When a Boarder Moves Into Your Home and Into Your Hear

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An engagement memento box from Chris for our 25th anniversary

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.   Psalm 139:16

We grew up, five kids, in a big old house with lots of bedrooms. Then one by one, we left our home to go to college. So for many years, our home was a place where we all came and went, regularly. Holidays and summers were times of reuniting.

One of the ways my divorced mother was able to hold onto the homestead was to rent out a room or two to a boarder. This was a common occurrence in our college town. All you really had to do was hang up a sign on the college community bulletin board and you pretty much had your pick of possible renters.

So it was no surprise when a boarder moved in shortly after I left for my senior year at Boston College.

 Mom and I would chat every couple of weeks. There were no cell phones, no texting, no personal computers or Macs, but we did have a landline house phone in our on-campus apartment (fun times!).

One evening in October, Mom called. She was full of excitement.

“Have I got a boarder for you!” Mom practically burst through the phone.

“Really? Tell me…”

“Well, he’s really cute. He’s a poet, getting his masters at Columbia. And he has the most adorable daughter. You are going to love him.”

“Hmmmm…sounds good, Mom. Guess I’ll meet him at Thanksgiving.” And our catch-up conversation continued.

I was intrigued…

Sadly, when I arrived home from BC, I found out that Chris’ dad, only 45 years old, had passed away. As a result, Chris was home only briefly, but long enough for me to see that indeed this guy was really cute and sweet…and long enough to make him a batch of cookies to bring to his grieving family.

I went back to college, more intrigued, but there really hadn’t been time to get to know Chris at all. 

Still, I definitely had a crush and my roommates were all ears as I told them about Chris the boarder. I also began writing in my journal, which was filled with prayers asking for God’s guidance. Could this guy, who just happened to live in my home, in a bedroom downstairs from my room, be the man God had in mind for me? It seemed too good to be true.

Christmas vacation came and went. Chris and I passed by one another in the hallway, but spent no time together. This was fine since I was busy living my life, reconnecting with friends, having a holly, jolly holiday.

During Spring Break, I headed down to Florida with two carloads full of BC seniors. On the way back, Easter Sunday, we all camped out at my house for one night before returning to BC. Chris and his mom stopped by and my mother invited them in for a visit.

I was so nervous and excited. My heart was in my throat, my palms were sweaty, I was flitting around like a fool!

Oh yes, I had a growing crush. There was something so innocent, so good about this guy. He was genuine and real…and I had had plenty of experience with superficial immature game-filled relationships.

I left for my last month of college life. One of my roommates said with absolute certainty, “You are going to marry that guy.”

My roommate and my mom were right…Chris and I have been together 34 years, married for over 27.

When people ask me where Chris and I met, I exclaim, “Right in my very own home.”

Some would say fate brought us together; I call it divine intervention. And I’m very thankful!

What’s your story? Where or how did you meet your spouse? Tell us HERE!


Elise has been married for 28 years and is mom to four mostly grown girls. She is a writer, editor, writing coach, and blogger. She believes we all have stories that matter--big life bios and small meaningful moments. Elise believes our stories are a reflection of God’s glory and are meant to be shared. They have the power to inform, reform, and transform. She loves God, familly, friends...and really likes travel!

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