Orthodox Love Stories: Emmelia

How did you meet your spouse? 

I grew up at St. Tikhon’s seminary and Monastery in northeastern Pennsylvania and decided to go to college in Mechanicsburg, PA, almost solely based on the fact I loved the parish there. After a few months attending, one of the parish ladies reached out on Valentine’s Day over text, while I was attending Messiah College’s required Valentine’s Day chapel service. She asked if I was single and interested in meeting her brother-in-law. He wasn’t Orthodox at the time, he was 5 years older than I was, but God was putting it on my heart to step out of my safety net and meet him. Brandon and I met on a blind date along with his brother and sister-in-law, and the rest is history!

How did you know this was the person you were going to marry? 

Knew he was the one when he didn’t second guess for a minute coming to an Orthodox Church with me. He had never experienced anything like that, and it was out of his comfort zone, but he did it because he loved me, and 6 years later, he’s the VP of our parish council and an integral member of the parish!

How do you find that marriage changes the ways you interact with the world? 

I find myself looking at the world with more hope, understanding, and peace. Knowing that someone is by your side walking through the good, the bad, and the ugly together makes everything less scary. You feel stronger in who you are as a person & who you are in Christ.

If someone about to get married asked you for advice, what would it be? 

Don’t be afraid to open your heart and feelings towards your spouse whenever you need to. The key to a marriage where you both can be yourselves all the time & love each other is when there are no walls or guards up.

Don’t forget to laugh often and do things that bring you joy. Even if it’s stupid little things, those little things build up and create bonds that make the marriage rope even stronger.


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