Today, I’m going to do something a little different than my usual posts. Normally, I write about decorating or DIY or sometimes wax poetic or deep and write an inspirational post. Instead (by request), I’ve decided to write about my marriage.
If you watched my vlog (if not, you can do so here) then you know the husband and I are starting a vlog series about marriage. Before we film our first one, we thought it’d be a good idea to do a little introduction of sorts about us. We figured you may be more interested in watching our series if you know a little about us beforehand.
I have racked my brain trying to figure out how to properly write a blog post about our life as a couple. We have been together for so long now it’s hard to determine where to begin our story. After much contemplation, I decided to give you a brief history of our background so you can get an idea of who we are and how we came together. And I emphasize the word “brief” because believe me, there are parts of our story that could be made into a TV movie of the week! Do they even make those anymore or am I totally aging myself??
Sam and I met in a very small private Christian school when we were 14 years old. He is originally from Northern California and I was born in Miami, Florida. We always think about how crazy it is that we came from two opposite ends of the country and met in South Texas! And if you knew how we both ended up there, you’d be amazed…I’m talking jaw-dropping amazement here, people. Like I said, the school was extremely small…we had about 120 or so students total from kindergarten to 12th grade. Yeah…small is an understatement.
It’s funny how much you think you know when you’re 14, isn’t it? Or maybe that was just me. At 14, I had decided I wouldn’t get married until I was at least 30 and had a flourishing career and could support myself. Because of my history, I didn’t believe I could really depend on a man. My father wasn’t part of my life for the majority of it at that point and when I found out he had committed suicide, I hadn’t seen or heard from him in about five years. The very idea that I would meet, fall in love with, and get engaged to my future husband in the span of the next four years was completely ridiculous to me…at 14. But, I did.
My husband had his own childhood situation…he had been abducted from his father by his mother at the age of 10 and when I met him, his father still had no idea where he was. As far as any of us knew, his father had died and we never asked him any questions about it because it wasn’t a conversation too many teenagers like having. To us, he was Sam…sweet, smart, athletic, helpful…Sam. That’s all we needed to know. I wouldn’t find out his real story until much later.
By 16, we were in love and planning to marry as soon as we were 20. We didn’t want to marry as teenagers and 20 seemed legit. 😉 We were actually pretty mature for 16 year olds due to our backgrounds and we knew we were going to get married. We even picked our wedding date 4 years in advance and we stuck to it! Crazy, huh?
A year later, it was my senior year and everything was going pretty well…Sam was tutoring me so I could graduate a year early. He had already graduated because he’s a stinkin’ genius! Seriously. He is. He was 16 when he graduated and didn’t go to college because he couldn’t due to the fact that he didn’t have proper ID so he stayed at the high school and tutored. It was great! Then one day, during a fund raiser walkathon, he come up to me and said, “Goodbye, I love you and I will come back for you.” Then, as quickly as he was next to me, he was gone. I was confused. I was panicked. I was a mess.
We got back to the school and the principal had us all gather in a room and passed around a “Have You Seen Us?” flyer with a terrible age-progressed picture of Sam on one side and a very recognizable picture of his mom on the other. His mom was the school secretary so we all knew her well. We found out that day that our “Sam” was really Jason and had been taken away into hiding. Very long story short…his mom ended up turning herself in and Sam/Jason was taken into protective custody while they determined his fate. At this point, he was 17 and the judge had basically 3 choices: send him to live with his father in California who he hadn’t seen since he was 10; send him to live in a boys’ home until he turned 18; or legally emancipate him. He impressed the judge and was legally emancipated.
He went to stay with his father for about a week and then returned to Texas to live with his grandmother and continue our relationship. It was a very difficult time for all of us. We had to deal with a lot of “grown-up” stuff at 17 and at this point, we were more sure than ever that we were in love and going to get married. And since he met and fell in love with me as “Sam”, he chose to keep that name.
We got engaged on my 18th birthday. We were married 2 weeks after I turned 20. Now, we’ve been together 22 years total and married for 18 of those. Our backgrounds definitely shaped our personalities and we had to work through a lot of rough stuff (most of which I haven’t even mentioned in this post) during our relationship. Not to sound cliché but I have to say…if it weren’t were for Jesus…our faith in Him…the people He sent to help us along the way…His unfailing, unending, and unconditional love…we would not still be together. We would not have our two amazing children. We would not have this testimony of the power of God’s love to share with all of you.
Please forgive the lengthiness of this post. I promise I gave you the Cliff Note’s version of our story. Really. I did. There’s so much more to it, believe it or not. But there was a purpose in telling you all this. We want you to know what makes us “us” so you can understand why our marriage, our lives at this point are such a miracle! And, we have practical things to share that we believe apply to everybody…whether you came from a picture-perfect background or not.
I hope you follow along with us and our upcoming vlog series. If you have any questions or anything you’d like us to talk about, please comment or send me a private e-mail here. Our first vlog will be up next week and we’ll be talking about how to live with your opposite. It should be fun a video! 😉
Linking up with House of Rose for the marriage series “Love and Marriage”