Its funny to me how even in the fine details God works. It all started in a Starbucks, ironically enough, one of my old stores before my law enforcement career. There I was standing in a line on a Thursday (I think?) in my training uniform when two people I recognized from church were in line ahead of me. Suddenly the guy, Sean, turned around and pointed at me declaring “you go to LifePoint don’t you?”. This began the conversation with him and his wife, Trish, for probably a good hour or two. We shared stories and then parted ways. It was one of the conversations that I was so thankful for in its simplicity. We would see each other at church after that pretty regularly and I began serving on a team with Sean.
If someone would have said to me years ago that I would meet my husband on a setup/blind date, I would have vigorously said no and then laughed. Yet that is exactly what happened to us. Summer of 2017, a few months post a rough breakup, when Sean specifically began mentioning that when I was ready, he wanted to introduce me to his brother-in-law, Trish’s brother, Tab. At the time, I didn’t feel ready and honestly hated the idea of a setup or a blind date. For years long before that, it seemed like everyone felt the need to try to set me up. It always annoyed me. But for some reason (**cough* God*), I wasn’t offended or annoyed at Sean’s suggestion. I politely told him no and time went on…and by time I mean, every time after that, Sean would sometimes subtly, sometimes not so subtly mention Tab and how he and Trish really wanted us to meet. Finally, I think around Thanksgiving or early December, I told Sean that I would agree to meet Tab. He told me Tab would be coming through Clarksville while on leave after his deployment. It became one of those moments where I figured, I loved and highly respected Sean and Trish both as a married couple but also as Christians, that maybe they were actually trying to suggest something good. I remember distinctly praying a few times just prior to meeting Tab, that I wanted it to be so clear one way or another and so good that only God could get the credit.
So the day came when we were supposed to meet. January 12, 2018. And of course Tennessee gets a pretty bad ice and snow storm. They don’t use de-icer or salt on the roads. They don’t have near enough plows for snow. I figured, if we didn’t meet, then it wasn’t what God had for us and we wouldn’t be missing out. Funny thing is, God definitely works in ways that surprise us and definitely where he gets the credit. Trish called me that morning and said that their babysitter canceled and that since most of the town was shut down due to the weather, she wanted to invite me over to the house for dinner and games…basically a comfy environment to meet Tab. They still definitely wanted us to meet- there was no backing out. So I drove to their house; typically a drive that would take maybe 20 minutes, took me almost an hour. Again I prayed on the way, as a step of faith just trusting God, that if this was his plan, he needed to make it happen and be very clear. I arrived to their house and saw Sean, the kids, and a man I assumed was Tab in the driveway. As soon as I saw Tab, despite him being bundled up, I knew I blushed like a little girl. Sean still loves harassing me about that. We all went inside, had a delicious dinner, played Settlers of Catan (which I have yet to win in), and had a wonderful, fun, and great night. The next day, Trish invited me over again for dinner and then Tab asked if I wanted to get coffee first. So we went to coffee, had dinner, played Settlers again, then Tab and I went to IHOP where we proceeded to talk for another maybe 2 or 3 hours. Talking with him was so easy and natural. He asked me out for the next day. We consider that our first real date. We went to a movie then to Texas Roadhouse where we again talked for hours. I learned over the course of that weekend that I wanted to continue to get to know Tab and see what would come of everything. He was someone I knew was worth knowing better.
For about two months we basically were courting…intentionally and exclusively getting to know each other through distance. Finally we made the decision for me to come visit him. On March 17 we made our relationship official because we realized that this was worth pursuing despite being long distance. I knew that weekend, with a confidence I felt only came from God, that Tab would be my husband. I already knew I loved him then. The entirety of our relationship has been long distance with the exception of brief weekend trips. The distance absolutely sucks but he is worth every moment because I know one day the distance will be gone. Tab finally (hahaha) proposed September 1 on the top of Hatteras Lighthouse after we went horse back riding (my first time!!). Every moment we share is one that reminds of God’s goodness, redemption, and love for us. When he proposed, it was a moment I have prayed for years…not for a ring, not for the glamor or anything else, but being asked to become the wife of a man I have prayed for long before I knew it was him. I cannot wait to start our marriage together and see all that God has ahead for us!