The Husbandwy and the Wifewy, the Protector and the Keeper of the Castle: meet Mike and Tegan: the Poke-Pokes.
There's a history behind the poking, maybe one day I'll share it. :)
To start, I want to share the meaning behind the verse in the title in my blog: Jeremiah 33:3. That verse is the Lord's promise that He gave me when I was a young Christian that concerned the rest of my life, specially, although I couldn't fathom it at the time, Mike, my future husband. The verse says: "Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (NIV). I have called upon the Lord in many, many things (I try to call on Him in all that I do) and when I finally asked the Lord about a husband, He gave me Mike. If I had ever in my life sat down and written out everything I could ever ask for in a husband, Mike would have filled all of those things and so much more. Even after being married for almost four years, the Lord still reveals to me what an amazing man Mike is and how we were created to be with each other. It is so amazing, it could only come from the Lord. And I praise the Lord with thanksgiving for Mike and I hope that I am the best wife that I can to Mike. If life were a fairy tale, being married to Mike couldn't get any better. :)
Just a brief history of Mike and I: Mike and I met at Bible Study in Midwest City, Oklahoma, in 2006. For all of 2006, we were just acquaintances and then casual friends. In January of 2007, I came across a MySpace blog rant of Mike's about being done with women and writing them off forever after being hurt by a woman who was apparently just out to use him. I responded back and pretty much just said that if it was the Lord's will for him to be married, apparently the Lord wasn't finished working on his future wife yet and he just needed to be patient (haha, the joke was on me). I said a few others things too and then said he should come back to Bible study, since he hadn't been in a while. That Friday night, even though I never expected to see or hear from him again after what I wrote, there he was at Bible Study.
Not too long after that, Mike didn't come to a dinner night that I used to host for the Bible study every week, even though he said he would be there. I just left a casual, short comment on his MySpace page about it. He wrote back a very long email telling me everything that was going on his life at the time and at the end, asked for me to pray for him. Which I started doing. One day, as I was driving along to an IRB meeting at Baptist Hospital, I stopped suddenly in the middle of prayer (I often pray while driving) and just asked the Lord, "What am I doing praying for this man?? What does this mean?" I didn't get a reply at that particular time.
Through emails and talking and praying for each other, we became closer and closer friends over the next few months. When I went to Honduras on a short-term mission trip in March of 2007, I really missed Mike and it hit me that I loved him. He was the only person I wanted to talk to back states-side when I was down there. When I returned, he was at the airport with a lot of other friends to welcome me home and I just gave him a huge hug.
After that, I kept my feelings about Mike to myself, and we continued to grow closer. I tried to scare him off with my past, as I knew he was very interested, but he wouldn't be deterred. So I started doing things to test his heart and see where his heart really was. One of the things that I did was to tell him that the church we went to at the time, LifeChurch.tv, was in need of volunteers in LifeKids and that they specifically needed a tech person (right up Mike's alley). I wanted to see if Mike would volunteer to get closer to me or if he would volunteer to serve the Lord and the Body of Christ, or if he would serve at all. Mike totally blew me away by volunteering to serve at a time when I wasn't even in the building - he was serving for the Lord and the Body. This is just one example of many things like this that completely blew me away that Mike did.
During our friendship, we also discussed the idea of courtship, as opposed to dating, and what that would entail, mostly based on Joshua Harris' books I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. In May of 2007, Mike asked if he could court me, and I of course said yes! The goal of our courtship was to see if we were compatible for marriage or not. If so, we would get engaged, if not, then we would end the courtship and remain friends. We started doing marital counseling almost immediately to find out about this compatibility. Sometime in June, after a fight on the phone, I told Mike that I loved him. And he told me that he loved me and had for some time. Apparently we both realized when I was down in Honduras that we loved each other and just hadn't said anything!
Purity was incredibly important to us when we were courting and engaged and it is only by the grace of God that we were able to remain pure (not have sex until our wedding night). We wanted to be pure for the Lord first, but it was also important to Mike because he had waited and had never been with a woman before. It was important to me because I had made so many mistakes in my past and I wanted to honor the Lord and Mike by waiting until our wedding night to make love. Our original goal was not to kiss until the wedding, but two weeks before the wedding, we ended up kissing twice.With the Lord's strength and perseverance though, we waited until our amazing, wonderful wedding night to make love.
On 3 August, Mike proposed at Bible study. It was the best proposal that I could ever ask for, being surrounded by friends that we loved and after studying about the Lord. Click on the link [below] to read more about that. :)
We were married on 14 Oct 2007 at Will Rogers Park in Oklahoma City. It was an amazing wedding and a joyous celebration of love before the Lord and family and friends. Click on the links to read more and see pictures. :)
And now, we've been married for almost four years, we have two children and one on the way (as of the time of this writing in early 2011), and we are more in love with each other than we were when we got married. We've had a lot of ups and downs, and through it all we have leaned on the Lord and each other and He has grown us stronger and closer together. Marriage is an amazing thing and I absolutely could not imagine being married to anyone except Mike.
Feel free to clink on the following links for more of our story:
Mike's Proposal - story and pics
Words of the Wedding
Introducing Mr. and Mrs. V
Wedding pictures of ceremony procession, ceremony actual, us, and Family, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, and Flower Girls.