Yesterday I entered myself and Adam in a "Love Story" contest. I submitted our story of how we met and fell in love (in 250 words or less ...which was an incredibly hard thing to do!), and if we are chosen, Matthew West will write a song about our love, perform it on his tours, and even play it live on the radio on Valentine's Day morning. Now, as cool as I think it would be to win this contest, I truly feel in my heart that no matter the outcome, I'm the biggest winner of all because I have this incredible love. I have this amazing story to tell ...it happened to us and it happened when we least expected it.
Many of my friends on my facebook page have asked me to tell them the story. So I thought I would write it here, on my blog. I hope that for all of you who have yet to find your soul mate, this will be an encouragement that God is in the process this very minute of preparing their heart, and directing their path towards you.
I moved to Bryan/ College Station to attend Texas A&M University in the fall of 2003. There, I met a lot of incredible people that I had no idea would impact my life in the way that they did. One of those people, was a girl named Autumn Bluhm. What a pretty last name, huh? :) When I think of it now, I wonder if maybe it looked like the scene of a movie from God's point of view the moment I met her and shook her hand. I can see it now, everything goes in slow motion, as our hands touch to shake... sparks of fire shoot out from around them, and angels start singing. Ha. My point is, at that very moment I had no idea that my path and his path were now altered forever. But in that very instant they were.
Autumn and I got very close. We told each other about our families, we both played volleyball and did cheerleading in High School so we had that in common, and we spent a lot of time making strawberry cupcakes and sharing new music with each other. We became best friends. I had started dating a guy that went to church with Autumn, in fact, it was through him that I met her, and we had one of those on again off again relationships where it never seemed like our timing was right. Every time that we would be off again, Autumn would be there for me and comfort me. She would always say - "You just need to meet my brother. The two of you would be perfect for each other." I always laughed it off when she mentioned it. I thought mostly that it was one of those things, you know, where the best friend just wants to have you around all of the time, so I didn't really think anything of it. In April of 2004, when I became a Christian, my view on life completely changed. I struggled with how I viewed the world and the kind of person I wanted to be. I got into a lot of discussions with friends about certain issues that I had changed my mind about, and a lot of them thought I was losing my mind. But every time I would vent to Autumn that people just didn't understand me, she would always say "You just need to meet my brother. The two of you would be perfect for each other."
One day I was hanging out with Autumn deciding what we were going to do that night, when she let me know that her brother, Adam, was coming into town and she thought we should all go to eat at Fudruckers. It sounded like fun to me, so we headed up there with a group of friends. I wanted nothing more than to meet this guy that she had always referred back to, and get it out of the way. Of course, you want to know your best friend's family. You want them to like you, but I had no intentions of falling for this guy. None at all.
When I met him, I could tell right off of the bat that he was an amazing person. Just being around him for 20 minutes told me that he had a passion, ... a FIRE for God that I admired. But I didn't go out of my way to try and impress him. After all, I was still stuck on my on again off again boyfriend that had recently moved away. After our dinner, Adam asked if some of us wanted to go to a huge devotional at the college where we would listen to a speaker and sing songs to God. Again, I can just imagine God smiling down at us as we walked into the same building together, to praise and worship Him, not knowing that He was in the process of designing a beautiful life for us. A life that we would not find out about until another year and a half down the road.
The next year on Valentine's Day, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to Houston with him to see the Fray in concert. I love the Fray and so I was very excited to go. Now, at any concert I go to, I like to be really close to the stage, so we were up front enjoying ourselves. I was telling Autumn about the experience a few days later and she got a funny look on her face. "My brother said he was at that concert", she told me. "He was in the very back with his friend." So there we were, once again, in the same place, at the same time, on no other day than our national day of love... but we didn't even know it.
The winter of 2006 and spring of 2007 brought a lot of changes for me. I had moved out to a small town where I didn't know a soul, began working for a Domestic Violence shelter, and found an amazing church home with so many wonderful and loving people. Sometimes, we would have Bible studies out at the home of one of the older married couples and everyone would sit around and joke about which son or nephew or friend in the church they wanted to "hook me up with". I remember one night in particular, they were all talking about when I was going to find the man that God had prepared for me, and as I drove home that night I cried out to God in my car. He knew every moment in the last few years that my heart was breaking. He knew how bad I wanted to find that person and feel loved. But on that night, I prayed to God that if He had decided that I was not supposed to get married so that I could follow closer after Him, then I was ok with that. And for the first time in my life, in my heart, I truly meant it. I guess that was the moment He was waiting for.
The VERY next day, I received an unexpected message on my myspace account. Apparently, Adam had opened up his account, clicked on my page and waited for it to load. He had a song in his head that he had been singing all day, and when he got to a certain part in the song my page loaded. And as he sang the words in his head, he read the very same words on my page. "Precious Lord, reveal your heart to me." Adam thought that it was such a neat and ironic thing to happen, that he wrote me about it to tell me. From there, we began writing letters back and forth. What songs we loved, our favorite movies, ... we learned more and more about each other, and about our mutual love for God.
When we finally decided to start dating, it was obvious. Adam told me things that in my profession, I would have normally seen as a red flag, ha, but with him, I just knew it was God that had brought this all together. He told me things like - "when we first started talking, I told my friend that I wasn't going to get married unless it was to you." He made me feel so interesting, and beautiful, and intelligent, and spiritual. We lived 4 hours away from each other, so we started visiting each other on the weekends. One weekend, I was staying up in Houston with Autumn and her parents, and Adam came over to the house. He was going to go to church services with us that morning and as he grabbed his Bible off of the counter, he accidentally dropped it. (This is the moment I truly fell in love with him.) I picked it up to hand it back to him, and felt a page that was a little thicker than the others. Right in the back of Proverbs, where it talks about "a good woman, who can find?" ... he had placed a picture of me.
On one of our dates, because I had told him how much I love to paint, we had decided to paint pictures for each other. We faced each other, so that neither one could see what the other person was painting, and just painted whatever came to our mind and was on our heart at the time. When we got done, and we finally revealed, we had both painted sunsets. It surprised me then, but it doesn't so much now.
Autumn was right. We were perfect for each other. He understood all of the things about me that people thought were crazy, all of my dreams and expectations. God had prepared my heart for Adam and Adam's heart just for me, and then He walked side by side with us, until we found each other, placing people in our paths and letting things fall into place along the way.
We were married on March 1st of 2008. And as most of you know, since then we have been through some hard times. Adam being diagnosed with cancer, losing his grandfather, changing jobs... but nothing has ever shaken our faith. Nothing can make us feel like God isn't watching over us. Especially not when we can look back and see His hand in everything. And now, as we prepare to start our family this year, I know that this little child that comes will also be part of this beautiful design that started so many years ago.