In September 2016, I met my wife. A couple weeks later, I knew she was the reason God brought me to Arizona. A couple weeks after that, we said “I love you.” By November, I’d already purchased a ring.
On December 10, 2016 early on a Saturday morning, I brought her to Payson where we went for our first date. It was about 30 degrees out, which I unfortunately didn’t plan for.
She thought we were going hiking, and I had planned on it until we got outside and it was so cold.
I told her I wanted to take pictures of us together, and she reluctantly agreed so I put my camera up on its tripod.
Then, I pressed “record,” got down on one knee, and pulled out the ring. After weeks of asking me when I would ask, I did and she said yes. We hugged and climbed back in the truck and drove to a diner for breakfast – it was too cold for us to hike.
The preparation was on, and we set our wedding date. On April 29, 2017, we were married. I know people probably thought (or still think) that we’re crazy – we met in September and were married by the following April.
But it was so clear – the way God brought me to Arizona, the way he connected me with my church, the way he helped me to trust him with my loneliness and relationships, the way he moved me to go to the Labor Day retreat where I met my wife. The way she had faced similar problems in seeking out relationships instead of letting God work and then giving that trust to him. The way she was the exact woman I had prayed for.
So we committed to getting married – in fact, we got a covenant marriage license, which makes divorce much more difficult – and never looked back.
When it came to having children, we weren’t really sure when we wanted them, just that we wanted them. We didn’t really feel God urging us to have or not to have children, but we did feel strongly that we didn’t want to use drugs or devices for birth control.
So without getting into too much detail, we weren’t super careful – we pretty much took the “whatever happens, happens” approach. And what happened was that one day in the fall of 2017, Maggie went to the doctor for an annual checkup and when she got home, she had news that would change both of our lives.
The night of our first wedding anniversary, Maggie’s water broke. In the wee hours of the next morning, we went to the hospital. A long 32 hours later, Evangelina was born.
In August 2016, I was a single guy with seemingly no chance of ever getting married. Fast forward two years and I was a husband and a father. Well, that escalated quickly, right? Talk about a turn of events!
God knows what he is doing, and he is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.
Now that I’ve shared my backstory – from growing up in a rural Ohio town as a single guy to getting married and becoming a dad, it’s time to get into all those “Dad Choices” I’ve learned about – the ways that we can choose our wives and children over ourselves, even with the little and seemingly insignificant things.