Macy Sliman, Staff Writer
On the way to Yukon, on the right side of the road, you might have seen the old abandoned building. To most, it is just some building that is covered in trash and weeds. But to one couple in particular, it is the start of something full of promise.
This particular structure was the site of Sam Duce and Shelby Oxner’s engagement. Over the course of a few months, Sam and some of his friends cleaned out the abandoned building and white washed the walls. A path was constructed leading through the building, and Sam went to work painting a mural on the wall. On the big night, Sam took Shelby into the building that once looked like a place to avoid. A friend of Sam’s was playing violin in the room adjacent, while they took symbolic communion together and walked through the now clean and freshly painted building where Sam popped the question.
The story is not all about the story, however misleading that can sound. The story is actually about how they began this new chapter in their lives.
There are many different ways to go about a relationship. Everyone has a different thing that ends up working for them. Sometimes those relationships do not work out. However, when they do, they can be quite a beautiful thing. One such relationship is that of Sam and Shelby.
From the start, these two decided that their relationship was going be centered around Christ.
“Since the beginning of our relationship we discussed that the goal of our relationship should be to drive us and other people towards Christ, so he should be the center of it. And if that wasn’t the case, then we shouldn’t be in the relationship to begin with,” said Sam, when asked about the start of their relationship.
When I sat down with them, they both agreed that this relationship has helped them grow and become better believers. Right from the start, their relationship was meant to be something that makes them want to be more Christ-like.
Even with relationships that have good intentions, there can be difficult parts. For Sam, their biggest obstacle as a couple was the human condition of straying towards selfishness. He claims that when he found the relationship the hardest was when either one of them was being selfish, which caused them to miscommunicate or not be patient or gracious. To him, this is when the goal of the relationship has felt the farthest away.
For Shelby it was a little different. “Something that God has really dealt with me in this relationship would have to be my insecurities and how he has taught me to let go of the most important things in my life. And I am reminded of how blessed I am to be loved by God through Sam having nurtured, taken care of and loved me.”
One of the easier parts that this couple faces is their enjoyment in the contentment of their relationship. To them, this peace that God brings into their life constantly makes all the harder parts worth it, and they can remember to carry on with Him and His will as their goal.