It’s story time!
As many of you already know, Andrea’s 38th BD is today. I have already posted a little something on Facebook, but just for “kicks and giggles” I thought I would share a little more about my bride.
The story I am going to share with you is how we met and how and when we got engaged.
When I graduated from The Master’s College (TMC), I was leaving a coed, liberal arts Christian college to attend an all-male seminary – The Master’s Seminary (TMS). I was also leaving TMC without a girlfriend … at all. I was headed to an all-male school without much marital hope.
You see I went to TMC with 2 goals in mind: (1) begin my vocational training for ministry and (2) find a wife. Goal #1 was accomplished. Goal #2 didn’t seem as realistic as it once was.
I wasn’t sure what to do.
I began contemplating and wondering what church ministry would be like as a single man. I was about 3 years away from completing my training at TMS, and I wasn’t sure that heading into youth ministry as a single man would be the wisest.
I remember thinking, “John Stott is not married. Maybe I can be the next Stott.” The problem with becoming the next Stott was (1) I am not and was not planning to become Anglican and (2) I am not as brilliant as he. So that wouldn’t work!
So I moved into an apartment with a few of my friends, not too far from another apartment where there were a few “girl friends” and I started TMS as a single-guy.
During my 1st semester at TMC, Andrea had just started her senior year at TMC. During the fall of that year, she was in Israel studying abroad at an extension campus. When she came back to the states, she had accepted an invitation to join the apartment of “girl friends” I previously mentioned.
Our two apartments spent a lot of time together. Because our 2 apartments we knew each other from our days at TMC and now had mostly all graduated from there, we were beginning our newly adult lives together. We shared dinners, went to the beach, watched movies, etc.
The day I met Andrea was not “love at 1st sight,” but I do remember exactly what she was wearing when she walked into my apartment with our mutual friend Nicole. You see I was a resident of NE Oklahoma, and I live and breathe OU Sooner’s athletics. Andrea was from the Seattle area.
But when she walked into my apartment that day, she had on a red Sooners sweatshirt! That’s no joke!
Nicole introduced us that day and in the next few weeks and month, we began getting to know each other.
When my attraction for her began, I used all the typical techniques to woo her: bought her Slurpees and Hershey’s bars, watched “chick flicks”, wore my favorite cologne around her, asked her to go “study” with me in local establishments, etc. You know, I turned on the charm or “the spice” as I call it.
So not too long after I met, I (or more specifically “we”) decided we wanted to start dating. But we weren’t interested in dating just to have a right to call one another girlfriend/boyfriends. We were entering that relationship with the intent and hope that God would lead us to marriage.
Neither of us believed in courtship was THE biblical model and nor did I believe I had to call her parents to ask permission to date her as a college senior. But I decided to call her Dad anyway and express my desire for us to date with the intent of getting married someday … if the Lord allows.
I made the decision to call her Dad and speak to him on the phone about all of this. And I had never met her Dad – Tom.
What you need to know about Tom is this: he is a retired police officer. When he retired, he had just finished running for sheriff. So he spent a considerable amount of time in many different areas of police work.
He also is a biblical counselor.
So if there was anyone who could intimidate you and ask you all the heart-probing questions, it was him.
The night we spoke on the phone, I felt like I was living in a scene of one of those movies where someone had a bright light shining on them and was being interrogated. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but I was very concerned about how Tom would react and I was fairly convinced he would not like me at all.
He posed a question to me I was completely unprepared for. He asked me if I would be willing to move up to Washington that summer after Andrea graduated and spend the summer with her family, working with her brother, etc.
I was excited and scared to death all at the same time. But I said, “Yes.”
THE SUMMER OF 2000
So I drove to Monroe, WA after my 1st semester at TMS ended and moved into my little RV that smelled like cats. It was about 20 minutes up into the mountains from her house, in a place where I am fairly convinced I was stalked every night by a Bigfoot. I started working with Andrea’s brother Seth in a painting business he was employed with at the time.
I knew this was a “crash or burn” decision for the summer. Spending this much time with Andrea and her family would either quickly solidify or quickly dissolve our relationship. Thankfully, the former became true. After a few months of Washington-living, we decided we wanted to be married.
I proposed to Andrea (another story for another time) in Vancouver, British Colombia, just a few miles north of her hometown. And then we got married that next January. We met and were married within a year’s time. When you know … you know!
I have never, for one second, regretted marrying her. And I am so thankful that we are “growing old” together.
Happy 38th BD Andrea K Heck!