Joy in the Journey: Adventures with the Canadian

Uganda 2009: Sunrise over Lake Victoria

His debut on my world wide web was September 2010. It was a covert debut. A photo of our shoes. We were sitting in the Raleigh airport, talking through our week together and cautiously planning the next trip. I took a snapshot that has become a lasting memory (and might need to be framed sometime soon – hint, hint).

I first publicly mentioned Canada in November 2010 and covertly mentioned the time I’d met some Canadians in Uganda, but never fully explained the *real* reason I’d visited Canadaland. A few weeks later, I blogged about all my travels — referencing briefly my time across the border.

I posted photos of yet another trip to the northern regions in January 2011, but no photos of the one I’d gone to visit. By November 2011, I was still posting about my time in the snowy north, but  – again – all with purposeful vagueness.

I first blogged his name on December 31, 2009. He was standing next to me as I took these pictures from Christmas 2010.  He assisted me at this wedding from November 2011 and at his brother’s wedding in January 2011. He shared all the little moments I relished in February 2011.

Even though he’s been a huge part of the past several years, I’ve never published all the photos we’ve taken along the way. Oh, I’ve taken photos. Tons of them. (Duh. I’m a photographer. Everything is a photo op.) But these weren’t just any pictures — these were adventures on film, a documentary of our journey from Uganda to North Carolina to Canada; a documentary that couldn’t be published until the story was fully established.

Its our story.

Our love story.

It all started in Uganda. While I did laundry and cooked food and cleaned the outhouse, he built shelves and cabinets and wired the house for solar electricity.  Oh, and he put up bamboo-reed walls in the duplex we were living in so that for the first time in two years I actually had walls on my bedroom instead of just a corner of a room and a concrete floor.  Did I mention this was in Uganda? A long long long way from home? Oh yes. It was.

(the only photo we are both in — this was taken moments before we were held hostage on the Island because we failed to sign the island’s guestbook…a criminal offense, apparently. Obviously, we got out of that harrowing experience…but it was an adventure, to say the least.)

 

When we climbed up Volcano Island, watched the Gila Monster waddle through the underbrush, and wiped spiderwebs out of our hair, I never in a million years would’ve EVER dream that three years later we’d be 108 days from our wedding day. But God knows what He’s doing, and this is a reality far better than I could’ve ever concocted. Its my love story.  Coordinated by a gracious God who intersected the paths of a Canadian and an American in Uganda and brought us from acquaintances to friends to forever.

And its been good.

 

September 2010: NC Beach and Bluegrass Music
November 2010: Tim Hortons Coffee and dinner at Top of Vancouver.
December 2010: Mabry Mill and a snow-covered Blue Ridge Parkway
December 2010: Blizzard on the Blue Ridge Parkway
January 2011: Snowman and Hope, BC – the chainsaw art capital of the world
March 2011: Olympic Village and snowshoeing in Whistler, BC
August 2011: Wakeboarding on Belews Creek Lake
August 2011: Nascar Museum
August 2011: Greensboro, NC
November 2011: my Canadian birthday
Engagement Day
Engagement Day: December 10, 2011
January 2012: Fish Market in Seattle and Snowshoeing in Vancouver.

Our adventures in the past three years have taken us from Uganda to Vancouver to Greensboro to Vancouver to Kernersville and back and forth a couple more times, but in 108 days we get to start the biggest adventure of them all: an adventure that will continue until o – say – 60 years from now. (Assuming the life expectancy doesn’t increase dramatically as modern medicine becomes more advanced.) Its an adventure that will carry me and all my earthly possessions 3000 miles across the country and into a new country. Its an adventure that will send this patriotic American into the world of coffee-drinking, hockey-playing Canadians. Its an adventure that will be the biggest of them all.

But despite the 3000 miles, the inconveniences along the way, and the drastic changes coming in the next months, I’ve decided that John is worth it.

John is worth it because I can see him daily striving after Christlikeness.
John is worth it because he makes me laugh. All the time. His wittiness boggles my mind.
John is worth it because he knows me…and still likes me.
John is worth it because he has been my number one cheerleader for the past several years — in all areas of life, but especially my photographic dreams.
John is worth it because he’s fought through the challenges of a long distance relationship and gone the extra mile (no pun intended) to make it work.
John is worth it because I can see the fingerprints of God all over our friendship…and the relationship that was built on the friendship.
John is worth it because every.single.day, it boggles my mind that I get to marry the guy with a cute accent who knows how to wash dishes…by hand…in Uganda…with no running water…and no electricity.

 

Now this is a good adventure.

 

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23 Comments

  1. These are beautiful pictures! Jennifer, you are truly a beautiful woman of God – do you ever NOT smile?

    Blessings, and hopefully we will meet soon for pictures.
    Ronel

  2. what an adventurous life you lead… and I am certain more fun, love, and happiness will follow. glad for the update. You look so happy.

  3. What a beautiful love story! God does it best! Blessings to you both for a wonder filled life together.

  4. This is beautiful, Jennifer! I wish I had more opportunities to get together with you; not only are your stories beautiful, but you are beautiful–inside and out πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see those wedding photos!

  5. Well sweet one, you have gotten to know Micah in the right way with a foundation of friendship that has grown into “best” friends which will grow into a beautiful marriage. I will be anxious to see pictures of your wedding and updates of how God is using both of you.

    God bless you both!
    Liz Garthly
    Faith Mountain Farm

  6. and there was much rejoicing.

    those are some pretty amazing shots (I particularly like the part where you are showing him up on the wakeboard πŸ˜‰ ). so happy for you.

  7. awesome story and so very excited for you! marriage to the guy that God brings to you is better than any fairy tale πŸ™‚

  8. Well for all that waiting to finally talk about the guy – you did a super job! ;P Love this post and all the work that went into it!
    May you thoroughly enjoy the next 108 days planning your dream day and I am so STOKED to have a new sister coming out way!! πŸ™‚
    God bless you, my friend, and this amazing journey you two are on πŸ™‚

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