O U R    S T O R Y

Told by Emma }

You might want to grab some tissues and a cup of coffee for this one. This story is personal, its raw. It's crazy sentimental & emotional. It's already making me cry. Just sayin, I warned you.

Go Ahead, push that play button. 

This is how our story started . . . 

We met when we were both 16 years old. We were kids that met at Church Camp. He lived almost 4 hours from me on the other side of the state. That summer we had no idea that our paths would ever cross again. Obviously God had some big plans for us.

A year later, we reconnected and began to talk. We grew a close friendship from over 300 miles away. We stayed up late talking on the phone for hours every night. We emailed each other love notes & poems. We were constantly on msn messenger (the good old days) and myspace. We did bible studies together and lifted each other up.  I have never known a person to be so kind, compassionate, loving, & selfless. I knew within a few months that he was the one. 

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Little did he know how much I needed his kindness and light in my life at that time.

My childhood & background isn't the happiest nor the prettiest. I grew up being passed around foster home to foster home. Each home broke my heart as I realized that I didn't belong anywhere. Several of the homes I lived in were unstable and abusive, leaving me feeling unloved & unwanted. I remember living most of my life in constant fear. When I found Jesus at 16 years old, I was living in one of those homes. I lived most of my high school years walking on egg shells and dealing with constant emotional abuse. Always afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing. I suffered with depression and intense anxiety. (I'll never be able to thank those few people, including my sister, who helped me through everything. You guys know who you are.) Church was my happy place. Although I couldn't control much, giving what I could control to Jesus was what kept my spirits up. 

  Then I met Dilan, and he changed everything.

 When I met Dilan, he had no idea just how much I needed him. Goodness, I had no idea how much I needed him. God placed him in my life at just the right time and it changed my world completely. And I mean COMPLETELY. I clearly have a lot of baggage, but that didn't discourage him from wanting to get to know me more. When I graduated high school, my life started a whole new chapter. I moved to college (closer to Dilan, a move that everyone told me was risky) and took control of my own life. With that, Dilan and I went to college together. We were inseparable. Him and his family took me in and helped me adjust to being on my own. But that was it, I wasn't on my own. I had Dilan and Dilan gave me his family (the most kind, Godly, & unconditionally loving people I have ever know).

We dated for 2 years while going to college together. Those years were incredible. I adored getting to know my best friend and learning about the incredible person that he is. He made me feel truly loved and wanted, something I never saw coming. I remember having a hard time believe that this was real.  I was afraid that our relationship was too good. (MY HEART YOU GUYS) He showed me that love is selfless, kind, & unconditional. He helped me overcome my anxieties and fears. I learned to completely let go & trust God. And with that, I learned to trust that He put Dilan in my life for a reason.  

 And then he proposed.

He took me to the sweet little bridge that we had our first kiss on, tucked away on a wooded trail, and then got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. A whole year later, on March 3rd, 2012, we got married. YOU GUYS, I MARRIED MY BEST FRIEND! The most amazing & beautiful day of my entire life. It was that day that I not only gained the most amazing husband, but it was the day I finally gained my own family. God made my heart whole and gave me the desires of my heart. 

Psalms 37:4

"Take Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

FIVE YEARS LATER . . . 

Five years later, we are happily married and asking where the time has gone! We are more in love than we have ever been (I didn't know that was possible). We live with our sweet little cat Sampson in our dream house that we recently became the home owners of. It has been such an amazing journey growing up and navigating life together for the last decade. I am beyond blessed with the story that has become my life. 

To celebrate five beautiful years of marriage, this past May we fulfilled a dream and renewed our wedding vows in the Redwood Forest of Northern California. We laughed and we cried. We danced and fell in love with each moment. It was just us among the most beautiful giants, promising forever. Did I mention how much we cried, because we cried A LOT.

Okay, now play this song again and really listen to the words. 

This is exactly how my heart feels. 

I GET TO LOVE YOU, 

It's the best thing that I'll ever do. 

I GET TO LOVE YOU, 

It's a promise I'm making to you. 

Special thanks to our amazing friend Catherine Coons for capturing these amazing memories for us! We'll never be able to thank you enough!