Alright, honesty time?
I was never one of those girls growing up who dreamed about my future wedding day, and I never once felt any certainty at all that I would get married. I did, however, always have a desire to have a husband and a family.
I was a really bitter single girl for a long time. I was in and out of mostly terrible relationships from eighth grade through senior year of college, and then I dated sporadically after college. Nothing was promising. On top of that, I was nannying for a long time. Nannying can be a very isolating job.
My friend’s younger brother invited Dayne and another friend over to our apartment on a random Friday night while I was still nannying. We hung out and talked, and there was some mutual interest there, so we ended up seeing each other for the next couple of days after that. I, however, was very caught up in my own life — I was full-time nannying for an infant and a toddler and also going to grad school at night. I didn’t have time for a guy; I only had time to be exhausted. So we didn’t see each other again for a while, even though Dayne tried to contact me a few times.
God’s timing is perfect, because several months later I decided that the only true love was God’s love, and I wanted to be alone with Him on Valentine’s Day. I went back to church for the first time in maybe a year. I really liked it. I spent the rest of the day going to see a romantic comedy by myself (who does that?) and eating red velvet cupcakes. It was splendid.
During the following week, Dayne posted on facebook that he was looking for a church. I offered to bring him with me and my roommate the next Sunday. And so we all started going every week, and Dayne and I started hanging out more and more, and I started to suspect that he liked me, and then I started to like him, and then I started to wonder what to do.
Something that made Dayne stand out was that he was so darn respectful of me. What is a girl to do?! I decided eventually that I needed to talk to him, ask him about his feelings, and share mine. We met at Starbucks. And would you believe I am the first girl Dayne has ever dated? God is so gracious; in spite of my past, here was the opportunity to start fresh. He admitted his feelings, I admitted mine, we shared our thoughts and feelings on dating, and we decided to go for it.
We learned a lot together. The first couple of months of dating were the hardest, and the fact that I stayed with him is a testament to my suspicion that this was it; he was the one. I was a very picky dater; I didn’t stay with guys who weren’t perfect for long. But I stuck it out with Dayne, and fell hard pretty quickly — not in the naive, “he’s perfect!” “everything is wonderful!” kind of way, but in the full-knowledge-of-what-I-was-getting-into-and-who-I-was-getting-into-it-with kind of way.
We met in September 2009, started going to church together in February 2010, and began officially dating on April 4, 2010 (Easter, which was significant to me because it was a new beginning). We said “I love you” for the first time sometime in September 2010, Dayne proposed on February 12, 2011 (our engagement story is here), and we got married in perfect timing on July 29, 2011.
I don’t believe that you need a relationship to make you happy, or that women need a man to be fulfilled, or anything like that — but having my own family was such a deep-seated desire of mine (that I rarely shared with anybody) that I have had a very deep-seated joy in the fulfillment of that desire since I got married. I am so satisfied and grateful that God brought this incredible blessing into my life when I least expected it.
Marriage is hard, and I’ve read Sacred Marriage (amazing book by Gary Thomas) and don’t believe that marriage is meant solely for our happiness. Marriage is soul-shaping; it’s for refinement and (in a Christian marriage) to make each person more Christ-like. You have to love unconditionally, serve endlessly, listen patiently, and encourage genuinely. But marriage is so full of blessings… I learn something new every day.