My last post in my “Tidbits of Me” series was a post about my Formative Years. Click back to read it, if you might have missed it. My story left off with me at home from the ranch and taking a semester off school.
I started working for my dad again (I worked part time with him in high school). Most of my friends were away at college, so I hung out with family and was not super busy. I had been thinking and praying about volunteering at our church in the youth group. When a slot opened up with a need for another youth coach leader (to lead a middle school small group), I jumped at it. I got an awesome group of girls -who I still love to hang out with today (nine years later).
As I was hanging around the youth group on Sundays, I started seeing Matt Deuel, who was on staff at the church.
Matt is 5.5 years older than me, so I had seen him growing up but we never really talked. He was actually the worship leader at MY seventh grade summer camp. Because of the age difference though, we never really interacted. That is until I too was “grown up,” if that is what you can call a 21-year-old :).
We ended up sitting next to each other at a dinner theater play that our church put on November 13, 2003. We laughed and had the best time. That began a rather quick two weeks of “hangouts” till we were officially together. From there we dated for about two months and got engaged.
Five months later we married on July 3, 2004. It was all really quick. Everything happened in about 8 months. We were in love. We knew it. We were both worn out from dating relationships and had found the one we wanted to grow old with. There was no need to waste any time.
Once we were married, we had a lot of figuring each other out. Matt already owned a home, so when we got married-I simply moved in! It is actually the same house we are in today. I thought it was a total bonus to marry a homeowner, but it also came with its hard parts.
I grew up by getting married. While most of my friends were still single, living in dorms, and in college, I was married to a youth pastor, owned a home, and was also back in college.
There was a crazy season of figuring out who I was and where I belonged. I still had friends who wanted to do things every night, a family that my heart was torn to see (and be at every sibling basketball game like normal), attending college at KSU, and yet I was being invited to the “pastor wives” breakfasts, where everyone had kids. It was a crazy extreme in differences.
I look back on these years, and I am so thankful for them. We had to figure out how to make “his” house- “our” home together, while getting to really know the core of who we were. There was lots of learning, dying to self, and deciding to fight as a team FOR one another rather than at each other. It had a lot of hard moments, but they were also so beautiful.
I think we are the couple we are today, because God was so intricate in our story from the very beginning. I remember being that 7th grader…
…sitting on the floor and staring up at the hot worship leader that sang and played the guitar thinking, “he is so cool… I want to marry someone like him”…not ever thinking I could possibly marry him- THE Matt Deuel. Which I did, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I have never met anyone as selfless, talented, generous, and loves me so fiercely. He is the real deal, and is just as amazing behind the scenes as he is in public.
We have had lots of experiences to share our story with other couples as we have done premarital counseling and had friends and family members get married. Every story is different, and yet they can all be beautiful. I am so thankful for mine and those 2.5 years with Matt, before Caleb joined our family.
Matt is my best friend, and I am truly thankful for those Early Bliss Years where we invested in each other and dealt with issues from the core up to have a strong foundation for what was to come with Raising Kids. Check back next Monday for part IV of my “Tidbits of Me” series.
I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend! I can’t wait to share with you pictures of our break!
Thank you so much for reading and wanting to know a little bit more about me. If you have any “couple” or early married life issue questions I can process with you-please don’t hesitate to message me! I know we aren’t perfect, but I’d love to share my experience and what I have learned with all of you.
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