Exactly ten years ago today, Shane drove over to my house in his bright blue Dodge Neon and picked me up for our very first date.  We went to the movies and saw Notting Hill, then grabbed milkshakes at a little restaurant down the street from the theater.  I remember feeling relieved that conversation flowed so easily between us, thinking that Shane was really cute, wondering if he was going to kiss me goodnight as our evening together came to an end.  He did not kiss me, which I appreciated as the sign of a gentleman, but he did call me the next day and ask if I’d like to go out again.  Yes, please!  We spent much of that summer together, watching movies in my living room while my dad waited up and kept a distant eye on us from the kitchen, wanting to make sure this new guy in my life wasn’t up to no good.  We went out and shot pool at the local pool hall, played miniature golf at the little amusement park, and drove out to Turlock Lake to walk along the water and escape the heat.  And then, as Summer came to an end, the very first questions about our future together arose.  Shane was due to return to Minnesota when his internship was over,  so I began to prepare myself for saying good-bye.  But when he was offered a full-time job in California, he decided that his days as a Minnesotan were over, much to his family’s surprise.  He stayed in town, and we stayed together.  Then I began my senior year of high school, and started applying to colleges three or four hours away from home, and more questions about our relationship came to light.  Did I really want to get involved with someone, knowing that I would be going away and starting a totally new phase of my life in the Fall?  Would I be missing out on some part of my final year of high school by dating someone who had already completed that part of his life, who didn’t know my friends, or care about our school’s football team, or want to go to high school parties or dances?  Shane and I did keep seeing each other throughout that year, but I was cautious.  I kept my heart under lock and key.  When he first told me he loved me, my response was, “No, you can’t.”  Ouch, that must have hurt him.  But I had never been serious with anyone before, and I found it hard to tread through these unfamiliar waters.  Thankfully, patience is one of Shane’s strongest virtues, and he gave me time and space to figure out what I wanted for our relationship.  And one year after our first date, I told him that I loved him.  I would be leaving for Cal Poly in September, and the thought of having a long-distance boyfriend was scary, but I knew that this guy was just too good to let go.  We decided to give it a try.  Shane put a lot of miles on his car during those few years, frequently making the 200-mile trip down to San Luis Obispo, and I went through a lot of calling cards as we spent endless hours on the phone.  It was hard at times, but we got through the hard times and reveled in the good times.  We were making it work, and I was falling deeper in love.  But during my fourth year of college, when I was studying in Paris, those pesky questions about our future began to arise again.  Shane came to visit me in May of 2004, and I was ecstatic to see him.  Being in Paris with the man you love is enough to put anyone on Cloud 9.  But then, one afternoon as we were sitting along the Seine, talking and dangling our feet near the river, Shane threw me for a loop when he reached into his pocket, pulled out the most beautiful diamond ring I’d ever seen, and asked me to be his wife.  To say that I panicked would be an understatement.  Yes, of course I loved this thoughtful, generous, wonderful man, but was I really ready to commit to forever?  I had spent the previous eight months living alone in Europe, embracing my independence and freedom.  Marriage was not at the forefront of my mind.  And so my answer was, “I can’t answer you right now.”  Double-ouch.  Shane was hurt, and my heart broke as I saw his heart breaking.  But I just knew that I wasn’t in a place where I could make that kind of commitment.  The next year was a tough one, as we both wrestled with discerning God’s plan for our relationship.  I kept waiting for that moment everyone talks about when “you just know”.  It didn’t come.  And although Shane is patient, that question can only be kept on the table for so long.  I had been offered a job up in Seattle and knew that the indecision timer was running out.  Finally, after much praying and talking and counseling and growing, I decided to take a leap of faith, and in July of 2005 I asked Shane to please put that pretty little ring on my finger.  We got married the following May, and now, a couple of weeks after our third wedding anniversary, here we are.  And “here” is a very good place to be.  Bit by bit, I have given my heart to this man, and he has treated it unbelievably well.  So, cheers to our first of many decades together – can’t wait to see what the next ten years will look like.

One Comment

  1. Steve says:


    Thank you for posting this and reminding me of your beautiful relationship. I really appreciate the honesty of the ups and downs. You two are such an inspiration to me. I think Shane and I will always be able to sit back and tell stories of that special time when you two were figuring things out. Those were some of the best times I had in Turlock and with Shane. The wedding day was beautiful as well. Looking back I now see just how special and formative that time was. I’m not sure I knew how to process it while it was happening but looking back I see how special it really was and most of all how God’s timing was involved in everyones life. Anyway, that was quite a post to read when you wake up at 4:15am and can’t go back to sleep. Thanks for sharing.