We are Marshall and Emily Jamieson. We are so excited to join the writing team here at Beating50Percent, to share with you some of our journey in marriage, and what we have gleaned from so many other couples who have mentored us, who we have walked through pre-marital counseling with, and who we have walked alongside as friends on this crazy journey of melding two lives into one. There is nothing we love more than encouraging couples in their marriages, being vulnerable and real and practical and truthful when it comes to the gory and the glory of life together.
That said, we thought we would share with you a bit of our beginnings!
Fourteen years ago, a phone number popped up on my (Emily’s) phone while I was weaving through Seattle traffic. I picked it up and the voice on the other end identified himself as Marshall; after some quick banter, (quick on my end – I talk FAST and months later, Marshall confessed he felt like he needed to take a NAP after that first conversation!!) he asked if he could take me on a date. Come to find out, my sneaky roommate had slipped her older brother’s best friend (Marshall) my number, and despite some reticence, that five minute phone call secured a blind date for Friday night. This was pre-social media, so no stalking occurred, only a lot of prayer and anticipation and some butterflies preceded that first encounter. I had graduated from Dartmouth months earlier, had joyfully weathered 3 years of singleness and sort of had the mindset that “me and the Lord are good; I do not need a boy to mess that up!” But God had a different plan. He was so ready for my life to be disrupted in the best of ways.
The night Marshall picked me up, I was journaling alone in my apartment, praying and processing what was to come—asking the Lord for peace and discernment, and feeling a flutter of something…The apartment buzzer sounded. I stood up, my heart racing, and suddenly skimming across my brain were the words: “You’re about to meet the man.” I dropped my pen, froze, and began internally arguing with myself, “Was that me? Was that God? Emily, this is crazy. YOU are crazy. What a ridiculous thought. Seriously?
The buzzer sounded again.
Feeling a little schizophrenic, I headed toward the door, trying desperately to dismiss the words that had just derailed me.
I opened the door to meet a 6’4″ slender man named Marshall. He had dark hair and kind brown eyes. We never touched that first night, though we did begin a conversation that, despite a brief break up 10 months in, has never ceased. That night, we talked of God, friendship and living Acts 2 sort of lives. He had graduated from Westmont College two years before, and had lived in intentional community post-college in Boston—a one bank account, sharing everything, no TV, meeting with his three roomates daily sort of community. I had never heard of anything like it and as we talked more, I felt everything in me downshift. The way he walked, talked and listened reflected a cadence of peace. I call him my one-pace wonder. Still now, he walks in a room and everything in me slows. He has the most amazing ability to restore calm and order and a hint of joy everywhere he shows up.
Despite me even hearing what I realized later was indeed the Lord’s voice preceding that first date, neither of us would say that it was love at first sight, or that we knew we wanted to get married the first time we met. Marshall does say that what he did know is that he had never met anyone like me before. He was intrigued and curious to know what caused me to be so unique… and so we began dating.
Fourteen months in, he proposed, and two years to the week we met, I walked down the aisle toward a man who keeps getting better. Together, we have weathered storms and moved mountains and birthed humans and witnessed lives transformed, all by the grace of God. And I feel like we are just getting started.
I remember being scared of marriage, “the same person for all those years?!” But I pray that at our 50th wedding anniversary if we are still standing, that we would be able to say ”we aren’t the same people we were all those years ago.”
It’s an adventure, this married life… refinement to the max. And it is also glorious to walk alongside someone who knows the worst of you and still chooses you.
We look forward to sharing with you and growing stronger together!
With joy and hope,
– Marshall and Emily
Emily and Marshall make their home in the University District of Seattle, Washington, with their four boys: Tucker (10), Bennett (8), Wesley (5) and Finn (2); and three “adopted adult daughters” who run @LiveSalted – a millenial women’s ministry. Marshall and Emily work with Centered, a non-profit focused on “raising up the next generation of Jesus-centered leaders” and run Jamieson Academic Coaching in addition to speaking and writing for various ministries. @emilykjamieson jamiesoncoaching.com