College sweethearts to marry in May
Persistence may have pried open the door to Kirsten Block’s heart.
Three years ago, the 2008 Gothenburg High School graduate was immersed in studies at Hillsdale College during fall semester of her senior year.That was when fellow collegiate Trevor Anderson mustered enough courage to tell Kirsten he wanted to spend time with her.
“It was really much more than that but you can only say so much in that first conversation,” he said.
Kirsten said she was hesitant at first.
“It was the busiest semester of my college career,” she said, noting that she was in the midst of graduate school applications, a senior thesis, a heavy load of classes and was working three on-campus jobs.
“I literally had no time to give him.”
Kirsten had actually met Trevor, who’s from San Leandro, CA, the first day of her freshman year at Hillsdale, a small liberal arts college in rural southern Michigan.
Now they were both seniors.
“We really didn’t run in the same circles through most of college so our friendship didn’t get much farther than a friendly conversation once or twice a semester,” she recalls.
For Trevor, there was a specific moment his junior year when Kirsten walked into the college cafeteria.
“Love can apparently bloom in any locale,” he said.
When he spotted Kirsten, Trevor said he knew he wanted to marry her.
“The way she walked, talked, dressed and held herself, it suddenly dawned on me that she was only slightly less than a goddess,” Trevor remembers.
Still, he avoided making any advances for a while because he was quite sure she would turn him down.
Kirsten said she always thought Trevor friendly and funny when she bumped into him on campus but she didn’t really know him.
The two also studied in England the summer before their senior year and “we ran into each other several times.”
When Trevor did approach Kirsten, she said he was straightforward about his interest.
“I was the one who was uncertain, feeling like I needed to get to know him before I could even entertain the idea of being interested in him in return.”
She told him she was willing to get to know him better but didn’t have time unless he wanted to study with her.
“He surprised me when he took me up on the offer and spent the rest of the fall semester getting to know me over little study breaks to get coffee or to walk around the quad before returning to the books,” Kirsten said.
Once January rolled around, Kirsten said she was ready to tell Trevor she was quite interested and the two began to date.
Since graduation from Hillsdale in May of 2012, the couple has had a long-distance relationship.
Kirsten is now in her last semester of a master’s program in early Christian studies at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, and Trevor is working on a master’s degree in philosophy and theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.
On the day Trevor proposed, the couple was supposed to meet in Philadelphia for a conference where they would deliver papers.
Kirsten had a couple of classes to attend before flying out of Chicago.
“When Trevor knocked on my door at 7 a.m., before it was even light outside, I was completely taken off guard,” she said. “At first I thought he had just rearranged his flights so that he could travel with me from Chicago to Philadelphia but when he told me that I needed to cancel my flight and be ready to come with him at 8:30 a.m., I sort of suspected what was up.”
Incredulous that he had shown up unexpectedly, Kirsten reminded him of the classes she needed to attend.
“Trevor informed me that he had cleared everything with my professors,” Kirsten said.
The couple then drove to Hillsdale, a couple of hours from Notre Dame, and Trevor proposed in a place on campus where they used to walk together.
Trevor had arranged a group of friends to meet for a surprise celebration afterward that included some favorite professors and friends that lived across the country.
“I was very fortunate to have all three of my college housemates in town during my engagement as well as Kirsten’s two best friends from college and they were all tremendously supportive and helpful,” Trevor said. “The plan went off without a hitch and that was largely because of their work.”
After the celebration, Kirsten and Trevor hopped back in the car and drove nine hours to Philadelphia.
Kirsten said there are a million reasons she wants to marry Trevor and noted the difficulty in narrowing it to a few.
“It’s certainly true that our interests and personalities are very compatible, that we have a common desire to seek God, and that we share many of the same goals for our lives,” she said.
However Kirsten said she never knew that someone could love another person as much as Trevor loves her.
“I have been absolutely amazed from the beginning by his persistent, patient, whole-hearted love,” she explained. “His love has taught me to love to a depth that I never thought possible. He is the greatest gift I have ever, ever received.”
Quoting William Shakespeare to describe his feelings for Kirsten, Trevor said:
“...But you, O you, / So perfect and so peerless, are created / Of every creature’s best!” said Ferdinand to Miranda in “The Tempest.”
He went on to say that Miranda is fiction and “Kirsten is not.”
Trevor said he didn’t so much decide to marry Kirsten as simply accept that, if she would have him, it would be the best possible development of his life.
“And it has been,” Trevor said. “It’s an honor to me that she receives my affection for her and, what’s more, returns it.”
Kirsten is also very beautiful, he said, and they have a similar sense of humor.
“Thanks largely to her growing up with her dad,” he said.
Asked about the strengths that will help in their marriage, Kirsten describes Trevor as thoughtful about everything he does which makes him sensitive to her.
“He’s also very careful in the decisions he makes and the words he uses,” she said.
Trevor’s ever-cheerful demeanor and sense of humor help to keep her from getting too serious, she said.
“He embraces challenges and gives himself fully to whatever he undertakes,” she said.
Most of all, Kirsten said Trevor is the most genuine and sincere person she’s ever met.
In addition to thoughtfulness, Trevor said one of Kirsten’s best and most refreshing qualities is her lack of pretension.
“She is also an extraordinarily hard worker, responsible with her finances and does not become upset over minor issues.”
He added that Kirsten is also a good cook—like her mother.
Major marriage quality
What’s most important in marriage to both of them, they said, is that the marriage— in all aspects—demonstrates the mutual love of Christ and His church.
The couple said they are blessed that both of their families support them and their upcoming marriage.
Trevor said he didn’t think John and Mary Lou Block expected their daughter to marry a city kid from California but “they’ve handled it remarkably well.”
Kirsten and Trevor plan to marry in a small wedding in the Grand Island area on May 25. A reception in Gothenburg is planned in August.
After graduation from their master’s programs in May, they will apply for doctoral programs—Kirsten in theology and Trevor in philosophy.
As far as honeymoon plans, Trevor is keeping it a secret.
“I’d hate to spoil the surprise if she happened to read the paper,” he said.
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