I was 16 and he was 23. I was the receptionist and he was selling cars.
We met at a car dealership of all places. I admired him in a big brother sort of way.
He prayed with his customers. He was different.
But I was still very much a child and he was a man in need of direction.
We worked together for just 2 weeks before he moved on.
I made a note of of him in my journal - for our meeting seemed important.
God let Nathan inspire me for 14 days. Then he was gone.
3 years would go by before we would meet again.
Nathan went to work in China and I served as a missionary in Florida.
God brought us both home at the same time and had us ran into each other at Applebees.
It was my first day as a server and I was shocked to find that Nathan was also a server.
I remember I laughed when I saw him come in the door. Kneeling on a booth
I shouted, "Nathan!" (real lady-like and all!) and he recognized me at once.
Once again, unplanned and completely serendipitous, we were working together.
3 years did wonders for me. I grew up and Nathan noticed.
He unashamedly dropped pick-up lines that most of the time led
me to rolling my eyes, blushing like a bandit, and asking myself:
"Did he really just say that?!" Oh Romeo was good. Real good.
Problem was, I was in another relationship at the time. I would get rid
of the shifts I was scheduled to work with Nathan just to make it easier
on him. Poor guy. He was falling all over himself and I didn't want to
break his heart. It is what it was. And after a messy summer of
high school love gone bad - I broke up with that boyfriend and
found myself spending more and more time with Don Juan of Applebees.
He had a motorcycle which was super attractive in my opinion.
Cowboy of the 21st century, take me away! Only a few weeks after
we started dating he stood with me on my parent's back porch
and asked: "What am I going to do with your heart?"
"You're going to marry it!" I said. I know I know... Romeo needs a Juliet, right?!
He felt like HOME from day one. There was something about him - his heart understood
mine and I'm sure God, in cupid-like glory, was happy to see His plan unfold.
Well, that plan ended up unfolding like a weird cross between a romantic drama
and a sci-fi thriller. It was a beautiful, stressful mess. We loved each other
like crazy, but we argued a lot about our spiritual beliefs. We were on different
pages, but both loving God MORE than anything else in the world.
We broke up 3 times for various reasons only to find ourselves back together
again. Like moths to a light bulb we were. God would have His way.
Nathan finally asked me to marry him after midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
He had hidden a string of clues in places around town that were special to us.
7 clues with 7 gifts - and 7 short stories about how our love came to be.
He gave me a red dress that night. When a man buys a girl a dress...
a gorgeous dress... you marry him! Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
He's always been so attentive to the small details - the ones that make my heart explode.
The last clue brought us to the church down the street from my house.
By this time, it was nearly 5AM. He asked me to wait in the car. The dawn
was coming, but I still remember seeing the stain-glassed windows
of the church light up and him standing on the steps yelling for me to come in.
He brought me to the altar. Played our favorite hymns. Read our favorite scriptures.
Kneeling down, he pulled out a box... and before he even got the question out, I was saying,
"YES! YES! YES!" For the record, he did actually ask me.
After I finally got over my shock and excitement!
I said, "YES! YES! YES!" all over again!
8 months later, badda bing badda boom, we made an eternal vow before
God, a sea of heavenly witnesses, and our loved ones to be
husband and wife
til death do us part.
1,460 days of marriage.
That's 4 years to celebrate.
Here's to forever!