Our story began June 12, 2005.
Michael and I were counselors together at Lariat Creek Christian Camp Junior Session, and we were both "Bell Ringers" for the week.
I had just graduated from high school, and he was going into his junior year at Oklahoma Christian University, and was about to go on the Pacific Rim Study abroad trip.
One of the first conversations I remember having with him went a little something like this:
Michael: Well that's good. You shouldn't date your first year of college. If you do decide to date though, you should wait until second semester and date only Juniors.
Later that week, a little girl in my cabin told me, "You're going to marry Mike Johns!" To which I immediately replied that she was crazy, he was crazy, and I didn't even know him.
Turns out that little girl was right!
We Fell in Love
We didn't talk at all after camp until I saw him the last night of Senior Session at LCCC.
I found out that he had been emailing me at my OC student account, but being the freshman that I was, I had no idea how to check it!
At Senior Session I got his number from one of the girls in his youth group (he was a summer intern) and after that week of camp we talked and emailed everyday.
He left for PacRim that fall.
While he was gone we emailed every day, and he would call me sometimes from Japan or Australia (usually in the middle of the night for me!)
Once he returned in December, we started "officially" dating.
He came to Enid during Christmas break to meet my family, where he showed them a PowerPoint presentation they will never forget - The Story of Buzz Lightyear and Miss Lariat Creek.
The two years that we dated were full of crazy costumes, creative dates, Bible studies, and lots of time apart.
Michael spent the summer of 2006 interning for McDermott Road Church of Christ, while I was working for a bank in Enid.
I spent the summer of 2007 interning for Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, while Michael started his job at OC as the Annual Fund Coordinator.
Then, I spent the 2007 fall semester on the Vienna study abroad trip with OC.
I hated being apart so much at the time, but it helped to build such a strong foundation for our relationship. We were able to spend time getting to know each other, through phone calls, emails, and even written letters, and became best friends through it all.
We were both able to grow individually, while growing closer together as a couple at the same time.
I wouldn't change a thing!
We Got Engaged
Michael proposed on August 26, 2007.
It was the first week that everyone was back at school for the fall, and we had just gone to evening service and dinner at Delta Cafe with two of our best friends, Carrie and Jeremy.
There was a Gamma candle-lighting that night - I didn't want to go, but Carrie made me.
The candle-lighting went as usual, passing the ring around once for everyone to look.
I thought to myself, "That looks like the kind of ring I want" and then I passed it on.
It went around a second time, no one blew it out, and it got back to the girl in charge of candle-lightings, who walked over to the door, and blew it out.
Weird. I didn't know she was dating anyone.
In walked a group of guys. All I saw was Jeremy and I looked at Carrie like, "You're getting engaged!!!"
Then I saw Michael. Dressed up in his best suit. Carrying a vase full of roses and a guitar. Looking incredibly nervous.
He gave me the flowers, and began to play one of my favorite songs, Love Will Keep Us Alive by The Eagles. (He spent all summer learning to play while I was in Houston)
Then he said some things...that I don't remember...and then asked me to marry him.
I said "Yes!"
We Became Mr. and Mrs.
I had one more year left of my undergrad at OC, and Michael had to finish his last few months of his MBA, so we were Phase Managers in the campus apartments.
He graduated in December, and I graduated in May, and then we moved to Houston, Texas.
Michael had been hired by Memorial Church of Christ as the 15-month intern.
I was hired as the female intern for the summer.
By November of 2009 we were both working full-time for the Memorial youth group.
I started working on my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy in the Fall of 2010 and will finish in May 2013.
We spent 2 wonderful years working at Memorial, and in April of 2011, Michael was hired as the full-time Youth Minister at Jersey Village in Houston.
We have loved working with the teens and congregation there so much and feel right at home.
God has blessed us abundantly over the past 7 years!
Even though we hate to be so far from our families and friends in Oklahoma, we know that we are exactly where God wants us in our lives right now.
He has helped us through the good times and the bad, and given us hope when we might've had none.
To Him be the glory forever!