hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

Hey hey sweets! My husband Ian & I have been working through the Stubborn Love class by Shanna & her husband Jonathan. It’s been really insightful to stop & have conversations about the “early years” of our relationship, & dig into what the bedrock of our marriage is founded upon. We wanted to share with you a little peek into our class work & encourage you to stop & talk through your own relationship. It’s so important to not only record our life stories, but to praise God for creating them!

After listening to the first few recordings by Shanna & Jonathan, here’s a little Q & A we gave ourselves from questions discussed in the class content!

hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

Q: What’s the story of your relationship?

Ian: “The first time I actually talked to Elaine was one night Freshman Year of college (2006) in my dorm neighbor’s room, but I had actually seen her a few days before. Or should I say, she saw me, because I didn’t realize she was there. I was going in to my neighbor’s room to triumphantly tell him I had beat a video game & as soon as I told him, I left not even registering her. My neighbor was her friend from high school & I had hung out with him before I knew her. We spent time in his room pretty often & one night a few people from our floor were hanging out with him including Elaine & a few of her friends. That’s pretty much how our big friend group got formed. That night everyone had laptops working on school work or looking at stuff online. Elaine & I were the only ones without our computers. haha Elaine was about to leave because she was feeling left out & I asked her to stay because I thought it was refreshing to have someone there that didn’t feel glued to their computer screen. As we were sitting there, we started talking & it wasn’t love at first sight, but I did realize she was funny, smart, & cool.”

Elaine: “I thought he was SUPER dorky & awkward but it was kind of charming. We started seeing each other within our friend group & always kind of gravitated toward each other. Days after we started going out, I got a little overwhelmed because I also liked another guy that lived in my building & I felt like I jumped into something too soon after breaking up with my high school boyfriend. So I ended things with Ian gently & his words were: ‘That’s fine. Whatever you need. I’ll wait.’ Whether he really meant them at the time or that was just the ‘thing to say,’ I don’t know, but it struck a cord with me. Needless to say we got back together VERY soon after & stayed together. Our dating journey was a lot of college shenanigans with our mutual friend group & LONG summers away from each other long distance.”

hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

Q: What were your worries & concerns about the other person during the start of your relationship?

Elaine: “I was worried that he was never going to have an original thought. He agreed with EVERYTHING I said & never challenged me or asked me hard questions. It was something I was truly concerned about!”

Ian: “Well Elaine had other relationships before me, but she was my first girlfriend! So I was constantly worried about saying something stupid that would push her away! So I thought it best to just be agreeable. Haha”


Q: What was your first date like?

Ian: “Our first date was going to see Superman Returns on campus with our group of friends. We sat next to each other & talked through the whole thing. We thought we were more important than that dumb movie. Haha”

Elaine: “I remember holding hands on the walk to the movie! SO sweet! Since I was his first girlfriend, Ian was sooooo awkward but adorable!”

hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

Q: What are some defining moments for you as a couple?

Ian: “I remember walking to an event on campus together right after we had a big fight. Neither one of us wanted to go, but she pointed out we were meeting friends there, so we were obligated. So we went to the event & once we got there we had so much fun. It helped me realize that any fights we have aren’t permanent & our relationship was strong enough that we could move past them.”

Elaine: “Our first goodbye leaving for summer break after Freshman Year  is one that comes to mind. I was heartbroken. And being an anxiety-ridden homesick girl at the start of the year, this was a huge development for me. It was proof that I could be anywhere away from my family & as long as Ian was there, I would be fine. I think it’s interesting that both defining moments we brought up are BAD things!”

Ian: “Well, overcoming struggles is definitely defining because it shows we could get past them together.”


Q: What are each of your Love Languages?

Ian: “I feel loved whenever we go on a shared adventure or even just staying in together at home. I also love when she hugs me. I just feel really calm & loved. So mine are Quality Time & Physical Touch.”

Elaine: “When he does something without me asking, it proves that he’s thinking about me & about my well-being when he’s alone. When he surprises me with bringing home dinner or does chores without me asking it just warms my heart! I’m also a person that needs CONSTANT reassurance. Like… constantly. lol So I guess that makes mine Acts of Service & Words of Affirmation. Of course they’re not the same. That would be too easy.”

hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

Q: What are your current prayers for your marriage?

Elaine: “I have expressed this to Ian recently, but my prayer is that he would more outwardly show his faith. He’s pretty private & quiet about his prayers & faith journey, but I would love him to develop it more outwardly so that by the time we have children, he can be an obvious example of faith!”

Ian: “My prayer is that we can get into a situation where we’re able to help grow our family through natural means or adoption. Physically & Financially.”


After talking through these questions, we journaled a Bible page together! Even through the rain, I love us still.

hybrid mixed media Bible journaling entry by Elaine Davis and husband Ian | Illustrated Faith Stubborn Love workshop

We came up with this page after hearing each other’s defining relationship moments. It was for sure a God Wink reminding us that love endures, even after a fight or distance or a rain storm. (It was also pouring rain outside when we created this page!) The photo at the top is a very early one from our dating years. We had only been dating about 2 & 1/2 months at this point. So hard to believe! God has pulled us through so much in our 10 years of dating & marriage & the Stubborn Love class has brought out such wonderful reminders for each of us. We can already see Him working in our relationship in this season!

<3 Elaine (& Ian!)

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