As told by Nick
It didn't take long for Rachel to "friend me" on Facebook. Her first response to me saying hello was, "Hola! Ahh buddy buddy facebook hurrah........ You know, i'm not quite sure what that was." I'm pretty sure she already thought I was cute at that point. We chatted for a little while over Facebook for the whole world to see, and one of my favorite lines that she wrote was, "Wait a second...'back to school'? How long have you been in school? How old are you? I believe I am a bit confuzzled." This was when she found out that I am 6 years older than her! I'm sure that was kind of a shock. During the "conversations" we had, I was trying to figure out in my mind if this was be something I should pursue. I thought she was absolutely beautiful, TALL, and fun to talk to... especially once we started chatting about how Jesus has shaped our lives. There were just a few things that were making me a little bit cautious. I was 24... she was 18, and she was leaving for Norway as soon as she got the green light! Yikes!!!
After a couple of weeks of conversation went by, I went to Madrigal, a wonderful event put on by Bellevue Christian High School. BCS is Rachel's former high school, and she was at the event as well. This was the first night that we were able to connect for a longer period of time. Our friends strategically sat us next to each other at the same table (though they claim to this day that they had nothing to do with the seating...). Rachel was so stunningly beautiful that night. One funny moment happened after the event was over. It was late in the evening and I was just staring off into space (and it just so happened to be in Rachel's direction). When Rachel noticed, I quickly came to my senses and said (without thinking), "I like your buttons! They are so big!" I was referring to the buttons on her jacket... but it could have easily been misinterpreted. Rachel and I were laughing so hard at that moment that we nearly fell over! Everyone around us was pretty confused about what had just happened, but they did see one thing - Rachel and I clicked. Big time.
Soon after that night was over, I wrote her an email sharing my testimony. At this time I had a lot of interest in her so I wanted to be very open and honest about myself. We continued to speak through email for another week or so, and then I went home for winter break. I was able to go to her house for an "Extreme Home Makeover" party on December 16, 2007. I was able to stay a little bit later than everyone else so I could talk with her some more...and ended up talking until two in the morning! A couple days later, we decided to go out on a "non-date" so we could talk some more about what we had discussed over email. After that night was over, I knew that I wanted to pursue this woman wholeheartedly. She was one of the most amazing people I had ever met - and I still hadn't even scratched the surface!
A couple days before Christmas, I was able to see her again! I was able to meet her dad as well that night! We went to a local coffee shop and then we went for a walk on the waterfront in Kirkland. It was a wonderful time just talking and getting to know her! Still, to this day, I'm amazed at how much depth she has! On our way back to her dad's apartment, we started holding hands. I was freaking out in excitement at this point, and I'm sure she was as well. Everything from that point on for the rest of the night was fuzzy - except for when we said goodbye. As I was leaving we gave each other an incredible hug - neither of us wanted to let go! It gives me goose bumps when I even think about it!
I knew the day was approaching where we were going to have "the Talk" and define our relationship. This happened the day after Christmas. She came to my house to meet my family and have dinner with us. Later that evening we watched Lost in Translation; one of her favorite films. Once that was done, we knew it was time... time to discuss where we were going! We had a lot to talk about that night - our age difference, Rachel leaving for Norway, our distance while I was in college, Rachel wanting to attend film school in California, etc. We talked about everything that night - and after it was all said and done, we decided that we wanted to pursue this relationship despite some difficulties that would undoubtedly lie ahead.
We both had in mind from the very beginning that the ultimate goal of a relationship was marriage. I had gone back to college, she went to Norway, and we are still 6 years apart in age. However, God is continuing to teach us how to love each other as He loves us, and no distance or age gap could change that. It has been an incredible adventure so far - and we are both filled with excitement about the wonderful challenge that lies ahead!
The most attractive quality that Rachel has is the fact that she will always put God before me. He is her #1, and I am her #2. This gives her an incredible ability to love and respect me more than she would otherwise be capable of doing. Likewise, God is first in my life and Rachel is second. I am learning more every day about how to love her and sacrifice my needs for hers and I love being married to her where I can love her in the same way that Christ loves the church.
