Originally published February 2018
The way that my husband, Jared, and I met you could almost call chance. But we both know that it was far more than that. I want to tell you our story, but I tend to give long explanations for everything. Same goes with our love story! There’s so much background, so it’s going to take a while to tell. This is the first part.
I graduated high school and community college in May 2016. I was excited to be done with school, and looking forward to what the next few years might bring. I was never someone who knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. For a while I wanted to be an actress, and then I thought about anthropology, or teaching. But nothing really jumped out to me, so when people would ask what I planned to do after college, I would laugh nervously and say ‘I’m not sure yet’. I always wanted to be a wife and a mom some day, and so I wasn’t interested in spending so much time and money going to university for a degree I wouldn’t use much in an area I wasn’t passionate about.
After I graduated, I started looking for more work (I was nannying part time while I was in school) and thinking about what to do next. My sister Adalia, who has been in New Zealand with her husband Ben since 2014, asked if I would like to come stay with them… so I began praying and thinking about how long to go for. I spent the summer working full time as a nanny, and in September I began a crazy adventure. I decided to go to NZ for six months. I knew a total of 7 people in NZ- Adalia, Ben, and several of Ben’s family members. I had no idea what to expect during those six months, but if you know me you know that I am always up for an adventure…
Adalia and I the day after I got to New Zealand. Reunited after over two years!
The next several months were exciting as I got to spend time with my sister and her husband, explore NZ, and make new friends.
I found a wonderful church and the Pastor’s family was the best, instantly being amazing friends to me. They took me to the Karangahake Gorge, to Paeroa, Tauranga, and more. I am so thankful for them!
It was at that church where I met my future husband. In January, Jared was visiting his aunt and uncle in Tauranga. The pastor of the church there would come to the church I attended in Tokoroa to preach for our midweek service on Thursdays. Jared was invited to come along with him, and after thinking about it for a bit he decided to come. I was invited to have dinner with my pastor’s family (who by this time were my good friends) before church, and so was Jared, Pastor Dan, and Thomas (another guy from Tauranga). Jared and I had heard each other’s names mentioned a few times through mutual friends, but knew nothing about each other. We chatted a little bit throughout the evening, and during the church service I turned around and looked right at Jared, which solidified his growing desire to get my number. Jared, my friends, and I were chatting after church and before Jared left with Pastor Dan and Thomas, he asked if I had Facebook. I said yes, and I wrote down my name for him so he could find me. While I was writing, he said, ‘Could you put your number down too?’
I paused for a moment. I was surprised! This was only the second time anyone had asked for my number. The first time that it was someone with the same beliefs/convictions. I hadn’t had my phone for long so it took me a few seconds to remember my number, but when I did I wrote it down for him. He thanked me and then when he went to leave, I went into the kitchen because THAT just happened! Like many girls I always dreamed of meeting a guy, but it was actually happening! As I said, someone had asked for my number before, but all I could do was politely decline him. This was amazing- a godly, bible-believing, Baptist. I took a few minutes to compose myself before coming out of the kitchen. I spent the night at my good friends’ house, so it wasn’t until the next day that I had time to think about what happened and text him back…
Stay tuned for part 2!