Excited doesn't even begin to describe how Jim and I feel about this engagement. Grateful.....
Humbled.......Elated....... Praising God.
Caleb is a year younger than Jamee and they began with what we thought was a childish "puppy love" when Jamee was in eighth grade and Caleb in seventh. And maybe it was just a spark of "puppy love" at that time but it flourished into something much greater. At that age the kids used to come home from school and announce that "so and so is going out with so and so." To which we would respond, "Oh really, where are they going?" It always amazed me how a girl could be "going out" with a boy and then a month later be "going out" with another boy and yet they never really went anywhere together. Our response was maddening to the kids but also effective in downplaying all of the pairing off of couples of the opposite sex. Jamee and Caleb were never "going out" at that age but we knew that she was a bit more fond of Caleb than she was of other boys.
When Jamee transferred over to high school and Caleb was still in middle school, we thought it would be the end of their puppy love. But it wasn't. They continued on with a not-really-dating-but-unofficially-spoken-for status for several years. It helped a lot that Caleb's parents downplayed the relationship thing equally as much as we did. I can't even say exactly when their relationship became "official" but I think Jamee was a junior in high school. Up until then, I always felt like there was a measure of safety in their sweet relationship. They were never pairing off or going out alone together but their commitment to each other was strong enough that Jamee was seen as "off limits" to other guys. That was perfectly fine with Jim and I.
Over the years we have sent up many, many prayers on Jamee and Caleb's behalf. They were two young people with incredibly high moral standards. As they matured we had the beautiful privlege of watching them grow in an ever deepening relationship with Jesus Christ and with each other. They have weathered some tumultuous times. Caleb was there for Jamee as we journeyed through the grief of Laynee's death.
When Jamee left for college in Saint Louis, we wondered if their relationship, would last. It did.
A year later, when Caleb left for college at U of I we wondered, again, if the relationship would last. It did. They handled the distance relationship beautifully.
After Caleb graduated from high school he began working for our construction company during his summer and winter breaks. Jim, Grant and Brock got to know Caleb in a different capacity out on the job site, working hard under sometimes extreme weather conditions. Caleb was one of Grant's closest friends even before the spark was ignited for Jamee. Through the years, Caleb has spent a great deal of time with all of us and already feels very much like part of our family.
Jamee will be finishing at SLU in August and will then take her Board of Registy exam for Radiation Therapy and then begin seeking a job in the Champaign Urbana area, near U of I where Caleb attends. This spring Caleb will take his MCAT exam and later begin the process of applying to med schools. In August he will begin his final year of pre-med. With all of these things in mind, they are planning a November wedding. There is a bit of uncertainty concerning where they will ultimately end up living. It's entirely dependent on where Caleb is accepted into med school.
We are so excited for the coming year as we prepare for their wedding. As with all marriages, we know that they will have joys and challenges. We know also that God will see them through it all. Our prayer is that, together, they can do great things for Him.
God is good, all the time