How do you write something like this about your wife? I mean really. If I get all squishy, the guys will never let me live it down. If I don’t get all squishy, then, well … you know how women are. So, let’s see how I do…
Faith and I met in the late fall of 1997 in a Bible study, hosted by Eagle Rock Church in the south suburbs of Chicago. Our friendship grew and deepened over the course of several years, as we got to know each other and increasingly shared our journeys. On New Year’s Eve, 2000, I asked Faith why we’d never dated, since we were such good friends. She responded with a female-typical tirade about how great I was, but concluded by stating in no uncertain terms that she would never date me … ever. Not a good sign when they throw in the extra “ever”.
The six months that followed were … uh … challenging, as I explored the fine line between “pursuing” and “stalking”. (Slight exaggeration?) The longer I thought and felt about Faith, the more I was drawn to her. She continued to insist that she would not date me, and — as I had promised on New Year’s Eve — I continued to ask. I even dated a friend of mine from college for a couple months, hoping that I would come to my senses and let go of the crazy dream of being with this girl who didn’t want to be with me.
Eventually, in May, I attended a men’s retreat with the Baldwin Center, which I’d highly recommend to any man seeking to do business with God about brokenness and identity. Among the many things God had to say to me that weekend, He told me to follow my heart when it came to Faith. Immediately, upon returning from the weekend, I called things off with my college friend, and told Faith I had to see her. I discovered later that God had been doing the same kind of work in Faith.
She agreed to come visit me in Chicago (she lived with her grandparents in NW Wisconsin) the last weekend of May, 2001. We spent almost the entire weekend together, and each day I asked her if she’d go out with me. Each day she said no. The last day, right before she left, we prayed together and I walked her to her car. We hugged, and when she stepped back and looked up at me, she said, “I’m ready to go out with you now.”
Almost a year later, on May 3, 2002, I asked Faith to marry me. I sent her on a scavenger hunt of clues and gifts on a date that lasted most of the day. Right before dinner, as part of the 13th of 18 clues, she read the longest clue of the day … the one that poured out my love for her and explained my desire to spend the rest of my life with her. When I gave her the ring, she screamed and jumped up and down in the air. It was a perfect day. It began with my cooking her breakfast as her boyfriend and ended with our watching the sun set over the Fox River as her fiancee’.
We were married on April 26, 2003, and now live together in the make-believe town of Blockburg (actually Lake in the Hills, but I guess I’m eccentric … or maybe just wierd). Someday, like maybe for our 25th anniversary, I’ll get pictures up. But until then, you’ll just have to trust me that the whole thing rocked. Showers, bachelor party, wedding, honeymoon (in Maui). All of it.
As relationships go, this has been the absolute best. Even in the short time we’ve been “together”, the Lord has made it clear to me that He has brought Faith into my life as someone very special … unique. There’s never been anyone else like her in my world, and I’m in awe of God to know that He has given me someone this incredible to love. I hope I bring her half the joy she brings me.
Faith lived with her grandparents up in the NW corner of Wisconsin — in a tiny town called Wascott — for the longest time. She moved back to the area to marry me, lived in Elgin for a while, and is now an official New Bunglean (another goofy, eccentric name for our pretty-normal house). She was the Front Office Manager at the Drury Inn (relatively small hotel chain) for a long time, until she left it to travel with me a couple summers back on business. After we got back, she joined a group called Angels by Your Side, where she takes care of the elderly in their homes. She’s such a servant, and is so passionate about helping people, that it’s the ideal job for her. And when she’s not doing that, she’s serving at church (on whatever project needs to get done) or taking care of one of our *MANY* pregnant friends. I could never have the kind of ministry she has.
Faith is beautiful on the inside and the outside. She always finds time for those who care about her, invests more in others than they invest in her, and runs on solar power. She loves to draw and read and sew (just finished making her first dress from scratch — looks great), loves flowers and bugs, trees and singing birds. She squeaks well and thinks I moo well, loves walks in the park and sunrises, and is a true worshipper.
She blesses me in more ways than I can share, and always reminds me that she finds me beautiful. Nobody’s ever thought I was beautiful before. In all my wildest dreams, I can’t imagine being more blessed than I am to be with her.
Here are a few pictures…