People often ask, "How did you two meet?" Such a simple question. Somehow the answer always seems slightly complex, though "our story" is actually rather uncomplicated in many ways. It's a love story, to be sure... just not a typical romance, I guess you could say. :-)
I remember our first conversation distinctly. Kris found me sitting with a group of my friends in the cafeteria at Bryan College where I was a junior and he was senior. We hadn't met before so he asked me a few get-to-know-you questions regarding education, family background/dynamics, theology - you know, the basics. We ended up having a three hour discussion about courtship vs. dating. This particular topic was opened for discussion when I mentioned that I was engaged to someone and that we had pursued courtship rather than a more traditional dating method. What Kris didn't know at the time, and what I did not reveal, was that I was considering calling off my engagement but had not yet made any final decision. Throughout our conversation, I was fascinated by Kris' intelligence and his sincere interest in other people. I had never talked with anyone who believed so adamantly that each person is created with a specific purpose/calling for their life and given unique gifts to fulfill that purpose. I found the conversation to be encouraging and refreshing, as it was often difficult to find anyone who openly spoke their mind and with so much clarity. I felt like I had discovered a true friend, to be sure.
Bryan is a very small college, so you recognize everyone that lives on campus and new people immediately stand out. I had a habit of welcoming anyone new to campus (doubly so if they were attractive co-eds). I first noticed Eryn going through the salad bar in the cafeteria with her sister, Krista. Of course, it is hard to miss two gals with an average height over 6 foot with blonde hair (Krista), blue eyes and dimples (Eryn). I decided to introduce myself and welcome them to Bryan. It was very early in the semester and my duty to be friendly, after all. I think they were wearing plaid shirts and jeans, which screamed *homeschoolers* (but, it should also have indicated that they were horse owners and barn denizens). Personally, I found such modest attire quite attractive, since it implies a "I don't care what the boys think" attitude and suggests that pursuit would be a sporting affair.
The previous semester, I had broken up, more or less, with my long-term "it's complicated" girlfriend and did not plan to find anyone before heading off to graduate school. So, I wasn't looking for anything more than an engaging conversation with a couple of pretty girls. At the time, my approach to flirting bounced back and forth between over the top compliments and probing questions about theology, cultural trends, family background, and one's life purpose. Intuitively, I decided to stick mostly with the latter when talking to likely homeschoolers. By the end of the conversation, I decided that these two gals were worth finding out more about. Their history, life outlook, and earnestness meshed with the mental checklist of things I was looking for in a wife. They passed my first level background check, but I needed to do a little more reconnoitering. . .