In honor of the Tenth Anniversary of our Wedding, I have put together a list of ten of my favorite days with Jennifer Hrabovsky Knierim.
1. The Day We Met. Jenn and I met at Samford’s summer orientation in 1998. She sat by me in the chapel while we waited for the orientation to begin. We barely talked, but I could tell she was someone that I would want to know. Over the weekend we would talk a little, but we didn’t really know each other well at that point.
2. The Day We Ate at Chili’s. Before we ever really got serious or were really even dating, Jenn and I had dinner at Chili’s in Homewood, AL. At this dinner I realized that Jenn was the woman I was supposed to marry. Our dreams and life priorities were nearly identical. On top of that, we had a good time at a Chili’s, and if you find someone who makes eating at Chili’s a good experience, marry them right away.
3. The Day We Got Married. On June 22nd, 2002, Jenn and I were married in the chapel where we met four years earlier. It was an amazing day. Our wedding day philosophy was that the wedding was a party we were throwing for ourselves, and it worked out amazingly. We had a blast, and it was a perfect way to have all of our friends and family there, including many who have now passed away. Jenn looked amazing as a bride, and I was never prouder that she would choose to bind her life with mine. Also, we came away with about 250 chicken fingers, so there is that.
4. The Day We Changed Our Entire Life Plan. A day or two before graduating from college and then getting married, I called Jenn and told her that I no longer felt like we were supposed to move to New Orleans for seminary. Despite the fact that everything was all set and we had a plan to move there a month later, she totally trusted me. We ended up quickly finding an apartment and then I got a job and she began school at Alabama. I would get into a Beeson a semester later and the story goes on from there. Before we were even married Jenn and I were on the same page and had faith that God was calling us to something that didn’t make a great deal of sense but was the right thing to do.
5. The Day with the Orphans. As a part of Jenn’s job as an international adoption social worker, we had the opportunity to go to Guatemala and stay in an orphanage. Having the opportunity to minister to and care for the orphans in Guatemala with Jenn was a powerful experience. I was able to see just how loving Jenn was and how much love she was capable of. Being able to experience the orphanage and the ministry together helped us grow in our faith and in our commitment to being a couple who saw serving God as our number one priority.
6. The Day We Saw the Coliseum. Several years ago we had the opportunity to go to Paris and Rome. It was a once in a lifetime trip, and we loved every minute of it. We were like children who are discovering the world. Each day we saw something fantastic and new. One day we were exploring Rome (I refuse to use a tour guide as I consider myself an awesome traveler) and we turned a corner and there was the Coliseum standing in front of us. It was breathtaking moment, and I loved sharing it with Jenn. She was also very gracious to have walked with me into every church in Rome and Paris.
7. The Day Isabel Was Born. Like our wedding day, this day was a day that completely changed our lives. We never could have imagined the joy and the meaning behind having a daughter. It was an incredible day that ushered in a whole new phase for our lives. There is no one who I would rather enter into the world of parenting more than Jenn.
8. The Day We Moved to Tennessee. Jenn had never lived outside of Birmingham, and moving to Hendersonville meant leaving all of her friends and family. It was a big move, but Jenn never wavered as we saw it as God’s plan for us. Even being eight months pregnant did not stop her enthusiasm for the move. She was not, however, very helpful in carrying things upstairs. Living in Hendersonville has been better than we could have ever dreamed as we lead students to become fully committed followers of Christ and as we watch our own children grow into the people we hope they become.
9. The Day William Was Born. Isabel and William are such blessings for us. When William was born we had such a sense of family. Watching Isabel meet him for the first time and being able to think about what it would be like to be a father to a boy was so humbling. Knowing that William would have such an incredible mother set my mind at ease when I considered how nervous I was about raising a son and being a great example.
10. Today. Today is one of my favorite days because every day with Jenn is a day to grow in our relationship. Every day brings new things and deeper understanding of what it means to become one person when it would seem that we are very much two people. I thank God each day that God saw fit to have me sit next to Jenn at that orientation. His hand has been on our relationship from the beginning, and I am excited to see what the next 10 years and the next 100 years brings (I am assuming people will live that long with advances in medicine).