How long you’ve been married?
10 1/2 years
When did you become aware of each other?
We met in junior high. We went to a small school and were in the same class 7th-12th grade!
First impressions? Did one of you like the other before the other did?
D: “she was nice.” M: David drove me nuts! He was a fidgety 13 year old and was always getting into some sort of mischief. He started to mellow out in 10th grade, and somehow, we became friends. I think one day I just decided I was going to flip the script. Instead of him driving me crazy with his disruptiveness, I was going to drive him crazy with my niceness. And it started by nicknaming him “Bulwark”. It was a vocab word that I couldn’t remember well…and now neither of us will ever forget it. On the issue of who liked who first, well, it was me. He was clueless…for about a year. Even his mom figured it out before he did.
Where was your first date? What did you think after?
Honestly, this is something neither of us can remember! We think it may have been a movie…maybe Liar Liar (which is a ridiculous first date!). Since we knew each other so long, and saw each other everyday, the dating thing was never really a big deal. We were always together.
How long did you date before you got engaged? And when did you realize/decide that the relationship was more than just a dating relationship and was moving towards marriage?
We started dating two months before we graduated high school, dated about 2 1/2 years and then got married halfway through college. The first year of college was probably when we decided we were moving towards marriage…we had made it through 1 year in a long-distance relationship, grappling with the questions one is bombarded with as a freshman in college and when it was through, WE were still intact and in love. At that point, Michelle decided to transfer to a different college that had the major she wanted, and was also only 1/2 hour away from David.
How’d you get engaged?
We got engaged in my dorm room. But it was a very creative surprise, and really, that’s all I cared about…I didn’t need a big romantic escapade or fireworks…just a surprise. And that’s what I got!
Was there a step of faith or aspect of risk in this decision?
There is always a step of faith when you decide to get married, because you are committing to be with another human being for life. That’s risky. For us, there was also a smaller aspect of risk regarding the decision of marriage: college. My mother was really worried I wouldn’t finish college; and I knew there was a very slim chance that maybe I wouldn’t. But, I wanted to finish, and by God’s grace, I did! Risk worth taking.
Did you experience a moment of “falling in love”? How did your love grow? Was it sudden or gradual?
D: Yes. During a bad snowstorm our senior year, Michelle was in a car accident and suddenly, the lights went on for me. I realized I would really miss her if she were gone, and the more I thought about it, I realized I cared A LOT about her. M: I did, but remember, we’ve know each other a long time, so it’s a long story because in some ways, I feel liked I’ve loved him my whole life life. But, looking back, I remember a definite turning point. It was before we were even dating, we were in 11th grade, and we ended up attending our “prom” together (because the guy I wanted to go with was taken!). I was in charge of the event, and was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and every time I needed something, David was right there, keeping track of all my stuff, and helping me whenever he could. Even holding the door for me! When did this little class clown become so responsible and thoughtful, I thought?!! From then on, I was interested. Very interested. We worked together at a summer camp, and I was with him a lot and I started noticing that he was changing. His character was maturing, and He had a love for the Lord and a desire to use his talents to serve Him. That did me in. I would say that summer was when I started really falling in love. We still managed to “just be friends” for almost our entire senior year. So, I would say our love grew “gradually”. And no, I did not feign a car accident to jolt him to the truth…that was in someone Else’s hands.
How have you pursued growing your love for one another over the years (or months) you’ve been together?
We’ve pursued each other by continuing to have date nights, vacations, Saturday morning breakfasts, weekly “sync” times…basically LOTS of hanging out and communicating. We are each other’s best friends, so we enjoy being together, and as we do that, I think our love grows. We call ourselves very “high maintenance” in that department. M: I also learned that I enjoy seeing my husband serve the Lord, so one way I pursue growing my love for him is by being around him when he is serving…which has been everything from scrubbing toilets to making an entire wall out of cardboard.
How has your faith played a role in creating and sustaining your relationship?
Yes, created and sustained-that’s it in a nutshell! We were both attracted to each other because of our love for the Lord, and now, looking back on 10 years, we can both honestly say, it’s a good thing that’s what we centered our relationship on, because only Jesus has sustained our marriage. We wouldn’t be married without Him. Seriously.
Any verses that have been important to you in your journey together?
There have been lots over the years. One of our current favorites is Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
Was he…was she… who you’d expected you’d marry? How have the differences strengthened you both?
D: No. M: 60% yes; 40% no. That’s my current percentage – Ha! But the “40% no” is really the best part, because those are all the areas that he has surpassed (in a good way) what I would’ve ever expected when I married him. Jesus has done a big work in his heart since we were 20. He’s still the same David…just better. Our differences have been a strength and a weakness, depending on the day and our moods. Sometimes you want help, and sometimes our pride wins the battle. But, our differences have both shown us our deep, deep need for Jesus, and that has been the best strengthening ever.
What has been your biggest “leap” as a couple. How was your love for one another challenged & deepened by this step of faith?
We’ve had a few big leaps. One involved moving from Pennsylvania to Seattle. We had no jobs, no friends, and no place to live when we moved here. We were away from everything familiar, and so our love was challenged by change, and deepened by the fact that we were the only people we knew!
Advice you’d give your single selves now that you’re on the other side?