How I met the girl of my dreams.
Well, I'm from Rogers, AR, just about 45 min from where Jill lives, but we had to go 8,000 miles accross the world to meet. So about two years ago, when I was doing humanitarian work in Nepal, Jill's dad was one of my prayer partners. We would talk every couple weeks or so to discuss how our work was going and what current prayer needs were. Jill's dad would also mention periodically the work Jill was doing in her studies as a student midwife and her desire to someday use her skills overseas on the mission field. Being that we had similar life goals, she caught my attention. The first time Jill and I spoke was over the phone in a brief conversation we had back in March 2013. I continued speaking with Jim Bob (Jill's dad) over the summer, but didn't speak with Jill again until August. However, during this time I was praying about Jill and asking God for direction in getting to know Jill better.
The answer to my prayer came in August 2013, just before I left Nepal for a two week trip to Japan. During a conversation with Jim Bob, he mentioned how he thought Jill and I might get along well, having similar personalities and direction in life. He gave me Jill's phone number and we began texting, then emailing, then skyping/ talking on the phone. Over the next few months we became very grateful for modern technology as we continued to get to know each other better. Most of our conversations were centered around our values and life goals.
At the end of November, Jill and her dad got to come to Nepal for a couple weeks. I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited and prayed that God would give clear direction during this time. By the end of the trip I felt the Lord directing me to ask Jill to officially begin a courtship relationship. She agreed and we continued getting to know one another. It would still be two months before I completed my two year term and would move back home to Arkansas.
Upon my arrival home (January 2014), I was met by the Duggar clan; this was my first time to meet Jill's family in person. Over the next few months, I enjoyed spending time getting to know Jill and her family better.
How I met the sweetest man in the whole world
Like Derick stated, we grew up pretty close to each other, but didn’t meet in Arkansas. Christmas 2011, Derick briefly stopped by our house while caroling with a group from his church. Neither of us remembers each other specifically from that time; all I have is a vague memory of the group of people who came. Not long after this, Derick contacted my dad and asked if he would be a prayer partner during his two-year term in Nepal. He would call my dad regularly and give updates on how his work was going there and then they’d pray together. As my dad got to know Derick he was really impressed with his Godly character. He started telling me about Derick and also told Derick about me! I listened in on a few phone conversations with my dad without Derick knowing I was doing so.
After I kept hearing good things about this guy I decided I’d look him up on my own, so I Googled him and got a little glimpse from his social media outlets. I thought it was really neat how we had similar life goals and all, so I prayed about him for a little while, but then I prayed that God would allow me to not think seriously about any guys until it was His timing to begin a relationship and “the one”. I didn’t really think about this prayer again until later.
In March of 2013, Derick called my dad to give him an update and pray together and I happened to walk in the room. Unlike the other times when I had just listened in, this time my dad told Derick I had just come in the room and asked him to tell me a little bit about himself. We talked briefly that evening, however in the months following I didn’t think much about him.
In August of that same year, my dad was on the phone with Derick one evening and gave him my number. He told Derick that he thought we may hit it off and encouraged him to group text (with my parents), or call me if he wanted to. What I didn’t know at the time was that this was a direct answer to Derick’s prayer! He had been praying over the entire summer about when/if he should contact my dad to begin a relationship with me and was asking God to show him clearly! Wow! God is good!
I was super excited to text Derick back and forth, and then we were able to Skype. Our first call lasted 5.5 hrs and I asked him a ton of questions! I jokingly say it was “love at first Skype”! It really helped me feel secure to know that Derick and my dad had already got to know each other and that my dad admired him. During Derick’s time in Nepal, he was 10hrs and 45 min ahead of us so we would try to get in talk time when it would work best for both our schedules. And then there were other times when he was trekking in the Himalayan mountains for days at a time without any communication. Although the distance was hard, we are grateful that we were able to really work on developing good communication, something that’s an important part in marriage. Also, during this time I was able to hang out with Derick’s family, visit his church, and even went to his house and rode in his car a couple times!
In November, my dad and I were able to fly to Nepal and spend two weeks with Derick! During our trip, Derick asked me if he and I could begin getting to know each other better in a courtship relationship; I happily agreed! I’d spent much time reading the bible, praying and getting wise counsel, before saying “yes”. The more I spent time with him and observed his integrity, sweet spirit and love for God and service to others, the more I fell in love with him! Our goals align perfectly with how we see God leading us and we both feel we can serve Him better together than separate!
Well, my dad and I went home and over the next 60 days I cried a lot of tears; I missed him so much! Finally, in January of this year (2014) Derick returned home and was able to meet my entire family!
Derick asked my dad for permission to marry me at the end of February and then asked me on March 29th! I said, “yes, totally!”
We look forward to seeing where God will lead us and are enjoying this amazing season of life together!
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and depart from evil.” –Proverbs 3:5-7