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This Is How We Met: Bethany Suckrow's Story

Bethany is a Twitter friend of mine and a gifted writer. I've enjoyed getting to know her the past several months. Writers unite! Today is a special day for her and her husband so it's an especially good to time to hear their story.
The story really starts when I was still in high school. I was the good girl dating the bad boy. Yes, it was so Avril Levigne it makes me cringe.

I see my hormone-induced insanity now, but back then, all I thought was, ‘Hey! That kid wears his baseball cap backwards, has an earring and likes alternative rock. Score : Bethany one; parents zip!’ 

To make a long, angst-ridden story extremely short, I eventually realized Bad Boy was not even remotely worth the heartache and embarrassment he put me through, so I broke up with him. I spent my senior year of high school single and obsessed with getting good grades. Occasionally I glanced sideways across the classroom and noticed a guy that might be worth my time, but he was usually dating someone else, perhaps a sophomore cheerleader whose parents didn’t enforce curfews or clothing. 

Anyway, I graduated. It felt lonely and a little abnormal without a dashing soccer player by my side for prom or the parties that I snuck out to, but I was okay with it. 

That summer I met this really cute guy at a wedding. We danced and then he asked me out and we spent the summer together. It was wonderful; he was a hometown boy, a guy that knew how to shake my father’s hand and open doors for me, a guy that did rugged, outdoorsy things like fish and chop wood. And he was a great kisser. And hello, he was older than me, a college guy. 

Hometown Boy and I decided to keep dating as he went back to school and I started college. I chose a Christian university in Chicago far enough away from my family to feel independent, but close enough that it didn’t feel like I was disowning them. 

And that’s where I met Matt. Tall with black-rimmed glasses and Converse sneakers, Matt was a musician with a soul for rock-n-roll. We met in choir. And I totally ignored him. He sent me a Xanga message (remember Xanga?!) complimenting my Led Zeppelin t-shirt that I wore to rehearsal that day. I said thanks, but didn’t acknowledge him in class. He asked me to sit with him on the choir tour bus. I said I would love to and then I sat with my friend Rachel. He joined us for dinner at the cafeteria one night and I laughed till I cried with all of his antics, but I still didn’t let myself think about him, this funny, sweet guy right in front of me. 

I had just told Hometown Boy “I love you” at Christmas and we had talked about getting engaged and spending our lives together in the town where we grew up. 

And yet.

As I settled in to college life, I realized the weight that this relationship was bringing down upon me. Hometown Boy was nice, but Hometown Boy was smoking pot and getting drunk with his fraternity brothers and barely making grades to stay in school. Hometown Boy was a gentleman when the lights were on, but I couldn’t trust him or myself in certain situations. We didn’t see eye-to-eye on faith, either. I wanted to grow closer to God and figure out what He was calling me to do. It was really hard to figure that out with Hometown Boy talking marriage and going back home to raise a family. 

And then there was Matt, the Good Guy, the guy that I was less and less able to ignore, the guy that I wanted to pay attention to because he was kind and funny and honest. We both loved Zeppelin and Almost Famous and Chicago and we talked endlessly about music and art and travel. We found it easy to confide in each other and laugh together. 

I felt like God was dangling Matt in front of me, a choice between what I knew and what could be. I thought hard about this difference I felt between Hometown Boy and Good Guy, the feeling that I was anchored down to something I didn’t really want versus the feeling that I was growing toward something new and different. 

Matt made it so clear that whatever choice I made needed to be about what God was calling me to; it didn’t matter what anyone else wanted from me. Matt laid his heart on the table, said he liked me and thought I was beautiful, but he also said that what he really wanted was to see me pursue my faith. Maybe if it was another guy I would have been suspicious that it was all a grand ploy to make me want him. But somehow with Matt, I knew he meant it. 

Six years ago to this very day (02.10.06) I took a risk and decided that if Matt really meant what he said, he would put his money where his mouth is. We’ve survived six years of ups and downs, a semester abroad, a wedding, a zillion part-time jobs, family hardships, and 2 1/2 years of marriage and we’re still going strong.

In a good relationship, there is a clear before and after. True love transforms. It ignites passion not just for the other person, but for life. And so the story starts before, when God was preparing you to want something more, someone that is good for you. And it only gets better from there.


Photo 24Bethany is a staff writer and freelancer by day, blogger and artist by night. She authors the blog She Writes and Rights, where she shares both prose and poetry related to life, faith, relationships, storytelling and creativity. She has just begun her first foray into selling her artwork through an Etsy shop, The Ripe Word. She and her musician husband Matt live in the Chicago suburbs.