There is no doubt in my mind that Matt and I were meant to be. However, as I’ve retold this story, it struck me more than ever before how important the other players in the story were. I need to acknowledge their goodness and influence.
- First, I’d link to thank you– my readers/blog friends– who, by your interest and enthusiasm, reminded me how remarkable our story really is and made me enjoy even more the retelling of it.
- As strange as it may seem, I need to thank KK. He and I were perfect together “on paper,” but he recognized that something was missing– something that couldn’t be identified because it had never been felt. Without that experience, I may not have given Matt the chance he deserved because, on paper, he wasn’t at all what I thought I was looking for. He was a convert, from a small town and a broken home who loved to ride motorcycles and shoot stuff and had practically never left the state of Utah except for his mission. Matt likes to say that if my dad had known him in high school, he would have rather had me marry Ozzy Osborne because at least he was financially stable. But something– the acknowledging and encouraging hand of God (through His Holy Spirit)– was there when we dated, and that made everything more than enough. It made it right. I will forever be grateful to KK for knowing what I didn’t, and for teaching me that a “list of requirements” for a future spouse is only secondary to God’s blessing and will.
- I so appreciate my mother’s role in all of this. As I look back through my story from beginning to end, I am amazed by how spot-on all of her counsel and encouragement was. The advice she gave me when KK broke up with me literally became prophecy fulfilled as the Matt story unfolded. She was clearly in touch with the Spirit and had a deeper understanding of God’s plan for me than I myself had.
- I’m thankful that my dad was as supportive as he was when, truly, this all happened so fast and would have been so easy to doubt. When Matt asked him for his permission to marry me, my dad said, “You know Matt, we hardly know you at all, but we trust Stephanie.” (He also said that if Matt ever abused me in any shape or form, he would pursue the full course of justice both within and outside of the Church, but that’s another story.)
- How can I not be grateful to Sarah? She was a dear friend who for many years supported me through turbulent dating and unsurpassed drama. She had cried with me and been sincerely happy for me, even when it hurt. While Matt and I were dating, he encouraged a mutual friend of ours to ask Sarah out on a date. He eventually did, and they were married the next Spring. They now have two beautiful daughters. I love how much he cares for her and treats her kindly. We still stay in touch and see each other whenever our travels allow it. I’ve probably never told her how much her friendship influenced me during those critical decision-making years of my life, and I should. I will.
- And thanks to my children, who systematically broke me down from the glamorous girl of my dating days to the haggard woman of my profile picture in ten short years, and who have convinced me that I love and need Matt even more now than I did then.
- Finally, to Matt. (Let’s see if he reads this.) Thanks for having the courage to ask me out and the courage to stick around when things got rocky. Thank you for loving me almost as much as God does, and for making these ten years as wonderful as I imagined they’d be when we dated.
From my journal, April 24, 1999, written on the plane on my way to Spain:
“Matt always loves me. He is thoughtful and patient. I have been on an emotional roller coaster these past couple months, and he has held my hand, and listened to me cry, and offered me support, and told me how wonderful and beautiful I am even when I didn’t believe it was true. I am amazed that God could ever offer me someone who is willing to love me so much. I don’t think I’ve ever given enough love in my life to deserve this kind of love in return. He quietly supports me in everything I do. It’s amazing to me— truly a miracle. . . . He loves so unconditionally that it almost surprises me. It does surprise me; it almost frightens me that I may not be worthy of it. That, in itself, makes me love him more because I realize that, without asking, he makes me want to be so much better. I’m so, so lucky.”
(Deep breath. Big sigh.) Thanks again, readers. I feel like we’ve all just hung out at a big slumber party and we shared our best stories and gasped and sighed and smiled together. Thanks for “listening.” Just in case I decide to turn it into a book someday, I’d love to hear your suggestions for a title. What should I call our Love Story? Someday when I’m a world-famous author, I’ll credit you in the acknowledgments. 🙂
24 thoughts on “Love Story chapter 7: Epilogue and Acknowlegments”
I love that Sarah met her husband through all this. How perfect.
I have no idea what a good title for your story is. I try to think of one for my own love story every now and then and I’m always stumped.
I’m not good with titles. But THIS is an excellent story. 🙂 Just enough ups and downs to be a very worthy novel… I say, GO FOR IT!!
Oh man. I am ashamed to admit that my getting-married story pales in comparison. It was all making out on the couch and no drama. And no spotlight of revelation either.
How lucky you are to have found someone that you could write a journal entry like that about.
Shoebox Princess, that is true of my dating story too. We weren’t churchy or religious in our conversations AT ALL even though I consider my husband and myself to be very religious people. We just figured that we loved each other, and wanted the same things so it would all work out. I don’t think I even prayed about it. I just picked the best guy I could find, and figured it was all good since there weren’t any BAD feelings. In fact, when I told my husband that we were getting married he said, “What the hell.” That pretty much sums it up! Ha Ha.
I guess that’s just how they roll down at BYU. Up at Utah State it was university-sanctioned making out en masse during True Aggie night!
Steph, it really was a beautiful story- I enjoyed it!
Okay, I have been waiting for the saga to end before I commented. What a beautiful love story. I am not good at coming up with titles, but I would buy it and read it if you did publish it. I am so glad that things worked out for you and Matt. It is amazing what a little faith will do, isn’t it?
