From The Bride:
Jeff and I met the summer he moved back to Carlsbad, CA after finishing school at the University of Arizona. I was about to begin my second year at Point Loma Nazarene University in the nursing program. I had began to hear about this guy named Jeff through my cousin and what a great guy he was. In fact, it was my cousin who was into him and led me to believe that there was a something blooming between them. Ironically, one night at our Young Adults group, my cousin left an open seat next to me. Unbeknownst to me, the seat was for Jeff. Why did she do that? I have no idea, but it led to the two of us officially meeting.
My first impression was, “This guy is so serious! Lighten up, man!” The one thing I did know is that he was very different and I was attracted to his uniqueness. A few weeks past and I started school, meanwhile, it seemed that my whole family began to form friendships with Jeff and his sister Alyssa, whom I had met before Jeff. My curiosity began to grow about Jeff and how did he get so close to my family so fast that he was even at my older sister’s 21st birthday when I came home one weekend. I have a significant memory of being home one weekend and studying at Starbucks with my sisters. Jeff had asked if I was able to hang out and so I invited him to join us at Starbucks. “Studying” quickly turned into conversation, which led to dinner, and more conversation and lots of laughter, and then thoughts of “Oh my gosh, I am crushing on this dude!” At the time I was not interested in any sort of relationship, and playing any games. For some reason I felt like I should be up front with him and just put it out there. Keep in mind, this had been the first time we had really hung out. Something in me just felt so confident, whether or not he felt the same way. So I flat out told him, “Jeff I have a crush on you.” I think he laughed at first and smiled and looked away. We were sitting in his truck, saying goodbye. “Then he said that’s probably the coolest thing any girl has ever said to me.” Immediately, I was questioning myself, “What did I just do!” But there was a peace and after we talked through it a bit we both saw how we enjoy each other and the time we share. We recognized the mutual likeness but agreed this wasn’t our time with where life had us. Our friendship developed and feelings grew. It led us to a place where the relationship struggled against the reality of where we were at in life. A year after “dating” Jeff and being on two separate pages, we walked away from the relationship. Jeff was assured that this was the right thing, I on the other hand, felt that we were making a mistake and left very hurt- never thinking that one day we would get back together.
Then one year after that, in the fall of 2014, Jeff came back into the picture. I had gone through a year of real spiritual growth and had met myself in a way of freedom I had yet to experience. I didn’t date anyone else during that time. In fact, I fell deeper in love with my Heavenly Father and really came into my identity as His daughter. So when Jeff hit me up, it was a surprise and something I never expected. I was free to love him for who he is and found that he became my best friend. He saw things in met that no one else did and brought life out of me. It was November of 2014 when I realized I want this best friend to be mine. That began the journey of falling in love and led to September 15, 2015, Jeff’s birthday, when he gave ME the greatest gift of all, he asked me to be his wife. And 8 months later my best friend and I became one. Our story is beautiful to me and a true testimony of love. I wouldn’t have it any other way.