February 5, 2013

 photo JenandJon_zpsf881f393.jpg

Me with my man, circa 2010, photo by Veronica Reeve

Oh love.  It often starts with that heart racing-soul soaring-twitterpated-thump-thumping then transforms into constant thoughts of you-can’t live without you-would do anything for you.  It can take you to your highest high and your lowest low.  Everyone deserves it, but not everyone finds it.  I’m one of the lucky ones.  I found it.  I found “my person.”

A memory from a high school dance practice has always stuck with me.  A group of young girls, gabbing about crushes and cute boys when I suddenly said “I wonder if I know my future husband– if we’ve ever even crossed paths.”  Moments later, a bunch of boys walked past the door and glanced in.  I recognized them, but didn’t know any of them personally.  And in that group was my eventual spouse.  Imagine that.

Several years later I was sitting in a college communications class next to one of those guys you can tell play the field when he struck up a conversation.  Oh boy, here we go, I thought.  But a few minutes in he abruptly stated “you would be perfect for my roommate.”  Nope, he wasn’t hitting on me, he was trying to set me up.  And I wasn’t the least bit interested.

I was taken.  Spoken for.  Yep, my future was all mapped out.  I had a boyfriend I was certain I was going to marry.  He was serving a mission for our church far away and  I was faithful.  I was waiting.  I was in love…. but I was open to dating…just a bit.  Two years is a long time, after all, and it had been fairly easy to cut the cord with every other suitor who wanted to get serious.  So, what was the harm in going on a blind date with this classmate’s roomie?  And so it was arranged.  A double date for Halloween night.  All it took was an introduction and I knew I was in trouble.

There was something familiar about him… his gentle eyes, and his kind smile.  And then it hit me.  We had gone to the same high school.  He was a few years older, we had different groups of friends, but for some reason I remembered him walking by the dance room that day when I was 16.  The chit-chat was easy, comfortable, as if we had known each other for years.  And as the night went on, I found myself thinking I didn’t want to say goodbye.  And so we didn’t.  We stayed up all night.  And that was it.  We never really did say goodbye.

Boy, did I I try.  Really, I did.  Remember, I had that boyfriend, and my life plans, he wasn’t in them– the other guy was.  And so, I broke it off.  And he would have none of it.  He was so sweet and logical and so darn persistent that every time I would come up with a reason why we should break up, he would shoot it down and bring me something like flowers I didn’t deserve and we would end up making up.

And then came the “L” word and hints of what was to come until one day he looked at me earnestly and said “you’re the woman I want to be the mother of my children.”  I was so taken a back, my eyes filled with tears.  We were in love, the strongest love I’d ever felt before.

The night we got engaged, a dream nearly threw us off course.  I dreamt I had hopped on a plane, flew to South America, and the boy from before had pleaded with me to wait for him.  I woke up shaking, panicking, with the coldest, sickest, darkest feeling I had ever felt before.  And I called my future husband in the middle of the night and sobbed and sniffled told him it wasn’t meant to be.

Except he knew that it was.  He was cool as a cucumber and said he wasn’t trying to sway me either way (…sure), and asked that if I truly believed God was guiding my life, if he had ever used a horrible feeling to lead me in the right direction.  The answer was no.  My Heavenly Father leads with warmth and hope and light.  And suddenly a peace filled my soul with… love.

The day we were married, we were completely at peace.  Has life been all roses?  No way.  There have been plenty of thorns– trials that stretch us to our limits.  But after each one, our bond is replaced by an even stronger one.  He is “my person.”  He challenges, pushes, and encourages me in exactly the ways that I need.  He is always on my side and the best teammate anyone could ask for.  And just when I thought I could my heart was at capacity, we became parents.  Seeing him with our daughter makes my heart soar like never before.

I have wondered from time to time how different my life would be had I not sat down next to his roommate in that university class so many years ago.  My, how grateful I I am that I did.

Now in the spirit of the MONTH OF LOVE, I want to hear about “your person.”  The one that makes your heart go pitter-patter and who you want to share all of life’s adventures with.  Doesn’t matter how long or short your relationship has been, I want to hear from all types!  Answer these questions and email them to me at jen@withheart.com along with a picture or two by this Sunday and I’ll feature a few throughout the month!  I cannot wait to read them.

1.   How did you meet and how long ago?

2.   What was THE moment when you knew it was love?

3.  What challenges have you had to overcome?

4.  What has made you stick it out?

5.  What is your biggest accomplishment as a couple?

6.  What is your favorite quality about them?

7.  What’s your secret for keeping your relationship strong?

Be sure to tell me your name, your lover’s name, and what city you’re in.

Here’s to love!


Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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  1. Kelly says:

    Such a beautiful story, Jen. So inspiring, so heartwarmingly perfect. I’m happy I stopped by today and so very happy I read it. Congrats to you all!

    Kelly from chic Saturday

  2. Deborah Speed says:

    Loved this. Love you. Love your blog. I think I’ll submit my love story to you too!


  3. Britney says:

    I love the fact that you had crossed paths with your now husband. I was a senior when my husband was a sophomore and since I had played softball with his older sister, I always looked at him as “Jamie’s little brother”. But he was worth the wait! Thanks for this fun blog!

  4. How awesome is this? Love your story! Gonna try to send one in if I get time. Speaking of which… How in the world do you have time for all of this? You never cease to amaze me superwoman!

  5. Sara Philip says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! I have never heard your entire story, so sweet! Love you, and now I love your husband 🙂

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