All photos by the best wedding/engagement photographer on planet earth, Liam Good.

Read Part 1, “Meeting,” here.

That first coffee date made Johnny’s intentions even more clear. We spent it talking about what God had done in our lives, and to give Him glory for those things. While the first few months were slow, they were spent getting to know each other in the important and deep ways, and talking about Jesus.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ROMANS 8:38-39

Things could separate OUR love, we acknowledged. We would fail each other sometimes. Jesus, together or apart, was the purpose of our lives, and so we needed to be better for HIM together than apart.

And I had an inkling very early into those days of dating that we were.

I have found the one whom my soul loves. SONG OF SOLOMON 3:4

Dating early on was full of butterflies and excitement and looking through baby photos and learning about each other’s sixth grade teachers and food loves and food hates and TV shows and music. Watching the entire Harry Potter series together was a must for me; listening to every Bon Iver song, as well as many other artists’, was a must for him.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. PHILIPPIANS 2:3

But the path didn’t always seem perfectly straight. I will say with much truthfulness that God has, by His grace, made much of our relationship simple, lighthearted, and just full of all the love stuff. We are incredibly blessed.

Still, a few months into our relationship, we had a momentary period of serious questioning. Had we moved too quickly? Had we REALLY heard God speak into our relationship? Johnny and I went for a walk, to Waterloo Park, in fact, where many of these engagement photos were taken, to talk about these things.

God used what felt like a setback to CONFRONT US with the truth that He had called us to be together, and from that conversation on, we have walked in that truth.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. JAMES 1:2-4

We were able, through God, to count the struggle as JOY, because we knew that the testing of our faith would produce steadfastness. This was a small preparation for the testing of our faith regarding what would come soon after in our relationship.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. ROMANS 8:28

But I will say that the next eight months of our relationship were gloriously fun and full of learning; of overcoming fears together and understanding each other’s pasts. Of clinging tighter to each other each day because we were growing closer to the Lord and He was helping us to love each other better; giving His very lifeblood to do it.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. MATTHEW 16:25

So when Johnny knew that God was calling him out of Laurier, the university we attended together in Waterloo, to a soccer program and business school in Winnipeg, the status of our relationship wasn’t a question. This was a trial we would endure, trusting it would produce steadfastness for the sake of what had already been established as our life’s purpose: the glorification of Jesus Christ.

And so Johnny left for Winnipeg at the end of our summer of romance, driving away, both of us tear-filled and with no indication of what long distance dating would be like. Still, only expectant of our ever-present God to be exactly who He says He is.

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