Friday, January 04, 2008

January 4, 1998.

10 years ago tomorrow I met my wife.

People sometimes ask me how we met. Here is our story: we met at the wedding of her sister to my friend.

I had not dated anyone in 8 years for a number of reasons: mostly fear. Although I had never thought of myself as remaining permanently single, I did think of singleness as a genuine option for me. Until January 4, 1998.

I had been at Theological College (seminary) at Moore in Sydney from '95-97 with two Americans: Dave (sent from Atlanta, GA) and Carey (from Wheaton, IL). We had all become very good friends. During my last year at College, Dave announced his engagement to his American girlfriend Robin. Robin and Dave were looking to get married in Georgia on January 17, 1998. I couldn't make it on that day (I had just begun full-time Youth Ministry at Christ Church St Ives and needed to be in Sydney on that day). But I could make it on January 10. But not January 17.

They couldn't get a reception venue for January 17, so they changed the date to January 10. I went out that afternoon and bought me a ticket to the United States. Crazy, isn't it, how one decision (that you may not have even made) can change your whole life?

At Carey's invitation, I flew into Green Bay, Wisconsin for Christmas at the vacation home of his parent's Kent and Barbara Hughes'. Door County; log cabin; Christmas in winter; wonderful hospitality; skeet shooting. Loved every minute of it.

I met up with my friend Ed Springer in Wheaton, Chicago, and we traveled to New York City and then to Washington DC. Ed and I were at Times Square on New Year's Eve in 1997. (So this week is also 10 years since I visited NYC for the first time).

We flew into Atlanta on the morning of January 4, 1998 for the wedding preparation.

That morning, I met the bride's sister. Her name was Laurel. Laurel came in from DC where she was a post-graduate student. Like us, she came in a week before the wedding to support the bride and groom. Ed and I stayed in the Reames' basement. Because there was not much to do, Laurel become our Atlanta tour guide.

So we got to talking...

Ed asked me that week what I thought of Laurel. I told him at the time that I thought I could marry her. It took over two years, but we got there.

Met Atlanta, January 4, 1998. Married Atlanta, May 14, 2000. Nice.

Thank God.



Dave Miers said...

cool story.
thanks for sharing.


RodeoClown said...


Eun said...

great story Justin! hope you are having a happy new year.
-Eun from NYU IV

Jenny said...

That is a great story Justin, and one I did not know.

seapea said...

one sick story, justin!

now my eyes are red, thanks to you.

Sharon said...

Time goes so quickly.....I can't keep up! Does it feel like 10 years??

sam said...

how was January 4 the first time you considered singleness as a real option... wasn't that the day you met your wife??! I am confused.

sam said...

i just re-read that bit again. makes sense to me now... got my did's and did nots all confused! Great story!

Steve Ko said...

yeah seriously man. Thank God!

mike said...

Sweet mate. God bless

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful too!
- Marleenie