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At 37, my heart was really content with singleness. Life was full of friendship, a rewarding job, adventure, challenge, and excitement. Looking back, God really protected my heart from longing for a life I didn’t have – a married life with a husband and children.
In the back of my mind, though, I always wondered if the day would come when I would meet “Mr. Right”. I remember meeting Steve through a mutual friend and thinking that he seemed like a pretty cool guy. But he was dating, so my thoughts of him were strictly friendly. About a year later, at an open house for my job, he suggested we go to lunch to talk about my recent trip to Israel. It sounded like a date to me, so I declined gently. Later, I learned that he was “eligible” so when he asked again and invited my roommate, Hannah, to come along we agreed. Over Mexican food, Steve began telling us stories of his days in the police department on Long Island. His strong protective nature, valor and humor were so attractive to me. He began texting me and slowly found his way into my crazy, busy life. He came to church one Wednesday with a dozen roses and asked for me. He was early and I, of course, wasn’t there. He asked a few elderly men if I was around, with a dozen roses in his hand. They raised their eyebrows and couldn’t wait for me to show up.
Around that time I invited him to a surprise retirement dinner for my father. He sat next to my mother and she warned him, “You don’t have a chance with Julie. She will never get married.” He wrote me letters, continued to bring me flowers, took my friends and I out for dinner and began winning my heart. He convinced me that he was ready for a new relationship even though at that point I still wasn’t sure I was interested.
We signed up for a kickball league with some good friends, the Taylor’s. I wanted to get to know him around friends and family. He was so athletic, a team player, and connected well with people.
Things seemed to be getting serious and my good friend Joe Baker, the founder of Save the Storks, told me he wanted to grill him. We planned to join STS for a music festival in South Dakota over Labor Day weekend. Joe met Steve and gave me the thumbs up.
About a month later, I spoke with Joe again about Steve. He asked me if I loved him. I told him I wasn’t sure. Over the next few days I couldn’t get Joe’s question out of my mind. I began asking myself if I loved Steve. Finally, I admitted to myself that I truly loved him and couldn’t imagine not spending the rest of this life with him. A few weeks later he brought me to Sylvan Beach to read the Bible together. After we read a chapter together, Steve took out a song he wrote for me, “Baby You’re the One.” Then he read a poem he had written about his love for me. Then I heard him rustling for something. It was the most beautiful ring in the world. There on the bench on the nicest night of the year, with a full bright moon, the stars shining with all of their splendor, Steve asked me to marry him. I felt so much peace, excitement, and had no doubt in my mind that God had sent Steve to me to be my husband.
I brought him to NYC to meet most of my friends. We took 5 children to Staten Island for the day, rode the subway and the ferry and made our own fun. Steve was amazing with the kids. On Sunday, I took him to meet my friends at church. At the end, Pastor Abraham announced that we were getting married. About 30 people mobbed us with questions, hugs, and handshakes, but most of all I remember their smiles. Next, we drove to Tim and Belki’s house. They love me like their own. Iris and Christie surprised us and Pete Salyer, Tim’s brother. They asked Steve a million questions, and then we sat down for dinner. My friends love me incredibly; they want only the best for me. Steve passed every test anyone threw at him. I was even more convinced that he was the “one”.
Steve takes care of his elderly parents and it is something I really respect and honor him for. He is their only child and through his care for them I saw his patience, compassion, nobility and integrity. But we agreed that their home was too small for all of us so we decided to look for a house close by. The house is a 1890s Victorian that reminds me of the house I grew up in. I love it and there are even raspberries growing beside the driveway. I nicknamed it the raspberry house. We made an offer, it was accepted, and we are praying we have the house by the time we are married.
Wedding planning has been incredible. For me, the wedding and reception is a huge gathering of friends and family supporting us as we thank God for His goodness in bringing Steve and I together. It is an opportunity for us to bless all of those who have played a part in getting us to this point of marriage and to show our appreciation as they help us stay accountable to our vows. Steve and I have committed before God to wait for sexual intimacy until our wedding night. We really wanted to get married before winter in upstate NY so we chose the 2nd week in December. Come to find out, it’s 12-13-14- what a special date!!
We anticipate a life together full of love, growth, giving, forgiveness and thankfulness. Steve and I thank you for the part you have played in our lives and for sharing your hearts with us.