I never actually met Jon. I stalked him on Facebook before seeing him in person. He seemed popular. He knew everyone, and I imagined a flock of girls already adored him. This was June 2013.
Looking back to that summer almost two years ago amazes me. At the shindig where we connected [because we didn't officially meet with a proper introduction and firm handshake], I think how neat it would have been if God allowed me to see a glimpse of where I am today. Like a movie trailer with captivating images and emotionally moving music. Because here I am today – your girlfriend.
[The banner photo is two separate self-portraits we did just before our relationship. Jon is in Colorado, and I'm in the North Carolina Mountains.]
Happiest of Birthdays to you, Jon! This is the second birthday that I've had the pleasure of spending with you. Last year – April 5th [two days before your birthday] – was the first time we saw each other in person since entering into a relationship the previous March. I remember your trip to Charlotte with Jana so well. God has definitely blessed year 27 and has grown both of us very much.
Welcome to year 28!
For those of you who don’t know Jon, I want this post to give you an insider’s view into who he is. I’ll start off with my note, and then end with notes from friends and family.
Jon, your joy for life amazes me. You have so much energy! I love watching you with children and the elderly – I see you thrive in serving them. I love hearing you sing, whether it’s for church or with me and my Pop-Pop around the piano. I love looking through your Instagram feed and imagining your adventures and admiring your gift for composition and for capturing beauty. I love that you let me be your assistant and second shooter. I’m so glad that you love sports – and that you’re athletic. You are one of a kind – one who has a love and eye for beauty, yet there is absolutely nothing feminine about you. You are all man. I like that about you.
May this year be one that bears much fruit! I’m excited to continue getting to know you and to grow closer to our Lord together. Here’s to making more memories!
Happy Birthday, Jon! I'm so thankful for you and your love for adventure! You've always encouraged me to step out and try new things! Your enthusiasm and joy for life has brought much encouragement to me and many others to simply keep smiling! One of my fondest memories with you is singing around the piano. :)
More than anything I'm thankful for God's grace and the blessed work He has done in your life shaping and molding you into a man with a deep love and passion for God. Keep pressing on- run that race that is set before you, ever looking to Jesus as your King!
With much love,
Your sister~ Jennifer
Jon is that brother who I love adventuring with! I've enjoyed traveling, fishing, and going to conferences with him. It always made me feel so special when he wanted me to go do something with him, like play volleyball. I miss him being in Missouri but it's neat to see the Lord leading and guiding him out in North Carolina. I love you bro, happy birthday! -Jana
Happy happy birthday, brother! It's weird that I haven't seen you since last July (?). I miss you! The other day, Jana and I were reminiscing of the times us three went on random adventures together...Good times. :) I do hope you have a very lovely day, and it's filled with much happiness. <3 I love you! -Hannah
Jon is a great brother who loves the Lord and cares a lot for people. He's a wonderful friend who inspires me in many ways. God has blessed him with many talents and for as long as I can remember he has unselfishly used those talents to bless and encourage others, often at great expense of his own time and money. He can work circles around me, out read, out sing, out run, out jump, out play, and out fish me. But maybe the latter is because I stop to eat when I go fishing. ;) -Josh
When Josh and I bought our house, Jon helped us so much with getting it fixed up. I'll never forget all the days he spent working away at electrical, drywall, insulation, (and who knows what all), as he helped us push on through the discouraging last few months of our remodel and get things put back together so we could move in. He is an awesome brother in law, and a really great uncle to our kiddos! -Jemima
Happy Birthday, Jon.
"My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine." Prov.23:15 When you asked us to pray that your heart would always be right before God more than praying for financial success, it brought joy to our hearts. May the Lord bless you today, Jon, in knowing our Savior Jesus more and more. May the Lord make you a "burning and shining light" for Him, a fisher of men. May He "establish the work of your hands". We love you, Jon.
Dad and Mom
Jon - Happy, happy birthday to the best "little" brother ever! You have grown to be such a fine man, one who loves God with all his heart, and follows after Him. I am so proud of you! I pray the Lord gives you the desires of your heart! Have a fantastic birthday! I love you!
Jon, you have no clue how much I've been blessed by your life! The man you have become inspires me to draw nearer to God and to lay hold eternal life! I pray that this next year, God will reward your love for Him with bountiful blessings! That His love would fall on you in a more true and intimate way than you have ever known. I know that God will bless you with riches and honor and life, because you have chosen to humbly fear Him! (Proverbs 22:4) Thank you for brightening the lives of so many with your smile and joy! Keep singing and looking unto your King! :) Happy Birthday! -David
Happy birthday, Jon! Thanks for your friendship, your heart for the Lord, and for including me on so many fun adventures!! :) - Taylor
Happy birthday Jon! I just wanted to encourage you to continue seeking God with your whole heart. And to do all for the glory of God. Happy birthday and God bless you! - Michael
Happy birthday, Jon! I appreciate your cheerfulness in serving Christ and those around you. You always seem to have something encouraging to say, and always say it with a smile! You are a blessing to so many! May you have a very blessed year and may the Lord abundantly pour out His rich grace and blessings upon you as you seek Him! -Mindy
Jon, Happy Birthday from faraway MO! We sure miss having you around here! I've been blessed to see how you've grown in your walk with the Lord through the last year, and I pray the Lord continues to work in your life as you grow deeper in Him throughout this next year. Keep pressing on and fighting the good fight! I miss our days of shooting Canons together. ;D ~Ruth
JON! Happy Birthday! I am so glad that you and Jen are together:) It makes it a lot of fun:) Hope you have a wonderful birthday! ~Marianna
Hi! Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!! I love spending time with you. like playing games, writing, or even drawing pictures. :) :) :) :) I also think that it is really sweet for you to be dating Jenny.
ONE, TWO, THREE
I LIKE YOU!