Monday, September 2, 2013

Seven Year Anniversary: Our Love Story

Today marks seven years of marriage to the love of my life.  I've never shared 'our story' here before, so I thought I'd let you in on how we met and fell in love nine years ago.

I first laid eyes on my husband one year before I met him.  I was attending training at our mission headquarters in PA, preparing to head to the Middle East for one year.  I can vividly remember him walking into our training room.  He was dressed nicely in black dress pants and a deep blue button-down shirt, and extremely attractive.  His smile is what really got me. I tried to forget about him, but throughout the week I continued to see him around the campus and admired him from afar.  I never spoke to him or even learned his name, but I didn't forget him.

In the months following that time, I lived in the Middle East and worked as a Nanny for some American families and taught English to Palestinian refugees. It was there that some of my co-workers began telling me about this guy that I needed to meet.  Oh, great, I thought, not another set-up.  I was tired of people trying to arrange my love life.  They persisted, and as the time came for me to return to the US, they wanted to plan a meeting for me.  I declined, but said that if I saw him, I would introduce myself and pass along their greetings. {I didn't know it at the time, but these same friends from the Middle East had told him about me about a year earlier}.

I returned to the same mission headquarters in PA in the summer of 2005, once again for training, and on my second day there, I saw him again.  Only this time I knew his name, a little bit about him, and was immediately nervous.  He spoke in one of our training sessions the next day, so afterward I introduced myself and we began to chat.  It turned out that we had several mutual friends, and we enjoyed talking over lunch.  He said, "We should grab coffee one night while you're in town," but it was definitely a non-committal statement.  Every day I hoped that I would run into him and strategically walked around the building in order to see him.

We eventually went out for a cup of coffee later that week, and it became apparent that we were hitting it off.  We spent time together every day during the next ten days I was in training.  We took walks along the river, visited on his parents' front porch swing, and got to know each other pretty well.

I was torn.  I had longed my entire life to be married and have a family.  But, I had also wanted to be a missionary.  My year in the Middle East had been challenging, and it became apparent that returning right away wasn't the best thing.  My next steps were uncertain, though, other than moving back to VA to live with my parents.  Bradley was beginning to seriously pursue a career in the Navy.  How was this ever going to work?  Would it work?

The day I left PA, we had breakfast together and Bradley said that he would not call me for one week.  He wasn't thrilled about a long-distance relationship and needed some time to think about things.

Four days later he called, and for the next two months we talked almost daily on the phone.

At the beginning of October that year, I was offered a job at the mission in PA where we had met. The job was a perfect fit for me, so I readily accepted it.  I guess it didn't hurt that my job was bringing me closer to Bradley...

Living in the same city and working in the same office allowed us a lot of time to get to know each other.  I was definitely falling for him, but also wanted to guard my heart.  By New Year's, 2006, we began talking about marriage and I was fairly confident at that point that this was the man I wanted to marry.  There was never a magical moment of this realization, but as Bradley demonstrated his love for me over those months, wooing and pursuing me, I was drawn to him and desired to commit to him for life.

My family told me that they could see a difference in me when Bradley and I were together:  he brought out the best in me and life was much fuller with him in my life.  I couldn't wait for our engagement and for our marriage to begin.

He proposed to me the Friday before Easter, April 13, 2006, and we set our wedding date for September 2, 2006.

Here we are, today, seven years later, and I still think my husband is extremely attractive.  But it's way more than that.  He has a deep joy in life.  He loves to serve.  He is a fierce protector of his children.  He is a hard worker.  He makes life fun. He dreams big.  He is creative.  He is adventurous.  He is a great lover.  He daily cares for me. He loves the Lord and longs to follow after Him.

We've walked through some hard times together in the seven years we've been married.  But those times have only served to deepen our love and knit us together more tightly than I ever imagined possible.

I love you, Bradley.  I thank the Lord for allowing me to catch a glimpse of you that summer, nine years ago. You've never been far from my mind since and I will continue to look at you as we walk this life together.  Happy Anniversary.


  1. Happy anniversary, sweet friend and thank you for reminding me of your great love story! Time goes by so quickly, doesn't it??

  2. happy anniversary!! I was just going through some pictures and saw pics from your wedding! It was a beautiful day - and hard for me to believe it has already been 7 years! May the Lord bless you with many many more!

  3. Awww happy anniversary! My husband and I just had our 7 year August 4!! :) I just found your blog by googling "from scratch blog". I started a challenge to myself yesterday to make one thing from scratch a day this whole month! I'll be reading your blog to keep me inspired :)

  4. Happy Anniversary! I loved reading your story and remembering different parts of it. I'm SO thankful that the Lord gave you Bradley! You two are perfect together and are such a great example of a godly marriage and family to Caleb and me. I agree that he brings the best out in you :) Love you both so much!


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