In honor of Ben’s birthday on Friday, the Counting On star penned an open letter titled “Happy Birthday Ben!” on the Seewald Family blog, which details the progression of the couple’s relationship.
“Lately, I’ve been looking back to when we first met, reminiscing over the many providences of God in how He brought us together, and just thinking about how blessed I am to do life with you!” Jessa, 24, begins the birthday post.
“When first I laid eyes on you, a dapper seventeen-year-old young man, I never could’ve dreamt of what the future held for us. It was 10:15 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I was late for church as I came scurrying through the door with a couple of siblings in tow. In the midst of this commotion, I spotted you, the ‘new guy,’ and our eyes met for a second,” she writes. “During the service, I looked over in your direction a few times. You’d grown a handsome goatee that yielded a more aged look, and I was convinced you were at least in your early 20’s! Our first conversation was slightly awkward because we both wanted to say ‘Hey!’ but we were a bit nervous. You tried to break the ice. ‘Is that an iPhone?’ you questioned, pointing at the device I was fumbling around in my hands.”
According to Jessa, after that meeting, she “had no clue” if she’d ever see him again. But three weeks later, he showed up at church and was invited over to her family’s home for the afternoon and supper by Jessa’s brothers.
“After that, just about once a month you would make the 3 1/2 trek up from Hot Springs to NW Arkansas. You told me that you were finishing up studies at your community college and that you were thinking about transferring to the University of Arkansas. So of course, you wanted to familiarize yourself with the area and make friends up here. I convinced myself that that was it, and refused to think that you had anything else in mind, but my sisters started to tease me about you,” Jessa continues.
At the time, Jessa admittedly questioned if Ben was interested in her because of their two-and-a-half-year age gap.
“Surely he wouldn’t be interested in an older gal, I reasoned. He’s a teenager, and I’m already twenty!” she thought at the time. “But on the other hand, it seemed that you already knew I was older and were trying to wait as long as possible to let me in on that fact. Could this mean that he does, in fact, like me, and is trying to avoid being written off because of his age? Over those next few months, we talked a lot during your visits. And the more we talked, the more I started to fall for you.”
In the letter, Jessa explains that the couple talked about their favorite books and preachers, and Ben bought her a copy of Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional.
“I looked forward to every time I’d get to see you, and started to realize just how much I missed you when you had to leave. Between visits, we’d text a lot. Sometimes I felt like my heart was running after you too quickly. I always wanted to have my phone on me so I could read your texts the second they came in, but then I found myself thinking, Maybe I should wait a couple of hours to text him back so he doesn’t think I’m crazy about him. But I was crazy about you! You’d become my best friend,” she writes.
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“And then it happened… you told me that you loved me. I cried. (And I’m not a super emotional person!),” Jessa continues the post. “A few days later, you took me on our first date. I don’t even remember what we ordered, but whatever it was, we didn’t eat much! I could hardly believe that this was real. You? Me? Together! Felt like a dream.”
The mother of two writes: “Nearly a year later, the day had come. There we were in a gorgeous glass chapel. The sun was setting, and the aisle was lined with flickering candles and red rose petals. You knelt down on one knee and ask asked me to be your wife. My eyes were watery with emotion as I looked into your eyes and whispered ‘Yes!’ ”
In 2014, Jessa and Ben tied the knot in front of nearly 1,000 guests. And within the two years that they’ve been married, the couple has welcomed two children into their family: sons Spurgeon Elliot, 1, and Henry Wilberforce, 3 months.
“When I think about what you mean to me, it’s hard to put into words. You’re one of a kind. You’re a gem. You’ve influenced my life in ways you probably don’t even know, and have helped me to be a more well-rounded person,” she writes.
“There’s is just so much more that I could say,” she continues in the conclusion of the letter, and adds, “but I shall close for now with this: I know that I married up.”
Counting On returns June 12 at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.