Friday, February 13, 2009

Jen Rude's Love Story

Jen Rude

My husband and I met when I was in 5th grade and he was in 6th. We went to a small private school together and were in the same class for three years. During those years, we flirted as well as pre-teens can and even "went together" for a while. We would never talk to each other, but instead wrote notes and a friend would pass them back and forth for us. We would also play four-square together. Still with no talking. I can't remember if he let me win or not. Then when he was in 9th grade, he moved on to high school. We ended up going to different high schools, but still attended church together and were involved in the same youth group. In 1989 when I was almost 17, our youth group had a movie night. That night, we spent most of the evening together and even talked to each other a little. The next day, he called me! We were soon dating and quickly became a couple. We had dated for just over 3 years when he proposed on a warm May evening on the southwest corner of the boardwalk in downtown Coeur d' Alene. I said, "Yes," of course. A short 7 weeks later we were married. During our first few years of marriage, we both worked and went to college. It was a busy time, but we were young and in love and enjoyed our newlywed days. After 7 years of marriage, we had our first son. Then 19 months later, our second son was born. That changed our relationship dramatically as having kids usually does. We grew even closer as we both fell in love with these children we had created together. Then it was a whirlwind of diapers and first steps and first words and first days of school. And just when our sons could feed and dress and bathe themselves, God put the desire for another baby in my heart. I was nervous to talk to my husband about it because we had decided together that two children was enough. When I finally told him how I was feeling, he said, "If you think that's what we're supposed to do, let's do it." It was that day that I truly realized what a blessing it is to have a husband who shares my belief in following God's will. Unfortunately having a baby wasn't that easy because of a traumatic car accident a few months later that left me physically and mentally unable to even imagine being pregnant or having a newborn. Through the next year and a half, he held my hand and stood by me and was patient beyond words with my craziness that followed. Now, though, I am happy to say that we have a beautiful 8 month old little girl who has strengthened our love even more. In July we will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. Our lives have changed in ways that we didn't expect and couldn't imagine. But one thing has remained the same through all the ups and downs over the last 16 1/2 years . And that is that he loves me more than I can believe and more than I deserve. And I love him for that.

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