Over at Heavenly Homemakers, Laura is hosting a "share your love story" day and I thought I'd join in the fun.
I was born and raised in Arkansas and fully expected to meet my husband during college, as my parents had met in college. That's just what people do, right? I even expected to get married at the age of 21, just as they had. Because children always follow the footsteps of their parents, down to the very last detail. Right.
I attended the University of Arkansas and dated several guys, but none were right for me. As my graduation day loomed near, (along with my 21st birthday) I began to feel a slight panic. Okay, a real panic. After all, where else could I possibly meet my husband if not in college?
I drew some solace in the knowledge that after graduation, I would be moving to Nashville with my (two years older and also single) sister, where surely there were hoards of eligible, desirable, Christian young men just waiting for us to arrive. It was 1999.
A year later, still nothing. We were finding that finding a husband just wasn't as easy as it sounded.
We had heard about a swing dance held at a local senior center ballroom that was sponsored by a church and the funds raised were used for a ministry for inner-city youth. There was an hour lesson before the dance, and the dancing (either to CD or live bands) lasted 2.5 hours. It only cost $5.00. We were tempted to go but were nervous about not having dates to dance with and could only imagine the humiliation of being left on the sidelines with nobody asking us to dance.
Finally in November 2000, we bucked up and went. It was fabulous! We went again in December....and in January, they started having the dances twice a month instead of just once.
January 13, 2001, we went to the dance with some friends (my sister with her new boyfriend...now husband). During the lesson that night, while the girls were in one line and the guys faced them in another, I looked down the line to see who I would be dancing with in the next few turns. I saw his face.....brown smiling eyes and a huge grin (with perfect teeth, I might add), baseball cap hiding his hair, very nicely dressed. I was captivated. I couldn't WAIT to dance with this guy. Our turn finally came.....and I couldn't keep my eyes off him. He was a great dancer, smooth and confident and smiled all the time. I hated that the lesson was going to end and he'd go off to who knows where.
He did end up asking me to dance three different times throughout the night, and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of them. However, he was there with other friends and left without getting my number, much to my dismay.
What had I learned about him: His name was Grant, he was an Army officer, originally from California, stationed at the Army post near Nashville, he wore a cross on a chain around his neck, and one of the first things he asked me was what Bible study I was doing. Not the typical question from a new acquaintance! Oh, and I really liked him.
Two weeks later, we met up at the dance and somehow didn't leave each other's side except once (which neither of us wanted). From that point on, we were inseparable. He DID get my number that time and we had our first date the next week. Feb 3, 2001, to be exact.
In April, we got engaged. Yes, that was fast.
In July, we married. A mere six months after we met. A whirlwind, to be sure!
We've had two war deployments, separation from the Army, a move to another state, three children, designed and built our own home, and many other things since then. Life is always busy, always crazy, always flying past us before we can even catch our breath, so it seems.
But one thing is for sure. I love him with all of my heart and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I love growing with him and experiencing every bit of life with him, the good stuff and the bad.
No, I didn't get married at 21.....I was 23. I didn't meet him in college algebra, I met him at a swing dance, of all places. And being an Army wife wasn't exactly my heart's desire.
Nope, life didn't turn out just as I had planned......but that's okay. It turned out much better.