Once upon a time, a girl met a boy in the halls of a rented Seventh Day Adventist church.
At the time, the girl thought the boy was nice, but shy, and that his little brothers were pesky, but cute. A certain little sister had just been brought home from Korea.
The boy claims he knew she was the one the minute he laid eyes on her.
He was in the eight grade. She was in the ninth.
Fast forward a few years, and the boy and girl are now friends. They laugh together, scoot their chairs closer together in Sunday School, and eat cheap church cookies after the morning service.
The boy is still too shy to speak up and the girl is dating a different boy. They might have continued on like this for years if not for their mothers. Yes, their mothers. (It seems as if they knew a little something about life and love too.)
Suddenly the two are dating. It's summer and their first date was the movie Face Off.
The girl heads off to her first year of college and then there is a little hiccup in their dating story.
Fall is in its full glory, and then, once again, the girl and the boy are back where they left off.
And they never look back.
Because now the girl knows too.
A couple years later, he gives her a pearl. A promise.
A year after that he upgrades that pearl to a diamond while the sun sets over Lake Michigan.
And a year after that, they are married on a perfect May day surrounded by their family and friends in a church with a steeple. The girls wear periwinkle.
Next comes a honeymoon, a first apartment.
And then a first house. A first baby. A second baby.
A second house. A third baby.
Eleven years later, they have created a life together. A life they can be proud of. It's not all roses and butterflies (there are hard things too), but mostly it's good. Really, really good.
Today, this girl is wishing that boy a very happy 11th wedding anniversary. The boy is now a man, and he is the best sort of husband, daddy, and partner-for-life the girl could have ever wished for.
And she loves him with all of her heart.
It's a beautiful story, isn't it?