Terence and I met in 1999 when we were both 18 years old. We had both started our first year of college. Terence had an ROTC scholarship with the Army at UCA and I was at Central Baptist College in Conway, AR.
A couple weeks later Terence started chatting with me online and really pursuing me. We talked for several weeks online and over the phone. Finally one night I invited him to come over and watch a movie with me and my mom (after all he was a lonely guy in a new school and he didn’t know anyone) so I kinda felt sorry for him. So he came over, but we didn’t watch much of the movie and my mom eventually went to bed. That night we talked and talked…and had our first kiss. Later he asked me out the next night on a “real” date. We went to Chuck-E-Cheese and the Olive Garden…don’t ask me why…but it was fun, besides the fact that I drove on the date and ended up in a lane of on coming traffic!
After that first week of dating we were pretty much inseparable and spent every day together. We fell hard and quick, neither of us had really dated seriously before. Within a few months he’d given me a promise ring. As the months went by that year school seemed to fall to the wayside and both of us put our relationship before studies. Looking back we both wish we’d done things differently, but what can you say to two people who are young, naive, and in love???
Terence and I both eventually dropped out of college and didn’t really have a plan as to what we were going to do. All Terence knew is that he wanted to stay with me in Arkansas. So he enlisted in the Air Force. This was probably the hardest experience we both would encounter in our relationship thus far. We were separated for months. Terence finished basic training and then started his tech school for the military. We weren’t sure where he’d be stationed once he got his orders, but we hoped and prayed it would be Arkansas. The Lord truly blessed us in that regard because he called me crying when he got his orders to Little Rock!
Terence proposed in January of 2001 in Fort Worth on a trip home. I just remember staring at the ring all the way home and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! We planned an August wedding that same year. I couldn’t move into base housing with him until we were officially married. The month after we were married September 11th happened and we both knew what was going to happen after that…war. It was a long 5 1/2 years in the Air Force. Terence did one tour in Iraq in 2003 and worked long 12 hour night shifts most of the time. It was hard, but it made us stronger. We had our little house on base and we only had one car for a long time and money was tight…but we had each other. Terence got out of the military a year early because of downsizing. His desire was to go back to school and finish his degree. He’d always dreamed of working for his family’s company here in Fort Worth someday so he decided on a business degree. We moved into an apartment in Maumelle, AR while he finished school and I worked a full time job and a part time job in the evenings. He finished in two years with a 4.0. I guess the second time’s a charm!
After school we had to make the decision on whether to move or stay in Arkansas. I knew eventually we’d probably move, but I never expected it to be so hard. It was really hard on my parents because we’d always been close. We decided to move to Texas in August 2007. Terence’s parents were nice enough to let us stay with them until we found a place of our own….until…Terence decided he wanted to go BACK to school and get his MBA. They graciously agreed to let us continue to live with them until he finished. We are so blessed to have our families and these past 10 years of marriage have been the best years of my life. The Lord has blessed us so much and and has given us many second chances! We’ve both worked hard, and yes, we were waaaay too young when we got married. But I always tell Terence that God just wanted us to have more time on this Earth together that’s all! We look forward to the future and wherever God sends us and hopefully to start a family soon!
UPDATE! We joyfully welcome our son Connor James Branch on March 4, 2010. He is the light of our lives and our hearts are so full! He’s growing up so fast I try to capture something new every day. I have a passion for photography and Connor gets the brunt of that passion 😉
That’s not the whole story, it’s just a glimpse, but still it’s fun to tell. I like to hear or read about how God brings people together. I look forward to reading your love stories as well!