Sometimes sparks fly instantly, and other times relationships need to be given a few years to find their way into being. Marvin & Judith had been acquainted through mutual friends for quite some time before being bitten by the proverbial love bug. I actually quite love the way Judith tells their story, so I'm going to share tidbits from her reply when I asked her about how they'd met and fallen in love... "My fiance and I met years ago through mutual friends, though incidentally we were both dating other people at the time. We lived an hour from each other but would bump into one another from time to time and always got along well, though our periods of singleness did not overlap very well. Unbeknownst to me, he started becoming interested in me and started praying about it. During this period I was busy with work and doing international disaster response nursing."
Yes, I paused the story because YOU GUYS, I just need to elaborate a little about what Judith does for a living. She's an international disaster response nurse, which means that she functions as part of a team that heads to the center of unfolding humanitarian crises and sets up emergency medical clinics. Wherever the world is falling apart and the very places most people are fleeing, she boards a plane and heads for the epicenter. Hurricanes, cholera outbreaks, war zones, you-name-it, she goes. What she does is seriously, no joke. On any given day, she can be heading to her regular nursing job in Canton, receive a call and be on a plane within twenty four hours. Talk about holding your life loosely and living it for the good of others...pretty sure Judith has this down. So back to Marvin, and the love story unfolding...
"Finally after months of praying about it, while I was in Haiti treating cholera patients and helping provide hurricane medical relief, he received the go ahead from God to pursue a relationship with me. Within several days of returning from Haiti, we met up for coffee, ended up talking for hours, and the rest is history. :) A couple months after we started dating, I was deployed to the Middle East to help set up an emergency field hospital in a war zone for nearly a month."
Okay, sorry, but *PAUSE* again...it wasn't just the Middle East. It was Mosul, Iraq, and if you've been following the news at all you'll understand why this was a much bigger deal than Judith even makes it sound in their story. *unpause*
"Saying goodbye for that long, going into a dangerous situation, and being surrounded by the horrors of war definitely worked to affirm and intensify our feelings for each other. That's when we started realizing that we really didn't want to do life separately any longer." *PAUSE*...again. Sorry (not sorry)...it's too sweet of a detail to pass up. At their engagement session, Marvin shared that the moment he was most proud of Judith was when she stepped off the plane coming home from Iraq. "After dating for a whopping almost five months, Marvin proposed after getting me out of bed by throwing snowballs at my window. As he stood there on a ladder outside my room and I hung out the window with snow falling down on us, he asked me to be his bride. I had to ask him if he was serious, because I was so surprised, and because who proposes while standing on a ladder? He assured me that he definitely was serious so with that bit of information, I quite willingly agreed to be his wife." "I'm certain God has been creating us for each other all of our lives, it just took us a long winding road till we were finally ready for each other. I'm also certain that life with the man who proposed to me that night on a ladder, through a window, in the snow, will definitely being anything but normal and boring!"
*and we know this chic doesn't do normal or boring* ;)
Kind of adore the series of shots below. Marvin has a roguish sense of humor and keeps this girl laughing on the regular.
One of my favorite moments at their session was when Judith spoke about the moment she was most proud of Marvin. She said there were many moments she was proud of him, but the one that popped to the forefront of her mind was a time when he'd quietly picked up the tab for a veteran, no questions asked. Sometimes we think we have to be as awesome as Judith is and jump on a plane to be able to make a difference in this heart-breaking world, but I just love what SHE highlighted when she said what she did to Marvin: sometimes being a hero just means opening up your eyes to the world right in front of you and being courageous enough to give in beautiful, everyday, practical ways like Marvin does. I love the way these two were both living generously before their stories collided. Isn't God so clever at pairing people up?