half before he asked me to marry him and we married 10 months after that. The time before we got married was such a sweet time. I got to know him through many seasons of life. We grew together and learned about each other and trusted God. Now we are married and like my husband says, dating was like a glass of milk and marriage is like a milkshake. As much fun as we had dating, being married is a billion times better than that. All that is to say, we didn't feel like we needed to be married right away. We wanted to trust the Lord and make sure we knew each other as best as we could in a dating relationship. Of course, marriage is like learning a billion new things about my husband. Haha! Anyway, Carmen, I think your love story is beautiful and so encouraging to read about. Do not take this post as a criticism -- I just felt it was necessary to insert a small note of encouragement about longer dating relationships and engagements. They aren't all bad. :)

    1. I completely agree with you! There can be a danger for people to read this and think that because something worked for me, that's how others ought to follow suite. But my intention was actually quite the opposite!

      One of the things I wanted to show strongly through this series was that God directs each of our relationships differently and how he can redeem our imperfections in spite of that. Just because my relationship happened at X speed and we have a very strong marriage, doesn't mean that's a prescription for anyone else's relationship except mine!

      The important thing I hope anyone reading this takes away from my story is that when it comes to our relationships, we ought to be turning to God. We need to always listen to what God is telling us and how he's directing us and listen very keenly to that still small voice. That's true no matter what the situation is, whether dating or marrying or selecting a job or buying a home or any myriad decisions. I truly think God cares about all of them and has something to say, if we are willing to listen!

      So I appreciate you chiming in about your relationship and how it was different from mine and others commenters (although I think by society's standards you still had a short dating / engagement!!) and providing the reminder that we have to look to God for direction about pacing our relationships rather than to what anyone else (Christian or secular) might think is "right" for us. Only God can tell us that!

  7. Awesome story, I've been trying to read more stories like yours as I believe God is directing me in this way. And I'm blessed by the fact that it's telling you guys sought the Lord in this. There have been marriages I've read about that transpired in an even shorter time period. I remember reading a book once and boo hoo-ing my eyes out after reading this story, because God was bringing myself and a guy together, I thought it was a future thing so I was praying but not letting this guy know for one moment how I felt about him and he eventually moved on and married someone else. I thought it was so soon in my walk as a believer that surely God wasn't having me go that route now, I should just focus on single service.

    The story was about a couple that met, "fell" in love, married very shortly after and were together at that time about 50+ years. It was a book about marriage and written by a believer but I don't recall which book it was, yet it was eye opening for me. Trying so hard to not be a single that puts wrong or too much focus on marriage helped me to push that out of my picture....for that time period at least I believe God will and is restoring however:)

  8. I loved your post. I met my husband September 2006 and we got married July 2007. INSANE? maybe...worth it. DEFINITELY can't wait to subscribe to your rss

  9. I really enjoyed reading your story. I met my husband September 2006 and married him July 2007. INSANE? maybe WORTH IT? most definitely. you inspired me to write a series like yours in my blog in the future. adding you to my rss


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