Joe and I are about to celebrate a year of marriage (can't believe how fast it's flown by)! And in celebration of that.. I decided to post about how we met! It's not your typical love story.. A little more common now than it was when we met.. But I actually came across a post we wrote almost 2 years ago on how we met and instead of writing a complete new post.. I decided to repost this one! This was before we were married, before we were engaged, before we even lived in the same state! Hope y'all enjoy this as much as I do :)
October 29, 2012
From Tessa's point of view:
So sometime in February, I was just having a normal day, looking at people's photos on Instagram and whatnot, you know.. the usual. And I came across this guy on Instagram, Navajojoe, was his name. I have no idea how I even came across his pictures. We didn't have any mutual followers or followings, so it was quite strange. I had never seen him before and I didn't know who he was, but I wanted to. After looking through this Navajojoe's page, all I could think was "Wow... This guy is seriously perfect. He's in love with Jesus and so stylish and a Star Wars fan, among other things. Where has he been hiding?!"
So I followed him.. I didn't think anything would come of it.. I didn't even think he would follow me back, but I secretly hoped that he would. From the moment I first saw him on Instagram, I knew he was something special, and I really wanted him to be mine, although I knew (or I thought I knew) that that was crazy and couldn't possibly ever happen! So either later that day or a couple of days later, I can't really remember, he followed me back! That same day, he commented on one of my pictures saying "stylish/biblereading/gameboycover/starwars.... I think we're going to be friends." To which I replied "I do like new friends!" And from then on, we constantly commented back and forth to each other and just became Instagram friends. A month or two later, he posted something about Twitter on Instagram which also contained his Twitter name. I was thinking, "Okay, this guy might think I'm crazy if I follow him on Twitter but this might be my only chance." So, I followed him, hoped he would follow me back, and when he did, I sent him a message saying "Hi there Mr. French." Yes, I was quite persistent in this process but the more I learned about him, the more I wanted to be able to call him mine. He quickly responded and we talked a little before our Twitter messaging started messing up. We were receiving messages out of order or not at all, and since it was messing up, this guy, who I now called Joe French, gave me his number so we could continue our conversation. I couldn't believe it.. I was so excited.. but so nervous to text him, but I did. Our relationship quickly grew from texting to calling to finally seeing each other on Skype.
I remember about a week after our first Twitter message, I had a 6 hour drive from Florida to Alabama to which he accompanied me on the phone the entire drive. We shared so much about our lives, holding nothing back. There was a comfort in talking to him, that I had never felt before. I've always dreamed about the moment when I would know that I found the one that I would spend the rest of my life with.. And during that conversation, I knew. It was crazy because I was just getting to know him and still had so much to learn about him. How could I possibly know that this guy would one day be mine? It blew my mind, but I knew it was all God. God gave me such a peace that this is the guy he created just for me, the guy who just a couple of months ago I was thinking "Wow, he is perfect for me!!" I didn't know how all of it would work out, seeing as how we lived 14 hours away from each other, but I knew it would.
God is just so good! When I found out that Joe lived in Little Rock, AR, all I could do was laugh. One of my other best friends, Faith Marsh and her husband were currently living in the same city. Out of all the cities in the world, what are the chances of that? I told her about him and not too long later, she and her husband had lunch and met (before I met him) Joe French for the first time. I called her right after their lunch date and she talked about how perfect he was for me, asked when the wedding was, and said that she and her husband really liked him. I was so relieved because she knows me and she would know if he was right for me.
Joe and I talked and we knew the next step was for us to plan a trip for me to come visit. And that's what we did. On July 3, after months of counting down, lots of Skype dates together, with a ridiculous amount of nerves, I got on a plane from Atlanta, GA and flew to Little Rock, AR. When I got off the plane, I was the most nervous I think I've ever been. We'd only seen each other in pictures, videos, and on Skype and I was about to finally meet him in person! I walked off the plane and walked around the corner, to my surprise everyone waiting was right around the corner!! I didn't think it'd be that soon, I thought I would have more time to prepare myself. There was a crowd of people and all I could think was there's no way I'm gonna be able to find him in all of these people, and then, from across the room, I see the most handsome guy I've ever seen, holding my favorite flower in his hands. I walked over to him with the happiest heart, and the biggest smile on my face. And he opened up his arms to give me the best and most perfect hug. It felt like there was no one else in the room, it was just me and him, and I fought to hold back my tears because I knew I was right where I belonged. It was perfect. He also gave me a little note tied with a bow and told me to keep it some place safe, that it was not to be opened yet or anytime soon, but he would let me know when I could open it. It's funny because after that, we had the biggest smiles on our faces but we could barely look at each other because we were so nervous. But it didn't matter because we were just so happy to be together. I couldn't even believe I was there with him, it felt unreal because of how perfect it was!! We eventually got over the nerves and had the best week together doing whatever we wanted. We played laser tag, thrifted, ate good food, had late night dances on empty parking decks, watched movies and had lots of cuddles, we had the best time just being together.
Since then, we try to see each other as much as we can and we definitely make the best of our time together because we know it's limited. We've had so many fun adventures together and I can't wait until the rest of them. Sometimes it gets difficult being so far away from your best friend, the person you love, but we make it work in every way that we can. From constant texting, calling, ridiculously long Skype dates, we are talking every moment that we possibly can and making plans together for the future to pass the time until we get to see each other again. And in five months, we will finally be together, all the time, because this little lady is moving to Arkansas!
