Sunday, June 26, 2016

Our Love Story

Our Love Story
Written by Amanda Hawkins

    When my husband Dominic and I met we didn't know that we were going to be together forever. It wasn't 'love at first sight,' our love hit us like a brick wall shortly after we became friends. And before we 'dated,' we already established that our relationship was going to be forever.

    We met on March 14, 2015. I had just turned 18 in January, and he was soon to be 21 in July. He was a friend of my brother in law, Zach, and was invited to go to karaoke with my family Along with another of Zach's friends. I had heard about him before, but I had never actually met him, and wasn't quite sure what to expect. From the stories I assumed him to be somewhat strange, which to be perfectly honest, he is strange, and that's what I love about him.

    I didn't talk to him much at karaoke, but once the singing was over he invited everyone to his house for a bonfire. I initially didn't want to go. I've never liked to be social, but I decided it would be fun to do something outside of my comfort zone, and I thought there might be an opportunity to talk about the Lord with someone there. So on the car ride, I prayed that the conversations at the fire would turn to religion. My prayers were answered; religion was the majority of what everyone was talking about that night. Dominic was not Christian, but after him and I talked that night about what each of us believed, the Lord lit a fire in his heart and he began to do some soul searching.
    Near the end of the bonfire, after Dominic and I had spent most of the night talking inside the house together, while everyone else was outside, he asked for my phone number. After that we talked over text every single day until the early morning hours for about 3 weeks.

    At the time I was interested in someone else, a guy I had been talking with for a few months, and I was still talking to that guy off and on, but suddenly no where near as much as I was talking with Dominic. And I never felt more comfortable with anyone in my life than I did with Dom. There was nothing awkward between us, because we became friends first. In fact, I wanted us to just stay friends, he was the one that asked me out first.
    We would talk all day long about everything. I told him my most personal stories, thoughts, and fears, and he told me his. We knew everything about each other, and I had never told anyone everything about myself before him. I woke up every day to texts from him saying "good morning sleepyhead, I hope you slept well." And I love that he put in so much effort.
    He valued me and what I had to say, and he wanted to help me to make my dream of becoming a writer come true, as well as all of my other dreams. He was a gentleman, and still is.

    On April 4, 2015, not even a month after we met, he asked if I would consider getting together with him. I told him I would think about it. I did some praying, and thinking, and I stopped talking with the other guy. Two days later I told Dominic that if we entered into a relationship, I would want it to be forever. I would not date him if divorce was ever an option. He said he felt the same way. But both of us knew anyway that we were meant for each other. We knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that we were going to marry each other and would stand by each other always. So on April 6, 2015 we became 'boyfriend and girlfriend,' but we never called ourselves that. We always thought of each other as husband and wife. He officially proposed to me two weeks later on April 18, and of course I said yes. No one knew we were engaged, it was our secret. We didn't have a ring, but we didn't need one to prove to each other that we were committed.
    Dominic was my first and only 'boyfriend,' but there was no questioning whether or not he was the one. I just knew. I had plenty of crushes in the past, and guys that I talked to or flirted with, and I regret that to this day because Dominic should have been the first man I gave that much attention to, but I learned from my mistakes. I learned that if you have to ask yourself, "could he be the one?" He's most likely not the one. When you meet the man you're going to marry you will know in the deep of your soul that he's the one, even if you don't realize it at first. Even if it blindsides you like it did for me.
    We wanted to be married the moment he proposed, but we knew our families wouldn't approve. So we waited for closer to the one year mark, and then he asked my dad's permission to marry me, like any true gentleman would do. My dad approved.
    We went to the courthouse to be married on our one year anniversary, April 6 2016. It wasn't anything fancy, just saying our vows and filling out paperwork at the courthouse. It was a wet and rainy day, but it didn't matter to us. No one else came with, it was just me and him. It was romantic, but it didn't mean too much to us since we already thought of each other as married.
    We didn't do anything special for the honeymoon really, we just went swimming and ate at the new fast food chain in town, Hardees. But it was still a day to remember. Just being in each other's company has always been enough for us.

    People may say that Dominic and I haven't been together long enough to truly know if we'll be together forever, let alone to write about marriage and family. However, we both have the Lord on our side. Our marriage is thriving, and we will always find a way to keep it alive. I pray that our marriage will be an example to many young couples like ourselves, and that it will always reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

    Dominic and I have already been through so much together, both good and bad. We've shared life changing experiences. Back in October of 2015, Dominic came to the Lord and was born again. It took God's timing for that. He confronted his family whom he hadn't talked to in years, and I was with him through that. We've had fights, nothing enough to break us. He's always been there for me, and we've made so many memories. I am looking forward to our years together, growing old together, having children, buying our first house, working through our problems together, praying and worshipping the Lord Jesus together... I'm looking forward to being married to my prince charming for the rest of my life.

The pictures were taken at the courthouse on our wedding day.