May 11, 2017

Our Story: A Tale of God's Faithfulness

       Where to begin. Kris and I have been so blessed, looking back at the story God has written for us. I know from the outside, it seems like we dated and were married in a matter of months. Actually, that is what it seems like from the inside too. So, for those of you wondering what the heck just happened, I wanted to share bits of our story here.

Coffee for Days

     "Would you be able to meet for coffee?" It seemed like such a simple text. Kris and I, though friends since the first day of school, had become great friends on the New York ministry trip. I replied that I could meet, we set a date, and I anxiously awaited the day. On that fateful coffee meeting, Kris kindly encouraged me in my pursuit of the Lord, and gently let me know that he was consecrated. Though we had both been asked numerous times on the trip if we were a couple, we continued to deny, deny, deny. After completely reassuring Kris that I had "no feelings for him besides friendship," we parted ways, promising to text often.
     Later that day, my conscience reminded me that honesty was the best. So I texted Kris saying that I  "may" have feelings for him besides just friendship, but knowing that he wasn't ready for a relationship, I was totally not fine just being friends. Kris touched my heart by saying, "Libby, I so enjoy your friendship, but your heart is more important to me. If it is too difficult for you to remain friends without me crushing you, then we don't have to be friends."
     So, I just enjoyed texting him as a friend, until two days later when he called *another* coffee meeting. I was so confused. I thought, "He already says he only wants to be friends, what more could he possibly want?" I would later find out that he didn't know the reason he called the meeting either. During the meeting, he said a swirl of different things: he was moving to Minnesota, he thought we were compatible, he didn't want to curse us with long distance, he wasn't consecrated anymore. I was so confused at the end, I went home and sent him a book-like text.
      I, in honesty, told him it seemed like he was gathering my opinion on long-distance relationships. He responded that though the idea had "crossed his mind" he never thought that long distance relationships worked out. I, in a moment of unbridled confidence spoke of the several long distance relationships that I had seen work out well. We agreed to meet for coffee in a couple days to discuss it. Then after that coffee meeting, we decided we wanted to meet in another couple of days to talk some more. One hour coffee meetings turned into three hours, and three hours turned into six. We met almost every three days for about a month, before I had to go back home to Colorado for the Summer. When I left, I had the hope of a relationship at Summer's end; we had decided to "test out" long distance over the Summer, and make our decision before he moved up to Minnesota.

                                                A Facetime Summer and a Stud Boyfriend

     We agreed to call each other once a week, and text each other at least twice week. (We wanted to start out with achievable goals. ) The first phone call lasted three hours, which was an incredibly long amount of time for two people who disdain telephones. We texted each other every second of the day, and we decided to read a book together so that we could talk twice a week instead of once. The first month was filled with discussion of theology, love languages, boundaries, and every other logistical thought possible.  We grew so much in friendship, talking for 5-8 hours on the phone twice a week. We decided we wanted to "officially" start our relationship as quickly as possible after we started school.
     He came down to visit one time in the Summer, and guys, he was so incredibly sweet, he was so fun to hang around, so gentle to my siblings. Plus he is a studmuffin. At the end of the Summer, he took me on our first official date (We later decided all of our coffee "meetings" were indeed dates, but you know, "intentional friendship") He surprised me by taking me to a murder mystery dinner theater in downtown KC. We both lost the competition because we were cheesily staring into each other's eyes the whole time. I'm dead serious SO MUCH CHEESE. We had to say goodbye later that week, as he started his journey up to Minneapolis to attend Bethlehem Bible College and Seminary. I missed him so bad. We both despised the fact that we had lived less than a mile from each other for 2 years, yet had never realized that we liked each other. Now we were going to be hundreds of miles apart. Two weeks later, after a beautiful video of each of our family members encouraging our relationship, he surprised me at my house in KC. After asking me to officially be his girlfriend, we both went out for a lovely day of coffee and Houlihans chicken. 
A side note: I fully believe that Houlihans' stuffed chicken breast is a vital part of any romantic relationship.
     Every other week it seemed, we were each driving four hours to see each other in Des Moines, Iowa: The midpoint of our locations. Now, we wanted to be together all the time, so we made this drive a lot, and when we weren't driving, we were facetiming for hours a day, to the point neither of us were sleeping (you know, since we still had "homework" and "classes" and "jobs") After a couple months of this, we made a decision that would change all of our plans. We decided to get married before the next semester of school. GASP. Although neither of us wanted to elope, we decided to have a very small wedding, have receptions later, and not have to spend any more time apart. 

The Engagement

Guys, I had suspected it was coming. But not on the day it came.
     I woke up on November 22, 2016, and I knew it was my girls day with Kris's sister Katie. I was excited to spend the day doing girly things, albeit disappointed to not get any time with Kris. We get into Sedalia (a town near Kris's house) and Katie tells me she has something for me, and then hands me an envelope from her purse. On the envelope is written, "Clue 1" SQUEAL.
     Inside was an adorable poem Kris wrote for me, leading me to a salon to get my hair done. Then, I received a clue to get a massage, and get my makeup done. (All of this is prepaid, because Kris saved forever. Oh my gosh guys) Then, after lunch, I got a mani/pedi, and journeyed the 1.5 hours from Sedalia to KC. There, after changing into my favorite dress, I was shocked to see a limo pull up.
     So, me and Katie get in the limo. At this point, I'm completely ecstatic. When the limo pulls up to IHOPU, I knew exactly the classroom to go to. Walking in, I go straight to room 110, the classroom where Kris and I took a class together on the book of Daniel. When I enter, the lights are dimmed, Kris comes and hugs me, and says he has a story to tell me.
     He tells me the sweetest story you've ever heard, and you should ask me about it in person, because it is too special to just type out.
Then, he gets down on one knee, says, "I love you, will you marry me."  I said yes.

    Now, circling around to one year of being best friends, I can't even contain the joy I have. God is SO faithful to us. He really cares. He saw me and Kris, friendzoning each other freshman year. He planned out our coffee "meetings" He knew when we'd get married. He is so kind.
   It's so interesting, looking back on this past year. At the time, everything seemed to go at half speed, yet here we are, married, and the waiting is no longer remembered. My brother-in-law Keegan, in his toast to us said that we've now seen where "the waiting meets the promise." I am so profoundly aware of the promises fulfilled in my marriage to Kris. All the waiting, saving, trusting met the promise of His faithfulness. God is so good.


StacieH said...

I love you both so much , this story never gets old!!! 😁😁😁❤️❤️❤️

Cheryl Lauer said...

I will never ever tire of hearing, reading your story. It is totally inspiring and encouraging, in a day when it seems there are no restraints on most relationships or desire to walk as God would have us to..... You guys are a living testimony and inspiration to others to seek the Lord in all our ways, and He does direct our paths perfectly! <3 <3 <3 HE IS A GOOD, GOOD FATHER!!!