“The Story” (Part 1)

First of all, a congratulations again to Ana Marie for winning our first ever Scavenger Hunt. She wrote: “I would greatly enjoy reading the entire story of your courtship if time permits it’s composition.” Lynn also asked a similar question.

Well, It’s still very new to us that we even have a story— And, we hadn’t spent much time writing it to date. We’re busy preparing for the next chapter, so to speak!

Here, then, is an overview. Actually, the summary is in the heading of this page: “He hath made every thing beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)”. This is a story of the providence of God and His blessing on two undeserving people.

How we met

Steven was born in Missouri (where Rebecca lives now), and Rebecca was born in California (where Steven lives now, in the San José area). Despite many dear mutual friends, their paths did not cross until 2003. On the 11th of January of that year, at an NCWA Reenactment Ball in Monterey, CA, a friend of Steven’s and a friend of Rebecca’s met on the dance floor, and introduced those families. (Steven was present, but the Servens were not present.) A dance was set in the San Luis Obispo area so that these Reformed, Christian, Home-schooling families could encourage one another. Steven and some others from his church drove down to San Luis Obispo and hosted the dance, enjoying the local hospitality. And the Serven clan attended. That was the first that the Servens and any Loomises had met. Steven and Rebecca danced the last dance, the Virginia Reel.

That spring, Rebecca and the Servens drove up to the San José area to attend a dance at the Campbell Community Center, and the Serven family met more of the Loomis family.

Friends over the years

Steven and Rebecca met again a few times in 2003 and 2004 mostly, at various conferences and events. Steven attended the second ever California Men’s Advance which Rebecca’s church sponsors, in 2004, and got to know Pastor Serven and some of the family and friends there. Rebecca and Steven met again at an (awww) Valentine’s day history lecture also in 2004. That summer, Rebecca attended the WCWC conference which Steven’s church sponsors, and stayed for a couple of days of fellowship afterwards with members of Steven’s church who, also in God’s providence, are neighbors living around the corner. (Rebecca visited her future home briefly on this trip.) Steven and Rebecca (as the ServenClan’s correspondant) kept up some cordial, friendly conversation via e-mail. And then…

Goodbye? — And a call to action

On Steven’s birthday, in 2005, the Servens sent out an e-mail (which was reflected in this blog post on the following day). The Serven family was being called by God to move to Missouri. To quote from that post:

“This change has huge ramifications for our family and will make many ripples across the country. Some of you are rejoicing and some weeping… We are sorely going to miss the blessed relationships God has brought about with people in California as we have labored along side you for the kingdom. Even though the relationships will change as we leave our home state, we trust that God would grow these relationships in new ways. And it goes with out saying–our home is yours. We absolutely love to have company.”

Steven was definitely in the ‘weeping’ category. Rebecca was moving away, and perhaps soon enough, would be married!

Not His perfect time (…yet!)

A couple of months later, after much prayer, counsel, and consideration, Steven requested of Rebecca’s father if Steven could court her.

This, also in God’s providence, was not granted. However, it was hoped that the friendship between our families would continue, and the invitation to visit as convenient was graciously extended.

( As an aside, how do you define a successful courtship? To answer this, one must first define what the goals are. If the goal is “Get married!!!”, then this attempted “courtship” of Rebecca was a failure. However, our goal should be (1) glorify God and (2) determine whether He is calling to marriage. Therefore, this brief (2005) attempted courtship was immediately a success. It was not the right time… yet. )

We had kept in touch over the years as friends, discussing ministry, family and web-site things, and this only continued over time – the first few of several thousand e-mails.

The next time that Rebecca and Steven saw each other was in September at the Chalcedon Foundation 40th Anniversary Conference at Chalcedon Presbyterian in Georgia. We were both grateful for our friendship and glad to catch-up on the move and such. Then, there was Jamestown in 2007. Steven considered (while visiting family in Missouri) attending the Men’s Advance in 2008, but that also did not work out, although some good conversation ensued around that time. And then..

