I was in 6th grade when I first saw Hunter. I’m sure he didn’t notice me, but then again I had braces and was going through that awful awkward stage. The year was 2008 and I was at St. James Middle School. Every morning I would sit with my friends in the cafeteria waiting for the bell to ring… every morning Hunter would walk in to sit with his friends and do the same. Of course there were many girls that were crushing on him, but I was definitely crushing hard with them. One day during “Donuts for Dads”, my Dad and I sat with Hunter and his Dad. All I remember was turning bright red.
Fast forward to high school. Hunter and I both had our separate lives, friends, and even relationships. It wasn’t until spring break of my freshman year when Hunter first reached out to me. In my mind I’m thinking, “FINALLY!” For the rest of the school year we continued to get to know each other and become really good friends, even best friends. Throughout that summer of 2011 I liked him more and more… and more… and more. I went on my first real date (and my sister tagged along… so maybe not real date yet) but I had butterflies the whole time. August 25th, 2011, he finally asked me to be his girlfriend. I was dating my 6th grade crush and my very best friend. His senior year we went on tons of adventures and continued to get to know more about each other. I vividly remember praying every night thanking God for crossing my path with Hunter’s. When he graduated high school, he then went to The Citadel in Charleston where he swore into the Army in 2013. Those two years of him being gone were tough, but all the more while worth it. We made it work and I joined him two years later when I started my freshman year at the College of Charleston. We made even more memories and grew even closer. When he graduated in 2016, I knew we faced more obstacles of being in an even longer distance relationship. Instead of being a 2 hour drive away like the prior phase of distance, there were a few more hours tacked on. Regardless of the miles, I prayed for God to make it clear whether this relationship was meant to last longer than a few years. In my heart I wanted to be with him more than anything, but I am also aware that sometimes what we may want is not what God has planned for us. No matter what Hunter and I faced in those times of trials and miles, we have always ended up stronger and loving the other even more.
The biggest challenge we have faced thus far in our relationship was the time we spent months speaking very little to each other. Hunter went through Ranger School and earned his tab with the utmost humility. While he was going through all that he went through though, we were left to writing letters and having brief (VERY brief) phone calls. Our relationship was 100% in God’s hands. It was He who got me through those quiet months and He who got Hunter through that combat leadership course. Because our Creator brought us to one another, He never failed to bring us out of our difficult times together. Our love for each other never weakened, but grew stronger in those months. I never knew I could love someone so much. On August 12th, 2017, I was asked to spend the rest of my life with the one person God made specifically for me. No, we are not perfect… Yes, we make mistakes… However, I plan on spending the rest of my life with someone who believes wholeheartedly in Jesus and promises to love Him more than me. I can’t wait to spend forever with Hunter living out Proverbs 27:17.
I first met Lawson when I was a junior in high school. She sat behind me with a group of her friends in the cafeteria. I definitely had a crush on her, but I didn’t really know how to even talk to her. I was honestly a huge wimp and did not have a lot of courage back then (still don’t). One night over spring break, I got her number from a friend and I decided to text her, like most millennials. What I didn’t know was when I made that move, I set the course for the rest of my life. What I found was one of the smartest, caring and most beautiful people I have ever met.
Senior year rolled around and I was on the football team. I told myself if we won the first game I would ask her to be my girlfriend, which was kind of a dumb bet I made with myself because we never won any games. As fate would have it we actually won and I went for it. I haven’t looked back since. She has become my best friend and I never thought I could love someone so much. On August 12th, I asked her to be my wife on a Charleston dock that looked out over the ocean. Lucky for me, she said yes. It could not have been any better. Even in my worst of times, and all the mistakes and bad choices I have made, she always been right there with an unconditional forgiveness. She has displayed to me the utmost empathy and undying love. I honestly do not know what this life would be like without her. I don’t think there is anyone on Earth as blessed and lucky as I am. I can’t wait to see what this life holds for us.
Venue: First Baptist Church of Myrtle Beach; Dunes Golf and Beach Club/ Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography / Makeup: Heather Carter / Hair: Karen Clark from Vanity Suite Salon / Cake: Pat Monteith (family member) / Florist: La Zelle’s Flower Shop / Officiant: Dr. Wayne Brown / Ceremony Musician: Rebecca from First Baptist of Myrtle Beach / DJ: Jeff Benton / Wedding Dress and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Groom’s Suit, Groomsmen’ Suits and shoes: Jos A. Banks