I knew Erin and I were kindred spirits the moment I read her blog title: Welcome to the Nut House. We ended up following each other, commenting on lives and our shared faith. I found out today that she loves A Walk to Remember, which I may have watched 6 times in one year in high school because I loved it so much. Please check out Erin’s blog and the fourth day of wedding week!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever seen the movie A Walk to Remember. (One of my favorite movies of all time, by the way.) How many of you cried when Landon got down on one knee and asked Jamie to marry him? I do. Every. Single. Time.
I met my future husband on accident. We happened to be in the same place at the same time for a college youth group function we had both been guilt-tripped into attending. I remember sitting in the quad of our university with my best friend, surrounded by her friends that I didn’t really know, and glancing over the crowd to find another familiar face. Instead, my eyes landed on a sweaty boy in gym clothes sitting on a bench by himself, his elbows on his knees, watching the cobblestones intently. My first impression was that he looked incredibly lonely.
There was no hallelujah chorus; there were no light bulbs in my head; there was no indication at all that I was looking at my future husband, the love of my life, the father of my children and my forever partner. The only hint that I might have just met someone significant was my best friend’s reaction when I asked his name
Me: “Hey Nicole, who’s that guy over there by himself.”
Nicole: “Oh, that’s Matthew. [continues immediately with her other conversation. Then stops in mid-sentence and grabs my leg hard] Oh my goodness. That’s Matthew. You have to meet Matthew!!”
Her sudden revelation led to a very brief introduction, followed by a night of Facebook stalking. The following week, I happened to be walking to my dorm when I heard the unmistakable sound of a muscle car engine revving up close by. A classic Camaro, with my mystery boy behind the wheel, took off in the direction of the church of Christ student center. I ran upstairs, gathered my study materials, and spent several hours trying to psych myself up to follow him. Nicole was an excellent wing-woman, keeping me company while I pretended to study on a nearby couch, while really waiting for a good moment to go over and say hello. We were stalkers, I’ll admit it, but it obviously paid off.
Fast forward about a year and a half to the summer of 2011. I’m working on campus as a counselor for a summer college program for high school students. I know something is up with my boyfriend because he’s being very vague and secretive on the phone, and is coming to visit me but can’t give me a time when he will be there. The day he is supposed to arrive, I get a call during lunch hour.
Me: “Hey, are you on your way yet?”
Matthew: “Yeah. I’m outside. Can you come meet me?”
Me: “What? Right now? Can’t you let me finish lunch first?”
Matthew: “Ok, but. . . try to hurry. I’m waiting out here.”
Ok, so suspicions are peeked. I hurry and eat and meet him outside. He wants to go for a walk in the quad. In 90+ degrees. . . right after a Tennessee summer rainstorm. . . when the humidity was probably at 99%. I didn’t want to go. He dragged me along anyway.
The center of the UT Martin quad is a place called Centennial Court – a circle of trees and shrubs ringed by park benches. It’s our favorite place on campus – the place where we were first introduced that very first night, the place where I first saw that lonely boy and wondered who he was
“Erin, do you love me?”
I stopped walking. What???
“Yes. . .”
“Would you do something for me then?”
By that time, I knew what was coming and was finding it a bit harder to breathe.
“It depends on what it is.” (I was too nervous to stick to the movie script.)
“Will you marry me?”
So all of a sudden we’re standing in Centennial Court, Matthew is down on one knee with a ring box open and I can’t seem to stop grinning.
I didn’t know he had gotten up super early that morning and driven from middle Tennessee to east Tennessee to pick up my best friend who introduced us (a 3 hour drive), and then driven back to Martin (in west Tennessee, a 4+ hour drive from her house through that torrential summer storm) so she could be there to hide out and take pictures to mark the occasion.
I married that lonely boy 2 years, 6 weeks and a day after we met. We’ve been married 1 year and 1 month from this posting, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the friends who accidentally threw us together.
So my lesson to the single is this: There are possibilities everywhere. You only have to raise your head and look around, because you never know who you might find.