Our Love Story

This is a story of how Zachary and Katie met.

We grew up attending the same Sunday-school class week after week during Elementary school. While Zach and I were in 2nd grade, Zach's family came over for dinner one evening. He showed me a small 'sticky hand' toy that tied around the finger, and told me to watch as he threw it at the walls, the trees, the hose, the cars, the back door, and even at the dogs. After the outdoor surfaces had been exhausted and his attention had dropped, we wanted to see if the toy could stick to the ceiling. He threw it up high, high, and it never came down (until two days later). I saved it "in case I'd marry him someday" (at age six, every boy was a potential husband).

Flash forward eight years and Zach's dad planted a church in the town that my family lived in. We began attending and I was soon forced to go to the youth group (I didn't like youth group, because I was a punk and thought everyone was immature). Zach was super annoying. He had dreads; which was cool. But that's all he had going for him.

Soon Zach cut his dreads and my braces were taken off. All of a sudden, he was looking pretty good. Time went on. The summer before our Junior year he asked me about where I'd been in the world, and what I wanted to do with my life. We began emailing back and forth constantly (he attended the local high school in our town and became involved with multiple sports; I attended a private school, a public school, and a community college [all three in different in cities other than my own] taking 20+ credits, so the only day we saw each other was on Sunday's). A year went by.

Zach was looking forward to the summer; he was ready to talk with my parents and ask them if we could start dating (I had not known this at the time). I was looking forward to the summer as well, but for entirely different reasons; Zach was still pretty annoying and I was so focused on school, that I didn't have time to 'like' anyone. As the year was ending, I told him my plans about moving to the Philippines for the entire summer plus an additional three or four months of the school year. He was crushed and didn't say a word; I left five weeks later.

During my stay in the Philippines, I continued my education by taking full-time online classes with the community college. I also emailed homework back and forth so a teacher could facilitate and organize my work at the private school. In addition, I took an online math class with the public school back home, and enrolled in an Apologetics class at the international school where my host-mom taught. This stage was incredibly difficult, because I also was helping out in three elementary classrooms at the international school. For my free time (what little I had), I was either teaching English and learning the local language with my 'street brothers' (the boys who didn't attend school because they didn't have the money to), playing ultimate frisbee, or emailing Zach. It was one of the most challenging and trying times of my life. I was stretched beyond anything I thought I could handle. One of my best friends told me before I left, "distance makes the heart wander or grow fonder." And as cliche as it sounds, I found myself coming back to that thought often. Little did I know, Zach's dad told him the same thing while I was gone.

Many months later, I flew home early December and the first person (aside from my family) I spent time with was Zach (as you may have guessed). He took me to our small-town bakery. You could say this was our first date. It was relaxed. I gave him a late birthday present (tokens from the Philippines), and we talked for hours and hours over doughnuts and milk.

That point forward, he and I spent as much time as possible with one another outside of school (often going out to eat tacos and doughnuts [sometimes both in the same day]). On February 17th, 2011, we went for an hour's walk in the snow while I spilled by guts and he listened. He didn't stop smiling; I had already known how he felt for a long time. Then March 9th came around, and we talked to my parents about dating. We wanted them involved; even though it seemed like we were old enough to do things on our own, we were still in high school and wanted to respect them. We began dating 'officially' and I soon learned that half the school population of girls had their hearts broken upon hearing the news (word from multiple students that attended his school, haha). We graduated separate high schools in June and traveled with eight other individuals to Haiti for a couple weeks; I taught English, he organized sports and helped with everyone else on the team.

In September, 2011, shortly after he began studying at a private university, Zach was at the library when God pressed on his heart that he needed to marry me. Zach's reaction: "Sweet. How's that going to work, though?" Then and there he prayed and opened the Bible to Proverbs 16:3, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." This alone was confirmation; it was the first verse he saw. (My favorite number happens to be sixteen, and his favorite number is three. Boom; God's good.) Three months later, as I was finishing up my associates degree (two quarters after high school ended), he talked with my dad. On December 11th, 2011, Zachary proposed (two months after my nineteenth birthday) and everyone thought we were crazy. At age nineteen (both of us), a lot of people questioned our motives and were skeptical about what was going to happen. However, our families, who mattered the most to us, and our close friends, who knew us well, were all incredibly supportive and did everything possible to help plan and contribute their time and talent(s) to the wedding.

A very long, tiring, and emotional seven months later, we tied the knot (seen here and here and here, and our wedding video here), and then hopped on a plane to Thailand without any maps or plans for our honeymoon.We rode elephants, rented mopeds, got lost too many times to count, and ate food on the streets daily. This last August, we flew back to Seattle and had three weeks left of summer. At this point, I wasn't sure if I was going to attend university or not. But because the God we serve is so great, he provided a way. Four days before school began, I found myself in the administration office talking to several different advisers; they were all telling me that impossible things were happening to my student account: fees were being waved, scholarships I didn't know existed were filing in, and there just so happened to be 'extra' money available that the school "had already distributed" to the other students. Case in point: God cares deeply for your dreams. 

Currently, both Zachary and I are twenty; we are constantly amazed and blown away at how God provides. We attend and ride our bikes to the same university everyday. We look forward to graduating debt free (all the glory goes to God). Our home is a tiny house on a horse farm, roughly ten minutes away from Seattle, across the water. In order to stay here without paying rent, we take care of the horses and do other farm work for roughly twenty hours a week. Our alarm rings at 5:30am, we do farm work until 8:30am...  then go to school, do work, cook, adventure, etc, etc, etc.  
This is life for us now.
We are in love, and we are blessed by God's faithfulness.
It's not easy. It can be really hard. But Christ has already shown us how to live. 
     And for that, we remember Proverbs 16:3; we remind ourselves that as long as Jesus stays the center of it all, everything will be worth it.


  1. How awesome, I love hearing of His unimaginable provisions. And I have serious respect for keeping up with all that schooling simultaneously!

  2. Hey, I just found your blog and it's really lovely! Your journey so far is a great encouragement! God does provide in many ways that we can't imagine. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You had me at "Zachary and Katie" because, well, that's me and my hubby's names, too :) What a lovely story. You two are so sweet and God is doing amazing things in your lives! Thanks for sharing your story.


  4. I LOVE this... and my heart box swells and I'm just day dreaming so much after reading it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow! This is an AMAZING story, I LOVE it! thanks for saying hello on my blog, it's so fun to get to know you more!!! Love Katie

  6. What an incredible story! My goodness! This all made me smile so big!

  7. What a beautiful beautiful story!! SO delighted to have stumbled upon your blog this evening and spend time reading through some of your posts! I am so excited to be your newest follower and get to know you more!
    :) Rebecca