This is the story about how two Christian vegans found each other in–of all places–Texas. They both sought adventure, love, and support and happened to find it in each other.
He’s a school district administrator; she’s a professor. She’s the wedding officiant; he’s the wedding DJ and lighting specialist. The do-er met the one with the honey-do list. The affirmer met the one seeking affirmation. They had met the one who could speak their love language and whose language they also spoke back.
We were a “Match.com” made in heaven. When a door closed for both of us elsewhere, we kept looking for another to open at the right time. We both widened our search for a life long partner and went online to find our match, praying the whole time for the right person to make their way to us.
Neither of us were into “swipe right” apps or the predominant dating culture of unattached non-monogamy. And in this part of Texas finding someone that respects and embraces your vegan lifestyle is difficult. So we both turned online to reach across the distance. After the initial hesitation over potential catfishing and too-good-to-be-true feelings evaporated, we quickly realized we worked well together and our visions of life were complimentary. We began dating late May 2017, starting with a date to Spiral Diner (an all-vegan 1950s themed diner in Dallas) followed by a walk around the Dallas Arboretum and rounded out with a private chocolate tasting and pairing. For our second date, a week later, we took our dogs (J R’s husky — Kai — and Sarah’s basset hound — Copper) for a walk around the lake at Daingerfield State Park. Good things the dogs like each other or else! We kept a strict hierarchy but it didn’t take much time for our intellectual and emotional bond to flourish. We knew pretty quickly this was the relationship we both were looking for…stable yet spontaneous with a deep sense of shared values, a Christian framework and an abiding spirit of acceptance, trust, and inclusion.
We soon began attending a Gottman certified couples counselor to keep a good thing going strong! It was refreshing to find someone who didn’t shy away from couples counseling or someone who waited until it was “too late” or “there’s a problem” to engage in relationship maintenance. With our counselor’s guidance and a lot of road trips, we took off. Road trips are fantastic for figuring out a person’s true persona! Frustrating traffic, potential breakdowns, giving directions, a fussy four year old in the back seat, lots could go wrong! But there wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle with ease. We attend church together every Sunday we can. And when we aren’t together, we encourage each other in our faith walks with accountability. We try to stay well rounded!
We aren’t under any illusions. We know marriage is tough. Its not about the majesty of the wedding day…because that’s not the important part. Its the sweat equity you put in when times get hard. Its the time you take to check in to unbottle negative emotions before they pop. Its always speaking highly of your partner, even in the midst of an argument. As author Seth Adam Smith once said:
Real love isn’t just a euphoric, spontaneous feeling—it’s a deliberate choice—a plan to love each other for better and worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health. Of course, you don’t choose who you’re attracted to, but you definitely choose who you fall in love with and (more importantly) who you stay in love with….More often than not, real love has its sleeves rolled up, dirt and grime smeared on its arms, and sweat dripping down its forehead. Real love asks us to do hard things—to forgive one another, to support each other’s dreams, to comfort in times of grief, or to care for family. Real love isn’t easy—and it’s nothing like the wedding day—but it’s far more meaningful and wonderful.
Our wedding day is a deliberate choice to love one another and to continue loving one another. We welcome those of your who are able to make it out and will share the love from afar with those of you unable to attend.