Sunday, February 14, 2010

15 Valentine's Days with My Sweetie!

Justin and I met in early fall 1994 (when we were 16 yrs old). One day, he walked down the hallway of our high school wearing a shirt that showed off the fact that he worked out.  He caught my attention.  A few days later, he actually talked to me and then a few weeks later, we started dating....

That's how our story starts.  There were fights and break-ups. There were other people.  There were make-ups and getting back together.  There were hoops to jump through and major obstacles to overcome (I was in foster care, as a teen, which forced our relationship to be different, to say the least). 

Thankfully, our story was already written and God knew where it would lead...

Justin proposed to me on August 2, 1997.  He was in Colorado, with his mother, and had been trying to get a hold of me by phone for several days.  You see, we were not technically together, at this time.  It had been a rough year while Justin was dating as many other girls from high school as he could and I was starting college and working (I graduated in 1996 and he still had a year of high school to go).  During July, I had decided that I was done being hurt and I left the state for a while.  In fact, I had gone to Colorado to a church camp with my bestie and her new husband. I was searching for answers and guidance.  I was finished with the back and forth of it all.  During worship services on Wednesday, I tearfully prayed and asked God for a clear sign about my relationship with Justin.

Upon returning from camp, I received several messages that Justin had been trying to get in touch with me.  On Saturday night, he called my best friend's mother-in-laws house and found me! I still don't even know how he got that phone number, but he did.  He was diligent enough in his pursuit to keep looking, every day and by calling everyone of our friends to try to find a way to reach me.  Talk about persistance! He was apparently a man on a mission.

When I answered the call, these are the words I heard: "Serena, it's a long story but I love you and I wanna marry you." 

There was no bended knee. There was no candlelight or flowers, no candy, no big message on a jumbrotron or a song dedication on the radio.  There was no romantic setting in a special "moment".  There was just the phone call and the proclamation that he wanted to marry me.  I was stunned!  We weren't even "together" when he proposed!  WHAT?!?!?! After all he'd just put me through for months, now this...I don't know.

I spent the next several hours thinking and praying and crying.  We spoke several times on the phone, during some quite lengthly long-distance phone calls.  He made promises to never hurt me and to never leave me.  He made promises to always try to make me happy and to make our life together, worth it.  Justin promised to love me forever and I realized God was giving me just what I'd prayed for - a very clear sign! How much more clear could a proposal be? (He'd even talked to his mom about his desire to ask and gotten her support!) 

So, here we were - engaged at 19 years old.

We were both excited about our lives together and all that would come our way and although we each had some things to rectify and prove to one another, wedding preparations began.  We spent that fall semester on opposite ends of the state at college, but he came to see me nearly every weekend.  He would drive for hours in the middle of the night just to spend some time with me and our phone bills were astronomical!  We both moved home at semester break, so we could be together.

We were married on October 10, 1998.  (This year, our anniversary will be 10-10-10 and that's kinda cool.)

In the past 11 years and 4 months of marriage. Justin and I have experienced great highs and bad lows.  We've grown a very special family with four great kids.  We've grown closer to one another and to God. We're happy.  He is fulfilling his promise to me and our life together is totally worth it!  I couldn't ask for a better husband to me.  He works very hard for our family. He protects our family.  He makes our family his number 1 priority.  He loves me more today than when we were married and he loves our children.  Even when we have "intense fellowships", I don't have to worry about his committment for faithfulness to me and our family. Justin is exactly the husband that God knew I would need. He is my Valentine, every day of the year. 

Today, as we celebrate our 15th Valentine's Day together, in no big, special way with no grandiose displays of our feelings for one another, I celebrate the promises that we've made to one another; the obstacles and valleys we've overcome; the committment we have to forever; and our beautiful, funny, loving chidlren..We love each other more every day, and that's really what makes our love special.  I'm thankful God answered my prayer that Wednesday and I'm thankful that He brought Justin and I together! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE real love stories, you know, REAL ones, not just la-di-dah, everything's perfect stories. :) Hope it was a great one for you both!