“God told me who your husband is.”
And that’s where this story kicks off.
My beautiful friend, Emily, spoke these words to me in December 2009. Just a few days away from entering the new year.
I was intrigued, until I heard the following sentences.
“I actually grew up with him. We went to church together. And we went to the same college. I just had coffee with him…”
Wait for it…
“He’s in town…”
What? In town?? A small red flag.
Visiting from a nearby city? Medium red flag.
“He lives in Florida.”
Large red flag.
“He is in the military.”
Big, fat, huge, red flag with blinking fluorescent lights.
That night was the last night he was in town visiting before heading back to Florida. Emily asked me if I would come with her to coffee and she would get him to come as well.
Right about now is when we meet in person for the first time and fall in love.
But that’s not my story. Seeing as it was his last night in town, he was unable to come hang out. He wanted his last night to be spent with his family.
And that was that. The new year came. He went back to Florida. And 2010 came, it was alive and well.
A few weeks later Emily mentioned him to me again. In fact, he was coming up a lot. And everything she had to say sounded irresistible.
One problem, he had no idea I existed.
Still excited to introduce us, she had me over to her town home one day and set-up a “Skype date” with him. She told him, knowing he loves writing like we do, about a book idea we had.
Oh yeah, and so he could meet his future wife 😉
I did not think much of it – not until his picture popped up on the screen.
He had me at hello. Literally.
Red flag gone.
I was very attracted to him. Very. I may have ducked away and fixed my hair a bit and then came back to join the Skype session. But these details cannot be confirmed at this time 😉
There. It’s out. Our first encounter was on Skype. Ouch. I did not want that kind of story, at first.
One thing he mentioned during our time on Skype – he had just found out that he was deploying to Afghanistan in less than 10 weeks. For six months.
That red flag came back. Brighter. Larger.
Fast forward a few weeks later. And that red flag could not choke how intrigued I was by this man.
One morning Emily woke up and felt nudged by God to tell him more about me. It just so happens that at that very same time, he was in Florida spending time with the Lord. He had woken up and felt nudged by God to start praying for his wife.
So Emily called him in that moment and told him that she strongly believes he needs to pursue me.
She called me later that morning.
“Bri, I told him about you.”
She gushed about all the amazing things she told him about me. I was so honored. So humbled to hear my dear friend speak so highly of me.
“The thing is, he is not in a place where he wants to be in a relationship. He got out of a relationship several months ago and has been enjoying being single and focusing on God. I urged him to pray about it. Just wanted to let you know.”
And there it was. I felt relieved really. It was out there. And in that moment I believed that this was the end of this story.
Then I woke-up the following morning. As I was spending time with the Lord I truly believed He told me that Jeremy would email me.
“That’s weird,” I thought. Why would he email me?
That email changed the trajectory of my life.
I call it his email of intent.
The subject line of the email was so unsuspecting: Happy Monday Morning.
The body of the email was so much more.
He began by telling me who he is. Just a short paragraph.
He followed it up with who he understood me to be. Another short paragraph.
And then the proclamation.
“I’ve been praying about it and I believe God is leading me to pursue you. So, I am going to pursue getting to know you and I am trusting God with where this leads.”
That was it.
I was a little confused as to what I should email back. He didn’t really ask if it was ok if he could pursue me. Or if I was comfortable with it. Or if I even cared.
God told him. And he was doing.
At least he clued me in 😉
Thus began daily emails. They started out fun and cute and short.
And then they got longer. And longer. And then…we met.
Of course, that is a story in and of itself. Mind you, it had been about 4 weeks of emailing without us meeting. He had not stated any intentions to date or romantically pursue me. And our emails were relatively “flirt-free” which I appreciated…and hated.
Let’s not forget that his date of deployment was drawing ever near.
There was no talk of us meeting prior to his deployment.
I struggled with whether to continue emailing him. Emails for six months to a man I never met? I was looking forward to that about as much as I look forward to my period. So there’s that.
I worked at Compassion International at the time. Amazing, AMAZING ministry. As a last minute decision I was told in early February that I would be traveling to India with a co-worker in just two short weeks.
I was ecstatic and I told Emily and my roomie immediately.
