Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today Charlie and I have been married for six years. In honor of our anniversary I figured out how to work the scanner and scanned some pics of when we first met and our engagement. What follows is a summary of how we met. I tried to cover only the essentials. It might be a bit wordy, so it's okay if you don't want to read it and just look at the pictures.

In the summer of my 25th year I wrestled with God and fought with God and finally came to the conclusion that He wanted me to become a single missionary. I would travel to wherever He directed me and work with children or languages or whatever. And I would be happily content to be single.

At the time I was guiding backpacking trips in the Sierras with a Christian camp, and I signed up for a backpacking mission school with YWAM (a "DTS", Discipleship Training School). In the fall I sold my beloved Blazer and headed over to the tiny town of Bishop, CA, where my school would be based. I met all of the students over the first few days (and decided that I was not to be tempted out of my plan by any of the boys). I then met the leader of the school (I decided I was not to be swayed from my plan by this guy either). His name was Charlie.

Three days later I was totally and completely SWOONING over Charlie. If he had asked me to marry him then, I would have said "yes". But it was not to be. I hid my feelings for three long months from everyone, and he hid his as well. (So well that I was SURE I was going to die a very SAD single missionary lady). But after many prayers and heartache and wondering if he could ever love me, it turned out he could! So, before we left for the overseas portion of the school we decided to pursue the relationship further, as discreetly as possible.

The first portion (and most significant, in this story) of our outreach was in Russia. We went right before Christmas and it was very very very very cold. This is me in front of Saint Basil's cathedral on Red Square. I was wearing all of these clothes (including a down coat underneath the shell), and I was STILL cold. Until this trip I thought of scarves, beanies, and gloves as fashion statements. A cute accessory. And one I rarely chose. In Russia and Kyrgyzstan I realized that they are actually necessary for survival.
Charlie had a lot of foresight and actually pulled me away from the group for a few minutes. He took me out to the middle of Red Square and asked if he could kiss me...our first kiss! Of course, we had to document it. Here we are (very small and very bundled), in front of St. Basil's. Lenin's tomb is on the right.

In front of the Kremlin. Doesn't it look like a gingerbread house?

A close-up of St. Basil's. It's so beautiful.

The rest of our outreach was in Kyrgyzstan. Which was actually colder than Russia. (Can you imagine 40 degrees below zero? Yikes.)

Fast-forward. We came home to the States and some friends asked us to work for them at a fishing lodge in the mountains above Bishop. Charlie lived in a little trailer on the property and I lived in a small room and we spent that first summer dating in the mountains.

One weekend he decided to head home for a visit, so I decided to go for a solo backpacking trip. He dropped me off on Sunday and was to pick me up Wednesday morning. I learned many things on that trip including, but not limited to:
backpacking by myself is lonely
don't choose cross-country routes when by yourself, they are lonelier
when your backpack breaks and you are carrying a lot of weight, it's even lonelier
and when you totally jack up your leg, it's lonelier still

Needless to say, when Wednesday morning came I was high-tailing it out of the back-country by five in the morning. Luckily, Charlie was coming up the trail early too. We met at around 7 in the morning. He pulled a wonderful breakfast out of his backpack, complete with a little hand-painted box with a picture of St. Basil's cathedral on it. Guess what was inside...yes, A RING!
A picture of a very happy me on our engagement morning.

So, I am not a single missionary lady. Not even a little bit. I guess that God just wanted me to be willing.


cabcree said...

what a fun story/time! thanks for sharing!

Sharleen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharleen said...

Awww Christy,

That was lovely to read. You have a memorable "love" story. You had me intrigued at "I'm not going to let anything or anyone (certain boy in particular) sway me from MY plan." God had other plans for you my dear. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I love traveling to other countries. Isn't the architecture simply beautiful and amazing? Thanks for sharing your "engagemant" story. Yay, Charlie! May God continue to bless your marriage. Happy Anniversary!

Larissa said...

Yay Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing the story of your love, it was so beautiful. I hope you both had an enjoyable day together!

Clarissa. said...

Happy Anniversary! Love the story, I can't wait to find out what happens in the coming chapters!

Aly-Rae said...

How sweet. I never got to hear any of your stories as it seems I was almost continually popping out babies and you were far away. I sorely missed you and missed laughing with you as we drove through town in your little red car. Thank you for sharing and congratulations.

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