Welcome to the second annual collection of Love Stories!!!. For the month of February I have the honor of opening up my blog to some gentleman who want to tell the internet just how much they love their wives. If you’d like to read all of the stories, click here.
Today’s story comes from Kevin, who I went to college with (he was one of five guys in my elementary education graduating class.) I have no idea how they managed to make love happen in a calculus class, but that’s why this is their story and not mine. 😉 Enjoy!
It all started one fateful fall day on a Taylor University pick-a-date (basically just an organized group date for those non-TU folk). The whole group went to a roller skating rink. I was less than enthused about roller skating so I mostly sat on the side with other guys from my floor. During that day, three different guys (one being my brother) pointed out someone and said “you should date that girl.” All three came to the conclusion independently and pointed out the same girl. Given how attractive she was, I figured she was way out of my league. I didn’t really think anything would come of it. The story of all three guys coming to the same conclusion became just a fun story like it was some kind of weird prophecy that was never going to come true.
I still wanted to meet her though. We first met officially after one of my intramural football games which I’m sure made a fantastic impression since after most football games my old cutoff shirt was ripped and I was covered in sweat and eye black. A few days later, my future sister-in-law, who happened to live on the same floor as this girl, sat me down and essentially told me I shouldn’t get my hopes up. I believe her exact quote was, “she’s just a little…different.” This ringing endorsement did nothing to deter me from wanting to at least talk to her more. My wife also says that someone told her that I liked her before we ever had a conversation. It’s a wonder she ever started talking to me. She definitely thought I was a bit of a weirdo.
We began talking consistently a few weeks later after I got her instant messenger username from my roommate (classy, I know). We formed a friendship via AOL instant messenger, and I even got up the courage to ask her out to a movie. To my surprise, she said yes. I was really excited until the day before when she informed me that she invited her roommates and a couple other friends. The “date” turned into me, my wife, two other girls, and three random guys from another floor going to a movie together. It was not exactly what I had in mind. Nevertheless, I pressed on in getting to know her. I’m fairly certain I confessed my “like” for her at least three times via instant messenger (I cringe when I think of how much of a sissy I was when it came to telling her how I felt). Each time I got shot down. At times she seemed interested in just about every boy that wasn’t me. She ended up going on dates with a few other guys that year, but I still could not get her to do much of anything with me one on one despite our growing friendship. When I look back at this time in my life I have no idea why I was so persistent because I really didn’t have much reason to keep getting shot down.
The turning point came when we both signed up for the same calculus class second semester freshmen year. We ended up working on homework together far more than was necessary. She had a teacher’s edition of our textbook so I claimed that I needed that to help with my work. She said she just needed my help with homework (this was only true about half the time). This led to a lot of late night chats and more of her acting like she didn’t really want to date me. She finally came around towards the end of freshmen year. A group of us were headed to her parents’ house in Ohio for the weekend and luckily we were the only two who could leave Friday night. That was the night she officially caved to my ridiculous persistence. Some might say I was a little oblivious to the signs for the weeks leading up to that, but I certainly didn’t care because she finally admitted she liked me. Of course it couldn’t be that easy. At her request, we weren’t telling anyone we were dating for another few weeks for some reason (I still have no idea why this happened). We did go out on at least one secret date that included the two of us and her roommate going to see Mean Girls. We found a way to discreetly hold hands during the movie. I didn’t care that much that we kept it secret at the time because I was still basking in the glory of getting the girl.
We started officially “dating” the day before we left for summer break. Our first official date was a super romantic lunch at McDonald’s before we both headed home for the summer. We talked on the phone for the first part of the summer and we were finally able to see each other the day before my family left for vacation. That night, she broke up with me for the first time.
This was taken the night she broke up with me. Maybe I would have expected something if I had seen her face in this picture.
Over the next few years we got back together and “broke up” a couple more times, but still spent loads of time together either way. There was plenty of what I would now call immature nonsense on both our parts. We spent more time with each other than anyone else whether we said we were dating or not. By our third year in college we got over all the nonsense and stayed together for good. I proposed on a playground after having our favorite pizza in September of my senior year. In retrospect, I could have done a lot better with my proposal. It was not the type of fairy tale romantic thing that most couples seem to experience. I did think about proposing on the roof of the house I was staying at, but thought better of it when I realized it would be a tight fit for me to get out the window to the roof. I didn’t want to get stuck in a window the night I was going to propose. Thankfully, she still said yes. We were able to make it through the nine month engagement while living two and a half hours apart, and we got married on June 16, 2007. This started a whole new adventure together.
In the summer of 2007, the only teaching job offer I received was in the town of Roxboro, NC, so we felt like God was pretty clearly telling us to go. We moved thirteen hours from the closest family member and I for one was slightly terrified being that far away from anyone and everything we knew. God was clearly at work in taking us to Roxboro because I cannot imagine a better place for us to be for our first year of marriage. God taught us so much through the relationships we formed there. I am so thankful for the men there who essentially showed me what it meant to be a godly husband. Unfortunately, my job situation was not the best in North Carolina so we moved back to Indiana the following summer.
In the summer of 2009, we found out we were expecting a baby. In March 2010, after 30-some hours of labor during which I realized that my wife was way tougher than me, our first boy, Easton James, was born. Our second boy, Beckham Luke, followed in November 2013. Parenting is both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. Getting to take on the massive responsibility of parenting together has been challenging at times, but ultimately it has made our relationship stronger. Our kids are a source of great joy for us and they consistently remind me how lucky I am to have Courtney as my wife.
We have faced many challenges together and I imagine we will face many more. Throughout all of this, the thing I appreciate more than anything about her is the influence she has had on my relationship with Christ. I have learned so much about the true blessing of marriage and what it means to love someone because of our relationship. I hope to go on learning how to love her better for many years, and I am so thankful that God brought us together.