My love story started with a board and staff barbeque and an email. That might not sound very romantic, but I have learned not look down on small beginnings. Things that seem to be small can grow and develop and that’s exactly what happened!
It was my first month away from home. I had started college in Portland, OR and I had agreed to come home and help me parents as they hosted a board and staff barbeque at their house. I knew that coming home meant helping them set up and clean up once the gathering was over. I dearly loved the staff of my home church and I was excited to spend an evening with them even if I was only invited for manual labor.
That evening, I can remember meeting our new senior pastor for the first time. I can remember talking with my mentor, Jeannie, about a boy I had a crush on at school… Then it happened… the conversation that started it all. My parents had two chinchillas as pets. The pastoral intern, Jeremy, started asking me questions about them and we settled down in my father’s den to look at the little creatures. Our discussion soon turned to school. Jeremy had a lot of questions for me. I knew he that never had “gone” off to college so I figured he just was really interested in knowing what it was like to live on campus and what classes I was taking since he was also a college student taking distance courses. We had a good talk and I can remember his parents were literally out in the car waiting to leave and he was still chatting with me. Once the night was over, I took it as we had a good conversation and that was that. Nothing more…
I came home again in October for what Multnomah Bible College (now university) called mid-semester break. It was a four day weekend and I was glad to be back home again with family and familiar faces. My dad had asked me to help him in the Sunday morning services as he appreciated the pastors. My dad used the illustration of PAM, the cooking spray, to remember Pastor Appreciation Month. I got to help him pass out cards the staff. Of course, Jeremy was one of the staff members on stage and I remember wondering if he would come to talk to me that morning. He didn’t… I went back to school yet again not really thinking too much about it.
This week, seven years ago, I received an email from Jeremy (this would be the Tuesday after my weekend home). This is what it said:
How’s school going for you? This probably seems a little strange just getting an email out of nowhere from me. Over the past few weeks I have found myself thinking back to when I had the chance to talk to you for a while at the Board and Staff BBQ. I had fun talking to you and wished we could have talked longer. I realize that you are away at college but I would really like the chance to talk to you more and get to know you more. I was surprised to see you at church on Sunday and wanted to catch you then, but the only time I found you was in a service while up front. Anyway, I’m curious to know your thoughts about all this. I hope you’re having a great week and pray that your classes are going well for you. ~Jeremy
I’m pretty sure I read that email a million times. Like most girls, I was reading between the lines. Did this mean he liked me? Did I like him? I had known of Jeremy over the years because we both attended Bethel. Even though he was older than me (by five years, so we were never in youth ministry at the same time), his reputation for being a strong Christian and his heart for ministry were clear. Knowing his character made it easy for me to see that this a good guy and worth getting to know.
I replied to the email and we’ve been in constant communication ever since! I praise God that for 7 years this wonderful man has been in my life! I still look back on those early days of emails and phone calls. It was so simple. Nothing over the top, but those small beginnings lead somewhere really good and I am glad for them. Sweet memories fill my mind as I remember what started 7 years ago!