IF YOU LOOK AT THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING IT HELPS YOU INDERSTAND THE REST.
I love our story. Funny to think about how many times Wade and I could have met or should have. I went to NAU for college and Wade went to Embry Riddle in Prescott, before transferring to NAU. He is was involved in Chi Alpha Christian Ministries and so was I. WE both attended the retreats in Prescott every year. WE never met. God kept us apart until we were ready.
In the fall of 2003 I moved back to Flagstaff AZ. I had been in Louisiana for two years doing an internship for campus ministry and was so excited to be back among my beloved pine trees. I’ll never forget it, I was so elated to finally be on staff at my favorite campus in my favorite town. I had arrived! We were helping the students move in to the dorms on welcome week and taking staff pictures. Kelly, Ryan and I were having a blast getting resettled in my old roots. WE happened to be near the Mt View dorms and they offered to introduce me to the famed pianist Wade Austin. I had heard about him from some friends while I was in Louisiana and although they had mentioned he would be perfect for me, I wasn’t looking for a serious attachment just yet.
He walked down the dorm steps in a dress shirt, dress pants and his socks. I had to smile at the mix of formal and casual he carried off with ease. It wasn’t this ‘love at first sight’ that some people talk about but he seemed nice and cute, and I was definitely interested in getting to know him better.
The next few weeks we got to know each other as friends and fellow musicians on the worship team. I loved singing as he played, he was so quick to learn everything and extremely talented, but nothing romantic yet.
Our added hesitation to think anything could happen came from the fact that I was XA staff and he was a student. IT was a “NO, NO” to date students. Wade didn’t seem to be worried about that at all, but I was eager to make a good impression and very concerned about breaking any rules.
AS things do, it changed on a dime. I was walking across campus when suddenly it began pouring down rain. I was prepared for once and yanked out my big southern umbrella. Just then I saw him rushing across the side walk drenched in rain. I giggled to myself and shouted out, “Want to share my umbrella?” He agreed and little did we know that was the beginning of forever. That afternoon we sat in the Union and hours passed in a blink talking and laughing, over the next several weeks it seemed like I would run into him everywhere. He would offer to buy me a Starbucks, my weakness, I would agree to sit and talk for a few minutes and minutes easily turned into hours. We talked about everything, laughed and without realizing it began to fall for each other.
It was tough because I knew I couldn’t date him. I told him that and he agreed to “wait for me.” It would be at least two more years before he would graduate, I was ‘robbing the cradle’, he was four years younger than me. I talked to my campus pastors about it and they said, “NO dating students!” I tried but the harder we tried to stay friends the more in love we fell. I had to confess to Ryan and Kelly that I let him kiss me, I felt so stupid saying the dreaded words, “It just happened.” They were worried about us making a bad impression on the students but agreed there was a real connection there. One night he invited me to the music building to hear a song he had written. I listened and I just knew that he had written it for me. He literally played my heart on the piano,it was a dream come true. Without words he was able to express his feelings through music, it moved me more than anything, Ever! That night I wrote in my journal, “Oh no, I am falling for him, I am in Love !!!”
When I told my campus pastors, he was the one,that I was going to marry him they had to let God’s plan take its course. The next two years we were friends with intentions and the tension built and built, until we were able to get engaged and announce our love to the group. Everyone was so shocked that we were in love although it cracked us up because we couldn’t imagine it not being so obvious. Wade graduated and one week later May 21st 2005 we were married. Our journey has been one full of adventure and love. I wouldn’t change one sentence of our amazing story. It has been tough and challenging sometimes as all good marriages are, but I never doubt that God has blessed me with this wonderful man. He called us to be lifelong friends and lovers.
Almost Eight years later and Just the Beginning