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A&A’s Love Story | Part 1: The Preface

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Greetings, friends! 

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.  

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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. 

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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.  

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35 Comments

  • Reply Allison

    *grins* Wow, thank you, Andrew and Aria, for being so willing to share your story like this! Because it is definitely an unusual (and beautiful) one. <3 Gahh, all the memories of all the emails I got from you while this was happening… :'D <3

    January 16, 2020 at 9:07 am
    • Reply Aria

      Ahh, you’re so welcome! I KNOW, RIGHT? Definitely nostalgic. 😀

      January 16, 2020 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Hannah

    Ahh, thank you both so much for sharing your story! I’m excited to read more! :)

    January 16, 2020 at 10:17 am
    • Reply Aria

      You’re welcome, Hannah! Yay!

      January 16, 2020 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply jul

    oh my goodness aria, this melts my heart. what a beautiful love your parents had for you! the world needs more of that! i can’t wait to hear more! <3 <3 <3
    power to the local dreamer ||-//

    January 16, 2020 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I knoooooooowww <3 <3 <3 Thanks for your comment, Jul!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Victoria Goodbrand

    okay this is suuuch a fun story!!!! I love it!

    January 16, 2020 at 12:38 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Eeep yay! Glad you’re enjoying it, Victoria!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm
  • Reply Claudine

    I am so excited to hear your love story!! And Part 1 was absolutely beautiful. It’s not easy to find a godly spouse in these times, and I’m glad to hear that your parents were so proactive and prayerful. Can’t wait for the rest of it!
    God bless,
    Claudine

    January 16, 2020 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Thank you, Claudine! I agree. :) Thanks for the comment!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Penelope!!

    UGHHHH ARIA!!! you and andrew certainly have a unique story and im just so DANG HAPPY FOR YOU! yall are such a sweet, godly, adorable couple and i cant wait to read more (even though you texted me literal novels while this love story was unfolding)…:”)

    January 16, 2020 at 2:14 pm
    • Reply Aria

      EEP AWW THANKS. <3 (HA YEAH.)

      January 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply LauraW

    Obviously, I know the end of the story but…seriously? What a cliffhanger! I am so excited for you both, and super excited to hear the rest of your story.

    January 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm
    • Reply Aria

      HAHA totally my intent, gotta love the cliffhangers. 😉 Yay, thanks Laura!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Emma

    Cliffhanger much?!! But Wow, such a unique story! I can’t wait for the next part! :))

    January 16, 2020 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Hee hee. 😉 Yay, I’m glad!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Isabel

    This is such a unique and beautiful story and I’m thankful you chose to share it! Wow, that is quite a cliffhanger…

    January 16, 2020 at 3:48 pm
    • Reply Aria

      It is pretty unique. 😉 Oh, we’re excited to share that it may be an encouragement! Hee hee, yep! 😉

      January 16, 2020 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Callie

    How awesome and wonderful!!!!! 😁😁❤️❤️ Such a beautiful story of God’s provision… My parents and I want to go the courtship route as well. Don’t know any guys (much less godly guys) whatsoever, but I know that if it’s His will He’ll work it out somehow 💕 Can NOT wait to hear what happens next!!!!!!😃😃😃❤️❤️❤️❤️

    January 16, 2020 at 4:01 pm
    • Reply Aria

      That’s wonderful, Callie!

      January 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Kendra

    I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone else with a story like this; how sweet! I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR MORE. I love the concept of courtship. That’s how my family wants to do it, when the time comes. :)

    January 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm
    • Reply Aria

      It is pretty unique. 😀 Ahh, yay! And really? That’s wonderful. :)

      January 16, 2020 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Kiara

    Thank you for sharing your love story! I loved it! Can’t wait to read more!♥️😊

    January 16, 2020 at 4:58 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Oh, our pleasure, Kiara! Thanks for reading! <3

      January 16, 2020 at 5:04 pm
  • Reply Olivia

    You have a wonderful, beautiful love story. Thank you for sharing this! I can’t wait to hear more. <3

    January 16, 2020 at 6:07 pm
  • Reply Fleet

    Cliffhanger. Remind me to remind you to write a book in about a decade. :)

    January 16, 2020 at 7:25 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I think I’m going to be busy in about a decade. 😀

      January 17, 2020 at 11:14 am
  • Reply Lydia

    I totally love this! <3

    January 16, 2020 at 9:39 pm
    • Reply Aria

      I’m so glad! :) <3

      January 17, 2020 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Natalie

    Now I’m on the edge of my seat! XD Can’t wait to read the rest of the story. It is certainly very unique! I’ve read a lot of love stories (true ones), and they are all so different. God has such a special plan for each and every couple!

    January 16, 2020 at 9:42 pm
    • Reply Aria

      Eeep! Yes, it sure is. :) Yes, God does indeed! Thanks for reading, Natalie!

      January 17, 2020 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Hannah Foster

    Aria,
    What a beautiful and interesting beginning to you and your fiancé’s love story! I am glad it worked out for you in this way. Might I ask if your family is Jewish? You mentioned that your parents were matched up with a Reformed Christian Jew.

    January 17, 2020 at 3:01 am
    • Reply Aria

      Thank you, Hannah! I am too. :) God is so good! No, actually, we aren’t Jewish. How my parents found that matchmaker is a long story. 😉

      January 17, 2020 at 11:13 am
      • Reply Hannah Foster

        That does sound like it would be a very interesting story! 😉 I love how God brings people together in such unique and fun and beautiful and creative ways.

        January 18, 2020 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Cailyn

    EEP. I CANNOT WAIT FOR PART 2!!!!!

    January 17, 2020 at 5:51 pm
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