I had the pleasure of meeting these two lovely people when my husband and I traveled to Texas for a once in a lifetime destination wedding with the sweetest couple, Cody and Faith (see the wedding here!) Brooke and Jake went to college with our friends that invited us to Texas, and also found themselves in Indiana, my hometown! For their 1 year anniversary, Brooke contacted me to do some photos, and I thought her unique story of living over 1,000 miles away from home to honor her husband just needed to be told. I admire her strength and steadfast faith in the Lord for getting her through leaving everything and everyone she loved to dedicate herself to a strong marriage and the man she loved. Enjoy their story!
In February of 2017 Jake had received a phone call that two weeks later found him in Indiana, PA. He received a job offer from an Energy company as an assistant project manager. March 6th he moved across the country while I stayed back in Stephenville, Texas to finish my school- to say the least I was terrified of what to come. Our long-distance relationship lead to long nights and even longer lonelier days. I had phone call after phone call with my mom telling her I can’t do this. I thought I wasn’t strong enough and would lose the person that I wanted most.
This was a complete whirlwind from our relationship prior to Jake taking this job. When we met we instantly clicked. It didn’t take long until my cousin told me “when you know you know”. We started going to church together, studying together and started dating 3 months after meeting. Needless to say I had less desirable moments with my roommates at the time and found myself at Jake's house the majority of the next year and a half.
Jake decided that this job was a chance that he couldn’t pass up, but made me promise him that if the distance ever got too tough to tell him and he will find a way to come home. “It’s just a job” I remember him saying. It was a big, hard change but Jake still managed to make me smile and keep faith in our relationship from 1,260 miles away. Thank goodness for today's technology because daily Facetime dates made the distance somewhat bearable.
Fast forward through a lot of flights back and forth and a few days worth of driving, Jake proposed September 1st 2017. That same weekend I moved up to PA with him and we bought a travel trailer together where we lived at Yellow Creek with our two pups. Oh, an adventure that was! We encountered our first PA winter and it was HARD. Canned goods, hairspray, and my toes froze some nights, but together we made it.
A few months before the wedding I decided that it was best to go finish planning my wedding back at home. May 5th 2018 we had our dream wedding and I permanently moved up to PA to live with my new husband. The thought of moving away from all of my family and friends was gut punching- I have a nephew whom doesn’t know me and a niece that is getting “too cool” to come jump in my lap and snuggle.
Since the wedding I had not seen my family for 7 months. It was hard, I went to bed many nights with tears in my eyes from missing my sweet family. However, in those seven months Jake and I had created a beautiful marriage. We did everything together: cleaned together, cooked, went shopping, everything. There was never one of us without the other unless it was forced.
Before I got a job up here I had no one but my husband in Pennsylvania- I had no friends, I had no family, no job to even have co workers to talk to. I had my husband who worked long days six days a week and even seven sometimes. Being away from my home that I left everyone in is hard, do not let me trick you into thinking opposite, but being able to rest my head next to my best friend every single night is beyond priceless and worth it all.
This season of life will one day pass, but for right now we are grateful for the foundation of our marriage being built away from home letting us focus on just each other. We have had to fully rely on one another as that is all we had. I believe that waking up everyday with just my husband for the past year has given our marriage a unique but strong foundation. We look to each other for everything- support, answers, advice, assurance.
Jake and I along with many other people believe that life’s priorities are in this order: God, your spouse, your children/family, yourself, and lastly work. Our first year of marriage has modeled this so easy- we have been able to focus on only each other and create the best foundation possible before we start a family and life’s stressors are thrown into the equation. One day we will move home from this strange place that we call “home” where we will start a family and create a new life that we will love and together we look forward to that. But for right now I look forward to tomorrow that I get spend with just my husband.