My name is Josh, and I am a sophomore Psychology and Spanish major at Texas A&M. I am from Arizona originally, but I came to Texas A&M to maintain my family's legacy at the university and to participate in a prestigious Liberal Arts Honors Program, Cornerstone. Cornerstone has provided me with some of the greatest experiences of my life, from traveling with the group to Germany over spring break to meeting the woman who I want to be with for the rest of my life.
This upcoming Saturday, June 7th, will mark the 9 month anniversary of when I first went dancing with the love of my life, Marisa. The past 9 months have been a series of ups and downs, and we've shared some of the happiest and saddest moments of our lives together. The story of how we met and first went on a date as friends is something I'll always treasure. But first, you're probably wondering, what's the point of this blog?
The point of the blog: Marisa and I are fairly young, but we want to get married relatively soon (in the next couple of years). I'm 19 and I'll turn 20 in October, and she turns 19 in a couple of weeks. This blog is going to be a testament to our spiritual and emotional journey together as we prepare for the challenges we face ahead, from getting our parents to agree to let us marry, to having a solid foundation for our marriage so we do not falter and have our marriage fail like so many couples' marriages do, unfortunately. We want our story to be a testament to all young couples out there (and older couples too) that if you have a solid foundation for your marriage in Christ and you take the proper steps, your marriage will be successful! Marisa and I will certainly face challenges ahead, but our goal is to show you that if you persist in a spirit of love and compassion, you can overcome the barriers that marriage and the world throw in the way of your relationship's success.
Back to the story: I think it's natural to have the first post of the blog be about how we met and fell in love. So... Marisa and I met at Texas A&M through the Cornerstone program. After getting to know each other a little, she (yes, she) made the first move and asked me to go dancing with her at Harry's, a local country western bar. I, hardly knowing how to dance period, agreed, wondering why such a beautiful, tender-hearted girl like her would ever want to go dancing with a guy like me.
The night was not what I expected. We went dancing as friends, but the evening evolved into so much more. We both knew there was a genuine spark from the moment we left her dorm. As we walked, we talked about all aspects of our lives, including sensitive issues about the past romances we had, the stories of our families, and what our own lives had been like before coming to college. Something about the relationship just felt like it was meant to be from the first date we went on as friends.
I was on top of the world. Dancing with Marisa gave me the courage to use my two left feet to win her heart on the dance floor. (The photo to the right is of us at Harry's on our one month anniversary because I couldn't find a good photo with decent lighting of us from the first date.) I knew everything was going right when we were walking home and I switched places to be on the side of the sidewalk closer to the street to protect her and she grabbed my hand. I will never forget that night. Never. It was beautiful!
Long story short, we started dating 3 days later, but we spent most of those days together talking, getting to know each other, sharing about our past, and growing deeper in our love for each other.
I am not saying our timing for love is normal for most couples... some people would even say it was rushed. However, my point in writing this was to show that from the get go, what we had was a special, unique connection that I think not a lot of young couples do not have. A lot of people in college date for the sake of dating. They do not date with a purpose. Neither of us for looking for a person to date, that's why we went dancing as friends. Once we realized that we had found a connection that was much deeper than a typical dating relationship, we knew what we had was special and not something everyone has.
If you are dating and you are young, you ought to be dating with a purpose. My dad always says that dating ends in two paths: breaking up or marriage. It's true. Avoid the heartache. Don't date for the sake of dating. Go on "dates" as friends, but do not seriously invest yourself in someone if you know it's likely to end because the connection isn't real. Our connection was real and God-given. It's so clear that God put us in each others' lives for very specific reasons. We've both helped each other through serious trials and encouraged each other to grow and mature spiritually and emotionally.
So, in a culture that often mocks young marriage, that's exactly what we want to do. We want to get married soon because we are dating with a purpose. I feel that I've met my God-given mate and encourager, and Marisa feels the same way. (I'll let her speak for herself, though.) Marriage, for us, is acknowledging this commitment God has given to us and sealing it for life.