I am so thankful that God put Joe in my life. I can't imagine my life without him. Everything I've ever prayed for in a man, is who, my wonderful boyfriend, Joe French, is. Thank you Joe for being the man of God I've always prayed would come in to my life. Thank you for your kindness and love and patience with me. Thank you for being my better half. And thank you God for everything you've done in this relationship. You have loved us and blessed us like crazy. All glory and honor to you, Father!!
From Joe's point of view:
It was a really average day; sun shining, wind blowing, birds singing, lochness monster creeping...
you get the picture, the day was average. With an average day, you typically go through ordinary routines with ordinary people, in ordinary places. I was having one of those really ordinary days.
Lo' and behold! A fine young lass approach'thed mine own instagram!
It was so unordinary because i had no clue that she was even following me or liked any of my pictures; this LA styled (at least i thought so), fair skinned beauty with crimson red lips. I was so enthralled by her that when i finally got up the courage to say anything to her, i had to wait until there was something worth saying: "stylish/biblereading/gameboycover/starwars...I think we're going to be friends"
Probably not the best first line, but they were kind heartedly accepted:
"...I do like new friends!...," She replied.
It was accompanied by a blushing smiley face. =D.
I was meeting with a good friend of mine on my leadership team one night,and in the middle of the meeting, i received a pleasant vibration of the phone. It was Tessa's first step towards making contact with me beyond instagram. She somehow managed to find my twitter, and direct messaged me...and let me tell you, i was so filled with genuine joy! I began to rant about her to my friend and showed dozens of her beautiful pictures to him. In that moment i really realized how much potential there was in this girl. I would think: "She's so in love with God, she's so talented, she's so beautiful, she's so kind, she's so perfect." All the while, i had no clue what was in store for our future.
I can still remember the first time we ever skyped. I was so nervous. The seconds it took to load the webcam feed to my computer felt like the longest 3-5 seconds of my life. So much anticipation, and so many unresolved feelings started flooding in my mind. I was worried that she wouldn't like me, i was worried that she'd think i was strange...i even dressed up just to try to look "cool" for her. I just remember wanting her to approve of me so badly...until i finally saw her.
I remember feeling shocked, thinking, "I've never seen someone this beautiful on a computer."
STUNNING! wow, the pictures DO NOT do this girl justice. Serious. So from then on, we skyped alot.
Time passed, and our communication grew from instagram comments, to twitter messaging, to texting, to skyping, until one day she dropped a huge surprise on me. "One of my best friends lives where you live, you guys should meet up sometime!" My first initial thought was "What if they dont like me?" Eventually we scheduled a time to meet up and get lunch together at Layla's on Rodney Parham here in Little Rock, AR. I met her friends and was pleasantly surprised at their kind hearts and good nature. These are some AMAZING people guys. We sat and ate, laughed and cut up for a couple of hours, until we had to part ways. I remember talking to Tess afterwards and asking what they thought of me. To which she kindly said, " Faith said, "Ok, so when's the wedding!?" "
Things continued to progress and time lapsed quickly. We have so much distance between each other that the only choice we'd really had until that point was to get to know one another. It was an amazing few months. She quickly became my best friend. We shared so many secrets and pieces of our pasts with one another, there were no boundaries to how great of friends we would become. There was no physicality throughout the few months, so i was almost starting to believe that she was simply an apparition or a perfect computer program of sorts. Soon i would have that vision pleasantly broken.
Sometime throughout this timeline, Tessa was going to come and see her friend here in Arkansas and come see me. I was nervous, nervous, nervoussss. We literally counted down the days (maybe she did more than i, with the help of her iphone app, but i counted nonetheless!) Until that faithful day when we would meet. I knew her favorite flowers were sunflowers. So i went to a flower shop and bought a single sunflower to greet her with along with a note that i had written the day before (July 2nd).
I stood at the Little Rock Airport terminal in wait for her as she was getting off her flight. All the months of waiting to see her, all the memories we already had, and every bit of emotion inside me came flooding out in those precious few minutes.
It was a bit after noon on July 3rd when I first met the beautiful and caring Tessa Grace Sheehan.
That day my life changed forever. She stopped being just an image on a screen or a voice over the phone. That day she became the flesh and bones in front of me as she came towards me and i held her in my arms for the first time in the longest hug I can ever remember having. It was such a wonderful time that I hardly felt anyone around us and forgot where I was even at. She fit perfectly in my arms, and I was truly happy.
Since that day, we've shared many adventures together. We've danced, we've sung, we've climbed mountains, and rummaged pumpkin patches. We've thrifted, we've ran in the rain, we've breathed the air in together, and have enjoyed every moment of a "week here, week there" visitations with one another. Every time we are together we always make schedules and cram them full of activities that we know we can never accomplish in a mere week or few days. But we try to anyways, and love the time trying. There is not a single moment of where we've been that I would change. Through all our struggles and hardships, I'd take them again a million times...just so they would be with the woman that I love. God has blessed me abundantly with joy everlasting in her. HE designed her perfect for me. He deserves all the glory and praise!
This is how i remember meeting the woman that i hold dearest to my heart.
My best friend, Tessa.