Beginnings [June 2010]
In June 2010, Steven took a volunteer trip with Mosaic Church to Tijuana, where he noticed the young, cute leader (Betsy) who hosted the team. At the end of the trip, he discovered she went to Biola University, so asked her if she was on Facebook, and she replied "no." A few hours later, Steven was at the border crossing and was surprised to hear that others in the car were Facebooking with Betsy. "She told me she didn't have a Facebook!" he told everyone. (…and so the miscommunication began early on in the relationship)
A few months later, Betsy emailed Steven to recruit him for a volunteer team to go to Mexico a couple times a month to work with youth, so he started going regularly with a few guys from his church, Matt Barr & Toby de la Torre. Betsy took notice in Steven - his faithfulness, hard-work, Spanish, playful spirit with the youth, love for teaching, and sense of humor when it was 11pm and the border crossing was 3+ hours.
In November, Steven volunteered to speak at the church in Mexico with Betsy and accompanied her with her SUV filled with bread donations for the community in Mexico. The Mexican border patrol stopped their vehicle and said that they couldn't enter with the donations. Ready to turn around or dump the bread, Steven was intrigued to watch Betsy spend more than an hour pleading her case to multiple border patrol agents, making phone calls to local authorities, and persisting to understand the reasoning and morality behind their demands. Through events like those, Steven cam to appreciate Betsy's persistence, commitment, belief, and compassion.
The Ask [December 2010]
As Steven pondered the thought of dating Betsy, his mentor Ryan Daugherty from Mosaic encouraged him to give it a shot. After an IYI fundraising event, Betsy had to drive to a building and unload all the chairs. He offered to help out and followed here there. However, they got separated on the freeway and Betsy's phone was dead. So Steven drove around looking for her, called her friends in concern, and waited for her at her house (meanwhile she was enjoying herself with some Target shopping). 1-2 hours later, she arrived at home to Steven's concerned look and grateful smile. In the meantime, Betsy's friend and roommate Liz king offered Steven a late night dinner snack and seat on the couch and they began to chat. "I'm tired and he won't go away," Betsy thought. "Just leave so I can go to bed. You may be my volunteer, but now leave me alone." Before Steven left, he began to tell Betsy how he appreciated her and wanted to get to know her. He asked her out on a date, but she said "No, not now. I don't think it's the time and season for me to be dating." So with that, Steven resolved to just view and treat Betsy as a friend.
In January 2011, Steven volunteered long hours at Betsy's office to make her organization's website, but she always avoided him when they took a lunch. Towards the end of the month Steven began casually bringing up that he had never been to many places in the Laguna Beach area where the office was located. Feeling obligated to be hospitable to her hard-working, almost full-time volunteer, Betsy agreed to show him around Laguna Beach one afternoon.
In the following weeks, there were a lot of discussions on the organization's projects - so then began the phone calls. "Strictly business," Betsy thought. But "strictly business" did not last too long as they began sharing about their lives, perspectives, ideas, and dreams. These phone calls began to become rather long - 1…2...3 hours. Finally, Steven's roommates and community were starting to notice that his relationship with Betsy was more than just a casual friendship and encouraged him to re-evaluate their relationship (Betsy remembers hearing Mike Del Gallo's and David Meye's laughing and comments in the background of their long conversations).
The DTR [March 2011]
Realizing the depth of their relationship growing, Steven asked her again where she was at with considering dating and pursuing a relationship with him. Betsy said that she needed to take some time and evaluate, reflect, and pray but that she was now open to the idea of dating him.
One night later on that week, in the In & Out drive through line, Betsy's co-worker and friend Melanie Hunley told Betsy that she needed to give Steven a chance. Melanie reminded her of how much Steven cared for her, instilled trust in her, delighted in her awkward sense of humor, and truly was a man of character. Others in Betsy's community noticed those same things in Steven and began encouraging her to be open to him.
At the end of the week, Betsy took Steven to downtown Laguna for lunch and coffee, her favorite beach at Treasure Island Park and her special lookout/prayer rock there, and then they headed up to Corona del Mar to sit and chat in a park. It was there that Betsy decided to respond to Steven's affection with a short and sweet kiss. Finally Betsy said "YES!" to dating Steven.
The "I Love You" [June 2011]
After traveling back to Michigan to meet Betsy's family in May, Steven invited Betsy to San Francisco to meet his family. During this weekend trip to San Francisco in June 2011, Steven gave Betsy a grand tour of the city sights. When it came time to go to see the Golden Gate Bridge, he took her to a lookout point over bay. Looking out into the Bay and back at the Golden Gate Bridge, he told her for the first time "I love you."
Since then and now, Steven and Betsy's story has had many twists and turn full of both challenging seasons of growth and celebration that has nurtured their commitment to one another. Going forward they are striving to grow in loving God and loving people through their relationship.
Thank you for being a part of this story as they enter into this new lifelong journey together!