For those of you who are keeping track, yes, we met on-line in October, met in person for the first time in November, were engaged in December and married in February. Four months. No, for the record, I wouldn't recommend doing it that way. :-) Experts would say there is no way that is enough time to get to know someone. But this isn't a "how to" story about the proper way to meet someone, fall in love and get married. This is Our Story of how WE met, fell in love and were married. And we believe 100% that God was in it from the beginning and continues to be today.
To recap our wedding week-end, on Saturday we were married, Sunday we caught our breath and Monday we finished packing up my life into my Chevy Malibu for our 3,000 mile journey to Colorado. We stopped on the way out of town to say one last good-bye to my parents. It was bittersweet. I knew with everything in me that this was God's plan, yet there was still a sense of sadness. I was leaving everything I had ever known. I had lived in the same place for 30 years. And of course there was the nagging thought in the back of my mind, "What if this is the last time I see my mom?" Her battle with ovarian cancer was such a roller coaster and took so much out of her. I don't remember my exact prayer that day, but I'm sure it was something like, "I trust you Lord, please don't let this be the last time I'm with her. I want our children to know her. We need more time."
After saying good-bye, we traveled to Tennessee to spend the night. The next morning we drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a short honeymoon, then onto McKinney, Texas, Chris' hometown, for our second wedding reception. After spending a few days there with Chris' parents, we headed "home" to Pagosa Springs, Colorado to unpack and attend our third reception hosted by his church. We felt very received. :-)
My first few months in Colorado were spent job hunting and adjusting to the altitude. Pagosa Springs is a very small tourist and retirement community best known for the hot springs found there. Job opportunities weren't abundant. The ones that were available with Sundays off, well, let's just say I couldn't be very choosy. After my graduation from college I had two jobs in 11 years, in the next seven months I had three different ones. Thankfully the last one God provided for me was exactly what I needed at the time.
Besides the job hunting, we found time to enjoy the hot springs for which Pagosa is known, the incredible scenery and hiking. I was definitely homesick, but being married to Chris was (and still is) pretty wonderful. He did everything he could to make the transition easier for me. During the summer, we adopted two boxers from a rescue organization. I will never forget the four hour drive to Grand Junction, CO. No highways, just narrow, curvy roads that wrapped up the mountain side, without guard rails! We were even met by a mountain goat in the middle of the road as we went around one turn. I definitely wasn't in Maryland anymore! Just another chapter in the adventure.
Did I mention there were no guard rails??
In the midst of our first few months of marriage, we began to sense we wouldn't be at the church in Colorado much longer. We started to pray, sent out resumes and waited...again. I was so naive. I thought because of my extended season of singleness I had already learned the "waiting" lesson. HA! I hate to break it to anyone who thinks the same way, it doesn't really work like that. :-) Thankfully, this wait wouldn't be quite as long.