Emily reacted with joy but also immediately asked, “What are the exact dates?” Which I thought was an odd question.
Turns out Jeremy had planned to fly out and surprise me the exact week I was going to India. Which she did not tell me. But reported it to him with haste.
By an act of God, Jeremy was able to move his vacation time so he could come fly to Colorado to meet me that upcoming week.
Basically, it was Friday when he found out about India. And it was that Sunday that he made the decision to fly out to Colorado the next day. That week was our only opportunity to meet before he deployed and the week before I went to India.
And now let’s enjoy this story in realtime, shall we?!
It’s February 8, 2010. A very cold and snowy Colorado morning. I put on a work outfit, actually my least favorite outfit. I’m too cold to try to be fashionable. I’m wondering if maybe Beau would make a last minute decision to see me. But if he did, surely it would not be a Monday.
It’s my morning routine, I am pulling up to Starbucks, with Bible and journal in hand. Coffee and Jesus. Yes please!
I am seeking direction from God. Do I continue emailing this mystery man? Is this crazy? Am I wrong? Unfocused? Is this a distraction from something bigger?
Amidst all the questions I hear Him say, in my heart, “He is here.” As in Jeremy? Here? In Colorado?
I am driving into work. Upset about my outfit choice. But also questioning my sanity.
As I enter my cube I pull up IM and send a message to my roomie. “I think Jeremy is here. In town.”
Immediately she is at my desk. Assuring me of my insanity! She does what any girlfriend should do, talks me off the edge. Tells me to get a grip.
“I think you’ve been thinking about him too much.”
Well, I can’t deny that.
Grateful for the pep talk I am back on my computer, hard at work.
Fifteen minutes later she is at my desk asking me to come with her to check out the craft fair going on in the auditorium.
“Oh, I can’t. I have a meeting I need to run in 10 minutes.” My boss is out of the office and asked me to cover.
“It won’t take long,” she exclaimed as she grabbed my coat.
“Looking at all the booths will take less than 10 minutes? And why are you taking my jacket?” Queue funny feeling in stomach.
She impatiently hurries me along. Assures me I’ll be back for the meeting and mumbles about the jacket.
Now I am confused but I trust my roomie so off I went.
I see Emily as we come off the elevator. And they both walk me to the door leading outside. Cause that makes sense??
And then I see a man, standing outside. His hat is on and I can’t see his face. But I know it’s Jeremy.
I launched myself in the air. Sure he will catch me. He does. He still does.
And then he says, “Hi, nice to meet you.”
Excitement takes over and I say much too quickly, “Hi, I am so happy to meet you. I have to go now. I mean, I have to run a meeting. Um, can you….um, can you just wait at my desk? It won’t be long.”
That evening when I get off work we hang out at my apartment. And he makes his intentions clear. He wants to pursue me. In a relationship.
I’m all in. I didn’t really know how all in I truly was.
And this is how we met.
We spent two weeks together. Getting to know each other more. We met each others families. And he starts calling me Belle and I start calling him Beau.
He was even able to drive me to the airport to send me off to India.
After the airport drop-off he drove back to my house. He had been staying in my parents’ guest bedroom because his family lived over an hour away.
When he returned to my house he asked my dad for my hand in marriage.
Yeah…I didn’t know that part until he proposed seven months later.
Four weeks of emails. Two weeks of face time.
Something I didn’t mention, that Sunday night before he sent me his email of intent, when he was praying about me, he received direction from God. He heard God speak and tell him that he should pursue me. I would be his wife. He also told Jeremy I wouldn’t be an easy catch.
Which was true too.
He deployed. We emailed and Skyped. He sent me gifts every other week. Flowers, my favorite treats, books…he had it all planned out before he deployed. Some gifts he had his friends send. Some of them came from vendors. All of them were more than I deserve.
But those red flags were still there. He was still in Florida. He was still in the military. And I truly was like a thrashing wave during our relationship. I am not quite sure how he kept up with me.
God eventually spoke into all of that.
Beau came home a few days before my birthday in August 2010. We reunited and proceeded with a long distance relationship.
He proposed on September 26. Another amazing story. I will write about that one day.
I said yes.
We were married in Colorado on April 8, 2011.
And then I learned to cook…