standupgirl“And they lived Happily Ever After”…. We girls love a good love story. We so badly want to believe that two people can complete each other, that end of the story really is just the beginning of a long and beautiful life together. But at the same time, so many of us don’t really believe that it could ever happen in our lives. We doubt that anyone could ever truly love us, faults and all. The Sisters know that feeling, but we also know that happy endings/beginnings do happen. Some of us are waiting for love, and others have found it. Below are some of our stories. Feel free to add your own. Let’s celebrate real life journeys to love and marriage!

Becky:

We were riding home from school on the bus one day when Keith turned to me and said, “You’re the kind of girl I’d like to marry.” (We were both sixteen at the time.) I was a little surprised, but I knew right from the beginning that there was something special between us. We started out as friends. There was a whole group of us that liked to hang out together. The more we got to know each other as friends, the more we discovered how much we liked each other. We started dating exclusively and spent more and more time just alone together. We talked about everything under the sun, including the possibility of getting married in the future. Some would say we were too young to know what we wanted, we felt we were meant for each other.

After a couple of years of dating, things started moving way too fast. That wasn’t part of the plan! We tried to break up. We felt we were getting too serious. We didn’t feel ready for where our relationship was going physically. We wanted to wait, but eventually we gave in to the strong rush of feelings and emotions. The next thing I knew, I was pregnant.

When I called Keith to tell him the news, his first reaction was, “I’m a daddy.” He was very positive and actually sounded excited. “Don’t worry,” he told me, “everything’s going to be okay. We can do this…together.” I believed him. I trusted him. I felt so much better knowing that we were in this together.

We decided to get married before the baby was born. This wasn’t a totally new idea – it was just going to happen a lot sooner than we had planned. I had to quit school. Keith got a job in our hometown so we could be near our parents. Bringing our baby into a family was a priority for us.

Telling my parents I was pregnant was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. My dad felt disappointed and betrayed. He said he felt like a failure as a father. I felt so sick inside. My mom tried to counteract his harsh words, but she had some hard thing to say, too. After the shock wore off and my parents had a couple days to think things over, however, they told us they would support us in our decision. They even offered us a place to stay after we got married. But first my dad had three important questions to ask me: Did I love Keith above any other, forever? Was I willing to live with him and his faults and not try to change them? Did I know the difference between love and lust? I answered “yes” to all these questions. I poured out my heart to my parents about my feelings for Keith and our plans for the future. They both looked quite choked up. Things were much lighter from then on.

I have to be honest: marriage is not exactly easy. Every marriage has ups and downs, good times and bad. There is no perfect marriage. You just have to keep trying. We both went into marriage believing that it was a lifetime commitment, and we still do. I can honestly say that we are more in love today than we were on our wedding day. We have been through so much together. We have seen each other change and grow and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. We got married at nineteen, just a boy and a girl. Through the years we have grown up together to be man and woman, husband and wife, dad and mom.

We have struggled, of course. Financially we have probably struggled more than we would have if we had chosen a different road. But we have always had all that we need to provide for our family. Keith has worked hard to provide for these needs, giving me the privilege of being able to stay home and care for our children. This has been a tremendous blessing, and I am very thankful to have such a loving, self-sacrificing husband.

Bri:

I was eighteen when I first met the boy who would eventually become my husband. Jeff was funny, handsome and smart, and for me, it was love at first sight. At the time he had a girlfriend and didn’t realize that I had a crush on him, which is hard for me to believe since I thought it must have been very obvious. We were part of a close-knit group of friends and every single one of them knew that I liked Jeff, except for him. Over the course of three years we grew to be close friends, but he was still dating the same girl and I had several boyfriends come and go. In college it seemed that the expectation for dating was that after a few dates a girl would let a guy do anything he wanted, but I am NOT that girl! I had a mental rule that if a boy tried to touch me anywhere that might ordinarily be covered by a swimsuit then he wasn’t the right guy for me! That’s not to say that I didn’t hold hands and kiss and do all of those things, but if anyone tried to take it further than that I wasn’t interested. During all of the time that Jeff had a girlfriend, I went to increasingly embarrassing measures to be near him. The most embarrassing moment of my college career revolves around sneaking into his room when I thought he wasn’t home to take a deep breath because I loved the way he smelled. I thought he had gone to his parent’s house for the weekend, but he hadn’t, and he caught me sniffing his room! Eventually he and his girlfriend broke up with no intervention from me. When I found out a few months later, I happened to be single, too. It was only a short while later that we went on our first date, and ten months after that we were engaged. The next fall we were married and we now have one son. It took a lot of patience, but it was all worth the wait in the end!

