Our Love Story

  • Posted on: 22 March 2014
  • By: Anna

We've had several people ask how we met . . . so here you go. :)

Looking at our 'love story' as a whole, it's hard to know exactly where to start. Maybe we need to start back when I was 12 and wrote my country report on The Netherlands {. . . just kidding. No, I really did do that . . . I'm just not starting my story there! ;) }

It's so easy to look back now and see the Lord bringing us together through a series of events starting even as early as 2009 when I moved to Kansas. I was born and raised in Greenville and I do love it here, but I've always wanted to move. It's a big world and there's so much to see! But in an effort to keep this story fairly short, let's just say that when I got an opportunity to move, I took it. I moved to Kansas {in 2009}, was hired by my brother-in-law {in 2009} and then was subsequently let go by my brother-in-law {in 2010}. It's a long story and I still love my brother-in-law for what it's worth . . . but I can't deny, at the time it seemed tragic. However, I see that the Lord had His hands in this part of the plan. If I'd kept my job and stayed in Kansas then I wouldn't have moved back to Greenville . . . and Mark and my paths probably never would have crossed.

After losing my job, I decided to re-enroll in school but needed to do so in the Greenville area so that my credits would transfer. {One could also see that as a small part of the miracle as well. Thanks{?!} BJU for not being accredited outside the Southeast?!}

Meanwhile . . .
I need to 'introduce' you to a couple named Kim and Chris Kuhr. Kim and Chris attended the same church as my parents and this resulted in them all forming a friendship. Now, as I understand it, Kim and Chris were both employed in non-ministry positions here in Greenville, SC, but felt called to the ministry so they quit their jobs and went as missionaries to The Netherlands. I was still in Kansas while all this was going on.

On that side of the world still . . .
Mark was living in The Netherlands and attending a different church than where the Kuhrs were serving. Due to a series of events, he felt the need to leave that church and someone recommended that he visit one in Bergen op Zoom . . . which is where the Kuhrs were serving. He visited that church and actually wasn't going to stay there, but God worked in a few ways and changed those plans. So after he decided to stay at this church, Mark began building a very close relationship with Kim and Chris.
The Kuhr's original intent was to be in The Netherlands long term. They had packed up all their belongings and transported everything overseas. However, due to some circumstances, after 4 years of their serving in The Netherlands, they packed everything back up and moved back to Greenville. At this point, I had returned to Greenville and met Kim and Chris through my parents.
Kim and Chris had spoken so much about BJU and Greenville to Mark, and Mark had always wanted to move from The Netherlands {even his mom will admit to that fact} . . . so after they'd been gone a while, he decided to come visit on his Christmas holiday so he could visit them but also 'scope' out the area as a potential place to move.
At this point in the story, I need to interrupt and tell you that every year--for as long as I can remember--my family has gone caroling at Christmas time. We get as many people as possible to join, and then we go around to shut-ins or elderly people that just need something to cheer them up at Christmas! And we sing and sing and sing Christmas songs.

I specifically remember seeing the Kuhrs prior to our caroling of 2013 {though I don't remember where - probably church} and inviting them to go caroling. They mentioned how a boy from The Netherlands would be visiting around that time and I even remember Chris saying, "Oh that is SUCH an American activity. They would never do something like that in The Netherlands so I bet he'd enjoy the experience! We'd love to come!" But since we hadn't confirmed our caroling date and they hadn't confirmed plans while he was here, they weren't sure they'd make it. The same day as our caroling, they learned about a death in Kim's family and didn't think they were going to make it. But, at last minute, they made plans to join.

December 18th is the night that I met Mark. It was a Tuesday. Strangely, there are SOOOOO many things that I can't ever remember . . . but, I remember this. It wasn't a love-at-first-sight experience though! Sure, I thought he was cute. And sure, it was fun to meet someone from another country, and he was a fun and funny guy . . . but in all honesty, I thought he'd go back home and I'd never see him again. There was also another girl caroling that night {that shall remain nameless in case she doesn't care to be named} and I thought Mark was into her! I later learned that was all miscommunication but let's just say, I was oblivous to what our future held. The thought of dating him didn't even cross my mind!

