(Wordless Wednesday Blog Fotofest!)
Where do I begin my story of finding love. Well, I guess I will start by saying that growing up I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in a man. Thank the Lord that he doesn't always give us what we want...he gives us much better!
Saying that when I met Mark I was dating someone else. I was a freshman in college, and Mark was running a local coffee house every Friday night that I often attended. I thought Mark was an amazing man, but I NEVER thought of him as a man I could date or marry! Afterall, he is 14 years older than me! Well, my boyfriend broke up with me, which wrecked me. I didn't understand why God would allow it to happen, but again, thankfully the Lord wants what is best for his children. As a result of my break-up I really pressed into God and hung out with Godly and encouraging friends. As a result of that, I desperately wanted to be a part of a ministry and so I naturally started working with Mark's ministry "Passion for Him". "Passion for Him" was a group of people (high school and college students) that travelled and ministered to youth groups. I grew up in a wonderful church, and my dad was the pastor! I had such a great foundation laid which really helped me jump into a ministry role on Mark's team. Again, we both just really loved serving the Lord and didn't give eachother much thought other than that.
Move forward a few months and a group of us decided to go to see Star Wars in the theatre and I was going and Mark was going, as we had mutual friends and were friends ourselves. It is funny because that is when we both say we started thinking "hmmm" about eachother. I remember hoping he would sit next to me but couldn't figure out why I even cared. He obvioulsy thought the same way as sqeezed by everyone to get to the chair next to me. Our friendship continued for a while and we really got to know eachother and it was suprising to both of us that we were feeling more towards eachother. We knew we weren't the "normal" couple. We shared a lot on the phone and we continued to hang out with all our friends. I learned that Mark had gone through a lot of trials in his life and that he allowed the Lord to work on him instead of getting bitter. I loved that about him, because I knew people that allowed life's circumstances to get them bitter. I also knew that I never envisioned myself with an older man and was wondering how it would all work!
We had a lot of hurdles that I won't get into, we broke up a few times and layed down our relationship because it was just too hard at times due to the age difference among some other things. But, it always came back to the fact that we both loved eachother and knew that God could use us together as a couple.
(Mark speaking in Florida)
Mark proposed to me on September 15th, 2001 and we were married a year later. We had an amazing engagement. It was so fun and we laughed a lot, we spent time with family and friends and the anticipation of the wedding day was so exciting . I love Mark with all my heart. He is an amazing man of God, which is what I first saw in him so many years ago. It is funny because often times during our struggles dating I thought, why don't I just move on and date and marry someone that "looks" good to everyone else (we got a lot of raised eyebrows at first).