WEDDED Wednesdays: The Bowers' Story
Welcome to "WEDDED Wednesdays." Each week we share our friends' stories of love and marriage with you! Real LOVE stories. This week - Meet the Bowers!
THE BOWERS' STORY
How long have you been married? We're one day away from 2 months of marriage. Tomorrow will be exactly 2 months!
How did you meet?
"The first time I remember laying eyes on Michael was at my ex-boyfriend's apartment. The two were a part of the same men's small group at the time.
I really wanted to commit my life to Christ and do things God's way, so I had moved out of my ex's apartment. I went to his apartment that day to move the rest of my stuff. While I was there I remember talking to Mike and thinking he was really funny and cool.
However, our first real encounter and the beginning of our friendship was one day after a Wednesday night Midweek service.
It was a really confusing time in my life. I was trying to live for Christ but the moment I had decided to do things God's way, things got really bad. I didn't know what to do.
After service that night I was crying, so I tried running to my car. I didn't want anyone to see me crying, or stop me and ask me why I was crying. I tried running past a group of people talking in the parking lot, Mike was a part of the group, and they stopped me before I could get to my car. Everyone told me that I didn't have to go through this alone but it was Mike that said we should pray. He prayed for me right there in the parking lot. I mean he really went in on my behalf. No one had every prayed for me like that. I felt like he really understood me, it was different.
After we prayed he pulled me aside and asked what was going on and what I needed. I told him about my job situation (my hours were being cut, which meant I could barely pay rent now that I was living in my own apartment), and I had car problems (I was driving on three wheels and a semi-flat tire because I couldn't afford to fix it).
The very next day he set up an interview where he was working and I got the job! He fixed my tire in the freezing rain, and he filled my refrigerator with food. I cooked dinner as a thank you and we hung out the rest of the day just talking about God.
After that, we were just really great friends. I didn't know I liked him at the time, I was just really attracted to his walk with Christ, and the fact that he was willing to stop what he was doing to pray for and help someone he barely knew.
When he found out I was having trouble with my apartment he told me about the apartment complex he was moving to and told me I should move there too. I did. So there we were, great friends going to the same church, working, at the same place, and living in the same apartment complex, lol. People asked if we were together and told us we would make a great couple but we we denied it. But even as friends we were inseparable.
It took us about a year to see how much we loved each other but eventually God made it clear. Mike came to me one day after an intense workout and said, 'We need to talk...How do you feel about me?' I didn't want to answer the question. He took the lead and told me how he felt and we stayed up all night talking about what we felt for each other. I never had a guy that noticed all the little things that Mike had noticed about me.
From there we agreed to fast to seek God as to whether we should move forward or not. At the end of the fast, on 4/8/10, he invited me to IHOP. He was a nervous wreck. At one point he got up and went to the bathroom, and then he came back with a huge, single, rose, which I still have. Then he got on one knee and asked me to be his girlfriend. I said "Yes!'
After that we spent every waking moment together. We both got closer to God, and to each other and we built a really good foundation. We had built a great friendship. It was love from the beginning, I just didn't want to admit that because of all my bad relationships, but I just knew this was it.
We've been fighting for our relationship since day one. What kept us going is the fact that we both knew we had heard from God. We fought through a lot but it was so worth it.
And turns out I met Michael at least two times before really meeting him. We had shared mutual friends for a long time and just didn't know it. I feel like we were always destined to be together." - Katia
How long did you date? We dated for 4 years and 5 months, and we were engaged for 9 months.
How would you describe your wedding? Our wedding started off beautiful and elegant but then got chaotic and crazy. Our caterer was 4 and a half hours late. It was hot as butt [lol], and we forgot to give the speeches and do the toasts. BUT the night ended with lots of fun and dancing. It was the perfect day.
Marriage Mission Statement: 1 million transformed from revelation to salvation.
Best Advice Before Marriage: People say it all the time but it is so important. Don't hold grudges, always talk about the issue, even if you have to agree to disagree. If there's a problem, don't hold it in, get it out and talk about it as soon as possible. Ephesians 4:26, "Don't let the sun go down on your anger." Also, Don't spend too much money on the wedding because you still have to live and eat after that day. ("OMG why didn't we listen? LOL" - Katia)
Favorite Activity To Do Together: We love to serve and speak together. We have actually preached together twice.
Advice for Engaged Couples:
Surround yourself with people who understand marriage and not just the wedding. Absolutely take premarital.
Also, take this time to focus on bettering your individual character.
One of the greatest problems in marriage is not 'marriage problems' but the problems you bring into the marriage. Character flaws that you bring into your marriage from singlehood. Are you the type of person that shuts down in conflict? Or do you start arguments? Do you know how to listen and focus on the person?
People say, 'Marriage is hard. Marriage is hard.' But to be honest, when you think about it, Marriage isn't hard when you're going to make decisions based on each individual situation. What makes marriage seem hard is the issues you bring - Who are you in difficult situations? How do you respond? How do you act?
While you're engaged, don't just focus on planning the wedding. Really use this time for Self-evaluation. Think, 'What else can I be working on to not hurt the other person and to better the relationship once we're married? What character flaws do I have that I have been comfortable with and that I don't want to let go of?'
Really taking the time to do this, will benefit your marriage in the short term and the long run!
[I Just HAD to share all three photos from Mike and Katia - I couldn't help it! This couple was giving us way too much newly wed marriage magic for me to pass up :winks: xoxo -CF]