Rekindling a friendship

In 2008, in God’s providence, Rebecca and a friend were able to come out to the WCWC. Steven and Rebecca had a number of good and important conversations at the conference and in the couple days subsequent before she returned home. Could there be a possibility here? … We resumed our e-mail conversation, and in fact, started writing on anything and everything at quite a pace, all with Rebecca’s parents’ knowledge and much good counsel on Steven’s side.

Family involvement

At the end of August, 2008, the Servens took an extensive road trip to New Mexico and into southern and northern California. Steven was invited to an 80th birthday party concert during one time of passing through (he is visible speaking with Nathan in the seventh photo). After the concert, Steven took Rebecca, Nathan, and Beth out for some Coldstone’s ice cream (which treat would make an appearance at Beth and Jon’s reception), and conversation. A couple of days later, Mrs. Serven, Rebecca, Nathan and Beth, attended RHC with Steven, which met in the same building in Campbell, California where Pastor Serven’s church met twenty years ago. This was Rebecca’s second visit to what would be her future church home, that year, and the second ever to her future home for a family brunch. Also at this time, Steven and his future father-in-law were seriously discussing the possibility of courtship and evaluating the progress of the friendship. A precious daughter is not let go easily, nor is marriage to be entered into hastily, and so much care and diligence was taken on both sides to determine if courtship, a serious consideration of marriage, was even wise.

Next: December 2008 and The first of many visits Eastward


  1. Caroline Said,

    October 9, 2009 @ 1:20 pm

    I can’t wait to read the rest of your story.

  2. Ana Marie Said,

    October 9, 2009 @ 9:14 pm

    Thanks so much for taking my request! I enjoyed reading this part and too look forward to reading the rest when you have time to post amid all the busyness.

  3. srl Said,

    October 9, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    You’re very welcome! Thank you for asking.

  4. SarahLee Said,

    October 10, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

    What an interesting story! It is amazing to read and hear how the Lord led you. I had wondered why you had not gotten engaged earlier if you already knew each other, but as you said the Lord’s timing is right. And often different from our own. Can’t wait for the next part!

  5. victoria Said,

    October 10, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

    What a beautiful story. It was especially touching that Steven waited so long for his beautiful Rebecca. Can’t wait to hear part II.


  6. srl Said,

    October 10, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

    Looking back it seems but a few days… :)
    Thank you.
    S of S&RL

  7. Charlotte Said,

    October 14, 2009 @ 8:08 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! You left me hanging…even though we know the ending! :-)

  8. srl Said,

    October 14, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    [Replying to two non-published responses]: “Nosy” Thank you for the kind complements, and questions. We would like to decline to answer in further detail.. One resource that might give you some background information is the book Her Hand in Marriage, or perhaps you might find other folks online that can help you with understanding the custom of courtship, who aren’t preparing for imminent wedlock. Thank you for your forbearance.

    “SarahLee” it seemed brief looking back. Looking forward, one mustn’t be presumptuous. We will also decline, as well.

  9. Renee Said,

    October 17, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Steven and Rebecca,
    This was so beautiful to read. Now that I think about it, we met both of your families separately in 2005. Since then, it has been a blessing to know both of you and to witness, from a distance, the Lord’s “making everything beautiful in His time,” in your lives!

  10. Alyce Said,

    October 20, 2009 @ 10:58 am

    This is beautiful to see. You have been practicing the art of hospitality for many years, and it is great to read that you desire your new home to be one of hospitality. The Lord bless you.

  11. Sallie Said,

    December 11, 2009 @ 5:56 pm

    This is such a lovely story. Thanks for sharing!!

    In Christ,

  12. Lida Bringe Said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    You haven’t forgotten to continue writing this story have you?

  13. srl Said,

    January 7, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Oh, we’ve been very busy writing it, just not always writing it down. Thanks for the reminder! S&R

  14. Avery Nelson Said,

    July 9, 2010 @ 12:24 am

    I was also home schooled when I was younger, and it is also a great way to get your education.

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