You wouldn’t know it from looking at any of the photos in our collection that my husband and I actually inhabit the same space. Tonight over dinner we realized we could count the times on one hand that we’ve had photos taken together (engagement, wedding, and “that one fluke time up at the ranch”). Even our family holiday photos are usually photoshopped together. That is because my husband is a photographer-turned-cinematographer, and his life is spent behind the lens, not in front of it (as he likes to say). So you’ll just have to take my word for it that we’re in love. Because we are. And I can prove it.
It started when I was in graduate school. I was dating a guy in a going-nowhere kind of relationship, and I had suffered greatly for it. I was stressed out over my upcoming thesis year, my impending summer European design trip for school, and this deadbeat relationship that I’d been enduring for way too long. I had to make a change. So I broke up with Mr. Going Nowhere on a Monday morning. Then I immediately set off for my first day of work as a note-taker for the hearing impaired students in a photography class, for only two short weeks (to raise money for the impending trip to Europe).
Let’s just say that Rochester, NY is not a place where people, oh, say, talk to each other out of the kindness of their own hearts on the first day of class. Or any other day of class. There’s a great respect for the “personal bubble.” Except today. Photography student Wes Johnson was the first to come into the classroom. He sat right behind me, even though the class was still empty, and said “Hey, Note-taker!” I almost fell out of my chair. This type of social interaction this early in the morning was unprecedented. There was no other explanation: He had to be from the southwest (I am a Texan, and we’re so friendly that it borders on personal bubble infringement). Sure enough, he was from Arizona. We started to talk about our regional similarities when something strange happened. It was as if the room tunneled out away from me, and I was seeing this person who I’d been waiting to meet. A voice inside of me said, “Oh there you are! What took you so long? Let’s go!”
I’ll back up a bit to qualify this statement. To second grade, in fact. I knew when I was the tender age of seven that I would meet the man I would marry one day and just know it. I could never explain it, but my entire life I knew he was out there, and would come along at the right time. Apparently History and Aesthetics of Photography at RIT was the right time.
So naturally Wes and I went on a date. As soon as possible. And on that date I knew that I was looking not only at my future husband, but at someone who I somehow already seemed to know. It was very surreal. I came home from the date and called my mom at an ungodly hour (remember, she’s in Texas). I told her I met the man I was going to marry. I think she wanted to hang up the phone. I don’t blame her. It was pretty crazy.
Luckily for me, Wes also shared the same romantic lunacy, and confessed (a mere week later only because he was trying to at least be sensible) that I was the gal for him. But we were in a bit of a predicament. First there was the issue that everyone thought I was in a rebound relationship. So there was convincing to do on that front. And then I had to go to Europe for the summer (agony, but we all survived).
And then there was the bigger issue. Wes was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a. “Mormon”). I didn’t know much about the Church. I am glad for this because otherwise I might have let common misconceptions overshadow the gravity of what I was about to enter in to. If this man who was so important to me had a faith that was so important to him, than I had better learn a little something about it! And I wanted to do it without any preconceived notions.
So I prayed, I met with missionaries, I studied, I prayed some more. And I ultimately made the decision to join the Church. It was no easy decision, and it weighed heavily on me. To emphasize importance of this, I will tell you that coupled with marrying Wes, it was the most significant decision of my life. It has changed my life. It is my life. I could not deny that I knew I needed to marry this man. And I could not deny the truth that he had brought with him. It was a gift meant just for me. I look back now and can clearly see that both needed to happen in conjunction. Wes and the Church were a double whammy of a life-changer. That was my intended plan.
Then we had to wait a year (agony, but we all survived).
Finally…on November 1, 2003, Wes and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple. That means that we are quite literally bound together as husband and wife forever. We’ve since added two children to our mix to sweeten the deal. We can’t believe how blessed we are. In the past almost 8 years of marriage, we’ve endured trials, we’ve celebrated successes, we’ve watched our life evolve, we’ve evolved ourselves.
I honor the gift that I’ve been given in my husband. He was meant for me. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but we are the perfect combination. All of the best gifts that I’ve been given in my adult life begin with Wes. And I am ever grateful.
Wait!! I found one of us together. Ha! Or should I say aaarrrrgh... :)
Lyndsay and I met through blogging - I needed help and she had the expertise. Since then we have become friends and she also designed my logo which I really love. She blogs about her life in Burbank at Lyndsay and the Johnsons and gives awesome blogging advise on The Blog Guidebook.
- Thank you so much, Lyndsay
This post is part of a regular blog post series titled "About Love", inspired by Cjanes couples retreat stories. I have asked friends and favourite bloggers to share their love stories, telling us why they got married and what they have learned since then. I hope you will also be inspired. See here for previous posts.
If you also feel like sharing your story, I'd love to hear from you.