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How Jack's story began

2011 engagement pictures Okinawa, Japan-Ally Wiseman Photography

Hedo Misaki (Cape Hedo) Okinawa, Japan 2010
My mode of transportation while I lived there

This whole waiting period that I'm stuck in patiently enjoying has offered a lot of opportunities for reflection. I've been re-reading entries from my journal, and I stumbled across the one below from my move to Okinawa. I packed my bags just a few days after my college graduation party and hopped on a plane to move across the globe. May and June of 2009 held so many big moments: finishing student teaching, graduating from college, moving to Japan. I was extremely busy in those last few weeks before I left, I remember everything really hitting me while I was sitting on the plane. By myself. Moving to a country where I didn't know the language. Starting a job where I had only skyped with my new boss just the month before. Leaving behind my family, friends, Chicago pizza, comfort zone, and so much more. Yet if it wasn't for this decision, there is a chance that I wouldn't be in the situation I am in now--married to my best friend and waiting to meet our little boy. 
I found myself on a beautiful island filled with some of the kindest, humblest, most gracious people I have ever met. It was also an island filled with military bases, and I had no access to them (without Ben). It was filled with military spouses, and I was not one of them. Ben spent more time in the Philippines, Thailand, and Iraq than he did in Okinawa during those two years. Even when he was on the island, we lived an hour apart and had opposite work schedules. This gave me the opportunity to really get the experience I was searching for, one that holds the place as the beginning of our love story; thus, the beginning of Jack's story.

June 18th, 2009

I move to Okinawa today. I left behind my family, friends and dog. It is finally starting to sink in...I might not step back onto U.S. soil for at least a year...that thought is scary, exciting, uncomfortable, and REALLY hard to imagine. Why am I leaving everything I've ever known behind and moving to Japan? There are so many factors that seemed to align perfectly that pointed me in this direction--the first being God. I have grown closer to Him this past year than I ever have before. I have learned so much about Him and yet so little at the same time. I have prayed long and hard about this decision and God has somehow managed to give me the means I need to make this experience seem almost practical. He made it possible for me to move there providing me with not only a job, but also a place to live, and this job just happens to be something that is capable of changing/sculpting my career choice.

The other factors that have fallen into place and as a result have made me consider this path are the series of events that took place after last New Years. I met the most amazing man, fell in love, he moved to Okinawa, and I graduated college. At this point in my life, I am ready for a drastic change. I cannot imagine starting a teaching job right after I graduated and being content in some suburban school--I need something else. I want to travel first, I want to experience life outside of my comfort zone, I am ready to really learn about myself.

Ben could not have come at a more perfect time. I had no idea what I was getting myself into that one New Year's, but I immediately understood that guys like Ben do not come around often. I wasn't sure if Ben and I were really compatible--we seemed so different. However, the more time I spent with him the more I craved for more time with him. We had a few short months to get to know each other before he left for Japan. Those months really challenged my misconception that we may be too different and I began falling in love with someone who was moving across the world for 2 years. As it turns out, Ben is someone I can see spending the rest of my life with--I would be lucky to. He trusts in God, is kind, handsome, generous, loving, faithful, and so much more..

So there you have it, I am currently departing Tokyo to head to Fukuoka and finally to land in Okinawa. This has been quite the trip already--Chicago>Toronto>Tokyo>Fukuoka>Okinawa-and I can hardly wait to start my new life as an English Language Instructor who is also dating the man of her dreams. Wish me luck!

To read some of my posts during that time, click here.


  1. such a cool past post! i think it's an awesome experience that you lived and taught in Japan. I've been having the itch to move somewhere abroad!

  2. what a beautiful post!!! and now i'm crying....

  3. This is an adorable post! :) Praise the Lord for HIS plan for our lives. You guys are such a cute couple/family and Jack's going to add to the cuteness. Continuing to wish you guys the best!