A lot of you probably already know Randi & Nate's connection and how they met... It's a pretty cool story, cause he lived in Virginia, she lived in Pa, but their moms had been room mates in college so they knew each other as kids, then reconnected as adults.
But I would bet that most of you don't know my husband Shaun's connection to Nate, and it's an equally, if not even cooler story that just totally proves that Nate and Randi were meant to be.... You see my husband's mom's best friend's brother's daughter was Nate's childhood babysitter.... See? They were OBVIOUSLY meant to be.
No but in all seriousness, I just need to tell you a few stories that really give testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness in Randi & Nate's lives. Randi has always wanted to get married, and to have a family. That is her dream. But there was this problem that always stood in her way. Every time she would be about to go on a date with someone she'd be getting ready, putting on her make up or blow drying her hair, and all of the sudden she'd be about to throw up. We called it the pre-date sickness. Whoever he was would show up at the door, and Randi would beg my mom to go tell him she couldn't go, and make him leave. Of course, trying to help her realize the dream, we would force her out the door. Then she'd go on the date, and she'd come home, and whoever he was would not get another chance. Either he wasn't tall enough, or he didn't love the Lord, or he was too unstable, or he wore dirty white shoes, or he would show up to her basketball game without being invited, or he didn't wash his car, or he would try to hold her hand without knowing her well enough, or he would come on too strong and call her the next day... All very valid reasons not to get a second date, right? Somewhat hopelessly my mom and I would joke that we would know when the right guy came along if she didn't feel sick at the thought of going on a date with him.
So when I asked Randi in the fall of 2012 if there was anyone she could ever picture at the end of the aisle, and she said "I thought maybe Nate", I started wracking my brain going back through all the dates and trying to remember which one was Nate. I finally said, "Nate who??" And she said "Nate Rhoad, we've never gone on a date but I thought I could picture him at the end of the aisle." Woah! However, I knew in order for this to ever be a reality Nate would have to pursue her, and she would never even give him a hint she was interested unless he started pursuing her, and as of then they lived 5 hours apart and had only seen each other once since they were kids. So God would really need to do his thing. I just kind of tucked that random conversation away, and it was the perfect one to pull back out for today. :)
A few months later, winter of 2013, a lot of Randi's friends were in serious relationships or getting engaged, and Randi still hadn't gone on a date that didn't make her want to throw up. But her attitude in that season is what really stands out to me. Shaun was on a business trip, and I took my boys and spent the night at my parents house, and I remember Randi telling me that night how all she really needed was just to be happy for her friends as they found their future husbands, and to just find joy in watching their dreams unfold. No jealousy, no bitterness, just one hundred percent rejoicing with her friends as her dream played out in their lives. It was the most amazing and beautiful thing. I remember feeling so incredibly proud of her in that moment.
Fast forward a few months more, to April of 2013. Randi got an invitation to Virginia Beach. From Nate. And she went. AND SHE DIDN'T FEEL SICK EVEN ON THE FIVE HOUR DRIVE TO GET THERE!!! I mean, this was a big deal. My mom and I were ecstatically hopeful, but trying not to be too obvious in order not to scare Randi with our excitement. And when Randi and my parents left to come home after that first weekend, Nate hugged her and told her to keep in touch. And Randi got in the car and as soon as they were out of the driveway she exploded to my parents "Keep in touch??! What does that mean??!" Within an hour and half though Nate texted her for the first time. She was every bit as ecstatic as my mom and I hoped she would be. Days later they had their first phone conversation, and weeks later their first Skype chat. Nate never came on too strong, never scared Randi away, but consistently and gently pursued her, and every.single.event. of their relationship was a huge milestone. I'm fairly certain he always wears clean shoes and washes his car too, but I know for a fact that even if he didn't it wouldn't change the way Randi feels about him. By the second time Randi went to visit, Nate said he knew he wanted to marry her. And I have been one of the privileged who got a front row seat to watching my baby sister's dreams unfold more beautifully than she could have ever imagined.
And even though these past 10 months since my best friend moved away have been so, so hard, I wouldn't change a single thing if it means she gets to be with Nate. Because they are so very clearly meant for each other, and their faithfulness to the Lord and to each other is a blessing to everyone they know. Randi- I could not be anymore proud of you, or any happier for you. Your patience and steadfastness brought you to this point, and you deserve every bit of it. Nate- I seriously couldn't imagine a better guy for my sister. I admire your love for the Lord, your authenticity, and your integrity. We are so excited to have you become part of our family today.
To Nate & Randi