April:

I made the decision that I would wait until I was married to have sex. I have not yet met my husband, but I know that deciding to wait has been the best choice I have ever made. A good friend taught me one time that faithfulness is not something that occurs in marriage. It occurs before you ever get married. Right now even though I don’t know who he is, I have decided to remain faithful to him even though we have never met. It has not always been easy, but I know that sometimes the best decisions are the hardest ones. When I do get married I want to be able to tell my husband that I waited for him – that I have always been faithful to him. He will never have to worry about my past or whether or not I might have a sexually transmitted disease. Marriage is hard enough and I want to go into it with a clean slate. I have decided to use this important time while I am single to become a better person for when I do get married. This time has helped me to get to know myself better and it has helped me understand what qualities I need to look for in someone to date and marry. I consider myself to be a selective dater, but this has taught me how to be comfortable in being single. I would rather wait for someone who is good than make a regrettable mistake. Patience pays off. I have broken off relationships in the past, and it was hard but I never lose hope of meeting the right man. He could be right around the corner.

Meg:

After spending years of being sexually active and promiscuous, I was pregnant with my second child from a second father. I decided that I needed a big change in my life. I thought that no one would ever want to be with me and that I was all used up and had no worth. Still, I decided that if anyone would ever love me enough to marry me that he would have to wait until we were married to have sex. I was done taking chances and putting my health and wellbeing on the line, as well as my emotions and self esteem. Right before I found out that I was pregnant with my second child I had met a really great guy. He was a total gentleman and unlike any guy I had ever been with. Now I was pregnant and I thought that I had lost all hope of ever ending up with him. I gave birth to a little boy and my life was finally starting to level out and get into a decent routine. This guy and I ended up at the same places a lot of the time, with the same group of friends. I just tried to stay focused on my kids and other responsibilities. I decided that if I were ever to date again that I wanted to be pursued and not seem desperate, so I kept to myself and let him come to me. There were some guys that would offer to help me carry things to my car or hold a kid or some other kind gesture, but I made a solid choice to only let a man help me if I was interested in him. I did not want to give the wrong impression, and I only had one man in my sights. After some time, he started noticing me, and would start small conversations here and there. I tried really hard to conceal my feelings so that if he showed interest I knew it was his idea, and not my advances. One day a guy offered to help me with something and I politely turned down his offer. Then the man I was interested in turned around and offered a hand. I smiled and received his help to my car. After this we began talking on the phone a lot and we slowly began seeing each other. We had many serious talks about what we wanted in a husband/wife and about our relationship being complicated since it involved our children, too. He had a son and I had a daughter and a son, we realized that one day the kids were going to grow up and move away and that our relationship had to be based on more than just having a partner to raise our children with. We did our best to keep the physical romance to a minimum and we had the same goal of no sex till the wedding night. We set up rules like he had to leave my house before my kids went to bed and could not come over until they were awake in the morning. That way they were never confused about when he left or got there. We didn’t have a lot of time to date as just a couple because it was hard to find babysitters with no family around. So we did things like go to the park and talk while the kids played. When he finally asked me to marry him I was in shock. With all the conversations we had had, I knew that he wanted to be with me, not just be a father to my kids. I knew that he loved me and respected me and his proposal had nothing to do with what I had to offer physically because we had not had sex. I felt so special and wanted in a way that I had never experienced, and it was an amazing feeling. Even though I was not a virgin, on my wedding night I did get to experience purity in a way that I never thought I would. My husband and I saved our first time for our wedding night – it was so amazing. There was no wondering if he would call me the next day, if he would be there when I woke up, if he would dump me in the morning. He loved me enough to marry me without knowing what our bedroom experience would be like. Our relationship is based on so much more than physical issues. It gives me a confidence and sense of security to know that if he waited for me till our wedding night that if I ever have a major surgery or accident that he can survive without sex if needed during that healing time. He has proven himself to not be superficial and shallow, and I no longer have jealousy issues with him like I had in the past with old boyfriends. I am proud of myself for waiting and for Standing Up for my expectations in a husband. It proved to be successful and we are happily married and have a child between us now along with the children we each brought into the world before we were together. You don’t have to be a virgin to experience purity on your wedding night, you don’t have to have sex with a guy to prove your love, and you have a greater chance of a happy and successful marriage by saving the physical act of love until you’ve made the commitment.

