Nate and Brittany, you got engaged only a short while after dating. Tell us more about that, and how you knew each other were "The One."
[Brittany]: I know this sounds odd to some, but I knew as soon as I met Nate that I wanted to be with him. I felt, what I can only describe as a peace from God that he was going to be a very special part of my life. Even though we only officially dated for about 5 months before getting engaged,
...we also had what I now know to be the blessing of a nearly 2 year friendship where we had the opportunity to observe and get to know each other without a lot of the pressures that come with dating.
By the time Nate asked me out, I think we had both made up our minds that we wanted to be together long term; the dating period was really a formality. It was our time to prayerfully approach the idea of marriage together and see if we worked well as a couple.
[Nate]: Honestly? At the time, I didn't feel like a super spiritual person. However, before I even considered asking Brittany out, I knew she was something worth praying about. I also asked trusted mentors for their opinions. While I was praying, I really believed she was the person I was to marry. Then, after we started dating, each day there was affirmation and confirmation of the truth. Eventually, I couldn't handle the thought of not locking down this perfect woman.
What are you most nervous about when it comes to your future? Most excited about?
[Brittany]: Being brutally honest, I'm most nervous about checking my ambition. I'm completely 21st century in my career goals and what I want to achieve in life (note the "I" in that sentence), but I'm also extremely old school in my desire to be a wife in the way I know God created me to be. I love taking care of Nate and being the support he needs as he's pursuing what he's called to do. So I'm nervous about the times when my priorities might get out of sync and I focus more on me than on us. In that way, I'm most excited by the way our lives are joining day by day. I love how we take ownership of each other's calling; mine/his is becoming ours. When he wins, I win and vice versa. We're slowly making our way towards a joint destiny and I'm really excited to see what that looks like.
[Nate]: The most nervousness for me comes from: "What if I fail to help her become who she's meant to be?" Brittany is a spectacular individual, and nothing short of incredible. Because of that, I see so much potential and I know she can change the world. Consequently, this is also the primary source of excitement for our future.
Did you wait to have sex before marriage? If so, please tell us about that journey/experience. If you did not wait, do you wish that you did?
[Nate]: We waited, and it was the most difficult and most rewarding journey at the time. When you meet the person better than the person of your dreams, you want so deeply to share everything you have with them. The Bible says you should wait, and my experience reflects the grace in making the choice. The fruit of waiting, for me, was freedom from guilt and shame. I'm the kind of person to churn things in my mind over and over and over - the ability to have peace around such an important piece of our married life is blissful.
[Brittany]: Yes, we waited. Waiting until marriage was never something I'd doubted. I'm proud that I was a 27 year old virgin bride. That God gave me grace and patience for that. When we started dating we never had that conversation about if we were going to remain celibate until marriage, because we had both come to that conclusion on our own, but more so what barriers and boundaries we needed to establish to make that happen. It was the opposite of easy; once I lost power in a snow storm (and therefore heat) and because Nate lived across the street several people suggested that I stay at his house until my power came on. But being home alone together was crossing one of our established boundaries, so what did we do? I stayed over—after calling my mother, he called his grandma, and we told several friends we trusted to hold accountable. They knew, "Call whenever you want". We slept in separate rooms, we locked doors. Some people say it's overkill and I know a lot of my generation don't understand that decision, but for us it was about saving something sacred for the time when it was both appropriate and beautiful. To me, no lengths would have been too far, and nothing in me regrets that choice.
What do you love most about being married so far?
[Nate]: The immersion! I'm becoming an expert on my wife - going for my PhD if you will. I have learned so much about her in the past 6 weeks, and I can't wait to learn more over the course of our lives. Who knew how much time she spends reading for school, getting ready in the morning, or watching puppy videos? I didn't, and we were together for more than 10 months. Absolutely having a ball.
[Brittany]: The simplicity and complexity of sharing everyday life with someone else. When you're dating, every time you see each other is exciting. Usually, you're going somewhere or hanging out with friends. I think part of me expected that to still happen, and sometimes it does, but there's something really amazing about studying together, or reading while he plays video games. The ability to walk into the other room and know he's there makes the space and time special to me. Plus, it's amazing to be able to split and share burdens. Nothing seems as hard or as troublesome as it was before. And as strange as it sounds...
I've enjoyed the mistakes I've made—I've burned dinner; twice, accidentally ironed the crease out of his pants, totally spaced on updating our budget sheet or calendar (two things Nate takes very seriously)
...but his reaction is never harsh, or really even as frustrated as he may have a right to be. He's tremendously gracious and patient, I'm usually harder on myself. I love seeing that side of him.
What impact will you make on the world as One?
[Nate]: There was a phrase I heard a lot during my college years, "indelible impact." It means having an impact so persistent, resounding, and enduring that it is mistaken for permanent. That's the kind of change we want to make. Not for the sake of ourselves, but for the furthering of the kingdom of Heaven here on earth. We believe our world change will be revolutionizing churches (and ordained businesses) to become more efficient, impactful, intentional, and dramatically different from anything else we've ever seen.
[Brittany]: I expect us to have the kind of impact that multiplies itself. We are both very relational people, our best comes out when we can pour into others, and I know the joy I get when someone I've sat with, cried with, talked with, counseled and encouraged goes and does the same for someone else. At the same time, neither of us like to think small, we have a desire to see the Church (meaning the global body of Christ) being the driving force of change in the world that it was intended to be; empowered and connected. Whatever that looks like, that's what we're working toward.
Love this couple! We look forward to seeing how the world will benefit from your Union. God bless!
Until next time...