Monday, July 23, 2007

Our Story

One of my pet peeves is wedding websites that have "coming soon. . . " permanently published as the couple's story of how they met. I'm a female, so I like details! I love hearing how a couple met :-). So I vowed quite a while ago that I would definitely publish a story of how I met my future husband, when the time came. Of course, now I also realize why that story so often doesn't materialize. Time just gets away from you! So finally, 7 months after we began our courtship and 3 1/2 months after our engagement, here you go. I think some of you definitely pieced most of this together, but I still occasionally get questions from people who have read my blog, and still aren't quite sure how Adrian and I met. No, this doesn't contain every single detail (that's known as "privacy" ;-D), but I hope it satisfies some curious brains:

I dabbled in internet forums and blogs throughout college, finally signing up for my own blog in fall of 2005, soon after graduating college. My purpose in doing so was two-fold: (1) to have an outlet for my love for writing, and (2) to meet like-minded young women. I actually vowed to my mom that my purpose was not to find a husband online. *laughs nervously* Ah, irony.

I had briefly interacted with Adrian before I started blogging myself, both on his blog (which he had recently started) and a few other blogs. He seemed well-informed, but that was about the extent of my impression. Oh, and he liked math and was reformed in theology; I thought that was neat. Through the next year+, Adrian and I blogged quite a bit back and forth, going in spurts of greater and lesser blogging activity. At first we started out very casual, before later moving to deeper and more involved conversations.

Adrian intrigued me. He was very knowledgeable on a variety of subjects, very interesting to converse with, and his awareness of God's grace permeated his posts and his comments. I thought of him merely as a friend for quite a while, but the more I got to know him, the more I realized just what a dear brother in Christ he was, and how well-suited he seemed for me. He made me laugh, think, debate; sometimes he made me furious! He challenged me to think. He competed with me in math and constructively critiqued my poems. We discussed literature and debated every topic under the sun. I even challenged him to a debate on whether his blog background should be changed to something more exciting and easy-on-the-eyes than black (bleck!); I won that debate handily, for the record :-). Actually, I've remarked to Adrian that it's rather infuriating that I seem to win the inconsequential debates, and he always seems to win the more weighty ones. Ah well.

As we got to know one another, I found it quite amazing - and amusing - just how much we had in common. I mean, c'mon! The guy was a bigger math geek than me! He loved classical literature :-). He had a great taste in music. We had similar views on marriage, children, family life. We had almost identical views on Biblical doctrines and practical outworkings of those doctrines. And the man oozed the grace of God. So I watched, and waited, and typed, and prayed. Meanwhile my family had kept abreast of our internet activities, and I think my mom had read just about every word Adrian and I had ever typed to each other, since all our blogging interactions were public :-). Adrian's brother Lane had also interacted a bit with me, on his blogs and mine.

On November 1, 2006 Adrian e-mailed me, "casually" asking if he could come for a visit to meet me and my family. He said the reason, of course, was to claim a prize he had won a while back, on one of my geeky math posts in which I had offered cookies to the solver of a ridiculously-hard math problem; Adrian had solved it, naturally, but had never claimed the prize. In all my smart-aleckness, I e-mailed back, telling him that if the reason was for the cookies, we could overnight mail those to him, and save him time and gas money ;-). The man takes teasing very well, you must know; he revels in it, in fact. Good thing, or I'd drive him nuts! Anyway, Adrian came and visited for 3 days in early December, and we had a grand time. We met for the first time in person on December 8th, 2006, at approximately 1:25 p.m. At the end of his visit, he asked my dad for permission to court me, and my dad granted it. I accepted when Adrian asked me as well :-).

So we began a long-distance courtship. We've been very blessed to see each other every month since our first meeting in December, even with 6+ hours of driving time between us the whole time. I flew to Minnesota to meet Adrian's parents in January, and then I drove to Louisville, KY in May, to meet more of his family. Adrian spent 10 days with our family over his spring break in March, and he also drove here in June for my brother's wedding. We spent Valentine's Day together in Blacksburg, VA, where Adrian was finishing up a degree in Mathematical Physics at Virginia Tech. My parents were able to drive with me to Blacksburg in July as well, and Hannah plans on coming with me to visit Adrian in August.

