I married the love of my life on June 16, 2012! It was such an amazing day! After being friends for a couple years, we decided it was meant to be. However, David tells it much better than me! So here you have it.... our story :)
"The very first time I met Courtney, I knew there was something special about her. I know a lot of people say that and it is far too often used as a cliché in our society, but perhaps there are a few of you who will read this and understand what I mean – and no, I do not believe in love at first sight. However, the first time I met Courtney, there was something about her, something in her that had a spark like nothing else I have ever experienced before.
We were in class together, spring of our junior year. We were minutes before class starting when she walked up to me and said, “You’re David Dove aren’t you.” Now, as far as initial meetings go, as much as I would like to admit that people walk up to me all the time, knowing my name and wanting me to meet them, this was a bit peculiar. Some may say creepy. Nevertheless, with a beautiful girl standing in front of me, I could not resist the opportunity. “Yes, I am actually. I see you have heard of me.” From there, I must admit, the conversation made for an awkward and abrupt end.
Despite that first encounter, Courtney and I slowly became acquaintances in class, then study group partners, then friends outside of class. It took an entire semester of study breaks, walks to class, and far too much time spent at the Student Learning Center, but finally we were friends, and like any red blooded American boy, I wasn’t just interested in her opinions on Republican realignment in the Congress. I was crushing on her. Hard.
At that point we were very near the end of the semester and exams were fast approaching. The study group we were in amped up the hours at the SLC. I was never more excited to go cram for tests in all day and all night study sessions. I am pretty sure I didn’t learn a thing. However, exam weeks were tough and tense, and time passed quickly. Courtney was leaving for Washington D.C. that summer and I knew my time was short in which I had to make a move.
That day finally came. There was one day between exams and when Court left for Kennesaw, and then D.C. Another friend was having a birthday party and the time could not have been more ideal. However, enter girl drama. Apparently something happened at ZTA and the overwhelming stress of school ending was more than some could bear. Courtney and I had an argument that night, and although we made up and attempted to move past it, the summer wind came rushing in, carrying us miles apart. Over that summer Courtney and I attempted to stay in touch, but our lives had moved in two separate directions. She was in D.C. and I was in Athens. As much as we tried to keep in touch, it was to no avail. We settled to be merely friends, and my romantic thoughts of her faded out.
August finally arrived, and with it, school and a return to normalcy. I had hoped that Courtney and I would have classes together again, but that was not in the cards. We had completely opposite schedules, and other than the occasional study group reunion, really did not see much of each other for the first couple months of senior year. It was strange. Although I rarely saw her, I never forgot her. If I ever saw her name on my phone, my heartbeat would pick up and I am proud to say I never missed a call. Even though we did not talk much, every time we did, it was as though we picked up right where we left off.
Fall semester exams finally rolled around and I was seeing more and more of Courtney at the SLC. We had become great friends and could talk about nearly anything. One night, I had gone to sleep early. It was the start of my last semester and I was trying to get off on a strong nocturnal footing. But I got a phone call nearly thirty minutes past midnight. It was from a number I recognized so I picked up immediately, worried that something had happened. It was Court. I could tell she was upset and had been crying, but she said she just wanted to talk. I remember sitting straight up in my bed, adrenaline pumping from the surprise, but half asleep, and fighting my foggy brain to string together coherent sentences.
This went on for nearly two and a half hours. We talked on everything from politics to campus ministries, to class, to the supernatural powers of the Holy Spirit. Finally, we came to the heart of the matter. I knew she was upset, and I wanted to know why. Finally through tears she mumbled out that she and her boyfriend had broken up.
Immediately I wanted to cheer, and I think I did silently as I listened to her sobs. It hit me – now was my chance! Wait, why was I thinking that, she was my friend right? Shouldn’t I be there for her when she needed me as a friend? I knew I had a role to play – as a friend, and I knew that if God had a plan to bring us together, then it would have to be accomplished through that role.
Well, weeks went by, and I saw Court dating guy after guy. It was tons of fun. Chinese water torture couldn't be any worse. I prayed about it, prayed about my feelings, prayed about her feelings, and on and on it went. We began hanging out all the time. Starting in late March, we were nearly inseparable. Our days began to revolve around each other and as time went on, our relationship was changing. We were spending hours together each day, and then I would follow her home each night to be sure she got in safe. Some nights when her roommate was not home (and sometimes in the earliest hours of the morning), Courtney would hear a noise and get scared, and I would come over and check things out to make sure no one was breaking in, or that the boogie man hadn’t escaped from the closet.
One night we were studying late during exams though, and to take a break we went to Waffle House at about 11 pm. The plan was to get coffee and a snack and to finish up studying around 1. However, we got there and hardly cracked a book. We sat in a booth and talked for hours. We played our favorite songs, we passed notes, we were everything annoying about two kids falling in love. We were there until the sun came up, and when it did, I knew that I was hooked again, but this time it was better.
Two days later, the night before graduation, Courtney and I were sitting in my car with the windows down talking about all we had accomplished in the previous four years when we finally relented and kissed. A few days went by and Courtney demanded that I take her on a date. Our first date was May 23, 2009. I took her on a hike with a picnic and on the top of that mountain, I told her about all the feelings I had towards her, about how much I cared for her and how much I enjoyed just being her best friend. And even before we were even dating, I told her that I loved her, and that I wanted to love her like no one else had ever loved her before.
It was actually a week later that we became a couple, and two years to the day that we first kissed that I asked Courtney to be my wife. It did not take me two years to decide that. I have always known that was the case. Courtney is such an incredible person with so many special talents and abilities and gifts from God. She is by far the most loving and caring person that I have ever known, and she has a passion for her life and her calling that are vibrant and strong. She makes me a better person, just by being around her, and I love her now more than I ever have. She is everything I have ever wanted and more and I am so thankful that in a matter of months, I will be able to call her my own."