I come from a religious culture where marriage and family are very important. Most of my friends were married before they finished college. I, on the other hand, finished school and served a full-time mission for my church before getting married. My husband (N) and I have talked about how we had both almost given up on finding a spouse. Then, we were brought together and are now living happily ever after.
The story of how we ended up together spans years, and it shows me how aware my Heavenly Father is of me and my needs.
The story starts when we were both in the 5th grade. My husband’s family moved into my church congregation, and he began attending my school. His twin sister and I became friends. I remember spending time at their house swimming and watching movies. I even remember one time, in middle school, N’s mom was braiding his sister’s hair in a crown braid for a choir concert. I asked if his mom could do mine, too. I was so excited because my mom did not know how to French braid. The funny thing is, I don’t really remember N from that time in our lives. I know he was there, but I think he was just always in the background. Then, in the middle of our 9th grade year, N and his family moved away.
I remember looking up to his older sisters and wanting to be just like them when I was in high school. I was so impressed by their whole family’s musical abilities and the kindness that they showed to those around them. The admiration for his sisters and the friendship I formed with his twin sister are part of the reason that N and I reconnected years later.
I was friends with his family on Facebook, and N did not have a Facebook account at the time. So, I only knew what he was doing through his family’s posts. At that point in my life though, I was not all that interested in what he was doing.
After we both returned from our missions, we attended the same university. It was the dead of winter in a frigid northern town, and I had no car. Guess who did. . . N! So, I decided to send him a message online one day to see if he would drive me to the store. Of course, he said yes because he is the kindest, most selfless person. That is when I started to notice him in a possibly romantic way. During our time at school, we hung out a few times and got to know each other better. I was hoping and praying that he would ask me on a date, but he didn’t. That semester ended, and I decided to finish my degree closer to home.
Fast forward almost three years later, and his family moved back to my town, about 15 minutes from my house. After moving in that December, his family got together for the holidays. N’s dad told him he should invite me over for New Year’s Eve dinner. It was so much fun to catch up with his family! Shortly after, I texted his twin sister to ask if N was seeing anyone. Her response was, “No, he’s very single.” Yay for me! I was determined to see if anything could come of my feelings and our friendship.
N left to go back to school, and I started texting him more frequently. I would ask him questions about himself like: “What’s your favorite color?” and “What is your biggest fear?” Then we started to video chat each week. We eventually decided to start dating, and I couldn’t have been happier.
When N came back for summer break, he had some bad news. He told me that he had done poorly in a couple of his classes and had to wait until the spring to return to school. Initially, this seemed like a horrible thing. He wanted to finish school as soon as possible, and this was going to delay that. As time went on, we both realized that one of the reasons he had been suspended was to cultivate our relationship. During that time, we grew closer and eventually got engaged and married.
It amazes me to look back at our story. There were so many times we were separated or missed opportunities to pursue a relationship, but it all worked out in the end. I think that things have worked out as they were supposed to. If we had begun dating earlier, things might have turned out differently. I know I was in a very different place emotionally, and I don’t think I was ready for a serious relationship.
I feel so blessed to have married my best friend. It is not rainbows and unicorns every day, but we make it work. We are constantly learning and growing. I know marrying N has made me a better person, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.