Of all the questions we receive via email and Twitter, “How did you two meet?” and “How did you become a couple?” are probably the most common. Because so many of our readers have asked, today we would like to tell you that story.
Our relationship began as a friendship that arose organically. We met unexpectedly via our participation in the Gay Christian Network’s online community. When Sarah first joined GCN, Sarah was experiencing a great deal of loneliness and was seeking new friendships. Sarah was in a relationship that would unravel over the next few months and was having trouble coping with that reality. Lindsey had been a member of GCN for several years by the time Sarah joined, and happened to say hello after Sarah had made an introduction to the community. We had a few brief interactions, and Lindsey introduced Sarah to one of Lindsey’s gay male friends who was local in Sarah’s city.
Eventually, an incident on the message boards involving another member in need of help brought Sarah and Lindsey into more intentional conversation with one another. We realized that we had many common interests and enjoyed discussing a variety of topics together. We talked about our doctoral dissertations, our students, the interest we shared in using our very different types of academic training to address issues of poverty and social justice, our spiritualities, and our shared woes associated with being graduate students. We were astonished at how naturally and easily we were able to support each other during difficult times. Sarah offered to wake up extra early and listen to a trial run the morning of Lindsey’s dissertation proposal defense, and Lindsey offered a listening ear and a great deal of helpful advice when Sarah was scrambling to save the aforementioned long-term relationship. When Sarah’s relationship did come to an end, Lindsey was there to listen when Sarah needed to cry, vent, or just have someone on the other end of the phone line while indulging in some Ben and Jerry’s.
Sarah was not anticipating entering a committed relationship again so soon, but within a few weeks after the breakup, it became clear that Sarah’s and Lindsey’s friendship was deepening. Lindsey came to Sarah’s city for a weekend to visit another friend, and the two of us were able to spend some time together in person. While acknowledging that Sarah would still need more time, we decided that when it felt right to move forward, we wanted to explore the possibility of doing life together more purposefully. We had no idea what this was going to look like, but we thought it sounded like an adventure.
Because we had such a positive experience with a long-distance friendship, we continued discerning how living four states apart would affect our relationship as it developed, and we met each other’s families and friends. In the weeks and months that followed, we came into regular patterns of being there for one another, experiencing an ever-growing sense of emotional intimacy. We started to recall our previous explorations of celibacy as individuals, and soon saw that we felt mutually drawn to cultivating a celibate vocation within the context of a shared life. In late spring, Lindsey received a job offer in Sarah’s city totally out of the blue. We discussed the idea of living together and whether we were ready for that. After a great deal of prayer, planning, and searching for living quarters that would be sufficient for two humans and two mischievous felines, we moved into our first apartment. Since then, God has continued to reveal to us new and meaningful ways of helping each other as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We find ourselves absolutely loving sharing life together, and we look forward to many more years.
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