Since its Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share something I’ve not really spoken about on my blog before and that’s how Josh and I met and our story!
When I was 18 I decided to take a gap year and very last minute I ended up moving to Widnes, Cheshire to work in a church with 9 other people of a similar age. Whilst on this gap year I met Josh’s sister, Emma, as she was part of the youth group. We didn’t know each other that well and I didn’t know anything about her family but we became friends on Facebook!
Flash forward to August 2013, I had finished my gap year and was back home in Essex for the summer. I planned to stay in Widnes and live with my friend Vicki rather than uni halls in Manchester so I was going to be heading back up north at the end of September.
I decided to go with my best friend Mwansa to a Christian festival in Somerset but being as we were both pretty poor we worked as stewards there to save money. Before I went to the festival I was praying as I do each day and I felt I heard God tell me that at the festival I was going to meet my husband. I was really sceptical and thought I was probably just imagining it but it stuck with me so I decided to write it in my journal (proof that I’m not just making this up!!) and I tried to put it to the back of my mind. Once I got to the festival I had love on my mind (haha) and every guy I met I pictured myself marrying and wondered if he was the one! On the third day of the festival Mwansa was working and I was on my own. I was reading my bible in my tent and praying and I felt God telling me to stop thinking about it and focus on enjoying myself. So I resolved to do just that. I shut my journal and headed off to the toilet and it was at that very moment I bumped in to Emma and her brother Josh! Because I was on my own they invited me to head to the festival with them and their auntie that day and Josh and I walked ahead chatting the entire time.
I actually didn’t think much of our meeting because I was trying not to focus on that anymore and just enjoyed spending time together, however every time I spotted Josh in the crowd during the festival I felt a little pang of nervous excitement in my tummy!
A few days later I was back in Essex and received a Facebook message from Josh and I got so excited! From there we were casually messaging until I went back up north and we started seeing each other every week at church and hanging out in a big group. It took a couple of months but Josh eventually asked me on a date and on 30th October we went ice skating, then for a coffee then back to my house for fajitas! A week later we made it “official” in good old Blackpool! I was in the shower one morning and I felt God say to me “this is it, this is the man you’re going to marry.” Whether you believe in God, fate, the universe or whatever… to me that was the moment where I left any doubts behind. 2 weeks after our first date we said “I love you” and the rest is history!
As part of our faith, we decided not to live together or sleep together until we were married. We didn’t even brush our teeth together until our wedding night!! Just after Christmas 2013 we had a serious chat in which we decided we wanted to start our life together as soon as possible and we wanted to get married. We opened a joint savings account and started secretly saving for a wedding. On 31st July 2014 Josh and I went for a lovely day out in which we did lots of romantic things which would have been a perfect instance for a proposal. However he dropped me back at my flat (which was next door to our church) and we said goodbye. A few minutes later I was chatting with Vicki and her mum who was staying with us and Vicki asked me if I’d help her move some boxes in to the church auditorium. I did so and as I walked in I saw Josh sitting there, I knew this was the moment! A video he had made played on the enormous screen and then he got down on one knee! It was perfect, we were engaged!
Our wedding took place 12 months later on 18th July 2015. It was a gloriously sunny day in my home town of Braintree in Essex. We had a budget wedding and it was mega laid back and chilled but it was exactly what we wanted. I was only 21 when we tied the knot but I have absolutely no regrets and no doubt in my mind that it was the best thing I’ve ever done!
It’s been a bumpy road at times with an unexpected twin pregnancy, university graduation, living off one wage and a huge relocation across the country but I couldn’t imagine anyone I’d rather spend my life with than my best friend and husband, Josh. We have so much fun together and our faith is the centre point of our marriage and family. We are so blessed to be on this adventure together!
I hope you enjoyed hearing our love story!