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S: Brent & Joanna "Always & Forever"

BC: True love stories | Brent | Joanna | & | never have endings

FC: B | J | &

1: Our | Story.....

2: As a young girl growing up, I would dream about who I would one day marry, what he would look like, how he would treat me, what his personality would be like and of course how amazing I was sure that I would feel when around that special someone. But in all of my girlhood wonderful dreams about my some day, Prince Charming, the Lord has, in real life, far exceeded my wildest expectations by blessing me with Brent and his love. | As time passed, I seriously thought that he had just forgotten about me at school. During many long months, I felt like I would have to wait forever. I wondered if Brent would ever make a move, or if I would just end up an old maid. But, looking back I see how very much the Lord was in control, and that He was working everything out in His own timing. I can see now that I was way to immature and not yet ready for such a serious step as courtship in my life. Finally, one day in December of 2010, Brent called my Dad and asked if he could come visit me for a couple of days on his winter break. He was only here for a very short time and we didn't get to spend that much time together, but I was so happy to know that he hadn't forgotten about me. Still nothing was said to my Dad about courting me. | I was attracted to Brent, about ten minutes after I met him, in 2009 while at a teen camp in Arizona, where he is from. One of my first thoughts about him was that he had a gorgeous smile. And I liked that he was so nice to my teen group and that he acted like he truly was glad to meet us all. I hardly got to see Brent the whole week that I was at camp, as he was at work most of the time. The times that he was able to come up to the camp were definitely my highlights of the week, although I didn't speak to him hardly at all. #1 When I was around him I had a hard time thinking of anything remotely intelligent to say, and # 2 I didn't want him to ever think that I was to forward. I was afraid that he might find out that I liked him, and that he wouldn't like me and then end up thinking that I was just weird and stupid. Well, camp ended all to soon, and it was back to Indiana, a long eighteen hundred miles away. Because of the distance, I was rarely able to see him. | A year passed and it was time for camp again. This year instead of driving out with the teens, I flew to Arizona about a week early to help with preparations for camp. Brent and I got to spend a lot of time together that week and got to know each other a little better, although nothing was ever said to each other about any kind of relationship. We were just friends. It seemed like as every day passed, that I liked him more and more. And I remember praying so hard that the Lord would take that away if Brent wasn't the Lords will for my life. Because as much as I liked him, I truly wanted the Lords will to be done in my life, and especially in something so serious as a future husband. At the end of an amazing camp week, Brent left for college in Florida, my teen group left for home, and nothing more serious than friendship transpired between us.

3: About a month later I was able to travel out to Arizona with his sister, so that I could spend some time getting to know him and his family. It was definitely an amazing, although verve wracking, trip. After I got back home, I found out that Brent had Finally, called my Dad and asked to court me. After being in prayer about it for the past year and a half, I knew without a doubt that he was the Lords will for my life. And then after nine wonderful (but hard, as it was long distance) months of courtship, Brent asked me to marry him. I had gone out to visit him in Arizona, and one night he took me to this amazing restaurant, and the whole setting was very romantic. During our courtship we were not allowed to tell each other that we loved each other, only when we were engaged could we. As we were sitting there waiting for dessert, Brent started to get really serious, and I thought " oh no, what is he going to say?" and I got a little nervous. He started out thanking me for coming out to Arizona to visit him....(I don't remember everything he said) then he said, "but more than anything else, I love you". My heart stopped, and at that moment I knew he was going to propose, and I thought, " Oh My Goodness?? I'm getting engaged!" And then he brought out this gorgeous ring, knelt down and asked me to marry him. It was all so sweet and romantic, and of course I said Yes! | Now as we plan for our new life together, I sometimes need to do a reality check to make sure that this is all real, and that I really am engaged to the most wonderful man I've ever known. I never knew that it was possible to hold so much love in your heart as I do for my Amazing Man. I am so very amazed and thankful how God has so undeservedly and wonderfully blessed my life with Brent. I can't wait for the day to come when we can begin our new life as one, together serving the Lord and each other, until the Lord decides to take us home to be with Him. The Lord truly does give His best to those who leave the choice with Him.

