My Love Story (Olivia and Nathan Mancini)

Avatar Olivia Mancini | November 14, 2018 136 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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First Things First

I always knew God had a man for me. My mom always encouraged me to “pray for my future husband”. I did. I made a list of things I wanted in a husband when I was about 11 or 12 years old. As years went by the list slowly turned into a small journal FULL of criteria. But, even though I had this “criteria”, I still ventured into a world of falling for boys I couldn’t have. and get my heart broken plenty of times. I chased after guys, though, I believe now it was God’s grace that they never ever chased me back. At the time I wished so badly for a boyfriend, for someone to love me and cherish me. I wanted someone to call me beautiful, to make me feel special. I sat in my room on my free time and did nothing but day dream, wonder, and draw pictures of me getting married. Little did I know, there was a better way I could have handled this.

What I should have done in the waiting

I should have found the Lord. I should have spent my free time praying, serving others, and growing in my relationship with Him. (I do regret not doing this).

Before him…

When I finally had enough of the crying and the broken hearts for the ones I could not have, I prayed to God and fell asleep. That night was a tough night… I cried myself to sleep, and my heart felt shattered. That night, the Lord gave me a dream… My heart flooded with peace! Yeshua was giving me hope, He is a comforter! I am so grateful to Him!

The Dream

“I was walking at a busy beach. I had my phone in my hand and I remember being very frustrated, and annoyed. I think I was texting another boy in the dream. I was looking down because I was typing and I was very focused but I was also walking and not looking where I was going. All of a sudden, I slammed into someone. I fell to the ground and there he was. The man in the dream had spikyish hair, tall, cute (What my husband looks like). I couldn’t see his face in the dream, but I remember exactly what he looked like. I think I gave him my number in the dream then I woke up.”

When I Believed (Sort of)

I woke up refreshed, happy, and peaceful. I woke and was ready to find this dream boy! But there was a problem, I was only 14 years old. The Lord gave me that dream, but I was not ready to meet him yet! I was too young, too immature, and way too far from the Lords plan. So what did I do? I drew pictures of him, prayed (Kind of), and day dreamed. I eventually got extremely impatient. I started liking a guy I couldn’t give up on, again. Then I just started thinking about different guys and how they could be a cute boyfriend without actually thinking if they were “husband materiel”. I had crush, after crush, after crush. None of them lasted long, but I was in love with the idea of love.When I was 16 I still had my dream boy in the back of my mind, but I thought “Maybe it is just a hope, or a fantasy”. I was starting to slowly doubt. I starting texting a boy behind my parents back, and he was way too old for me and wasn’t living a Godly life. But I liked the fact of liking someone. My best friend tried talking me out of it many times, but I still didn’t listen. One day, I was hiding in my room texting him. Then I heard the stairs squeaking, so I quickly threw my phone under my pillow so she didn’t see it. Then I pretended like I was doing something else so she didn’t suspect anything. But my mom is smarter than that! She came in and sat next to me on my bed and was like, “So?”. I was like, “What?”. She then asked me what I was doing. I just told her I was just drawing (Which I kind of was while texting). She then said, “I saw you were talking to a guy, (She then said his name), and I wanted to know if he was your dream boy?”. I froze. I had nothing to say besides, “No”. That night she told me how she felt about the situation, she never said I couldn’t talk to him, but my father was very against it. I cared very much about my parents opinions, which they didn’t know at the time, so them not being okay with it made me uneasy. I still talked to him though, behind their backs. For a few months I just tried to get him to like me, but it just wasn’t working. I was forcing myself to like him because I just wanted a boyfriend. I then gave up. I stopped texting him. That year I went to an amazing youth camp called Camp Yeshua and it changed my life forever. I was never serious about the Lord until then. I had a real encounter with God! He touched my heart. I fell madly in love with Him after that week. I started to delete all my secular “love songs”, everything that wasn’t praise and worship. I began to actually read my Bible for myself. This happened for my best friend as well. We both became on fire for the Lord at the same time and we began to strengthen and sharpen each other. I began to think about “dream boy” again. I then started praying for him daily. After camp, I decided to stop chasing guys, but to let the one come to me in God’s timing. That fall, in October, I saw a post from a boy I met years before.

