April 22, 2012

Our Unique Love Story- Love Across the Mediterranean- Chance to win a Canon Rebel T2i!

When I would tell my students that my husband proposed via e-mail they would all groan. They groaned and rolled their eyes even more when I gushed about how I said yes and how overjoyed I was to move to the middle of Africa with him.

It's true. I left living in Central Europe and jetting around the world to join my husband in a remote place in Africa.

  To say that we have a very unique love story is a serious understatement! Our story is one that spans three continents and seven years before it finally came together. Ours was a love story that was written by the greatest writer but almost never took place.  

 In many ways, it started on a typical work day. I was sipping my bitter and cold coffee during my conference period while I quickly checked e-mails. Sun was beaming through a multitude of skylights and the Vltava was flowing quickly just in front of the school.

And there it was. The reply in my inbox that made me hold my breath and sit up tall. It was from him. All of the way from Africa to my sunny classroom in central Europe.  I opened the e-mail and it was his shortest to date and it contained four lines and simply said we both knew that we had thought about this and prayed about this for a very long time and did I want to become friends... "not the kind that jumped rope, but the kind that married." 

That was it!  Short. Sweet.

I read it again.

And then again.

And the smile that spread across my face was a power to be reckoned with! I had no control of it and couldn't dream of hiding it. It was like a light on a dark hill. I stood up and began to pace back and forth, smiling, crying and laughing and wishing I had someone to hug!

 But really, the love story, our love story, goes back seven years before that. And to a boy at a graduation party saying good bye and randomly mentioning missions.

My heart skipped a beat that day and there our story began. We quickly chatted and laughed about brownies, movies, missions and Africa and for the first time I saw his blue eyes and he became someone new to me.

I prayed that summer a simple prayer, that the Lord would grant me time to get to know him better.
Wedding cake in Africa.

The following fall he, needing only two classes to graduate ended up in my sophomore weight lifting class- of all things (our physiques alone make this comical)!  He asked if I wanted to go for breakfast each day before class and thus we found ourselves over doughnuts twice a week talking through life's complexities before our weigh lifting class. And my heart trembled. There was the man I could imagine walking down the aisle to with a hopeful and peaceful heart.

But life is funny and we each made our fair share of bad decisions and let pride get in the way. He graduated and moved to Kansas. I was hurt, and confused, and when I graduated I moved to Europe. We kept in touch, long e-mails asking for relationship advice but mainly talking about the Lord.

Then, on a driveway on a starry night in West Texas, he told me he was going to Africa and all of the long e-mails, and the years that had stretched between collided and we stood in silence and stared. I drove away that night in tears, knowing I was missing out on something, and that all of the world and its wonders on a platter could never compare to what I knew I was missing... He later said that as my little blue car chugged away he knew his wife was driving away and he was missing it.

He was isolated in a tribal area of Africa and I went back to Europe. Long e-mails continued, never broaching the actual topic of one another but always skirting the issue, and talking of life and the Lord.

Then on that summer day in my loft classroom, I got the e-mail, from this, the only man I could imagine marrying, asking me not to date, or if I even liked him- but to be his wife!  I didn't have to hesitate or even consider. I knew what the answer was and what it always would have been.  I said yes... with a peaceful heart and joy overflowing!

And our courtship finally began (though somehow in reverse!) over the Mediteranean via expensive sattelite phone calls, a meet up in Prague and London, and a two week visit to the equator and it was made official.

 We got married in the United States, in the middle of dry dusty plains and then immediately headed back to an isolated and remote tribal area of Africa for our first year together, making up for seven years of lost time.

 We often laugh and tell people that we could never recommend falling in love, dating and even marrying the way we did. But it was perfect for us because it was perfectly orchestrated. Full of peace.  And despite pride, sin and missed opportunities- grace prevailed.

Such a wonderful thing!

* I am receiving entrance into a sweepstakes with this post via BlogHer that runs from 4/4-4/22 and have a chance to win a Canon Rebel T2i!

You can also share your unique love story for a chance to win a Canon Rebel T2i! There's still time!

-One lucky person will win a Canon Rebel T2i

- Three people will win a Canon point and shoot camera

- Five people will win movie money through Fandango (to go watch a love story of course!)

How to enter?

-Share your own unique love story on this form

Official rules for this sweepstakes are found here.

Read other Serendipitous Love Stories here!

Now I'm in the mood for a romantic movie- so The Lucky One has come out just in time!


Laura said...

Loved this!!! Loved the telling! Now I will try and copycat and if I meet someone new and interesting will pray for time to get to know him! And, of course, God will make that happen! :) I usually read your blog on reader so don't comment - fun!
hey, I don't seem to have your email - feel like emailing me at Lauraleighanderson at hotmail.com? I think my bio and photos are too much for a comment pane!

Laura said...

Forgot to say thanks for sharing on facebook! I tried to find you there but couldn't - FB makes it kinda hard to find people I think!

The Reeds said...

Thanks Laura! I will e-mail you and I hope your prayer gets answered!! ;)

Kristi Van Der Merwe said...

What an amazing story that was written for you and Jacob! love this post!!

The Reeds said...

Thanks Kristi! You should tell yours too ;) Just for kick and giggles. it's fun to remember how it all gets started even when you're in the normalcy of laundry and idiosyncrasies. :)

Jennifer Mykytiuk said...

I love this! I never knew how you guys ended up together- besides the obvious- God. But I didn't know how He had orchestrated it! I love it! Such a sweet story! You are such a good writer!

The Reeds said...

Thanks Jennifer, that's really sweet. :)

College Dating said...

Aww. This is the sweetest entry that I have read! :')

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