In August 2012, I (Tabitha) began my first year of teaching. I blogged my way through each crazy, overwhelming week, and had prepared myself for a year that lacked a social life. I was honestly fine with that; I was sick of dating, and tired of getting my hopes up as I went on a couple dates with different guys over the past 5 years. I didn't like being single, but I was ready to get rid of all distractions and fully embrace the start of my career as a teacher--knowing that it was given to me by God.
Right before I began teaching, I started finishing up a worship internship at my church. It had been a good experience, but I knew once my school year started, I'd be in over my head. As an intern, I had suggested using Planning Center Online to help us organize our worship schedule. My suggestion was brushed aside in the way that it never happened. As I was finishing up interning, my worship leader told me he met someone who worked for PCO and thought it would be great for us to use. *Aggravated sigh.* He told me that the guy might start coming to our church. Being involved in children's ministry, I was curious if the guy was bringing any kids along with him. I asked my worship leader if the guy was married. He said, "No, actually I think he's single...and he's pretty cute too." "Oh really?!" I was interested to see this guy for myself, though told myself that it wasn't going to amount to anything--after all, the busiest year of my career was about to start in less than a month.
Sunday came and while we were on stage waiting for the benediction to finish, my worship leader leaned over to me and motioned to the guy sitting in one of the seats. I wasn't wearing my glasses, so it took me a moment to find him. When I did, I gave an approving nod--he was pretty cute! My worship leader proceeded to plan out this whole introduction of the two of us after the service was over. He was totally freaking me out, so I told him to just go talk to the guy and I'd come over in a minute and ask him about some worship-related stuff. The plan was carried out, and I never would have guessed that I was meeting Reagan Helms, the man I would one day marry.
The story pauses for a few months after that. As I said, teaching was starting, so I stopped interning. I felt pretty burnt out after being so involved in worship ministry, so I temporarily stopped singing on Sundays too. By February, my life had settled to an easier pace with teaching, and I once again started serving on the worship team. Reagan and I started talking here and there when we served and he eventually asked me out.
I was so excited all week and when it was finally time for our date on March 23, 2013, my shyness overwhelmed me and I closed up like a turtle. I was horrified and so mad at myself. My shyness was the biggest complaint from guys on those first dates when getting to know someone. Coffee turned into sushi, which made me feel sick because there were so many butterflies in my stomach. We said good night, and I went home and cried, thinking I had ruined my chance with this guy. You can imagine my shock and delight when I received a sweet message thanking me for the date and asking me on another one after I got home.
One night after we'd been going out for a while, we walked home from dinner at a Thai restaurant and we were talking about something said at Reagan's work. His coworkers were asking about his "girlfriend" and he told them I wasn't his girlfriend. They asked him how often we see each other, to which he said it was the majority of the week. They 'rested their case.' After telling me this, Reagan looked over and said, "You kind of are like my girlfriend." I said, "Are you asking me or telling me?" So he asked me if I would like to be his girlfriend to which I responded, "More than anything!" And so began our love story.
After three months of prayer and an increasingly in-depth glimpse into Reagan's character. God told me Reagan had been brought into my life to be my future husband. I was shocked at hearing that; I didn't doubt that God could say such a thing, but I didn't think that that's something He actually would say. Reagan and I talked about marriage quite a bit and knew we would one day get married.
On our one year anniversary, Reagan recreated our first date, took me to the pier, and asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised and didn't believe him at first!
We spent the next year and a half planning a detailed, crafty, book-themed wedding that was fun and creative, and such a whirlwind for us to experience! We took off for 10 days in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and returned to set up our near-the-beach home.
In October 2015 we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. It was an adventurous 9 months of changes and preparation with building excitement from us, our families, and our friends. I almost made it to the second to last week of the school year before Judah Reagan Helms made his appearance in a miraculous, footling breech delivery.
While I was still in the throes of breastfeeding, we found out we were pregnant again and that we’d have two boys just 16 months apart from each other. I remember hearing from so many people with kids that age gap apart or who were siblings themselves close together that our boys would be the best of friends. We are already seeing them as friends when they play together in Kai’s crib in the morning before it’s time to come out of their room, and when Judah’s sweet voice says, “Are you okay, Brother?” when Malachi is crying.
I am still in awe that God made this all happen. I thought I was spending that first year of teaching as a single, independent woman. Instead, God brought the man of my dreams. I thought I would date someone for two or three years before I would know it was time to get married to them. Instead, God told me after 3 months that Reagan was my future husband. We had planned to wait another year or two to have kids, but after a rough year of teaching I knew I needed a change, and we found out we were pregnant. I am reminded so clearly that God works on a different timeline than we do, and that when we step aside from our own agenda and surrender to God's, we will be inexplicable amazed at how His plan is so much better than ours. We are so, so blessed by God's goodness and are enjoying spending life together.