I was just a kid really, 17 going on 18 and had just moved to South Carolina from a teeny tiny town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan 2 weeks earlier. Heather, my forever bestie and I would hang out together and one hot summer evening we decided to go to Dunkin Donuts because I heard teens from our local church hung out there, and I wanted to meet people.

Calvin was there with his short hair, khaki shorts, t-shirt and red sports truck. “Who are you?” I boldly asked him excited to meet new people. We must have high-fived 10 times that night because for some reason every time we discovered something we had in common we would give a high five. Oh, you’re 1 of 5 kids..high five; you play basketball too? High five. Oh you’re not from here either? You get the picture. He really wanted us to see his tiny house, which he was so proud of so off we went.

He invited us to the beach for the next day with his other 2 friends and we said, “Why not-it’s Saturday.” We had to take 2 cars and for some reason we had these walkie talkies that we literally used up the batteries from chatting back and forth on the three hour drive to the beach. This wasn’t last year, it was 2003. Haha! We didn’t have smart phones or the voxer app. We formed a fast friendship that first month, me super naïve to the fact that he liked me. I even had went on a couple of dates with other guys in that month completely oblivious. I mean I was only 17!

I don’t remember why but about a month into our friendship I looked at this message that popped up on his phone and saw it was about me. Uh oh! I asked him what it was about and he decided to come clean confessing his undying love for me from the moment we met. Okay not really, but he did tell me he was too scared to talk to me first at Dunkin Donuts and that he wanted to date me. I wasn’t convinced but told him I would go out on one date with him—just to be nice.

He showed up with flowers behind his back and took me out to the Melting Pot where we shared fondue, followed by a Mandy Moore movie, followed by dancing to Mandy Moore music in the living room of his house. Clearly Mandy was there. And he boldly kissed me, on our first date! I know?! I was shocked! He really gave it his all on our first 7 hour date. All that to say, I really enjoyed his friendship and my love for him continued to quickly grow. We spent time together nearly everyday and emailed each other back and forth. Because I lived in the next city over in the dorms while going to school.

I don’t remember talking about marriage, but I am sure we did. Five months into our relationship Calvin called my dad and asked if he could marry me. They had met the month before when I had brought him home for Christmas. My dad was like, “Oh so this is your friend?” Being a dad to only daughters my dad thought it was funny to scare our boyfriends with his military style haircut, stern face, and rough voice. Truly though, he is a softy and one of the sweetest men in the world. I treasure my dad. My dad’s response was, “If you love her half as much as I do…”

It was a cool winter’s day but I had suggested going on a picnic. Calvin took the opportunity to bring the ring he had picked out weeks before. After what we thought was Reedy River Park, (turns out it was just a patch of grass and a bench by a parking lot) Calvin said he had dessert for us. He ran to the truck and came back with the ring box open, ring facing up, got down on one knee and asked if I would marry him. Out of shock I blurted out, did you ask my dad? He said yes and I said YES and we hugged and he put the ring 3 sizes too big on my finger.

We decided to go to the mall right away to get the ring resized and out of being on cloud 9 Calvin locked his keys in his truck. Our engagement was exactly 6 months long.

We got married on a summer day in a small church in Michigan with family and friends. I was never one of those girls who dreamt about her wedding. 25 was my ideal age to get married and here I was at 18. I hated my tight bun on my wedding day but was too scared to tell the stylist. We also had a pretty lame wedding photographer but we were so happy to be married. I didn’t cry on our wedding day, but Calvin did! We had a fun 2 week honeymoon exploring Puerto Aventura, Cozumel, and Playa Del Carmen in Mexico but were anxious to get back and start our lives together, married.

It was the beginning—it wasn’t perfect but it was our beginning.

Writing this brought joy to my heart & I even laughed out loud remembering our story. God is so faithful and I can truly said I am SO grateful & blessed to be married to Calvin who constantly seeks to follow the Lord and love our family with his whole heart. He is godly, devoted, sincere, authentic, and kind. He really is such an involved spouse & father and puts our needs above his own. I still can’t believe that our beginning was over 14 years ago!

What about you? How did you meet your spouse? I would love to hear your beginning!

Camille Hanson

Camille is a wife, mom of 2 babies under 4 and currently lives in Hawaii. She is passionate about seeking and following Jesus, health & fitness, and travel. You can also add being a life coach, speaking Spanish and coffee to the list. She writes about her journey in motherhood, life overseas, and lessons learned along the way.