In honor of Valentine’s day, I thought I would share how Stephen and I met. Some of you may already know this story if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, but I know there are many who don’t know, so here you go!
Stephen and I knew each other while attending Union University, but we didn’t really hang out much; we just had some mutual friends, so our social circles crossed occasionally. (One time I drove him and another friend to a movie, and Stephen was singing some song. I asked innocently, “Who sings that song?” When he replied with the artist, I said, “Let’s keep it that way, okay?” I was a real gem.) Stephen graduated from Union two years before I did but got a job working in the library, so I still saw him every now and then. Once I graduated, however, the only time I saw him was when were both in a wedding of some friends of ours. I then moved to Knoxville to attend graduate school in August of 2005, and Stephen was still working at Union.
While in grad school (or maybe before, I’m not quite sure), I created a MySpace profile. (Remember MySpace? Haha.) MySpace and Facebook both helped me procrastinate writing lots of papers in grad school, and one day in April 2006 when I was on MySpace, I received a message from Stephen. He had come across my profile and said hello and just wanted to see what I was doing and where I was now. So I wrote him back and filled him in on the basics, he wrote me back, and then we began corresponding on a daily basis, often with multiple emails. We found several shared interests, and it wasn’t long before I began looking forward to hearing from him and wanting to know more about him. What’s crazy is that not long after we first started writing each other, one of our mutual friends from Union wrote me and told me she had a wild thought: I should marry Stephen! Hmmm…
After almost two weeks of writing, I gave him my phone number (somewhat nervously and hesitantly), and he called me not long after that. Though I was worried that we wouldn’t have much to talk about and that it would be awkward, we talked for three hours, and it was the easiest thing in the world! Our phone conversations continued, as did our writing (we each have upwards of 130 pages of emails saved in Word files), and it was pretty obvious that we were both very interested in pursuing something beyond friendship. After discussing it and praying about it, we began dating with the purpose of seeing if we could envision a future together. Even though a long distance relationship was not ideal, we made it work. I made several trips to Jackson to see him, and he came to Memphis several times to meet my parents and other family members when I was home from school for the summer. I also went to Illinois and met a bunch of his family when his grandfather passed away. I was sorry to meet them under such sad circumstances, but it was great to meet his family.
I knew very early in our relationship that I wanted to marry Stephen, and he apparently felt the same way because we got engaged a mere three months after we started dating! I certainly don’t recommend that time frame for everyone, but for us, it worked. There’s the old saying,
“When you know, you know,” and we definitely knew it was meant to be.
I am beyond blessed to have Stephen in my life, and my love for him has only grown, especially now that I am able to see the role he plays as Charlotte’s father. I love you, Stephen!
And I sure am glad Tom invented MySpace. 🙂