Hi friends! I want to share with you a series of posts I wrote last year on my old blog since I have so many new friends reading my posts. I especially want new brides and prospective brides to see my story since they're allowing me to play such an important role in capturing their story and photographing their wedding day! I also never wrote the fourth and final part of our story! So I'll be posting parts one through three throughout this week and then I'll end this series with a new part four. Enjoy!
I'll never forget October 4th, 2013. It began as any other day as I prepared to go on Crosspoint's annual college Fall Getaway. It would be my fifth time attending Fall Getaway as a Crosspoint staff member. I felt like I knew what to expect and was excited about the prospect of interacting with new freshman and hopefully building relationships with more college girls. Little did I know I would meet my soon-to-be husband that day!
During the four years I was single after college, I wrestled with contentment in singleness in different ways and at various points. There were seasons of much contentment and victory, and there were seasons of discontentment and struggle. Through it all, God's grace sustained me and He gave me much joy in Christ! He used my singleness to draw me closer to Himself and teach me so much. This post captures a few of the many things the Lord taught me in singleness. Here's a few other resources that greatly encouraged me: Single in Christ, Single, Satisfied, and Sent, and Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?
I was always hesitant to pray for a future husband. I think it was because I didn't want my hope to rest in finding a husband but rather, in Christ. Deep down I think it was also because I was afraid the Lord would not answer my prayers in the way I expected. However, after encouragement from friends, I began praying more fervently for a husband in the fall of 2013. September 29th (five days before I met Alex) I prayed: "Father, I submit myself to you this morning as my King and Authority. I know you have the right to call me to anything, including a life of singleness. I long for a husband with more intensity than I ever have and pray that you would bring a godly man and future husband into my life. Yet I trust you and know you will sustain me and give me joy as I continue to walk with You. Please help me to to not be like the people in Judges (I was reading Judges at the time) who did what was right in their own eyes. Please help me, by your grace, to obey you and submit myself to you, even if that's costly."
A few days later my Bible reading plan led me to 1 Samuel and Hannah's prayer for a child. My mentor Marilyn had just talked to me about the same passage and challenged me to trust the Lord enough to boldly pray for a husband. 1 Samuel 1:10-11 says, "[Hannah] was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, 'O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head." After reading that I wrote in my journal: "I pray for a husband and vow to make our marriage as sacrificial, Christ-centered, and gospel-centered as you enable me to do. Thank you for the beautiful picture of how you used Hannah's anguish and weakness to change Israel and provide a godly leader. I pray in the same way that you'd use my weakness and sin to bring Yourself glory."
After hearing Dr. Finn speak at Fall Getaway on the evening of October 4th, I headed over to a bonfire. There were about 100 college students crowded around the fire and so naturally it was really cramped and hard to see anyone. I enjoyed talking with several students and meeting new people. At some point in the night, I was standing in a group of friends and began talking to a guy who I had mutual friends in common with but hadn't met before. That's when I first met Alex. I knew Alex came with the professor from Southeastern (Dr. Finn) that was teaching us for the weekend. Since I'm a student at the same seminary, shortly after meeting we started talking about Southeastern and classes we've both taken. We ended up talking for 30-40 minutes about our classes, theology, church planting, and lots of other things. It was a great conversation and was one of those rare times when I felt like I immediately and naturally connected with a guy. I still didn't really think anything of it, but just thought, "Wow! He was really nice and smart and interesting. I enjoyed talking to him!"
I found this out later, but because my back was to the fire, Alex never saw what I looked like and didn't know who I was the next day. Apparently people had noticed us talking that night and one of our mutual friends asked Alex what he thought about me. Alex said, "I don't know who she is or what she looks like, but I really loved everything she had to say!" Alex did figure out who I was the next day and we had a few more short conversations.
Saturday night after Dr. Finn's last talk, we had a big dance party. I was standing in a group of girls and Alex walked right up to us. I expected him to ask the group of girls if any of them wanted to dance, but he looked directly at me and asked me if I wanted to dance! I was so surprised! I had so much fun dancing with him and felt really strongly that I wanted to get to know him better. Yet I didn't see how that would happen since Alex lived in North Carolina. I thought, "I'm sure nothing will come of this, he seems too good to be true. Maybe he'll at least add me on Facebook or something?"
Sunday morning, our whole group of students headed to Crosspoint. I was assigned to serve at the Welcome Desk that day. I assumed I probably wouldn't get to see or talk to Alex again since I knew I'd be busy serving and that he was probably leaving right after the service. Shortly before the service started, I saw Alex walk up to the Welcome Desk out of the corner of my eye. I was busy talking with another girl but could tell that he was waiting to talk to me. When I was free, Alex came up to me and said, "I probably won't see you after the service so I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed meeting you this weekend." And then he asked if I would give him my phone number. I said yes!!! He handed his phone to me so that I could type my number in and I got really nervous so I started talking fast and explaining to him how my last name is spelled like "payment" with a "W." I immediately regretted explaining that to him! I probably sounded so nervous and silly!
Check back next time to hear the next part of our story...