Inspired by friends Robert and Megan, I (Tara) decided to start a blog for the new journey that Matthew and I are beginning. 235 days until we’re married… 7 months and 3 weeks. It’s surreal in a way… There have been so many crazy things that have led us to this point, but without even one small seemingly trivial point in our relationship, we simply would not be here. I would probably be off saving the world in Monroe, Louisiana; Matthew would probably just be rocking the world…
Our relationship began Fall 2005, when I came to Jacksonville State University to pursue my degree in social work. Matthew had already been at JSU for a year, but his priorities were definitely not there. Just music. With talent like his, though, who could blame the boy?! (sighs…) Anyway, back on track before I get lost daydreaming about my boy… As far as this part of the story goes, please don’t hold this over our heads. This was definitely WAY out of the norm for us both. Matthew had found me on MySpace, sent me a friend request, and later asked if I would like to meet up for coffee sometime at the Grind (coffeeshop in Gadsden). I was a bit leery at first, but I knew that he was friends with one of my newest friends at JSU, Nathan. So I asked Nathan about him, and he told me that he was a great guy, loved God, and that we would probably get along great, seeing that we had similar tastes in music. So, with Nathan’s advisement, I decided to get coffee with Matthew. The next night, I drove to the Grind, and met him. I remember walking toward the coffeeshop from the parking lot and seeing him inside… and my heart melted (to be all cheesy about it). Emo girl’s dream. (And yes, I was at the time…) Gauges, cool shoes, good taste in music, cute?! Yes, please. A few days earlier I had been gawking over his MySpace photos. Yes, I admit, total loser. But remember, I was 18 and it was 2005, right before MySpace exploded and before it was seriously shady. We ended up staying and talking for several hours that night talking about everything and just getting to know each other. Over the next two months, we chatted occasionally just as friends by email or telephone. But in January, things kind of turned around and we started dating. We dated for about a month and a half, and Matthew with his serious commitment issues at the time broke up with me. I was completely and totally devastated. And looking back, I really had no clue why?! I guess it was intuition to what we had laying ahead for us within a few years… We weren’t finished. From what he told me later, he really couldn’t let me go. And I could never really turn him down. This began the chronic dating spurts between us for the next 2 1/2 years. Each time, he broke up with me. And after each heartbreak, I swore I was finished with the boy; but yet, every time, I still kept going back to him. More intuition, I guess… Finally, in Fall 2007, things got more serious, but more for Matthew than for me. After much prayer, french silk ice cream, and deep talks with my best friend Brittany, I decided to give him one more chance. Completely and totally a God thing. For the first month, things were very rocky. I couldn’t bring myself to trust him. And time after time he kept working to prove he was worthy to be trusted again. After another month, and finally becoming more comfortable and able to trust him again, I was the one who now had the commitment issues… and I broke up with him. I was completely scared out of my mind at the possibility that this may be the boy I was made for. And there was so much I still wanted to do. I wasn’t ready to commit myself fully to someone. I wanted to explore the world, be a missionary in foreign lands for years and years before I settled down. And in a way, God gave me that choice. Picturesque Robert Frost moment: two roads… one less traveled, both desirable. And the same, I felt that I was being given the choice of where I could go from that point. I could either chose to be the missionary and to travel the world or I could settle down with Matthew, spend my life with the Godly man I had dreamed of my entire life, and to have the family I had always dreamed of. Through much more problems and personal issues that came my way, and through God opening my eyes to the fact that Matthew was made to be my Orion, my warrior, I realized that I wanted a life with Matthew much more than the exploring missionary life. And now, looking back, I think it was more of God wanting me to give up my own personal desires for my life, and to just allow Him and even more to trust Him with taking the reins controlling my life. After another year of deliberation, with going to New Mexico and spending Summer 2008 out there, prayer, and learning how to better listen to my heart, I finally decided to begin the process of relinquishing those reins. And Matthew was what happened. And now at this point in my life, my life with him, it is more beautiful and more perfect than I could have ever dreamed up myself. In no way could I have dreamed up our story with the way it has turned out. After much more prayer and deliberation, and more french silk ice cream with Britt, I knew Matthew was the boy God had created for me, and me for him. We started dating again September 2008, and were engaged February 7, 2009.
Of course, that was the ultimate Reader’s Digest version. There is much more to us and our relationship than that, personal battles and struggles fought for one another. With each one, they have brought us closer and closer to each other, until it finally became obvious to us both that there is no other person out there meant for either one of us.