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Meeting Ben

August 10, 2012

This is pretty lengthy, but here is the story of how we met. (For the record, I copied this one directly from our wedding website. It was written more than two years ago.)

Ben and I met as we prepared to go to Haiti with Crisis Response International (CRI). Having recognized him as someone who was going to Haiti on the same team as I was, I introduced myself to him one night during the NightWatch. I also asked him to help me lead 1-hour prayer meetings during the NightWatch for the CRI teams in Haiti. Though he was only on part-time staff at that time, coming in to the NightWatch four nights a week, he quickly agreed to help and we began praying together in small groups for about an hour nearly every night.

At this point, I definitely didn’t see our relationship going anywhere. I was growing more and more comfortable with him as we prayed together, and I was beginning to see the Lord’s plans for Him and who it was that God had made him. But he was just a guy that I would be serving with in Haiti.

A few nights before we left, Ben and I had an extremely long text-message conversation. I didn’t think anything of it. I had long text conversations all the time, and even with friends who were guys. My roommate (Katie), however, was suspicious. I was so confident, though, that nothing was happening (on my part or on his) that her inquiries didn’t even faze me.

At the end of our packing meeting, the night before we left, Ben and I ran to SAM’s together to buy some last-minute items (additional food) for our time in Haiti. Our trip was entirely practical so it wasn’t evidence of anything. I was safe. Remembering Katie’s comments, I only briefly wondered what a few people might be thinking when they saw us leave together.

And then we left.

We hadn’t even arrived in Haiti yet before I began to notice what a servant Ben truly was. At every turn, Ben was bending over backwards to serve the other members of our team. It was really remarkable. I couldn’t help but notice. I loved it. And had conversations about it with nearly every member of our team that day. “Wow. Ben is really serving us. Have you noticed that?”

While we were in Haiti, we spent nearly every waking moment together. Because he was such a servant, Ben would volunteer with me to do the jobs that no one else wanted to do. We were working together a lot. By the time we left Haiti, we had pretty much established ourselves as the tent assembly (and tear-down) team. And we transported more used toilet paper than I care to ever see again. He is also truly an intercessor, so he was also a part of all of the amazing prayer meetings that I participated in while we were in Haiti.

The only day that we didn’t spend together in the first week was the day that I was throwing up and unable to do much else but lay around feeling sick. It was a pretty miserable day for both of us. And Ben spent a significant portion of his day searching for a straw for me. (Hydration is important.)

By the half-way point, several people that we were serving with in Haiti had asked me about our relationship. But I still thought nothing of it. I knew that I really enjoyed him, but I was still thinking happy thoughts of friendship! I would answer them with the clearly logical points of, “We were praying together before we came so we are really comfortable with each other.” Or, “I think we both realize that we have only known each other for a few weeks.” Friendship. Beautiful, blissful, simple friendship. People still made their comments (we gave them plenty of opportunity to suspect).

And then came the first day that I really spent away from him (apart from the day of sleep and vomitting). I had sepparated from most of the team that day to do other things. Just before I finally got to see my team again, I was realizing how terribly I was missing them. And then I saw them. I quickly realized that I didn’t miss my team at all. I missed Ben!

This is the point at which I began to realize what was really happening in my heart. And it kind of freaked me out. I spent the next 24 hours or so kind of freaking out at this revelation. I wasn’t expecting something like that in Haiti. I was there to serve. I was there to pray. I certainly wasn’t there to meet a guy!

I eventually recovered from the tragedy of liking a boy… and continued to enjoy our time toghether.

Near the end of our time in Haiti, one of the few people who had said nothing to me spoke up while all of us were sitting together one afternoon. She announced that some of our friends (working at another location) had asked if we were a couple yet. Apparently, this was the first time that Ben had heard any hint from the people around us that they thought something might be happening.

In the many hours that Ben and I had spent talking, I had once spoken in favor of DTRs (“define the relationship” talks). And so it began: “Since you enjoy them so much… I wouldn’t mind having one, if you want to.” We very quickly established that we liked each other (and that neither of us would have believed the other if they had said otherwise). But we agreed not to officially begin dating until we had been home for a while. He didn’t know any of my friends. And what if it was just some weird Haiti thing?

After rearranging our seats to sit together for all three legs of our flight home, we finally arrived back in Kansas City. Unfortunately, I was leaving for Texas the next day, where I would be working on raising support for two weeks. Ben was not happy about that. I pretty much hate the phone, so I expected that our communication would be limited while I was gone. Oh how wrong I was.

About a week later, we officially began dating. Pretending that we weren’t dating was nothing more than self-deception. Might as well call it what it is. In fact, we missed each other so much that he ended up driving to Texas to bring me home (rather than waiting a couple of additional days to see me when I was schedulued to fly back). At this time, he also had an opportunity to meet my dad and his wife (and win their definite approval).

Things have moved very quickly in our relationship, but we have felt the Lord in it at every stage. He has truly blessed us. We are moving at a fast pace, but the things that need to happen are happening. I love the way that Ben is willing to work through things with me.

We officially began dating on the first day of spring and we will be married on the first day of fall. (Also worth noting: Ben was born on the first day of summer and I was born on the first day of winter. How fun is that?)

And that’s our story.

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2 comments

  1. LOVE this. So encouraging and good to hear again 🙂


  2. Christine thank you for posting this! I love your story. The 4 seasons thing is awesome! I see the Lord carving out that reality even in your season of health issues (which I am very sorry about). You are a 4 seasons couple! That means you can not only survive through life’s trials, you can thrive through life’s trials. That’s what being an overcomer is all about. Blessings to you.



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