I also drove up to Blacksburg in April, over my spring break from teaching, and Adrian proposed to me at the duck pond on Virginia Tech's campus, at sunset the day I arrived. I recounted the proposal in a separate story, so make sure to read that as well. I hadn't found the man of my dreams, as I've told Adrian several times. My dreams of the man I wanted to marry were far too small. Adrian surpassed those dreams; God has a tendency to bless us far more than we can imagine or ever deserve. So on April 2, 2007, when Adrian C. Keister got down on both knees and proposed to me, I said yes to the man beyond my dreams.

On September 22, 2007 when, Lord willing, we are joined together as man and wife, we will sing a beautiful song of God's grace, love, and sovereignty - a hymn that Adrian first introduced to me almost 2 years ago. Only God knew at the time that we would one day sing it at our wedding. Great and unsearchable are His ways. God also has a sense of humor. Not only did I end up falling for an "internet guy" after all, against my firm insistence to my mom, but the young woman who named her blog "An Old-Fashioned Girl" certainly found her husband in a very new-fangled way :-).

Soli Deo Gloria


Anna Naomi said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Susan! It was a lot of fun to read, especially since I've seen it unfold.

I especially liked your last sentence - it made me smile. =)

Thank you for indulging our curious minds!

zan said...

I enjoyed reading the story even though I was familiar with it.

I'm so happy for you both. :-)


Jessica said...

Thanks so much for sharing, Susan! I had pieced together the basics of your story, but it was fun to know the details!

ashley said...

Aww this was sweet to hear again and all at once. :-)

Elijah said...

Cool story! Thanks for sharing. :)

Thanks Anna for the link. ;)

Mrs. Hart said...

Hi Susan,
Well, personally I would have enjoyed even MORE details! I love details!

Tell me everything about everything! On the other hand, my husband can be on the phone for half an hour, yet when I ask what was said he gives me one sentence! Arrgh! Torture, I say!

Well, I've learned to live with him, but I still want to scream out loud sometimes at the inequity of it all :)

By the way, did you happen to see page 15 of the most recent World magazine? If you want to see what Adrian will look like in 20 years, take a peek. You'll be delighted to see that his looks will only improve with age! Comment distingue'! (Did I say that right, Hannah?)

At least, Miriam and I think it looks like Adrian, but you, of course will be able to detect differences. (having been "up close and personal" to the original!)

Mrs. Hart said...

It's the July 21, 2007 issue of World. The one with cracked up Darwin on the front!

miller_schloss said...

You did a nice job sharing this beautiful story! Brought tears to my eyes.

Cherish the Home said...

Lovely, just lovely.... (o:

I remember reading Adrian's comments on Biblical Womanhood several times and thinking He and Susan G. should meet, I think they'd be well suited for one another. (o;

Blessings to you both!

PS I was wondering....will you still tutor after you're married or will you be a complete SAHW?

Claire said...

What a neat read. I love Godly courtship stories... so inspiring an beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

And yes, all we girls do love the details! :)

Chelsea said...

May I ask what you mean by "reformed"? I consider myself reformed, but have yet to find someone who defines it the same way I do. I would love to find people of "like faith and mind". My fiance and I have even postponed our wedding due to this issue (we were supposed to be married September 28).
Congrats to you both!!! I'm so happy for you.

Susan said...

Thank you all for all your sweet, encouraging comments :-).

I don't get World anymore, Mrs. Hart, otherwise I'd definitely be looking at that article! Delightful magazine, by the way :-). I have already gotten a peek at what Adrian will look like in 20 years, though, because Adrian looks a LOT like my Uncle Mark did 20 years ago. It's eery actually. And yes, I think he will age well ;-).

I will still tutor math a little for starters, Mrs. B. I won't be taking a regular job, teaching or otherwise, but will independently tutor a bit on the side, at least for the fall. My main occupation will be a wife and homemaker :-).

