“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
I often get asked, “how did you and Ruvim meet?” and it’s fun to say that we grew up together. I think everyone loves a love story; I mean, I’ve always wondered how mine would unfold. Now, I can finally be sharing it!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Like I said, we basically grew up together. We were both born in Russia and then our families immigrated to Washington. I lived in Seattle and he lived in Camas. In 2003, my family moved to Alaska and about five years after, his family moved right across the street.
We watched each other go through life: awkward teen phases, dating other people, middle & high-school drama, and we even worked together at some point. We had mutual friends and similar interests, so we were around each other often. A couple months after I turned 17, we went on our first date!
After that, every day held its own set of adventures. I knew I would marry this guy! He was everything I’d dreamed of as a little girl. And it’s true what they say: opposites attract! Despite our cultural similarities, we quickly found differences that seemed to balance and connect us more.
Fast-forward to January 2015, I left for Bible school in Oregon where I recommitted my life to God. During that time, he also began pursuing God.
This is where things got iffy. We were 18 and trying to figure this thing called life. I was planning to go on a one-way mission trip to Ukraine after Bible school. He was figuring out what he wanted to do. So, what would that do to us?
He spent the summer with me and my family and shortly after that I moved to Colorado (read about that here). Not long afterward, we broke up. It seemed to make sense because we were in different states but something was off. Either way, I wanted to move on and make the most of every moment, being in a new city and all. So I told myself that whatever happened, happened for a reason and if we were meant to be… it would be.
He moved on. Like, literally and physically moved on out of Alaska. He called me sometime in January, saying that he felt God calling him to Colorado. I couldn’t believe it, so I told him there’s no way…
But on a sunny yet chilly March afternoon, he showed up at our doorstep. Like I said, I didn’t think he was serious but there he was, standing in front of me. After that, everything was a blur.
I say that because… as romantic it was for him to leave everything he knew and venture out to Colorado, I didn’t want to date again. Why? I honestly don’t know. But that didn’t change his mind or heart.
He began pursuing me week after week, month after month. He texted, called, came over, everything and anything to get me to go out with him again. He just wouldn’t take no for an answer. For eight months he pursued and prayed!
Love must be sincere. Romans 12:9a
In December, it felt like someone lifted a veil that covered my eyes or as if God flipped the light switch. I saw him in a new light. He was different and there was something that drew me to him.
It was then that I thought: if there is anyone in this world I want to spend my life with, it’s him. All the months prior felt like they didn’t happen; that blur! He definitely noticed the change and was quick to ask me out for coffee… again.
On New Year’s Day 2017, we went out to a nearby coffee shop and he did all the talking. With every word he said, my heart melted and I just knew. I knew all over again that I wanted to spend every day with him!
I started to feel bad about the months prior but I realized that during that time God was teaching us what a healthy relationship should look like. He worked it out for our good! We learned more about ourselves, about true love, and His plan for our life together.
“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” — Morrie Schwartz