This post was written in May of 2016.
Our story began on November 14, 2008. I was a 13-year-old ninth grader with peace signs on my shirt and too many highlights in my hair. He was a preppy AE-wearing guy with a knack for making me smile.
I remember someone asking me when I was fifteen, “Do you honestly think you’re going to marry Tyler?” My answer was affirmative, being that we’d been dating for a couple years. So naturally.
On one spring day of 2011, our story took an unexpected turn. I found myself on a curb outside my house with tears in my eyes, but peace in my heart that God wanted it to be over, that He had something more for me.
Through the years, we talked every now and then. Once a year, maybe. I thought about him often, worried sometimes, but was healing.
In October of 2014, he messaged me to ask how I was. I was extremely skeptical and was (a little too) short with him in response. I was guarded and had a built a wall. I didn’t want him involved or to somehow enter into the new life I had built for myself. I hadn’t forgiven him for the hurt our break-up left me with.
By Thanksgiving, God had worked enough on my heart that I felt the urge to reach out to him. We ended up talking a lot about our current lives and our relationship before. I got a lot of closure that day, and I felt completely healed.
Somewhere in the next few months, I had gotten to a place of contentment with my love life. I remember praying to God that I was fine by myself. If He wanted me alone, I wouldn’t promise to like it, but I was content in Him alone.
On May 23rd, 2015, I got a message on my phone around midnight. It was the day before my friend’s college graduation and I was staying in her dorm room with her. I looked at my phone, saw his name, and felt peace. I felt peace that I had moved on, and that no matter what the conversation held, I would be okay.
On June 6th, as I put on a cute outfit and packed some socks in my purse, I remember thinking how content I still was in Jesus, and no matter how this date thing went, I would be okay. I looked outside, and there he was. 30 minutes early (as I now know he is to everything). He stood there in a long-sleeve t-shirt, cargo pants, boots, safety glasses, and a ball cap (that’s always been Tyler – he’s not going to be any fancier than his true self, and I love that. He’s just . . . real). He came around and opened the door for me, and I slid into a truck I’d seen so many times but never ridden in. We caught up on life and old friends, didn’t have one ounce of awkward silence, ate Red Lobster, bowled (and guys- he’s really good. me? notsomuch.), drank coffee, and listened to music.
We spent a long summer together. We laughed, swam, watched movies, went on dates, ate really good food, cooked a little, told stories, shared testimonies, sang and danced in the car, and got to know each other again.
He took off work one July day and took me on a day trip to the beach. I remember sitting in a beach chair with my feet in the sand and him asleep in the other chair beside me, thinking that I could be his travel partner forever. I think that’s when I knew.
I went back for my first semester of senior year a bit uneasy and unsure- about being an hour away from him, that is. As the semester went on, The Anxiety started to hit. And it came with much force. I started to question my motives and my decisions. I started to wonder if God really wanted to bless me with this. I wondered if our relationship was good enough. I questioned my relationship with God. I asked Tyler question after question and talked to him about every fear. He welcomed each one with grace and never flinched. His words were always so sure and strong and I envied his faith. My mind constantly sped in circles and I lost a lot of sleep and appetite. My skin felt tight and my stomach nauseated. I felt unworthy and unsure and attacked. I became afraid of God’s voice and direction, afraid that He would say I was going the wrong way.
But every time He spoke up, His words to my heart matched the peace in my spirit: Tyler is who He had for me.
Through it all, God was faithful to whisper the words I needed to hear even if I doubted them. He constantly said, “Tyler will point you to me,” “This is what I have for you,” “I’m going to use the two of you together,” “Trust me. Trust him.”
And Tyler was faithful to being patient, being loving, showing me grace (even when I was judgemental, accusatory, confused, worried, and full of fear), and being a source of strong faith to look to. He was my living example through it all of strength in believing in God.
In January of 2016, I did 21 Days of Fasting and Prayer with my church. Slowly as the days passed I began to see clearly again. The blinders peeled off and I saw God, our relationship, and Tyler as they really were. My worries started to fade, my relationship with God was restored, and my relationship with Tyler was blessed and better than I could ever dream.
In the following months I got to watch as Tyler grew even more in his walk with God, and had so much fun growing in mine alongside him.
On May 12th, the day before my college graduation, I found myself staring into the eyes of the man of God that loves me on a cozy downtown cobblestone road. He dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife.
God has written us a story so much more beautifully than I ever could have done myself now or as a fifteen-year-old girl. He has shown me love, redemption, grace, and forgiveness. May all the glory now and always go to Him.
So here we are.
I’m now a 20-year-old gal who drinks too much coffee and he’s a bearded Wrangler-wearing man that goes to bed at 8:30 and drinks coffee with me. We are different. We are better. Not without flaws, but by God’s grace, we will choose love every day.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. -Ecclesiastes 3:11
Tyler and I were married on July 23rd, 2016 in Navarre, FL. We had a simple, intimate ceremony with all of our family and closest friends. It was the best day of my life!