Chelsea, by reformed I mean holding to the Biblical truths that were rediscovered and affirmed during the Protestant Reformation. The doctrines of grace (aka the 5 points of Calvinism), a more holistic view of scripture, etc. I am not on the more extreme side of reformed, where I think there is no distinction between the OT and NT, for example, and I do not hold to hyper-calvinist fatalist views that reject evangelism. I would say the Westminster Confession of Faith is a good summary of my views on doctrine, and I like a presbyterian form of government (I'm a member of the PCA). Does that help clear up what I mean by reformed? :-)

The Patriot said...

What a very cool story! We serve such an awesome God in the ways He brings the right people together. God bless you!

Stacy Elise said...

Beautiful, Susan! I was wondering, though, what your meeting was like for the first time? I mean, since you did meet him online, was you family at all skeptical? Did you meet in public somewhere. I know it's probably an odd question, but my family is still very wary about online friends.

Ohh, and I loved the details too! Do you plan on submitting your story to YLCF?

Susan said...

I think since we'd interacted just as friends for so long, and since Lane (Adrian's twin) also had blogs that I had frequented, and since Hannah (my sister) and Mother Dear commented and talked with Adrian and even with Lane some over such a long time period, that helped disperse the "unknown internet person" fears. We met at my house, with my mom and Hannah with me (my dad was still at work). Adrian clearly stated his intentions to visit with my whole family when he came, and he didn't single me out, really, that first time. So we just spent a weekend with the whole family, and had lots of fun :-).

Susan said...

And I'd originally planned on someday submitting my courtship story to YLCF (years before I actually courted), but I haven't bothered to do it yet! I should, though :-).

deb said...

Hi Susan ~ I did write a "congratulations, and I enjoyed your post" comment almost as soon as you posted this, but I've gotten to the age of having a little trouble remembering my user name and password on blogs that only ask for that. Finally, finally I think I have the two meshing together. LOL!!

Anyway, I did enjoy your story and wish you the very best!

Meg G said...

Well, I'd say it's definitely blog names with underscores in them that don't show on the recent comments.

Reply to King's daughter: as Susan's mom ,I can tell you that meeting Adrian for the first time was like having an old friend come visit. I felt like we already knew him when he first came because of all the written interaction we had had, both serious and fun. We even heard his voice before meeting him because he read Scripture at his church for a sermon we listened to. Ditto what Susan said in her reply to you. That first weekend was a lot of fun...and so were subsequent visits. :-) (He's a very easy houseguest, by the way.) Now if you had asked me 2 years ago if I would want my daughter meeting a guy online, I'm not so sure I would have been so open to it. ;-) Susan's father and I are very happy for them and think they're a great match!! Oh, and I've met his parents and some more of his family, and, as Susan says, "they're delightful."

Tammy C said...

Thanks for sharing the story.

Whitney said...
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Unknown said...

Beautiful story! I'd picked up bits and pieces, but it was lovely to read the whole thing. :-)

Kacie said...

What's new? It's been awhile since you've posted!

Susan said...

Yeah, I need to update. Hopefully I can in the next few days. Glad some people are still interested!

Chelsea said...

Thank you, Susan, for defining reformed. What you described is what I believe also about the Doctrines of Grace (although I have used the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith as a definition of what I believe). If you or anyone else knows of other Reformed people in the Denver, Colorado area I would love to get to know them. Also if there are groups of Reformed people online, I'd love to be involved.
Thanks so much,

Lindsay said...
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Lindsay said...
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Lindsay said...

I linked here from Sherrin Drew's old blog (though actually, I also have linked here before I think from someone else). I'd be interested in hearing the hymn, as I try to keep my eyes open for songs to use for a wedding, should I ever marry. (I'm Reformed as well.)

And I want to say, congratulations!!! How thrilling! It's amazing to see how God brings people together; thanks for sharing the story and thus letting us share in your joy :-D

Chelsea, on the righthand side of the page here you can find some Reformed church's websites, which you could use to find churches where you will find Reformed people. I hope it goes well! I also have trouble finding people I can talk much theology with face-to-face, Reformed or otherwise (especially of those my age). But thankfully, God seems to really be growing the number of Reformed people in the USA!

Bonnie said...

Aww, that's a lovely story!! The last line made me smile too!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading here. Would you mind if I re-published your story on my blog?

You can have a look at it:

May God Bless you both!