When We Met At First

I met Nathan when him and his family came over for the Feast Of Unleavened Bread. They heard about our fellowship (Because my dad is the pastor) and wanted to check us out. So my family invited them over. My mother then started telling me about how they have sons near my age. I wasn’t convinced, because I already had “a crush”. But they came and stayed for a while. Nathan looked like he was 9, but he was actually 12. I was 14. He sat on the floor in front of me (Little did I know, he was going to be the love of my life forever), and I leaned over and said, “So do you play any instruments bud?”. I treated him like a little kid. It still makes me laugh to this day. We never talked in person again at that time. But when they left he got a Facebook account and we became friends. He would try to message me (He had a crush on me) but I would keep it short and eventually ignored him for a couple years… He started liking other girls and he says he still thought about me.

I find it funny that I was begging for my dream boy to the Father but he placed him right under my nose and I had already met him. The Lord is funny like that.

When We Talked Again

One day, that October, when I was 16, after camp, I got on Facebook. I was scrolling through the feed and a video popped up! It was Nathan playing guitar! I played the video and as I was watching it, the images of my dream boy came to mind. I began to remember the hair, the face shape, everything! I watched the video over and over and over again! I couldn’t stop. I said over and over, “That’s my dream boy!”. I couldn’t believe it!

I remember I wanted to message him, but I remembered all the times I pursued guys first and it didn’t work out. So I said, “Okay Lord, if he is the one, he will message me first.” I remember it not being too long after either a week or two.I kept waiting, but I was making a status about wanting a free horse and if anyone knew about one then they can message me. Nathan went on Craigslist, (He lived in a different state than me), so he had to go on a different states Craigslist and find me a free horse in my area. He then messaged me a link with a free horse and said, “I saw you were looking for a free horse. I found this one, is it close to your area?”. I remember feeling so flattered that someone would go out of their way like that to help me. It was so romantic in my eyes. I saw the horse but I didn’t end up getting her. When he sent me the link, that began a friendship that never ended. We talked every single day for hours. We asked millions of questions, and we called each other best friends. At first that upset me because I thought I was “friend zoned”, but then I realized years later that being friends first is SO important. We talked for 3months before he confessed his feelings for me. I confessed back. He was 15, I was 16 almost 17. Yes, we were young, and guess what? My parents did not know. I was afraid to tell them! They did say that when I was 16 I could start dating, but I was still afraid! I had never had someone like me back before… So one night, I came down the stairs, shaking. I sat on the stairs quietly, and waiting for my parents to stop talking so I can budge in.

“Mom, Dad,?”

“What?”

“Do you remember Nathan? The one I have been talking to? My friend?”

“Yeah”

“We just told each other we like each other.”

I remember the looks on their faces. They did not know what to do! I am their first born, so this was not only new for me, but for them as well. They were shocked. But they were okay with it. I told them that Nathan had felt that he liked me, but he wanted to wait to get serious until he was a little older because he wasn’t sure if his parents would agree. He decided we would act as friends for a while until he was ready. My parents were okay with that. But as weeks and months went by, it grew more and more serious. We used hearts, kissy faces, said “I like you SOOOO much”, and called each other cute nicknames. This quickly turned into a boyfriend and girlfriend relationship. My parents and Nathan’s parents started to notice the seriousness. We then had to establish “rules”.

RULES

  1. Holding hands is okay
  2. Hugging, okay
  3. kissing? Maybe
  4. Cuddling, okay
  5. Sex? NO

The Lords Plan

When we established these rules, I still didn’t know much about relationships besides what I saw in chick flicks (Which is dangerous!!!!)

I had no idea what to look for in a Godly, set-apart relationship. So, my good friend suggested a book to me called “Boy Meets Girl” by Joshua Harris. It laid out clear boundaries and really opened my eyes to what it looks like to honor a man, and what saving the marriage bed looked like, and how special and exciting it was! He also talked about the idea of saving your first kiss and how he wished he did because his wife did. He admitted that is would have been easier for him if he had never kissed anyone at all. That struck my heart. Nathan and I still hadn’t seen each other in person but we had talked about kissing A LOT… We were both open to it and totally okay with it as long as we didn’t go “too far”. But the Lord had a different plan. That winter, I had to make a decision. I talked to my mom and a good friend for some council on if I should save it or not. They both said it was wise, if I could save my first kiss and how they wished the had. I told them I was afraid to tell Nathan because I was afraid that he would want to kiss me really bad and not like me if I told him no… But, they encouraged me to call him. I went back up to my room and confessed to him how I had this new revelation about kissing. And to my surprise, he was thinking the same thing.

