This week’s Beginning of Us story comes from Lizzie Somerset. Her blog is a really bright and happy place. She shares so much about her family life in the country and also writes a regular feature City Country Life with Becca from Keeping up with the Joneses. You can find Lizzie over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but for now, here’s Lizzie to share her story…
I’ve never written about how me and Jon met. Not because I don’t think about it but because in some ways it’s an unbelievable love story.
When the opportunity to do this guest post came up I thought for a second or two about whether I should, I mean it was 8 years ago me and Jon got together. I think I’m ready to tell it now. It’s a love story, and love stories should always be passed on. I also want my children to know how mummy and daddy fell in love, got married and had them, our perfect little family.
All our dreams come true.
I need to give you some context to my life at the time too so you can know why, when Jon came in through that door that night, that I knew instantly that he was the one for me.
I grew up in a christian home and going to Church on Sundays was normal for me, my brother Tom and sister Rosie. I knew God and loved him. I followed the path but I never really made the connection between head and heart.
Aged 17 I started going clubbing, getting drunk, my saintly ways started to slip, and with it my faith.
At 18 I met a man who was far too old for me, he was 28 and should have known better. He broke my heart in more ways than one, in some ways he broke my spirit too.
Fast Forward 10 years and I’ve pretty much spent a decade in a cycle of ‘socialising’ and making bad mistakes over and over again. I’m in a job I can’t stand, living alone in a one bedroom flat and counting on my friends for company. No relationship has lasted longer than 3 months max. The cycle just goes on and I became more and more broken hearted with each year that passed.
A work colleague sees the real deal, that at 28 I’m desperately sad and reaches out, she invites me to Alpha. I gratefully take the invitation knowing in my heart that this is the way back to the life I once had, to healing the mistakes I’d made and restoring the relationship I had with God too.
I started the course and knew from very early on that God had never let go of me, but I had let go of him. My heart was starting to be mended bit by bit. Tuesday nights at Alpha was church for me, I didn’t make it on Sunday mornings to church, my fellowship and healing was happening on Tuesdays.
After I’d done the Alpha course I stayed for a few terms after just helping out, praying for people, helping out at the door etc.
My sister Rosie got engaged to Jason in the Coffee Shop at church where we also held our Alpha meals. I remember saying to Jason’s mum Wendy that I really wanted to meet someone. She prayed for me there and then which surprised me somewhat but I always happy to receive prayers for this subject!
Then one night back in my flat I cried out to God, I was literally on my knees in my flat crying with tears down my face, I’d been on such a long journey and I was tired. So tired.
“God please send someone to love me, I want a family, I long for children in my arms and a man to love. I can’t go into my 30’s without someone, I’ll be alone forever.”
I wrote a list of everything I wanted in a man, sealed it and promised myself not to open it until I thought I’d met someone who ticked most of these ‘criteria’. I’d had enough of getting it so wrong. I put it in 1 Corinthians v13 in my bible and prayed, then left it there and forgot about it.
Well, it wasn’t long after that on the first night of the next term that Jon walked in the door. I gave him his name label. I knew him already! Our families were at church together years earlier, although for some reason I don’t remember him at all from those days.
Jon is 26 and I’m 29 at this point. We used to see each other out of the pub/club circuit and never gave each other much thought.
However, Jon had asked God into his life in the November. He’d come on the course in the January. He asked me out in the February literally in the same spot that Wendy Jason’s mum had prayed for me. On our first date he brought me flowers, the first time anyone had ever done that for me in my 29 years of living.
Jon gave me a red rose every month on the day he asked me out until the 10th month when on New Years Eve 2007 he got down on one knee and with tears in his eyes said I made him so happy and would I marry him. He proposed with 10 red roses and a diamond engagement ring.
I was 30 years old.
I went home that night and opened my bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and opened that envelope, do you know? He ticked every single one.
So that was the beginning of us.
Thanks Lizzie for sharing your story. It shows that there is a perfect partner out there for everyone – even one that ticks every box. It’s just that sometimes they take a little bit longer to find their way into our lives. Lovely story!