Lisa:

I thought I’d never meet my Mr. Wonderful. I met every other kinda guy … I’d think he was Mr. Wonderful, and then the next one, or maybe his friend? But no. I had a list of characteristics that I wanted my Mr. Wonderful to have. Nice guy, loves God, gentle, kind, tall, dark, handsome and a few other things.

Then my mom told me one day “Lisa, don’t make this long list of characteristics you want God to give you in a man. He already knows all the things you need and want in a guy. Ask Him to make you into the woman that would be the perfect match for that Mr. Wonderful.”

No matter how hard I looked, I could never find him. So I started to do just as my mom suggested and finally gave up and just started to really serve God. I had so much fun that the years of serving seemed to fly right by. I went to a Singles retreat in the mountains with my church … and as I was busy about all the fun retreat things, I met a guy. Nice guy and he was cute! But he was just one of a bunch of other girls and guys having fun at a retreat.

When I came down the mountain after the retreat, I had peace in my heart and a song on my tongue. I had no idea what would happen next. Two weeks after the retreat, my phone rang. It was that “Nice guy” I met at the retreat. For the first time in years my heart leapt. Wow! Something just happened inside of me and I hadn’t felt that before.

He was one of the leaders of the retreat and he asked if it was OK that he was calling me. We talked on the phone and started to get to know each other. We went out on some group outings and as we got to know each other we started to fall in love. Guess what! He was my Mr. Wonderful!

What did I do to find him? I did just as my mom suggested. I entrusted my ‘wish list’ to God. I asked Him to make me into the woman that would make a Mr. Wonderful a happy man.

Today that Mr. Wonderful is my husband and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not glad I gave my wish list to God and I didn’t settle for second best. I got the very best.

Julie:

I met my husband when I was 18, during our university freshman orientation. I immediately liked him, but thought that he was just a little too goofy for me to get serious about. And besides, he was friends with way too many pretty girls, soI thought there was no chance he would ever love me. And so we were just good friends. For nearly four years. I spent a lot of time with guys, but was always restless in relationships.  He was very content to just be everyone’s friend. By our senior year, I knew I wanted to marry him. But I couldn’t exactly tell him. I wanted it to be his idea, so I tried to keep up the friendship as normal. A few days before graduation, he told me he loved me. I started crying, and he knew I loved him before I said it. We were engaged right away and married 6 months later.

That was more that 11 years ago, and I love him far more now than I did on that June day when we first spoke of love. I am so glad that, for the first years of our relationship, we were just friends. Long before he loved me, he knew my faults, my sense of humor, my dreams, and quirks. And I knew the same about him. We never tried to impress each other. Marriage was not a huge adjustment, but felt like things had finally become exactly as they were supposed to be. Of course marriage takes work, but it is good, life-giving work. He and our three children fill my life with joy and adventure. I’m so thankful to be married to my best friend.

Cora:

I met Shaun’s sister at work – I sold her a dress. She thought I’d be a perfect wife for her brother and invited me on a rafting trip to meet him. She was a blast to be around, so I figured, why not? If nothing else, I’d have a good time on the river.

Before rafting we stopped for lunch and once started, we couldn’t stop talking. Shaun’s sister was waving her hand in our faces to get our attention because we were so oblivious to anyone else. We clicked, which rarely happened for either of us. Rafting was great and we made an excellent team. Dropping me off, we exchanged email addresses over a hand shake.

Being 4 hours apart, we emailed every day. I told him that I was moving to Virginia soon and his reply was “ For me, as far as a relationship, if God would that I should go to the ends of the earth simply to quench the thirst for companionship, than so be it.” (Sigh)

Two weeks later, on my 20th birthday, Shaun came with a gift of roses and a poem he had written, expressing the beauty that never fades and only grows better with time. I had been told many times that I was beautiful, but few people looked any further. I am a deep person, and the poem told me that’s what Shaun was looking at.

Not long after I canceled my move and romance blossomed. A few months later we were engaged. There were many struggles waiting for our wedding day; Shaun relocating, parent tensions, unemployment, keeping pure, and wedding preparations. Tensions were high and problems unending as the days crept on. The problems were resolved, and our wedding day dawned lovely and perfect. We started out our lives together full of joy, and eagerly looking forward to all that lay ahead.