It’s been 2 years since I met my love, Joshua Bruce Bergenback. I thought this would be a great time to share the story of how we met for those who don’t know. It is really a great story (even if I’m a bit biased). We’ve made a lot of new friends lately, who have been asking this question of how we met, so why not share it with everyone!
His arrival in my life couldn’t have come at more of an opportune time. Those who were closest to me in the half year before we met, knew that it was maybe my lowest year yet. I had some pretty traumatic experiences, mixed with severed relationships, mixed with unhappiness with not being where I wanted to be…This perfect storm had culminated and ultimately to the most growth of myself as an individual that I’ve ever experienced. (Maybe I’ll be brave enough to share that story another day).
So coming off of this lowest of lows, I had been invited to a wedding of my sweet roomie from college, Connie. Connie and her boo live in Chattanooga, so the gorgeous event was set at the UTC chapel and the reception at an adorable coffee shop that I still love to frequent. (This location is important later). I obviously needed a plus one for this occasion. Having been a bit “over” guys at this point in my life, I texted one of my solid girlfriends, Katie, to ask if she would tag along. She politely told me that she would, but that she also had someone she wanted me to meet. I remember immediately rolling my eyes. She had been there through all of my drama and trauma…didn’t she realize that a new man in my life was the last thing I needed?! (She obviously knew more than I). After my dramatic eye roll, she said there was a catch (I knew it)…”the only thing is, he lives in Detroit.” WHAT?! How in the world is this going to work?
Little did I know that she sent mystery man a text that read “Dude, are you ever moving back to Tennessee?” and he responded with “Can you keep a secret? I just accepted a job in Chattanooga at Volkswagen, but I have to wait to share so I don’t get immediately walked out of my current gig.” She called me excitedly with the news…I’m not sure it was even English at first. “EEEKkkk! blisughapigj, JOSH ioeaphgl MOVING fjlkdah CHATTANOOGA euwoaphnvn WEDDING!!!” She asked permission to share my phone number, and a few weeks and many texts later, I had a plus one.
We decided that a first “semi-blind” date for the first date was a pretty high risk endeavor. We had of course stalked each other on social media, but we decided a true meeting before the wedding was a wise move. His excuse was “I don’t want you to embarrass me in front of all your friends” (I loved his sense of humor from the start) We met for tacos the Saturday before the wedding. It was a great first date. We had tacos and guacamole. We walked around downtown Knoxville. Josh almost beat-up a very “out-of-it” homeless person who tried to steal my wallet. We played Pokemon Go. I didn’t want to leave. After this night, we knew the wedding date was definitely still a “go”, and we had a blast in Chattanooga that next weekend, and honestly “the rest is history” as they say.
When I think back on the timing of it all, I’m almost brought to tears. To remember how I was feeling at the beginning of the year…I verbally said “I wish this year would have never happened”. I wanted to just erase it all. I was reminded that I needed to be thankful for the turmoil that brought me so much growth, so much eventual peace, being good with who I was, feeling stronger than I ever felt, and leading me to meeting my soulmate. I believe that God knew the time to bless my life with something so precious. He knew that I needed a new source of happiness, joy, peace, and fun. But he wasn’t just writing my story. He was writing Josh’s too. Josh had been living in Detroit for three years. We actually lived in Michigan at the same time, and still commiserate about it to this day. That fact was one of our first things in common actually. He got the job in Chattanooga at the exact time he was supposed to take his future wife, whom he’d never met, to a wedding…in Chattanooga. You can’t make this stuff up people!
As we got to know each other, more facts, and threads began to weave together. Josh and I both grew up in Knoxville, and are the same age, but had never met! How?! He went to school where my mom taught, and had one of my mentors and best friends as his Calculus teacher. His roommate in college’s mom was my mom’s roommate in college! She also tried to set us up when I was living in Chicago, but Josh somehow knew the timing wasn’t right yet. You should have seen her face when we surprised her to tell her we were actually dating, two years after her original match-making efforts. Josh and I both agree that we are happy we didn’t meet until we did, and we both see the amazing force that pulled us together at the perfect time.
I’m so happy to share that two years later, we are still just as smitten. We’ve gotten to share so many new things together like living with each other, buying our first home, new jobs, new names, new friends, new travels. Thanks for reading our story…it truly is a joy to share.