When most people think of love stories they tend to think of romantic movies and novels where the rugged 6’2, seductive male sweeps the petite, wide-eyed 5’0 girl off her feet. There are immense, intense, and obsessive feelings equally felt by both parties. There is a climax and resolution of their problems in 90 minutes where their lives will seemingly be this way until death. Those stories are nonsense and nothing at all what my fiancé and I experienced. In six days, I am getting married to the love of my life, Taylor Ann Jones. Many people do not know our full love story, and God moved so many mountains to make this happen and taught us so much in the process. We will each share our versions of our story with the hope that it will help someone out there in some way, to glorify God. This is a story of hardship, shattered expectations, waiting, surrender, freedom, real love, and hope that never gave up. Again, we hope through the telling of our story God will reveal something to you that you needed to know. Perhaps, something about relationships, love, or hope, but I will leave that to Him.
After I had graduated from college and eventually made my way back to Texas in 2014, I was living with one of my best friends, Shane, who I had played football with in high school. I was extremely focused on my career and not much else, but I was single and hoping to not be one day. When I first moved back to the Dallas area, I started getting plugged into my church. I had always been a believer and grew up in the church, but my understanding of the Gospel and the Bible were shallow. I knew Jesus was my Savior, I believed in the Trinity, I knew some of the Bible stories, and I innately knew most of the principals, but that was about it. Even though I had read the Bible cover to cover, I still could not remember or explain much about it.
I was volunteering and looking for a community to build deeper roots within the church. Outside of church and work, my mind was also on finding a mate. I would not say I was searching, but I had my eyes open to any opportunities.
Shane and I loved sports (I think he still does). We especially loved playing them. He was trying to put together a coed softball team and had not asked me to play for two reasons: One is because I had been so busy studying (for my financial licenses and certification) that I wasn’t willing to do much else. The second is because he knew I was not particularly good at softball. I have always been athletic, tried hard, and learned quickly. But softball was not a sport I had spent enough time playing to be good at yet.
Eventually, I guess he asked me to play out of desperation or for the comradery, I am not sure which. He had already been telling me about who was on the team, and I was expecting that he may end up asking me to play if he could not find anyone else. Most of the people, and probably all the girls were people we had gone to high school with. So, I was casually looking them up on Facebook when he would tell me who was playing, just so I could visualize who he was talking about. I noticed all the girls he asked to play were already friends with each other and were probably pretty close. Eventually, I realized they were all friends with this girl named Taylor Jones. This was significant because I remember first thinking she was cute back in 6th or 7th grade. I remember thinking she was witty too. Then in high school, I thought she seemed sweet and super attractive. Even in college, I would notice her from time to time on Facebook. Once I realized this connection, I was hoping Shane would ask me to play and this would lead to some time with her.
A few games went by and Taylor Jones was nowhere to be seen. I kept waiting and hoping her friends would invite her to come to watch. Eventually, Shane got tired of me waiting and spoke up in front of everyone, and said something like “Y’all are friends with Taylor Jones, right? Weaver would like it if she came to a game.” The next game she showed up and I tried my best to look cool in front of her, and make sure to interact with her, but not too much. She and her friends ended up coming over to our house after the game to hang out. Since I already knew I liked the way she looked, I wanted to get to know her a little more. So, I made sure we were standing on the same side of the yard when we played a game of cornhole. It was then we started talking and I turned on my charm. Somewhere along the way, her friend Missy had told me Taylor was struggling with her faith. At that time, I had never struggled with my faith and wanted to learn more about what she thought and where she was coming from. So that was one of the topics of discussion when I ran out of small talk. We at once connected over that because I wanted to help her, and she was not afraid to go deep. She told me that she could not believe God was real because of all the suffering in the world.
I appreciated how open she was with me and what a deep thinker she was. I felt a strong attraction to her and decided I wanted to continue to pursue her. Things went slow from the start, which I was ok with. I remember her pursuing me more than I her for a while. Eventually, I knew I wanted to make things serious. For me, that was the whole point of pursuing someone and dating. It was not just for fun. I dated to marry. She had a tough time with that and was very resistant to anything close to defining the relationship and being “exclusive.” I hated knowing she was not committed and even talking to other guys still.
Yet I was very drawn to her because of the deep discussions we would have. As we grew closer, we learned we not only had different views but quite different personalities. She was very much a free spirit and super emotional, and I was and still am a very structured and rational person. So, we naturally clashed. But because I was so interested in her, I wanted to keep moving forward.
At one point I remember talking to my dad about our clashing faith views and he was not certain about what to do, but he wondered if maybe God brought us together so I could help her find Him. That stuck with me. Taylor was searching so much that she was seeing a Biblical counselor, and I decided that I should see her too, to probe about what exactly I was getting myself into. I remember her counselor asking me if I was “missionary dating”. I had not even heard of that at the time and assured her I was not. She advised me that it was not good to be unequally yoked, but that I was probably good for Taylor and it was up to me if I wanted to try to bring her to the faith or not.
Naturally, I accepted the challenge and kept moving forward. The next part of our story can be summed up by saying we went through some extreme difficulties. I was completely committed to her and yet she was completely scared of me. On top of that, we had a challenging time accepting each other’s personalities and that our expectations of love and relationships (especially hers) were inaccurate.
Eventually we each went in to see her counselor (and I had started seeing the same counselor regularly just to figure out how to deal with Taylor) to go through our personality profiles. That explained so much about each of us and made me feel normal again. So often Taylor thought I needed to change and be more like her, but the personality profiles made things make sense why we were so different.