The Love Story

Best way to describe how I love my husband-
My Journal Entry from February 2010: "He is the last line in "Anne of Green Gables," "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls, I just want you." 

That is who Matt is to me."

For those who haven't heard it-here is the story of how I became Mrs. Matthew Ellsworth Norman.  It is kind of long but after all, it is a story.  And I personally think God wrote it perfectly.

Matt was that guy. The one that was known as the Bachelor throughout Solid Rock, our church.  He was the one that caught my eyes first and then they were forever changed...BUT nothing happened for about 2.5 years.

Matt's 33rd Birthday

2007-We met, or so he says, for the first time at the Way (the SR group for those 18-28...I used to fall into that group).  To be honest, I had heard quite a bit about him as John Mark, the pastor, was one of his friends and also thought he was the greatest catch for us ladies.  However, one small thing, Matt was not into dating.  I even, you might say, stalked him at times (in an innocent way) by looking at his Luis Palau testimony video.  He really was that guy-the guy that you wanted to just know in the smallest of ways, the silent type that you knew had a world of mysteries hidden behind his eyes, and someone who you knew answered to God and not to man.

So many amazing people.
2008 (summer) So...he led a house church in Lake Oswego and I said I would never go to it (mainly because there were a lot of ladies at it and I didn't want to be one of "those girls"-not that any of them were but you know?).  I ended up there one day because my sis and Chantelle wouldn't let me not go.  This is when I first really remember meeting him.  

Background on my heart: I was never a dater. Longest relationship was 3 months.  I always said that in order for me to date someone that had to make my life better than it already was.  I also said I wanted to marry someone with two main attributes: 1) Someone who answered to God and not to man and 2) someone I could listen to for the rest of my life.  I also said I would never go out on a date with someone who asked me out via text (more to come on that one).

Back to the story.  After this house church meeting I started hearing from MANY people things such as: "Do you know Matt Norman?", "Would you ever date Matt Norman?"  And yes, people did refer to him with the first and last name-all the time.  This is not an exaggeration, I probably over the course of 2 years heard around 100 different people ask me about him.  They also asked my sister about him and I, sent me emails (many people) saying they were praying we would get together (I thought it was weird but apparently they were on to something), I had people come up and say they knew who I was going to marry, and many constantly tried to get us at the same place together.  Example: Miss Barbara invited my parents over to their home for dinner, along with me, my sis...and Matt.  Interesting.

Nothing happened. Nothing. I mean ladies-there was NO REASON for me to think that he would ever be interested in me.  My friends often said he looked at me in a different way but I didn't see it-at all.  However, there was something I just knew.  This next part might sound weird but the definition of faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  I truly have many, many journal entries from my prayer journal asking why Matt was put into my life. Why he was always wherever I was? Why I was so attracted to him? Why I thought he would never ask anyone out...let alone me? Why I KNEW that God had said to "wait for that man."  

The ridiculously, awesome roommates.
Throughout the two years we had many awkward and great conversations. Never on the phone but once for many weeks during Christmas break via FB chat and often face to face since we were usually at the same things.  He doesn't remember any of the awkward moments-I guess that is why He made us male and female.  Yes ladies-the "wait" was for about 1.5 years.

August 2009-And attempt at waiting I did (aside from a short dating stint of 1.5 months).  There was a week in August of 2009 where he said he was going out of town with his family for a week.  I felt that I needed to pray for him as a man, not him in relation to me (which I had often done), for that entire week.  He got back on a Sunday and on Tuesday I got a TEXT-see above if you are wondering why that is in caps. He asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. I of course, went against my Creed and said yes.  Our first date was August 17th, 2009 and I would like to tell you that it was history from there but that just wouldn't make our story perfect.  We talked for four hours straight and when I went home I told my roommates that I would wait another 50 years to go out on another date like was so pure, so perfect.  

Labor Day 2009- You see-Matt had someone who told him he should ask me out. Actually he had tons of people tell him that and finally one person told him that he needed to take a risk in life if he ever wanted it to be truly worthwhile.  However, in asking me out he didn't know for sure that I was "the one." We went on many dates for two months.  Nothing but awkward side-hugs to end each date.  We also went to the Ranch for four days with the whole Bisenius family and just Matt and I. Another awkward moment...

Awkward (but insanely awesome) ranch weekend. Labor Day 2009

It wasn't until the last week in October that things changed.  I had been patient (by God's grace) in just letting things go as they were.  I was willing to wait for him to KNOW for sure but this week was the time that I finally asked what he was thinking about us.  He spoke for about 30 minutes straight on how he wasn't quite sure and didn't like taking huge ended like this: I said, "I trust you."  

September 21st (literally, written in my journal)- Why I said that comes from the book of Ruth in the Bible-there had been many moments where I felt like God put that story into my life for a huge reason.  On September 21st, on my usually running path, I was just praying and asking what I was to do about Matt and waiting.  I felt the LORD say, "You are Ruth. You wait."  Great! More waiting!  The funny thing is what happened within ten minutes of that. I was listening to the Loveology podcast from SR on the run.  John Mark was trying to give an example of a good dating situation and here was the kicker, he said "It would be like Matt Norman dating Ruth."  I teared up. Really? Really? Does the Maker of the universe care that much about our hearts? It gets better.  I went home and we had a meeting at our house that night regarding a Zimbabwe mission trip.  The group asked each of us to pick up one of the pictures that were all over the house and write to that orphan.  All of the kids had Zimbabwean names and their birth dates on each sheet.  Except for the one I picked up: it said "Ruth-new girl."  

In the book of Ruth, Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law (although her husband had died), told her to start working in the field of a man named Boaz who was very kind to her and cared for her since she was a widower.  There is a verse that says, "Wait for the man, for he will not rest until the matter is settled." That is why I waited...

Matt and I started dating that next Thursday after we had had our DTR convo.  That was October 24th.  I went to Bali/Thailand over Thanksgiving and he wrote me a letter for everyday I was gone... We got engaged on April 24th and married on July 24th...

Matt's name means "gift from God."  I tear up whenever I even think about this.  The verse on our wedding invites was Ephesians 3:21.  "Now unto Him who is able to do exceedingly beyond all that we think or ask."

I am SO in love with my husband. He is my best friend.  My partner.  Baby-I love you more than I thought humanly possible.