Fairy tale

We grew stronger as a couple. I met up with him at camp, I visited him, he visited me. We had amazing memories together. He first said “I love you” after camp when we first saw each other in person! I loved him too, since the first moment I saw him. Long distance was very hard on us… He worked, I worked and did college. We didn’t have a lot of time to talk sometimes. But we stayed strong. We talked on the phone every night. We were a best friend type of couple, and I feel like that’s how it should be. We talked of marriage and kids, our future together, careers… the Lord. I helped him a lot with his relationship with the Lord and he helped me. We even had Bible studies and prayed on the phone together as often as we could. When 2016 hit, He decided to move here. He was 17, I was 19. He moved in with my family. (I know, I know, we lived together before we got married….) But we NEVER did anything to break our rules still! After 3 years of courtship, we stayed strong. We only had at least one person with us at all times to keep us accountable and we never put ourselves in tempting situations. But I do have to tell ya, I am human, and so is he, we both struggled. Living under the same roof was difficult. We stayed strong.

The Proposal 

On a not July Saturday, I gt ready for my church service. I wore a white dress that I had just bought. We went to service and had an amazing, uplifting time. After service I came home and changed into jeans and a t-shirt. My friends had been messaging me about wanting to do a photoshoot with me cause they missed me and wanted to hangout and have some “girl time”. So I agreed, I loved being with my girls any chance I could! So, they came over and I was trying to decide what to wear with them. I pulled out that white dress again and they said it looked good on me so I should wear it! So I agreed. We all hopped in the car and headed over to the bluff area where we were taking the photos. It was close to sunset. We started taking photos for a good 20 minutes. Then all of a sudden my friend told me to turn around and face the edge of the cliff where the water was. I did and posed for the picture. Then my other friend started to play a song Nathan and I liked on her phone. “You and Me” by Lifehouse. My heart started to flutter. I wasn’t sure if it was happening or if she was playing it just because she liked it.  

Then they all said, “okay you can turn around now”, and there he was. My heart skipped a beat. This was the moment I had waited for for forever. It was very romantic! We were on top of the moon at this moment. I couldn’t stop smiling! God knew. It was all apart of His plan all along. How can I not trust Him? He has gotten us so far already and guided our every step.

We Got Married

That year in December, we got married. We were going to wait until June of 2017, but we just did not want to wait any longer! We planned our wedding with amazing friends who did so much to help! You can find wedding photos on my personal Facebook account if you’re interested.

Nathan was 18, I was 19, when we married. Yes, we were young, and we had been asked many times how old we were and I cannot forget the shock on peoples faces when we tell them how old we are. They seem to not like the fact that we are so young. But to be honest, once you know it is time to get married, just do it! The Bible warns about letting a fire burn in you for too long and that it is better to marry. We trusted the Lord, and now, we are doing great! We had an amazing honeymoon in the beautiful state of Colorado and made lots of memories. When we got home, we were offered an apartment by some amazing friends who bought a house that had 4 apartments inside. They spent a couple months remodeling it for us and it is perfect. We couldn’t be happier. We both work full-time jobs, we always have enough. The Lord has blessed us because we kept our promise to each other and to Him. We honored Him with our relationship and now our marriage. We are now expecting our first little one due in January! (Up dates to come).

For You

My dear friend reading this, trust the Lord. My story isn’t going to be everyone’s story. You have your own love story. The Lord will work it out for the good! Just trust in Him. He guided my steps to Nathan and led us to where we are today and continues to lead us. To this day, I still trust in Him, I still have a strong relationship with the Lord.

So, while you wait, serve the Lord, don’t chase after fairytales! Trust in God! He is the ultimate matchmaker, amen? Let Him lead you. Pray, seek His face, have peace.

-(Photos by Samantha B Studio and Liv Life Photography)


Written by Olivia Mancini


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