Earlier this week, I shared a snippet of our love story as I introduced you to guest post I wrote for another Sweet Tea, Sunshine, and Serendipity. Today, I thought I'd share the whole story here as well.
photography by Mandy Owens
At 23 years old, I just knew marriage wasn't for me.
I had given my heart to Jesus at a young age, and He gave it to people groups in foreign countries who didn't yet know Him. Aka: I was a fast track to becoming a missionary.
I'd had a few relationships
at Bible college of all places that ended because they didn't have the same calling on their lives; and I think it was pretty obvious that I wouldn't be changing my mind anytime soon.
I was in my last year of college and I was done with the boy stuff. I had come to the realization that marriage and missions must not mix. I would be the next Mother Teresa! And I was pumped.
psst. did you know I just so happened to have gone to the same Bible college as the girls from Sweet Tea, Sunshine & Serendipity? True story.
During that year, I was invited on a mission trip to Mexico.
I think my exact words were, "God is NEVER going to send me to Mexico." (I think we can all agree that while I thought I had it all figured out, I was totally missing it.)
I went, reluctantly, and it was there in a small Mexican village where I met the man that would one day become my husband. I basically introduced myself to him and mentioned that "I don't date. I'm going to be a missionary" all in the same breath.
Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating. And maybe I got butterflies when we both got up from the dinner table to go get some jello at the same time one evening. Oy.
But I really did say that. I fought my feelings (poor Wade) until finally I realized that this was something I couldn't escape, nor did I want to. It only took me a few months to realize that we were going to be married one day. (Fun Fact: we first said "I love you" on Valentines Weekend... awww)
Here's the thing: I didn't know anything about anything really. All this time, I couldn't see how it would be possible to fulfill my dreams of being a full-time, foreign missionary AND be married to someone who had callings and passions of their own. In fact, before making it official, I told Wade that I would only date him on the condition that he could never ask me not to go somewhere, even if it meant I went to live in Africa for a year.
Not only did he accept, but he became my biggest advocate. I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief. God knows.
Seven years later, we're almost 5 years married and living in that same village where we met as full time missionaries. We are in this thing together and I couldn't imagine it any other way.