Fun story. I keep thinking I should blog about ours, but I need to do it before the rush of school beginning.
Oh this was a lovely read! I’m so glad you took the time to write it all out. And yes, it totally felt like a slumberparty storytime. 🙂 The hand of God was definitely pronounced in my meeting Brian, though it came into play when I was in Junior High, though I didn’t meet him until college. It’s crazy stuff, this putting faith in God thing. It’s just a good thing I was listening, and you too, huh?
Isn’t it great to notice and acknowledge the Lord’s hand in all things, and that He frequently uses other people to meet our needs? I loved these acknowledgements. I loved the entire story, actually.
I’d stick with the title of the last entry, “The Providence.” Each piece was beautiful, but the whole is gorgeous. I too feel like I’ve been to a slumber party, laughed, cried, sighed and prayed. Thanks for letting us in! I adore your acknowledgments and thank yous; from where I stand your Dad gets the prize. 🙂 Loved all the pictures in your story too, it was like being there!
How about “A Series of Events Called Love”? Whatever you call it, I loved all of it. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I loved this. It’s funny how life works out isn’t it? My plan has never been quite the same as God’s plan. I loved reading your descriptions of yourself too – mother to three little whirlwinds, systematically breaking you down to the haggard woman of your profile picture…I can TOTALLY relate 🙂 although I don’t think your profile picture looks haggard at all.
I love your acknowledgment of all the people who helped make this happen…especially KK. I’m sure that was extremely painful at the time, and yet…your retrospective wisdom is one of life’s great lessons.
Your journal entry is so similar to what I would have written about Neil during our courtship – if I’d kept a journal then (silly, silly Kim). So beautiful and heartfelt!
How about “The circle of our Love” or “He’s just a friend like those I count in dozens?” or better yet “Zero population is the anwer my friend?”
Seriously- it is a wonderful story. Not just a story- but a pattern of Heavenly Fathers love for his children. Thank you for letting us read it.
Loved it all. Thanks for sharing!
I still remember sitting in that old/dirty/slightly creepy hotel in Barcelona, Spain, hearing you talk about how amazing it was to you that Matt loved you so much (but it was easy for me to see). What a great story.
And then you killed a roach on the floor and Greg gave you a hard time over it. (Aren’t memories bizarre?)
I enjoyed reading your love story. Thanks for sharing.
Great writing, Steph. I loved reading your story and being reminded of a lot of amazing memories! Those were fun times I hope we never forget. Love you!
What a wonderful story. I must admit, I’m a bit late coming to the slumber party because of a glitch with my Google reader — I’d been wondering where you were, and just thought you were consumed with your other little media battle. And then my sister asked if I’d been reading the love story, and I was completely in the dark. So glad to have found it, though!
We share an anniversary. My husband and I just celebrated our twelfth, and I’ll be posting about it next week sometime. Not on this scale, that’s for sure, and not even the “story” . . . but I digress.
I read quickly, so you may have already covered this, but what ever happened to Sarah? I became sort of invested in her part of the story and I would love to know how life ended up for a friend who had the power to put a damper on your happiness but didn’t. I have a lot of admiration for people who do the right thing even when it’s the hard thing, and I think that’s what she did.
This was a great story. Thanks for sharing it. I loved reading it . . . and, if I’m being honest, I’m glad I didn’t start until all seven chapters were posted!
Duh. I must have just skipped number 5.
You are an entertaining writer! You have such a way with words that even though I knew how it turned out, I was anxious for the next chapter to see how it all turned out! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
I’m glad I got to read this now, all in one go, because I don’t think I could have handled the suspence!
Beautiful writing Steph, you had me hooked.
Here’s to our amazing men in our lives.
just catching up…. well, I think this story is FABULOUS and not just because I’ve known Matt since middle school, well maybe. Matt was such a good friend of ours (myself and my husband, Zeke) He was like a big brother to me. Always looking out for me (or checking up on me for Zeke!) Growing up in “the armpit of Utah” as Zeke calls it, we somehow survived AND were spared by the Lord and blessed with testimonies of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am just SO proud of Matt!
I remember meeting you when we were both living in Utah County and thinking how beautiful and amazing you were. And happy. And I remember hoping that Matt won’t ever tell you all the crazy stories about us! please…
I love hearing love stories… they make me happy. Ours is so amazing, I know the Lord was watching over us… even through all those years in high school. Short version: we broke up for 3 years (during 2 of those, Zeke was on a mission). I had to get engaged to Mr. Wrong to realize once and for all, that Zeke really was Mr. Right. And he is! Whoa, I am so glad I chose Zeke!
I love where you said, “Matt likes to say that if my dad had known him in high school, he would have rather had me marry Ozzy Osborne because at least he was financially stable.” I think your title should be something to do with you know, like “Beauty and the Beast” or “Lady and the Tramp” not those exactly and no offense to Matt, but you know what I mean. Like um, maybe Jenny Phillips and Ozzy Osborne: love at first sight type thing or something…hmmm. still thinking, but I know it would be a great book!
This was a beautiful story, Stephanie. Thanks so much for linking up to Cocoa’s blog hop today– I really enjoyed reading it! 🙂