Friday Feature ~ April & Frank Petersen
Russ and I met April & Frank through Thrive, an 8 week married small group. It may be short in the number of weeks we meet but the curriculum dives deep and addresses topics like family of origin, communication, conflict, forgiveness, etc… Most couples who join have been married 10+ but we always seem to have one token newlywed and the Petersens were that couple! We were very proud of them to be intentional so early in their marriage. It helps to set the foundation strong in the beginning than to wait for a crisis. We’ve stayed in touch and continue to meet up. It’s incredibly encouraging to see how they are thriving with each other!
How did you meet your husband?
Frank and I met through mutual friends on a spring break trip in high school. My friend met his friend on a spring break trip the year before, and we all ended up going to the same place the year we met. We dated long distance SC or GA for the 5 years we dated before marriage.
How did your husband propose?
Oh my goodness did he outdo himself! The historic part of the University of South Carolina, where I went to school, is called the Horseshoe. It’s absolutely beautiful. One day while I was at work, he left a note on my car telling me to drive straight home. Once I arrived, there were candles and clues every step of the way to my room. A ride took me to the horseshoe, where I had my best friends guiding a a path with candles leading me to my husband at the end of the Horseshoe. I would make it to one friend after the other, each having a note written from him, leading me from friend to friend until i got to my family, and then finally to him. It was perfection, with every detail planned to a tee. We had reservations at a favorite restaurant to celebrate with family and friends afterwards.
How long have you been married?
A little over 3 years!
Did you go through the Thrive curriculum? If so, describe your experience.
Yes!! It was hands down the best thing we could have done for a marriage. I signed us up thinking this would be a simple married couples bible study. When we went the first week, we realized it was going to be so much more. We thought, well we’ve been together for so long, we know everything, we haven’t had anything bad happen between us, we don’t really need “counseling”. Boy were we wrong. We learned SO much more about one another on a deeper level. During Thrive, we learned how to communicate, why we are they way we are, how to stay intentional, and tons of other tools to keep our marriage strong for the long haul.
What are you both really excited about?
We are both so excited for the future. Right now, we’re at a time in our lives that so much is happening.
Name a couple who inspires you?
Honestly, Russ and Danielle. Frank and I went through an incredibly hard time in our marriage recently, and we were so fortunate to have these two to lean on for advice and support. They show so much love and respect for each other; it inspires you to grow towards that as well.
Are you becoming the wife you’d hope to be?
I’d have to say yes. Frank and I have grown so much together, and he has pushed me to not only be a better wife, but a better person. I used to be quick to get upset, and I would never try to communicate in a healthy way. Through thrive, I have honestly become the wife I’ve wanted to be. I’m much more intentional with my words, and I try to constantly put his feelings before my own.
Does your husband sometimes embarrass you?
He actually used to embarrass me a good bit. He’s very different and unapologetically himself, which would make me uncomfortable at times. I’m someone who thinks way to much about what others think about me or their opinions of me. Through the years, I’ve learned that the more I accept him as he is, the more comfortable and relaxed I feel out in public. I love who he is, and if others feel differently, that’s ok. Besides, I can guarantee I can embarrass him just as much.
Has your husband helped you mature spiritually?
Absolutely. When we were going through our rough patch, he was the one who insisted we turn to church to help us through everything. He’s such an amazing spiritual leader in our family.
What worries you most about life?
The unknown. I’m working on fully trusting God with things rather than trying to control everything.
How would you describe the word “love”?
Having that percent complete you in all ways. A lot of people expect it to be “easy” if it’s love. That could not be more untrue. Love is amazing, but definitely hard and complicated. When you learn the tools to navigate love and work through it, it’s incredible.
Do you feel that he respects you? How could he show that better?
Yes. He respects me so much. There are times where he is not comfortable with giving compliments and “bragging” about me to others. He could definitely brag more to friends and family about things I do.
What do you most wish you both could do in the future to make an impact on our world for Christ?
We have been talking about planning a mission trip in the future somewhere international. It would be such an amazing experience to go through with your spouse.
Do you like the way he responds to your family? What could he do to improve?
He’s AMAZING with my family. He fits right in sometimes even more than I do. He respects them and loves them as his own family.
Are you hopeful about the future?