Two years ago today I said yes to forever with the man I grew up and fell in love with. A lot of people recently have been asking me about our story- how we met, how he proposed, why we've moved so many times since that winter wedding day almost 18 months ago- so I thought I would write about our story. I've learned so much in the last two years, and I couldn't help but want to share it with you guys.
Ben and I met at a homecoming dance my freshman year of high school. He was the cute, older boy I met in the hallway between songs and I instantly knew I wanted to get to know him. I got a mutual friend to have Ben text me the next afternoon and we talked every day for the next few months, becoming better friends and getting to know each other outside of the walls of the TDCC ballroom where the dance was held.
I spent the next half of the year developing a crush on the boy from the dance. He made me smile, he was funny, his friends loved him and he was following Jesus- he hit all the checkmarks of a potential boyfriend but I was terrified to hang out with him (he still jokes about how I avoided him in the hallways at school, even after we started dating).
After nearly 7 months of texting and (finally) hanging out, that sweet boy picked me up from a rehearsal at the high school and drove me home, asking me to be his girlfriend when we pulled into my driveway. Neither one of us had ever dated before, but we were really excited to figure out how to pursue each other and pursue Jesus together for as long as we were able to.
Fast-forward a while to living in Charleston, after years of being together and a year of long-distance, our plan was still the same- keep on dating, finish school, get engaged and start the next chapter of our lives together. Our end goal since high school, before he even asked me out, was to eventually get married and start a family and moving to Charleston felt like an easy step in pursuing that dream with him.
The summer after my freshman year at College of Charleston I got the following texts from Ben:
He came over that night after I got off work and we talked about the possibility of getting engaged- how I was terrified of what people would think, how he felt like the Lord was telling him to propose. After a lot of encouragement and a little convincing, he gently reminded me that we weren't in high school anymore and we had multiple friends who got engaged and married even younger than we were at the time.
We spent the next morning ring shopping at local pawn shops around Charleston and I picked out my dream vintage wedding rings. It's still one of my favorite days of all time and I wish we could go back and relive it at least once a month :). Long story short, we picked out rings on Wednesday morning, he bought them a few days later and proposed the next Monday. It was a whirlwind of a week but it was so. much. fun!
The plan on Monday night was for Ben to pick me up after work at the harbor and go on a dessert date at our favorite spot in Charleston as a raincheck for our anniversary a few weeks before. When he came and picked me up from work, we were walking towards his car when he asked if we could keep walking for just a little bit before taking off to the restaurant. As we rounded the corner towards the aquarium, I saw that he had already picked up our favorite cakes from the dessert shop and set them up at a private table for us in one of my favorite spots downtown. We ate, flirted, laughed, and eventually walked over to the water where he proposed. We're so lucky to have friends that hid out to take pictures and video for us, and I'm excited to share those with you below!
June 10, 2013 will forever be one of my favorite days. It's the first time my husband stepped out in faith and made a seemingly crazy decision for our future. It's the first time I had to trust Ben's leadership and say yes to something outside of what we had planned. It was the beginning of a beautiful journey full of big steps, lots of uncertainty and so much joy. If I've learned anything from the last two years it's that our plans rarely turn out the way that we expect and some days may be really hard, but following Jesus will bring on more adventure and fun than anything I could have dreamed up myself and I'm so thankful for that!
I know people talk about how dating in high school is silly, and I have to agree in a lot of ways, but I'm really thankful the Lord took two naive 15 year-olds and allowed us to grow up and figure out life together starting at such a young age. Marriage is already such a gift, but being married to someone I've known for years and seen grow into a Godly, wonderful, gentle man is such a tangible example of redemption and grace and has increased my faith in so many ways. The past two years have taught me that whatever the Lord is telling us to do, no matter how crazy it may seem, we're going to go for it because we've seen that there is infinite joy on the other side of the unknown.