As Joshua and I have been approaching marriage, we’ve been asked the stereotypical question numerous times: How did you two meet?
In our story, that’s actually a rather difficult question to answer. How did we meet? Back in Fall of 2016, according to Joshua we met once, but I have no recollection of it. We were at a prayer team meeting for our church on a day when I was incredibly stressed. I had left work for a bit to attend the meeting, and my girls were on my mind. (I worked at The Sparrow’s Nest, a maternity home for teenagers. Check it out: http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org/ )
The next time we met, I remembered him but he didn’t remember me. It was the beginning of January 2017. I had just gotten back in town from my sister’s figure skating competition and was attending a prayer team meeting. Joshua spoke that evening on prayer, and I remembered thinking, “Huh. I wonder if he’s single,” but I quickly shook it off and moved on.
Enter February 2017. I was teaching in our children’s church and Joshua’s small group was volunteering. I went through the typical questions of getting to know a volunteer: What do you do for a living? How long have you been attending this church? Do you know so-and-so? Etc. He asked what I do for a living, and when I told him I worked at The Sparrow’s Nest, he got incredibly excited. I remember asking, “Wait, you know about Sparrow?” From my experience, it was strange that a young man knew about any maternity home, and especially a specific one for teenagers. The conversation continued, and Joshua asked to volunteer, so I passed on his email to our volunteer coordinator.
Leaving that conversation, my coworker friend who was also part of it, called it out that Joshua was interested in me. I blew it off and thought there was no way.
Now, it’s my understanding that Joshua did volunteer at Sparrow once without my involvement in the planning. Since then, I found out that he did want to volunteer to catch my attention, but decided that would not be the best way to go about pursuing me.
Over the course of the next few weeks, Joshua watched the Facebook Live videos I made for Sparrow. This next piece of information is important: I always wore a ring on my right ring finger and a ring on my left middle finger. In Facebook Live, the image is flipped and Joshua thought I had an engagement ring on my left ring finger, thus giving up hope on pursuing me.
May 13th, 2017. I had forgotten about posting a video on Sparrow’s Facebook page asking for someone to help with overflowing gutters, thus also forgetting that Joshua had offered to come over and clean out the gutters. I also typically did not work weekends, but I was working this entire weekend to accommodate for being short staffed. Around 5p, here came Joshua ready to clean out gutters, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember why he was there, much less his name. An awkward conversation begins, and then all is well in the world. I show him the gutters and offer to hold the bag while he scoops out the grossness.
Following my typical routine of engaging in conversation with volunteers, I ask questions to get to know him and let him know we are thankful for his help. As the conversation continues, my little brain secretary’s jaw drops as I begin to realize we share many similar interests and views on life. I asked God a simple question: “God, is he mine?” I received a simple answer: “Yes.” My brain secretary closed her mouth, flipped her hair, put her hands on her hips, and with slight attitude told God, “Welp, then you’re going to have to make it happen.”
You all know where this is going… God made it happen.
Before leaving Sparrow, Joshua asked me to let him know next time I would be going trail running. (Guess who didn’t let him know… This girl right here.) A couple of weeks later he found me teaching in children’s church and invited me to go trail running Saturday at 6a. I thought, “Goodness, this guy is crazy!” But, I agreed.
And the rest was history.
Remember that little blurb about my rings? It turns out that on the way to Sparrow to clean out the gutters, Joshua couldn’t figure out why he was on his way to help out, especially because he thought I was already betrothed to someone else. At Sparrow he discovered that I was single and had crazy big hopes and dreams for my future.
Beginning there, God knitted our hearts together.
From the beginning, I noticed Joshua’s kindness, something I was lacking in offering myself. Through Joshua, God kept reminding me to be kind to myself and to not run from this forming relationship. I personally was shown that there are God-fearing trustworthy men in this world who respect women. Possibly most importantly, I saw, and still see, how God orchestrates each of our lives perfectly, even when we can’t see it. There were many, many opportunities and possibilities that could have kept Joshua and myself apart, but even before we knew each other, we were turning down opportunities to take new jobs and to travel long term to foreign lands without knowing why we felt called away from them, only to be led to each other.
I can also tell you this: When people ask why we chose each other, we both can confidently reply that we didn’t choose each other. God chose us for each other.