I have finally gotten around to beginning on this blog post series – a highly anticipated one, to be sure! I know y’all have been excited for it too. 😊 Andrew and I are pretty much writing it together – I wrote the first draft, and he’s editing and throwing in some other things. We’re so excited for y’all to read allllll the details of our unique story!
Before We Met – Building the Convictions
Right after I turned 14, I really started to be attracted to guys, and spurred on by the girl who was my best friend at that time, we did quite the dreaming + conniving together. My parents found out, and we sat down and had a conversation about guys, courtship, and marriage. You see, my parents did courtship before they got married, and they have been so blessed by God for doing things, as we believe, His way. (For those of you who are not familiar with the process of courtship, I will write a post about this later!) They told me they wanted me to be blessed too. In the words of Dave Ramsey, we “live like no one else so that LATER we can live like no one else”. Do things the right way and reap the blessings and honor and please God.
I still remember the illustration my dad used. He took a huge container of jelly beans and emptied them out into a bowl. “This is everyone,” he said. Then he took out half. “These are the people who get divorced.” He narrowed things down to the percentage of people who stayed together who are Christians, and then the percentage of people who are actually happy together. I think he had a few other divisions in there, like mixed families, and people who did the wrong thing and then were saved but still have baggage. Eventually, he narrowed it down to one jellybean, and then half a jellybean. The percentage of people who are Christians, without baggage from other relationships, and are married once, happy with their spouse, and have fruitful lives.
“This is what we have, and what we want you to have.” he said.
I can still remember the tears running down my face as I realized how serious this was. And how much my parents loved me.
I was 14, and this was my goal, to be married. What I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I’d always wanted it. And now I realized how serious I must be.
My parents and I agreed that 19 was a good age for me to get married at, Lord willing.
. . .
Fast forward a few years. After that conversation with my parents, I was beginning to really develop my convictions. I had an emotional attachment downfall that lasted longer than I wish it had been. It resulted in broken hearts and emotional regrets, but God was good, and my convictions grew so strong through that challenge. I graduated high school at 16 and worked on building my business.
It was in December of 2018 that I got a final wakeup call and erased all emotional attachment I’d had. It was also at this time that my mom told me that after the new year, she and my dad were going to start being proactive about looking for a guy.
Y’all, whose parents look for a guy? Such a foreign concept. May I be clear, my parents and I do not at all believe in arranged marriages! But you see, God has instilled in me this desire to be married, and as this is God’s design, we believe it was good and right that my parents put in the effort to find someone. Coming from the attitude of God leading us. They weren’t going to line a whole bunch of guys up and make a choice, but start putting out “feelers” as they call it and see where God led.
A lot of this comes from our understanding of God’s will and the examples we see in Scripture. There was no woman for Isaac – his father sent out his servant to find one. Well, there weren’t any young men around here. So my parents started looking.
Step 1: Church
Finally, we had found a church that we thought would be good. Our church hunt is a long story, but in short, it’s very hard to find a Bible-believing conservative church here. We found one and started going after the new year, and my parents were hoping there would be some young men in the congregation there, but to no avail. Thankfully, it was a good church! But there were no viable young men. My parents even met with the assistant pastor, to try to feel things out, but…none.
Step 2: The Friends
My mom has two friends in the area who are in conservative Christian circles. So she got together with both of them, explained our situation, and asked them if they knew any Godly young men. One of them said no, sadly there weren’t any. The other told her about one family in their church that was a large family with a bunch of boys, and there was one a bit older than I. I’m not sure why my parents didn’t follow this trail too much, but they didn’t. Possibly because my mom’s friend didn’t know them very well.
Step 3: The Matchmaker
Back in 2000, my parents were actually matched up by a Reformed Christian Jewish matchmaker in New York. His website was still up, even though the last entry was 2007, and so my parents found some email addresses and reached out to him to see if he knew of any other Christian matchmakers, since he doesn’t do this anymore.
Unfortunately, my parents must have had the wrong email addresses. Anyway, they never heard back from him, and the phone number didn’t work. Another dead end.
Step 4: Granddaddy
My Granddaddy was a pastor for 30 years, and he had three good, trusted, likeminded friends. So my parents asked him if he would reach out to them on behalf of them and ask about the Godly Young Man Situation in their churches.
Well, the first person to get back with him was Tom Eldredge. Granddaddy and Mr. Eldredge had been frontrunners of the homeschool movement together back in the ‘90s, and were really good longtime friends. After Granddaddy emailed him, Mr. Eldredge gave Granddaddy a call to say that there weren’t any eligible young men in their church.
But then he talked to his wife Helen. Helen reminded him of one young man that was newer to the church. They didn’t know him super well, but he really seemed to be a notable guy, had a good job, and a degree in biochemistry, so Tom sent Granddaddy an email to tell him about this one young man.
Granddaddy’s other friends emailed him too. They each knew of a couple families who they respected and trusted. My parents began relaying information about all these young men to me. One by one we heard about them. All in all, there were five different young men, in CO, VA, MO, MI, and FL!
I wasn’t sure how my parents were going to move forward with all of these guys, and I’m not sure what their plan was still, but they wrote emails and read about these guys from Granddaddy’s friends.
About 2 weeks after Granddaddy reached out, in the middle of us hearing about all these guys and families, the young man Mr. Eldredge had told us about was over at their house. They actually hadn’t seen him in a while, because he had a crazy, changing work schedule, and this Sunday he was actually able to come over.
And the day after that, April 22nd, Mr. Eldredge emailed Granddaddy. To say that the young man had opened the conversation with asking about raising Godly young men, and through many twists and turns in the conversation, it led to courtship – and then Mr. Eldredge had gone down a rabbit trail about Granddaddy.
And then told the young man that Granddaddy actually had a granddaughter (me!), and her parents were looking for a suitable young man for her.
Would he like to hear more about her and her family?
The young man said no.
HE. SAID. NO.
He didn’t even want to know my name!
He was going to go home and pray for three days first.
He prayed. I prayed. My parents prayed. Granddaddy prayed. Tom and Helen prayed. And the three days passed, one by one.