My 11th wedding anniversary approaches, and so I thought I’d take a few posts here and there to tell the story of how I met and came to marry the Dearliest. I meant to do this last year, it being the 10th anniversary and all, but I got, shall we say, preoccupied.
A few of you have been following my blog since the beginning of this story (and well beyond…oh, those days of LiveJournal), so much of this may seem familiar.
The Dearliest and I met online. Really. It wasn’t through a matchmaking site, but a forum for homeschool grads. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but I did look for good writing, and he had it.
He also had the most hilarious avatar, which captured my attention before his words ever did.
In fact, he captured the attention of a number of the females on the forum (and the males as a result), although he didn’t seem to let it go to his head. Nobody knew his name, age, location, or what he looked like, but his presence on the forum gave a pretty clear picture of his character.
I liked it.
On a whim I wrote a one-sentence note of appreciation on his profile. I was certain it would get lost in the numerous other posts he seemed to regularly receive, and I didn’t expect to see a reply.
Life got busy. I graduated college, my part time job at the printing shop became full time, and I didn’t check the forum for weeks. When I finally did, I was genuinely surprised to see I had a PM (private message) from him.
Unbeknownst to me, my avatar and writing had caught his eye too, and he’d been watching me on the forum the whole time, looking for an excuse to start a dialogue.
We began corresponding over the forum with general, little stuff at first. I was pretty guy-shy at the time, still mending some heart wounds from recent years and not at all interested in revisiting romance.
Something about the Dearliest, though, made me feel relaxed. I felt like I could be myself with him, he got my sense of humor, and when he sent me the PM with his name and two pictures, I had thoughts to match.
“He’s tall. Uh-oh.”
A small part of me knew even then what was going to happen, but I did a pretty good job of ignoring it. For a while. He was in Oregon, I was in California. I was totally safe.
Yeah, the things girls tell themselves.
Our messages got longer and we moved to emails, and over the next couple months several things happened.
1) I realized he was more mature in his Christian walk than I. No other guy I’d been around knew as much Scripture as he did, and not just knew it, but applied it. He inspired me to grow in my own relationship with Christ, and that had never happened before.
2) I found myself checking things off my List left and right. Yes, I had a List. I started it in my teens and added to it as I learned more about myself and the opposite sex. Some people said it wasn’t fair to have expectations or standards that high. I disagreed. But maybe that’s another post.
3) I suddenly found myself struggling with the previously firm notion of never having children. (Why no kids, you may ask? It stemmed from two things: years of heartache where my brother was concerned, and some selfish attitudes where I was concerned.) At the time I thought it was entirely disconnected from what was happening with the Dearliest (or Fox, as he was known back in those days). Now I know better.
My position on kids bothered the Dearliest, and he knew he couldn’t and wouldn’t pursue me without a change of heart. He also knew it was a decision I had to make on my own, so he said nothing and prayed for weeks.
God is good, and when I posted on LiveJournal my epiphany about having children and changing my mind, the Dearliest let out a loud “Hallelujah!” from his side of the internet, taking it as a green light to move things to the next level.
Level 2: The Dinner and the Other Dinner