eleven years ago.

Eleven years go today, Jack and I said we did.

2pm. Richland Bible Chapel. Richland, Michigan. The weather was unseasonably warm that week. I was surrounded by people I love from literally all over the world. Canadian friends came down to the wedding. American friends flew and drove in from all over the country. 10-15 of my Irian Jaya missionary kids flew in for the week. It was a dream week. It really was. My face ached from the smiles and laughter of a week-long celebration.

Over a decade now. That's a long time, folks. I keep saying I'm going to write down our story and some day I will, but, another year has passed and I just didn't get around to it. Oopsy.

But I'll give you a little bit of the back story.

Jack and I met in September of 1994, where we both worked with the youth at our church {First Evangelical Free Church on Ashland Avenue, in Chicago.} The first leader training night we randomly ended up sitting beside each other, and, as corny Evangelicals sometimes do, the youth pastor asked us to hold hands in the circle and pray. {I do hate holding hands and praying, but that's just my personal opinion. I hate that and wearing name tags. Random, I know.}

Anyway, I happened to be sitting beside Mr. Clark, and we ended up being forced to hold hands. FYI, back in the day, I used to wear a lot of rings on random fingers. {I love rings.} So as we're holding hands during this, what seemed to be eternally long prayer, Jack totally intertwined his hands with mine, as in, mixing up our fingers as opposed to just holding hands {WHAT? WE JUST MET.} And then he starts totally playing with my rings, twisting them around on my fingers. In my estimation that was SO over the line. We were complete strangers and here he was playing with my hands. Thinking to myself, "Who the heck is this guy that thinks he can just do that? Does he think he's Rob Lowe?" {I was a bit put off, but the reality was that he was pretty cute so I didn't let it bother me too terribly long.}

So we started hanging out. I'm what you'd call a sporty gal, so that came in handy. We did lots of walking through the neighborhoods at night. We'd order take-out Chinese and bring it down to the lake and sit and talk for hours. We did motorcycle rides. We watched movies way into the nights. We hung out all the time and the reality was, I started to really, really like him. And secretly, he liked me too {because how could you not, really? Right? Right.} but he just wasn't ready for any sort of commitment.

So we never dated even though we were practically inseparable for a couple of years. We traveled to Africa together {Shhh, don't tell our parents.} And then this is where our stories differ.

See, my version goes like this: He didn't want to commit and perhaps wanted to keep all his options open. And I got sick of that so I said we're done and promptly left the country and found Indonesia, which is as far away from Chicago as you can possibly go. And there I stayed for three years.

His version is that I needed maturing and the Lord needed to take me to the mission field to get my act together and when I was ready, then he would come and get me.

You decide which version you believe. I'll give you a hint. {It's not his version.}

And so, we'll stop the Jack and Alysa Love Story for now. If I had any sort of self-discipline at all, I'd say that I'd tell a part of our story every week until it's all written down, but you and I both know that won't happen. So why don't you, every so often, just drop me an email and ask for more of the story. A little reminder, shall we say?

Until then ... I'll let a secret out of the bag. It all did work out in the end ... but there's a LOT of fun story and a lot of God moments between the "me leaving for Indonesia" part and the "Til death do us part" part, eleven years ago today.

Stay tuned, I promise you won't be disappointed. And someone remind me to keep telling the story.

Oh, and by the way, I love you, Jack. As I write this post, eleven years ago I was walking down the isle to meet you, my groom. You've exceeded every expectation I had of what marriage would be like. You are my love. Always. Forever. Til death do us part.

Sorry 'bout the mush. I'm done now.

Here's a few fun pics of us through the early years, most of which have great stories to tell, but that'll have to be for another post  ...

Happy Eleventh to us...


Grayson said…
cant wait to hear the rest...!!!!!
Kacie said…
A) GREAT pics
B) Uncle Paul is looking at you guys on the motorcycle like, "Are they for real?" :)
C) What?! You never dated during the pre-Indonesia part of the relationship?? Somehow I don't remember that being how it was communicated. :)
What a great story! I can't wait to hear more. Congrats on celebrating your 11th year.

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