The Rest of Our Lives

Henderson is a fairly small school, so Lucas and I met-but-didn't-meet freshman year in honors philosophy. He sat behind me and stared at the back of my head. I was oblivious. We had several mutual friends, but never really spoke to each other. Towards the end of the year, Minzey (my car)'s battery died and Lucas jumped it. It was so romantic.

That summer, I went to Tokyo. I came back and started sophomore year about a week later. The very first night back in Arkadelphia, I went to hang out with a few friends... and Lucas was there. The five of us stayed up most of the night, talking about life, love, and Jesus. I was still very much in the midst if my post-Japan-I-just-want-to-go-back-right-now depression stage (I stayed there for several months) and was really not looking for a relationship.

At all.

memories-0001

Long story short-- over the next few months, we start to get to know each other better.... and I very quickly realized that he was not the type of boy I would be interested in. At all. I started to move on.... but he didn't. In October of 2010 he asked me to date him. I said no. He despaired.
(Seriously.)

memories-0002

(and he also put my stapler in jello.)

The next 6 months were full of fail and turmoil for both of us. Lucas became very depressed.... and drank a lot of cream soda. I made it worse by leading him on because I liked the attention. I learned a lot about how terrible I was and the Lord used that season to kill my idolatry of relationships and the desire to be found attractive that I didn't even know I had.

memories-0003

During the spring break of 2011, Rhyan, Aaron, and I planned to go to San Francisco do campus ministry and see some of the people I went to Japan with. I felt like the Lord wanted me to ask Lucas to come with us.... and I really didn't want to. But I did. And Lucas didn't really want to go, but… somehow the 4 of us ended up traveling across the country together anyway. We slept in parking lots, friend's houses, and the edge of the Grand Canyon. It was an incredibly hard trip in many ways… but it was also one of the most life changing weeks of our college career. Although he didn't understand exactly what happened until later, this was the point where the Lord saved Lucas-- he realized that he couldn't handle life on his own and surrendered his entire life to Him.

Since then, the Lord has completely changed his life. Like. Thinking about who he was when met is like thinking about an entirely different person. It's been amazing to see him mature in the Lord so quickly…. he went from someone who couldn't even look you in the eyes and have a conversation to the leader of a small campus ministry. Jesus is honestly the only one who could change someone so drastically.

After we got back from San Francisco, we had a few very intentional conversations about the future of our relationship, and decided it would be best to spend a period of time waiting on the Lord, focusing on Him, and… not hanging out with each other. So we did. We would see each other in group settings, but it was still fairly infrequent. Although this period of time was relatively short, it was incredibly important for both of us to spend some time seeking the Lord and making sure that when we did decide to pursue a relationship, Jesus would be the center of it.

On April 20, 2011, Lucas and I went for a ride in Alan (his car) during a thunderstorm, and he asked me to date him (again). This time, I said yes. We immediately prayed together, discussed boundaries…. and I tried not to throw up. I spent the first 19 years of my life single, and it felt a bit like I was dying… but it really was fantastic. Once I got over the initial nausea.

Our relationship over the past year and a half has taught us so much. We've learned how to put each other before ourselves and the importance of praying together and building our relationship on the Lord. Dating Lucas has taught me a lot about God's character and His relationship with us. It's taught me how important it is to rely completely on Jesus and need nothing but Him.

Since the very beginning, Lucas has been very intentional about the purpose of our relationship. I've known since before we started dating that his intentions were to pursue, date, and eventually marry me. Since we've both known this was the inevitable goal for a long time, I knew this day was coming…. yet it was still a bit surreal.

engagementphotos-0001
engagementphotos-0002

So… Lucas asked me to spend the afternoon with him on November 10. (He asked 3 weeks in advance. Which was a bit suspicious.) That afternoon, we drove to his family's home in Nashville. The drive back was so pretty- the leaves were still changing (south Arkansas is a bit slow to realize it's fall…) and the sunset was gorgeous.

engagementphotos-0004
engagementphotos-0005

When we got to his house, he made dinner for me…. while I took pictures (and helped just a little bit).

engagementphotos-0007
engagementphotos-0014

It was dark by the time we were finished cooking, so we took our bucket of stir-fry to eat outside in his treehouse, which he decorated rather impressively.

engagementphotos-0016
engagementphotos-0018
engagementphotos-0024
engagementphotos-0020

We ate for a very long 3 minutes… neither of us were super hungry and only ate about 6 bites.

engagementphotos-0029

He may have been a bit nervous.

It was really beautiful, and I appreciated the thought and effort that went into making it a super special night for both of us. It felt a bit like 'is this real life?!'… we've both known this was coming for a long time, but it's always been hypothetical. Now it's reality. We're getting married. We're really going to spend the rest of our lives together.

engagementphotos-0030

Two years ago, I would NEVER have thought I would be the type to graduate college and immediately get married. I didn't grow up daydreaming about my wedding colors and the type of dress I'd wear. I really didn't care. But. The point of the Christian life is to glorify God, and a major way we do this is when our old selves die and we continually become more and more like Christ. And He knows exactly what it'll take for that to happen. For some, it may be learning to rely on Christ alone through singleness. For me, it is learning to rely on Christ alone through marriage. And I really don't take that lightly. This is a commitment we're making for the rest of our lives, and death will be the only way out. And no matter how difficult it gets, Christ will use it to make us more like Himself.