As told by Rachel
Nick and I got engaged a few months after we had moved to Ventura, California in 2009. Nick arrived at my house on Friday afternoon, April 10th to pick me up so we could go over to James and Shanna Laing's home for a premarital counseling session and Nick and I decided to go to In-N-Out for dinner beforehand. We got our burgers and Nick suggested that we go have a picnic at Serra Cross Park (we had already decided that we would have our wedding there). So we drove up to the cross on top of the hill and ate our dinner at one of the picnic benches.
After we finished dinner we walked around the park for a little while before heading out. We ventured down the hill, past the cross and underneath a tree. There Nick set his stuff down, looked at me and said, "Rachel, I have something for you. But don't freak out! Don't...it's not...just...don'tfreakout!" All I could say was, "Uhh...okay..." and then, from the bag he was carrying he pulled out a big, beautiful, leather Bible. It had gold-edged pages and in the bottom corner was engraved my future name - Rachel Walker. My heart swelled.
Then he opened up the Bible to a page where he wrote a really sweet note. The last line was "And even though you are worth FAR more than diamonds..." I started freaking out. I knew something else was coming. That's when he opened up the middle of the Bible and wrapped around the ribbon bookmark was the most beautiful diamond ring I have ever seen!! By this point, I was fully hyperventilating, squealing, jumping and all that. He took the ring out of the Bible, got down on one knee and promised to take care of me and serve me for the rest of our lives. He asked me if I would marry him and I said "Yes!!!!!" as enthusiastically as I could. We hugged for a long time and I almost started crying and I was shaking and we both were giggling like maniacs.
After that, we walked back up to the car (probably really quickly, since we both had so much adrenaline pumping through our systems) and I suddenly said, "Oh my gosh! I have to call my mom! I have to call Mel! NOW!!! Aaahhh!!" But then I couldn't find my phone and realized that I left it at home. Nick said, "Oh, let's go grab it then. James and Shanna know we are going to be late anyway because of this!" I argued for a bit but he insisted that we go home and grab it.
I walked in the door of my home and could tell something was up. All the candles were lit and my roommate, Jessica, had put on some party music. But before I could fully process any of it, all of a sudden, who should come downstairs but some of our friends in California and MELISSA!!!!!!!!!!! I was so surprised! When I saw Mel I threw my stuff down and leaped on her. Apparently, Nick flew her down from Washington that afternoon and she hung out with our friends James and Shanna for a while before getting to my place! It was seriously the best way Nick could have proposed. I was so surprised and happy and I couldn't stop grinning for hours afterward!
Marriage and More
As told by Rachel
Nick and I were married on September 19th, 2009 at Serra Cross Park in Ventura, California. We had plans to live in California for many years while I attended film school and thereafter worked in the film industry. God obviously had other plans for us because seven weeks after our wedding, we found out I was five weeks pregnant. Well then! After lots of prayer and talking, we decided to move back to Washington. Needless to say, my nine months of pregnancy were the most chaotic nine months of change in my life. I got a job in California for the last few months that we were there, Nick quit his job and began searching for a new one in Washington, we moved cross-state and then cross-city to our current home, Nick got a job here and then switched jobs yet again after a month... the list goes on.
On July 4th, 2010 we welcomed Owen Jeremiah into the world as our firstborn baby boy! God could not have blessed us with a more wonderful gift and we are having the time of our lives getting to know him and watching him grow! I am now a work-at-home mom and Nick is an insurance agent at Liberty Mutual. I just opened my photography business to the public in April of 2011 and am really excited to see where God takes that! Our family is in a very blessed stage of life and we are excited to see what God has in store for us in the future!
Our Family's Purpose Statement
Written by Nick and Rachel
We are called to glorify God in all that we say, do and are. We will fulfill this call as a family by pursuing Christ-like character, by creating and sustaining a welcoming home and by reaching out to serve others in mission.
- Be disciplined in our personal walk with Christ
- Use our individually unique gifts to serve God and others
- Encourage and build one another up
- Exercise humility and be open to learning from others
- Take care of our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit
- Utilize it as an active picture of Christ and the Church
- Use it to relax, reenergize and prepare to go back out into the world
- Take care of it so we can open it to serve and welcome others
- Ceaselessly preach the Gospel through our words and actions
- Serve collectively and individually in areas we truly enjoy
- Be financially wise so we can abundantly bless others
- Enjoy each other through quality recreational time