4: My heart pounded with the sound of a thousand war drums, as my hands trembled almost uncontrollably. I clutched with a death grip the little white box that contained a small golden band with a brilliantly shining diamond. I gazed down on a city that seemed so full of life, but yet so far away. Perched high above the surrounding buildings in a restaurant that offered the best view one could imagine, I knew this was it. The perfect time. The glow of a flame orange sunset cast a romantic light across our table. Suddenly I found myself | So where does our story begin? You might say it began when our families met several years ago, or you could say it began when we briefly met at a wedding, but I would say it began at a youth camp in Arizona. I could hardly speak to her, but I knew that Joanna Portukalian was a girl that I had to get to know. Camp ended and after a short visit to Indiana I knew this girl was different from all others. She was kind , thoughtful, beautiful, and unfortunately 1800 miles away. Several months went by, and thoughts of her flooded through my mind. So I prayed. My prayer was that if the Lord wanted me to pursue a relationship with this girl who constantly was in my thoughts, He would have to give me a sign. Within a week of this prayer I heard she was going to be driving through my home town, and I knew this was my sign. So I began praying again, every day and every night. She spent only a couple of days in Arizona, but I knew she was a godly young woman who would be the kind of wife God intended a man to have. I spent countless hours talking to God about her and praying that the Lord would bless my life by allowing me to court, and someday marry this amazing girl. I was eagerly waiting for the next youth camp that our church would host because I knew she would be there. When I found out that she was coming out a week early I knew it was a golden opportunity to further my relationship with Joanna. The two weeks that she was in Arizona passed like it was only a few days. I used any excuse I could find to spend time with her. Bowling, hiking, and late night drives under a star studded night in a convertible, kept us busy spending time together. A dark cloud seemed to cover my entire life, as our time together ended. I knew if God had truly made us to be together for the rest of our lives He would work out the details in His own perfect way. | stepping around the table, and going down to one knee. For a moment I just stared into her beautiful eyes as I struggled to catch my breath. Then I opened the box, and held it up for her to see, as I with all the confidence I could muster asked her the question "Joanna will you marry me........

5: She went back to Indiana, and I was off to college in Florida. Thoughts of her kept flooding my brain, and I caught myself thinking about her during classes, work, and especially during study time. I was going crazy. I had to know if she liked me, I had to know if she shared the same dream of our lives being joined together as one that I had. I will never forget how nervous I was the first time I talked to her father. My own father had called him and asked his permission for me to spend part of my winter break in Indiana getting to know her. I was scared to death as I rode the bus to her hometown. I was so nervous when I finally saw the girl I had dreamed about, that I could hardly speak to her. Unfortunately my visit was short, but I thanked the Lord when I heard of her plans to travel across the country to | There I was. On my knee holding up a diamond ring, and awaiting her answer. It was the 29th day of October, 292 days since we began our courting relationship. My heart was racing faster than ever; I couldn't breathe because of the excitement. "I would love to be your wife" was her reply. A flood of relief and newfound excitement came flooding over my body like a wave. It was with all the love in my heart that I placed the ring on the finger of the girl who had captured my heart. She was the girl who will someday become my wife. She is the girl that I love with all my heart. | to Arizona a few weeks later. It was after her trip to visit me that I asked her Father's permission to court her. | The months that passed were slow and dreary with brief flashes of exceptional joy and happiness. These moments of extreme joy were the ones that I got to spend with the young lady that had become the love of my life.......

6: December 2010 Indiana

7: Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts. You have to remember this when you find yourself at the beginning. | The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves that we find in them. | January 2011 Payson, Arizona

8: The reason I get lost in your eyes, is so I can find a way into your heart. | January 2011 Payson, Arizona

9: I love the way you talk, I cherish the way you smile, but what I love the most is the way you light up my life. | Memories | to cherish

10: God always gives his best | to those who leave the | choice with Him. | January 2011 Payson, Arizona

11: The most precious "things" in life, are not "things" at all.

12: Sometimes your nearness takes | my breath away; and all the | things I want to say can | I can only hope my eyes | will speak my heart. | find no voice. Then, in silence, | February 2011 Pensacola, Florida

13: You are the sun in my day, the wind in my sky, the waves in my ocean, and the beat in my heart.

