My wife is way out of my league. In fact, I was told that very thing only moments after my first encounter with her. After playing foosball against her in the student center at Freed-Hardeman (I let her win), a friend of mine put his arm around me as we walked away and simply stated, “It’s ok, Jeremy. Guys like us just don’t get girls like that.” Somehow the universe turned upside down and I was allowed to marry her about two years later. But we first began true conversation on facebook (thanks Zuckerberg).
I was interning for youth ministry in the summer of 2007 and was up late one night cruising the ole book of faces when I posted a status about being sad about a wedding I was missing back in Texas. Sarah (my wife) popped up on the chat and asked if we were missing the same wedding since she was missing one of her friends’ wedding as well. In a bold move, I simply replied, “Ours?” She took it well and responded that we could cry together on our honeymoon. Ironically, our first real conversation was about getting married, which would happen about six months later, after dating for only three months then getting engaged.
Scott, one of my roommates and friends (a long-time friend of my wife’s as well) convinced me to ask Sarah out on a date. I wasn’t convinced she liked me and I didn’t want to ask unless I was sure. Scott convinced me that she did and, quite honestly, tricked me into a situation alone with her. He asked me to go to the student center with him where we encountered Sarah playing pool with a friend (yes, my wife is a pool shark). As Sarah approached the table where Scott and I were sitting, Scott stood up and in the most obvious way, backed away slowly and then ran off, leaving Sarah and I awkwardly alone where I broke down and asked her out. It wasn’t long at all before Sarah and I were planning our future life together, one which I would never want to imagine differently.
In the beginning, I had not just eyed Sarah for her beauty, which was incredibly alluring from the moment I saw her in that student center. I had also picked her out from the rest of the girls I knew because I saw her faithfully at a small congregation that I visited while at Freed-Hardeman where one of my friends preached on the side as a student. Sarah was there consistently, engaged in worship, active in fellowship, and encouraging to me the few times we briefly spoke before that fateful night on facebook. Sarah has a very powerful, beautiful voice that took me by storm every worship as well. It’s still one of my favorite qualities about her.
Our very first conversation on facebook eventually led to a discussion concerning various mission works. After I asked her out for the first time, our evening ended on the front steps of the Freed-Hardeman cafeteria, where we talked for hours about ministry and Christianity as well. Sarah’s passion for God and her ability to carry on an intelligent, thoughtful conversation about our God drew me to her even more. Our similar dry senses of humor also make it all the more fun to be together. We can be both completely goofy and then completely serious. To have someone who can play both sides of life like that is an incredible blessing and foundational to sustaining a relationship through the hard times.
Sarah has been patient with me from the moment we began interacting when we arrived back at school from the summer where we began talking online. I played hard-to-get and honestly, she probably should have just left me out to dry for it. But she didn’t. She played my game and then continued to exercise patience with me through my insecurities, jealousies, selfishness, and a host of other things that I add to the relationship regularly. I have my romantic moments and my affectionate moments. But I have my fair share of foolish ones as well. Sarah has no problem confronting me with an issue, something for which I am very grateful (although not usually in the moment). But she is also loving, compassionate, and patient with me in all these things. These things overflow into how she treats our two little boys as well. I expected nothing less long before they were born. These characteristics are abundant in her life because they arrive there from her faith in our God who displays all of these things toward us as well.
Sarah and I have been together for over seven years now and we have twin three-year-old boys, Luke and Liam. Raising children is a difficult thing but being on the same page in our faith and goals for our children’s lives in Christ makes a world of difference. We have had our fair share of struggles, beginning with some difficult situations that arose the same week we got married. But those have served to strengthen our relationship both toward one another and toward God. I love Sarah now more than any other time before. Though it seems impossible to love her more than I do now, I can’t wait to see what that stronger love looks like as the days go by.