Story of Us (Part 1)

So I realize I’ve been MIA lately…I’m totally taking the opportunity to blame it on growing two humans. They kind of suck the energy and brain waves out of me. Naps almost always sound like a better way to spend time than blog. But here I am! Suddenly I have the urge to blog. Maybe all those naps gave me a lot of post ideas…who knows!

I realized I’ve never shared how my husband and I met, about our wedding day or any of those details…so I’m starting off my posts with the Story of Us, parts 1 and 2! I’m feeling nostalgic because next week is our 10 year anniversary…so I’ve enjoyed looking through old pictures and remembering little details about us and our big day 🙂

I don’t know if I remember the exact first time I saw Nathan, or if it was just one of the first times. It was at church youth group…my class was moving from 5th to 6th grade. I remember thinking we were entering the “big leagues” of middle school now…ah good old middle school. Our first Sunday in youth group, the 6th-8th graders had just returned from a ministry trip to a small town in our state. Everyone who went on the trip was up front…and for some reason Nathan stood out to me. (ok…he was cute. And tall. And quiet. And older…7th grade.) I’m pretty sure we hardly ever said two words to each other for our entire time in middle school together, but I took notice of everything about him. Who he hung out with, what he liked to do, who his family was…stalking getting the 4-1-1 on your crush was way harder before social media! 😉

After I moved up to high school I still liked him…and now he had a license and a car! Bonus! And we found ourselves in the same small group within our youth group. We became friends, he would give me rides to group and I’d hang out with him and his friends. Our youth group went on an overseas mission trip that summer (2001) to the Philippines and it was so great to see his heart during that trip. We worked together within our group and that was such a cool way to get to know him. On the long flight home, we sat together and we both expressed that we liked each other more than friends. But since I was only 15, I kinda put the brakes on and told him I wasn’t ready to date yet. That def cooled off our friendship for awhile and we spent about a year and a half not speaking to each other much. (Don’t despair! It obviously works out in the end, right?!)

Our small group/work crew in the Philippines
Our small group/work crew in the Philippines

At the end of Nathan’s Junior year and my Sophomore, we found ourselves ending up in the same groups, places and such often. I was tired of feeling bitter towards him, so we had lunch and decided we would be friends again. That was a fun summer of hanging out with him and other friends. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to have a foundation of friendship before we had any kind of dating relationship. People asked me a lot when we were going to go out…I’d just smile and say “we’re just friends!”…of course I always hoped we would be more!

October 19th, 2002 was our first “official” date. I don’t remember a whole lot of our dating time, but I remember a lot of time at movies, the mall, hanging out with friends, coffee shops, dinners…the norm for high schoolers. Also Homecoming, Prom…those kinds of things.

Homecoming at Nathan's private school. They had Homecoming in December...hence the Poinsettias.
Homecoming at Nathan’s private school. They had Homecoming in December…hence the Poinsettias.
Nathan's Senior Prom. we rocked the flip flops like the West Coasters we are!
Nathan’s Senior Prom. We rocked the flip flops like the West Coasters we are!

After I graduated high school, we both were thinking about our future, and if our relationship was part of that. In the fall of 2004, we took 1 week apart to pray, fast, and seek counsel about whether we should pursue marriage…and how soon that would/should be. I don’t know specifically what Nathan heard during that time, but I know one thing I felt was from the Lord for my heart…whenever I pictured my life without Nathan I just felt so sad. I didn’t know why or what the Lord would have in store for us, but I knew that if He was telling Nathan to move forward, that I was all in. We came back together a decided that the Lord was moving our relationship toward marriage, and sooner rather than later. He asked my dad for my hand in marriage (unknown to me!) and on November 24th, 2004 over a candlelight dinner, Nathan got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said I would be honored and the date was set for May 28th, 2005!

Thanksgiving Day 2004, the day after Nathan proposed.
Thanksgiving Day 2004, the day after Nathan proposed.

So that’s the pre-wedding story of us! In my next post, I’ll talk about our wedding day…just keep in mind it was 10 years ago…pre-Pinterest 😉

I know a lot of people have doubts about couple getting married so young, and I can’t say I blame them. Especially these days…it seems young adults fresh out of high school don’t have marriage on their radar at all. We had quite a few people (and still do!) give us curious looks for wanting to get married so young. There were a lot of questions: “Don’t you feel like you missed out on becoming an independent adult or missed out on a college experience?”, “How did you know you would be compatible without living together first?”, “Don’t you think you missed out not dating other people?” I understand those questions…in our culture today it is very odd to graduate and get married soon after…and have the marriage actually be a good and healthy one. Yes, it’s true we had to do some growing up and learning together, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. No one is truly “compatible” in my opinion. Marriage is about love, respect, honesty, communication, and learning together how to live a life of sacrifice and forgiveness…which I know will take a lot longer than the 10 years we’ve been married 🙂 And as for not dating around…I honestly do not regret only dating Nathan. We have a lot of history together, and I love that. But even though we’ve known each other over half our lives and have been married 1/3 of our lives, I still find myself finding out new things about him. Being with Nathan is not dull…even after all this time.

The road the Lord had us walk and has us walking now is not what He has for everyone. Some people do date a handful of people, and that’s not wrong or bad. I do not want to make it sound like we did everything the perfect way. Looking back sometimes, I have issues about dating in high school. We will have a lot of words of caution and wisdom for our kids if they are ever interested in dating in high school. Sometimes I rely on Nathan more than God. I think anyone is capable of putting their spouse in God’s place…but sometimes I think because we were married so young, I’ve come to really depend on Nathan and can’t function well without him. Like I said, I think that could be a struggle for anyone…and I’m not bashing young marriage at all. Just being a little bit real with you is all 🙂

Next up…the big day!!

Press on!

Jaimi S.

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