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Josh & Christina

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The Story of Erik & Jenny
Key: regular type=Erik; italics=Jenny

Events and circumstances change every day in our lives. Most people attribute these changes to chance or luck. Some people believe in coincidences, but Jenny and I believe very firmly that every circumstance, every seeming “accident” has a purpose, is part of a plan. That plan is God’s and though we often do not understand it, it is always wonderful, it is always powerful, it is always for our best. And it is always for His glory.

You are here and we are here because of God’s glorious grace. God has taught us over the years that He is faithful, completely in control, and above all, good. It is easy to doubt Him when circumstances are not what we want them to be. But God is faithful, and is working in our lives for our good even when we can’t see it. Jenny and I are both grateful that God taught us to trust Him before we even met each other.

It’s my secretary’s fault, really. She kept insisting I should meet Jenny and would frequently invite me to events so I could meet her. I would excuse myself because I thought there was no way my secretary could know what I was looking for in a wife. One Friday evening in the summer of 2006, I ran out of excuses and was obliged to attend a baseball game with the Wilton College & Career group (including Jenny). I was impressed by Jenny’s maturity, but was tired after a weeks work and left the game early.

When I met Erik at the baseball game, there were no sparks or anything dramatic. In fact, I think Erik said three to five words the whole evening. Being the outgoing person that I am, this created some difficulty for me. Hmmmm…how do you get to know someone who doesn’t talk? The only thing I really found out about Erik was that he was caring for his grandparents which I admired very much. Oh, and that he was quiet.

For the next year and a half, I somehow ended up in Wilton seeing Jenny more and more frequently. In September 2007 on Saturday morning I went on a hike by myself to the top of Horsetail Falls. I spent several hours praying about many things. When I left, I felt sure that Jenny was the one God meant for me.

I was born and raised in Bridgeport, California where my parents homeschooled me and I learned about courtship. As an eighth-grader the greatest benefit I saw was that I had an excuse not to talk to girls, a very scary prospect. Now that excuse was gone and I had to figure out what to do next.

I was told by many well-meaning people that staying at a small church like Wilton and teaching at the school, I would never find the man of my dreams. Friends said that I should go to a different church or that I needed to get out and meet people. When I asked them where I should go to meet people, no one could give me a good answer. I knew that guys I would meet “going out”  were certainly not the ones I was looking for. During this time, God was working on my heart because I was not content to wait on His perfect plan. I never intended to have a career; all I wanted to was to be a wife and mother and to raise a family. I knew God was telling me to give it over to Him.

While I was praying about the next step, I was invited to a small group church event at the Golab’s residence. I went hoping to have a chance to talk to Jenny. She was busy serving ice cream, and practicing for the Sunday morning service, so I was only able to say “hi”. Her parents, however, had more time and they talked to me for quite a while.

I saw Erik on and off for the months following and still had very few opportunities to really talk to him. But he and my parents hit it off, and from then on, every so often I was asked, “So, what about Erik?” And my reply became, “I don’t know. He never talks to me.”

After further prayer and discussion with my parents, I decided to ask Mr. Golab for permission to court his daughter. I had to call Jenny to get his number; I felt sure she would know something was up, but it couldn’t be helped. Mr. Golab seemed surprised to get my call, but readily agreed to lunch. It helped that he worked close to the courthouse.

At lunch we sat and Mr. Golab talked, while I sweated. I was waiting to work up the nerve and for a pause in the conversation. None came, and lunch was almost over. It was now or never. When I told Mr. Golab that I was interested in seeing his daughter more, he seemed very excited and told me that he and Jenny thought pretty highly of me.

My mother and I stopped at Starbucks and I ran in to get us some mochas. When I came out she said, “I just had a fascinating phone call with your father. He had lunch with Erik, nand Erik asked if he could court you.” My exact words were, “NO WAY!!!” which I repeated five or six times. I was completely shocked.

It meant a lot to me that Erik spoke to my father first. It told me a lot about him – that he was respectful, and honored both my father and me. It spoke volumes about his character, to such a degree, I knew immediately that this relationship was worth pursuing. There are so few young men courageous enough to take such a risk. I felt it was God’s leading to bring this man into my life. I wasn’t sure such a man existed, but there he was and he was interested in me!

That weekend my parents were in town, and I called Jenny to invite her and her parents over for a barbeque. When my sisters found about the barbeque, they promptly invited themselves along in spite of being over two hundred miles away at the time. At the barbeque, out families hit it off. It was the first time our parents had met each other. I felt very awkward.

As usual, Erik spoke virtually two words to me the whole evening even though we were sitting next to each other. Erik’s family was wonderful and we had a great time playing games together after dinner.

As I watched Jenny and her family drive away, I could tell that our families approved, and more importantly, that Jenny was interested. It wasn’t anything that she said, but the way she looked at me. The next step was lunch. I arranged to meet her at a restaurant close to where she worked. I arrived very early and waited for what seemed like forever. And sweated. I deliberately sat facing the door, not only so I could see when she arrived, but if I felt the urge to bolt, I would have to go past where she was sitting. I can remember my heart pounding the entire time we talked. I was so nervous.

When I got to the restaurant, I saw Erik in the back and when I walked to the table, he stood up. That was very impressive to me. What a gentleman! I was so nervous though, I spen the entire meal pushing food around on my plate trying to make it look as if I had eaten something. But somehow we got through it.

Leaving, I was thrilled that Jenny was willing to see me again, and then I freaked out about what to do next. After seeking godly counsel, Jenny and I began an extensive exchange of emails covering critical issues. We discussed Biblical truths that are foundational to our faith, standards we considered non-negotiable, and the roles of husband and wife.

I could not believe how we agreed on everything that was important. Everything from the desire to homeschool our children to no peas for dinner. We soon began a Bible study together in 1 John, emailing our thoughts back and forth. I was so encouraged by Erik’s comments and how deeply he would think things through. We also started having a daily prayer time.

I discovered that courtship is not an idealized walk in the park with a soundtrack. It is hard work that pays enormous dividends. It was intimidating sharing with someone that much about myself. At the same time, I knew that we were laying a foundation for the future of our relationship. The more I got to know about Jenny, the more I grew to respect, admire and love her.

And then one day I proposed. She said yes.