Hannah and I first met at a CCIL Easter retreat in 2008 called Repurposed. I had a few friends who went to the Croydon Chinese Church at that time and I decided to go along, being already familiar to Christian retreats.
I actually remember Hannah signing me in at the reception desk. She pointed at my name and told me she had a tipp-ex someone else’s name out to write my one in as I signed up for the camp late (she wasn’t too happy I messed up her registering system). My first impression of her was that she was pretty and rather loud! I really had no idea that I would be marring her 7 years later. I remember all the campers been sat down in the sports hall that year and we were slowly assigned to groups. I desperately wanted to be in Hannah’s group because I found her attractive. Sadly it was not meant to be…
I don’t think I even spoke to Hannah for the rest of the camp and the next time I saw or spoke to her was when I went to 360 fellowship during university. At 360 my wish finally came true and I was put into Hannah’s small group! We still didn’t talk much during this time. She keeps reminding me now that I was a horrible small group member, not contributing to discussions etc… The whole of the first year I was there, we hardly spoke to each other. But I really did enjoy the community with the people in 360.
During my second year of 360, Hannah spent a few months in Hong Kong for her dissertation. People at 360 thought of surprising her at the airport. I went because I wanted to hang around with my friends from 360 after the airport. Thinking back to it, this was the first time I saw into Hannah’s life. That was when I first met her parents. When she boarded the plan, it was nice to get a message from her saying thank you for seeing her off. That was probably the only time she spoke to me outside of a group setting. It felt pretty good to be noticed by her!
In the time Hannah went to Hong Kong my faith and relationship with God grew. It was a time I could really say I understood the gospel and how amazing God is.
When Hannah got back to England, we started bumping into each other more. We were friends with similar people and hung out in groups together. Towards the end of the summer there was a camp called Momentum, she forced me to go last minute and I decided to go.
Momentum was when Hannah and I started to get to know each other and we clicked straigth away. I remember there were times were we would skip talks and stay at our tent with others or grab coffee together. Throughout the next few months we spoke each other every day and slowly got to know each other better.
It wasn’t long before I knew I liked her, and one night I decided to text it to her. She thought it was a joke and I really didn’t know what to do. A few texts later she told me “I don’t not like you”, I guess that was better than nothing…. After we established that we had feelings for each other we decided to pray and seek God for guidance.
To me Hannah has always been that good Christian girl and I knew that she takes relationships seriously and I wanted to make sure that I could see myself marrying her before furthering our relationship. It took a few months, longer than I wanted (and definitely a lot longer than she wanted) but I finally asked her out and that is how our relationship began.
Since then we have had so many amazing memories. The little things are the things I remember and cherish the most. One of my favourite memories or us was when we to Greenwich Park. It might not seem like much, but having a picnic and flying a kite together was when I could see us spending the rest of our lives together.
Hannah has become my best friend, a person who constantly demands the best of me and an encourager who always reminds me to seek and place God first. I would have never thought I would be so lucky that God who provide such an amazing wife for me and I can’t wait to journey through life together with her by myside!
As a young girl growing up, I longed for that romantic fairy tale love story. But for so many years, I never even had a boyfriend. For the longest time, getting married and having my own family was my ultimate dream. One day God asked me to surrender that dream to Him, meaning to be OK with staying single all my life. Eventually I was able to surrender it to Him and finding a man was no longer my ultimate dream when I found Jesus.
Graham and I first met on a church camp back in 2008. If I am honest, I don’t remember much of him! All I remember was how he signed up to the camp late and as I was the one designing the camp handbook, I had to add his name to the handbook last minute. A couple of years later, we both attended universities in London and were part of 360 (a university fellowship group). I happened to be Graham’s small group leader. He was every small group leader’s nightmare- he would not share his thoughts and when he did, he would only do so in single syllables. As the encouraging leader that I am, I used to force him to read the bible out loud to the rest of the group knowing how much he hated reading out loud. But slowly, I saw God working in him. Over the years he became more involved with the fellowship and he began to really step out in faith.
In the summer of 2010, Graham and I both attended Momentum- a Christian camping festival. That is where our friendship really started. We got to know each other and that was when I realised how much fun he is to be around! I remember taking the tube together afterward, Graham being a gentleman, offered to carry my suitcase (which belonged to my dad and I had been instructed not to break). I refused Graham’s help and was determined to drag it down a flight of stairs by myself… And of course, the handle broke off and I turned around and found Graham on the floor laughing at me…! (Sorry about the suitcase Dad…)
We would speak every day after Momentum, he listened and supported me as I moaned and complained about writing my university dissertation. To add to the stress, I also had a few job interviews during that time and Graham would offer to do research for me. One night I was pondering about our friendship and I felt confused about my feelings. So I prayed and decided that I should stop talking to him as I did not want to invest too much time on a guy who is not my boyfriend. I knew that by not talking to him, I risk losing him as a friend. I thought that he would just lose interest in me and that would be the end! It really touched me when Graham continued to pursue me after I had ignored him for a bit.
We continued to nurture our friendship and 4 months after Momentum, Graham told me he liked me (via text…). To which I replied “Haha, very funny”. I just couldn’t believe he would like someone like me! I never thought I was cool enough for him. After praying about our relationship for a few months, we started dating. 4 years down the line, we are got married!!
It has been an amazing journey so far, not always the easiest. We had been through tough times and shared wonderful memories with each other. What delights me most is seeing Graham being transformed into a man after God’s heart. He is the most patient man I know and it really isn’t easy to put up with me! I am so excited to do life with him and serving God together as one.
God has been so faithful to me and I have learnt that He is a God I can surrender all areas of my life to because He does know best for me.