As a random side note from the 18th, I must mention I had also been invited to a Christmas party on the 18th but I chose to forego it so I could go caroling with my family. This party was hosted by my friends Rebecca and Mandy {Kuhr, daughter of Kim and Chris}. Mark happened to attend that party for a short time before coming to the caroling and we've conversed on how, if I'd attended the party instead of caroling, we would have at least met, but wouldn't have spent the same amount of time together and/or invited him to the fellowship on Wednesday. {keep reading}. So again, a small part of the puzzle that the Lord was working out!

Wednesday, December 19th, there was going to be a church fellowship. We invited the Kuhrs {and Mark} to that as well, and they sat with us for this soup dinner. We all sat together talking and eating and had a good time. Still, no sparks though. ;) However, at the end of this evening, Mark did ask for my Facebook info.

Well, I have a Facebook app on my phone and am usually pretty easily/quickly accessible on Facebook and Mark had lots of downtime, so we started messaging each other. At first, it was just every once in a while . . . but that quickly turned into all.day.long. Every day. But I also happened to be out of town at this point. My family and I had left Greenville to go to Kansas for Christmas {and Mark was returning to The Netherlands before we'd be returning to Greenville}, so I knew I'd never see him again. Still, we started talking regularly and we'd talk well into the evening {for me}/early morning {for him} {there was a 6 hour time difference}.

After I returned to Greenville, it was still early enough in the year that it was a holiday for both of us and we were still messaging regularly. I woke up around 7 or 8 am one day and we started our usual daily messaging. He happened to be 6 hours ahead remember . . . when at 8 am {for me}, he suggested that we Skype. Truthfully, I pretty quickly turned that down! {By this point, I'm not going to deny there was at least some interest there. You don't spend all day talking to a boy you're not at least a little interested in, right?!} And I most certainly didn't want him to see me with my lovely bedhead and makeupless face! But he convinced me to. So we Skyped that one day for quite a while . . . and we've Skyped {or Facetimed} every day since. I guess my bedhead and makeupless face wasn't too scary!

I don't even remember what date it happened, but he told me that he wanted to date me. I said no. Or rather, at least "not yet." I was super hesitant because 1} I was still convinced he was interested in this other girl even though he insisted he wasn't. I'm stubborn, 2} He lived on a different continent which clearly raised the question of . . . is he really interested in me or does he just want a green card?! {it's a shame to think that, but sadly, that stigma exists}, 3} I didn't want to even think about starting to date while we weren't in the same country. That seemed tacky and lame.

He started to plan a trip to the States in July of that year and when he'd bring up dating, I just kept telling him to wait. Just wait. Just wait until his trip. Bless his heart, I don't know how many times I told him to just wait until he was here in the States and then we could talk about dating. Thankfully, he stuck around.

It didn't take long, though, before I realized I DID want to date him. I liked him. I mean, I really liked him. And then the whole if-we-weren't-dating issue came up. Did I have any right to tell him he couldn't see other women if we weren't in a relationship?! And the thought of him with another woman made me maybe want to punch said woman {slight humor here people, don't take me too seriously.} So that was definitely motivating. I still had hesitancies, though. Looking back, I think those were mostly pride issues. Why did I think he was into that other girl and not me? And I didn't want to start dating while we were on another continent . . . what would people think?! But I started praying about it. And making a pros and cons list about it {unbeknownst to him}. And then on January 28th, the topic of us dating came up again. This time, I told him I did, in fact, want to date him. He was pretty speechless . . . and that's rare. ;)

So here we are. 2 days before our one-year anniversay and I'm working on our wedding website. As I look at our story, I can clearly see the Lord putting each puzzle piece in place . . . leading us right to each other. And I wouldn't have it any other way! He's my best friend, he makes me more happy than words can explain, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with him!

Now, as they say, folks, the rest is history.

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