14: February 2011 Fine Arts | Pensacola Christian College

15: Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy-tale.

16: Me & You | Always | & | Forever | May 2011 Indiana

17: Never in a million years did I think I'd find somebody so utterly and completely amazing, someone who would make me happier than I ever dreamed I could be, someone that would touch my life so profoundly and just give me a whole new reason to breathe. But then God brought you into my life and I realized that everything I had anticipated you to be, doesn't even compare to what you really are.

18: Love is when you can be your true self with someone, and when you only want to be your true self because of them. | Always | Live | Each | Day | As | if | It's | Your | Last | July-August 2011 Mt. Salem Revival Grounds, West Virginia

19: When you find the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with..... | ....you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible

20: August 2011 Mt. Salem Revival Grounds, West Virginia | Always | Remember | Too....

21: Live | Simply | Laugh | Love | Deeply | Often

22: Love is not worth living for, if it's not worth dying for | August 2011 Mt. Salem Revival Grounds, West Virginia

23: You and I are connected in a way that goes beyond romance, beyond friendship, beyond what we've ever had before. It has defied time, distance, and changes in ourselves and in our lives. And it has defied every explanation except one-purely and simply, we're soul mates. I can't explain it. I just feel it. It's in the way my spirit lifts whenever we talk, how the sound of your voice brings me home | in a way I can't explain. It's in the way we laugh at exactly the same things and how just a look can mean so much. When I'm with you, it's like a tiny part of the universe shifts into the place it's | supposed to be , and all is right with | the world. These things, and so many more, have made me understand that this is a once-in-a-lifetime, forever connection that could only exist between you and me., an amazing gift of happiness for all of our lives.

24: for you and I were meant to be. We have a bond to strong to break, we have a Love no one can take. In you I have found a love so true, my heart is filled with love for you. Every time I see you my heart skips a beat, you make my life whole, you make my life complete. My love for you grows with each passing day, I dream of that time when we'll both say "I Do". For always and forever I will always love you! | I thank my God he sent you to me,

25: You | Hold | The | To | My | Arizona October, 2011

26: Will you......... | Will you......Will you.......Will you.......Will you.......Will you.......Will you.......Will you.......Will you....... | Once in awhile right in the middle of ordinary life, love gave us a fairy-tale........... | Once in awhile right in the middle of ordinary life, love gave us a fairy-tale........... | Once in awhile right in the | middle of ordinary life, love gave us a fairy-tale........... | Once in awhile right in the middle of ordinary life, love gave us a fairy-tale. | A priceless moment is when the person that you have fallen in love with....... | .....looks you right in the eyes to tell you that they have fallen in love with you.

27: Always & Forever Yours....... | Always & Forever Yours....... | Always & Forever Yours....... | Always & Forever Yours | Always & Forever Yours....... | Always & Forever Yours....... | Always & Forever Yours....... | Today and always, beyond tomorrow, I need you beside me always........ | .....as my best friend, lover and forever soul mate. | Phoenix Arizona October 29,, 2011

28: Arizona | Tonto Creek | November, | 2011 | All I ever want is to be a part of your heart, for us to be together and never apart. No one else in the world can ever compare, for me you are perfect and so is this love that we share. We have so much more than I ever thought we would, I love you more than I ever thought I could. I promise to give you all I have to give, I'll do anything for you as long as I live. In your eyes I see our present, our future and past, by the way you look at me I know that we will last. I hope that one day you'll come to realize, how perfect you are when seen through my eyes.

29: Together | Is | the | best | place | to | be

30: Cherished | Moments | Always | my | Love | & | Forever | Love isn't blind it just only sees what matters | Love, the key that unlocks the bars of impossibility | Always | Just to say I | love you never seems | enough. I've said it so | many times I am afraid you | won't understand what I really mean | when I say it. How can so much | feeling, so much adoration possibly fit into | those three little words. But until I find | some other way of saying what I feel, | then"I love you" will have to do. So | no matter how many times I say | are my life, and my only | more than ever | love. I love you now | it, never take it lightly, for you | before.

31: Night | to | Remember | A | Chicago | December 2011

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Joanna Portukalian
  • By: Joanna P.
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