by Faith Peggar
On June 5, 2019, I met the man who became my best friend and who would forever change my life. Exactly one year later (June 5, 2020), I moved back to Minnesota just as that man flew across the world to be a COVID-19 crisis nurse in the Middle East. And, then, on June 5, 2021, I vowed to love and serve that man for the rest of my life.
Now, let me share the nitty gritty details. The summer between my junior and senior year of nursing school, I did an internship at the Mayo Clinic where I was paired 1:1 with a nurse to follow for the summer. I was paired with Mike, who seemed shy at first, but also extremely compassionate, intelligent, and unique. Right away, we became great friends. As the next three months passed, I learned he was the opposite of shy, and that he was even more compassionate, patient, and caring than I first knew. I discovered that Mike was also goofy, passionate, and very stubborn about the silliest things (such as how to order boxes of gloves). There was something so special about this man, but at the time I couldn’t put my finger on it. I knew him as wholesome, sweet, and kind.
Later that summer, I left Minnesota “for good,” never expecting to return to Rochester. This lasted for ten months, until I moved back across the country to be a COVID-19 nurse. I moved to Minnesota at the same time my most cherished friend, Mike, traveled to the Middle East. When we reunited later that summer, it felt like I had never left; we picked up right where we left off. That day, we walked around Cascade Lake and Mike shared the gospel with me. It’s important to note that I did not grow up in a Christian home and I lived a life very far from Christ. I’m convinced that if anyone else shared the gospel with me that day, I would have rejected it. But since I had felt the love of Christ through this person and knew that there was something so special about this man, my heart was open. I accepted Jesus just a few days later.
As I grew in my walk with Christ, I also grew closer to Mike. He walked alongside me, answered my 1,000 Jesus questions at two in the morning, and discipled me. He, in Pastor Larry’s presence, was the one who baptized me in the freezing cold Zumbro River that October. From there our friendship continued until six months later, we had what we like to call our “uh oh day.” That day, we sat cross-legged across from each other on my kitchen floor and knew we were not just best friends anymore. Two months later, we became engaged, and three months after that, on June 5, 2021, we were married.
About a month into our marriage, we faced our first major trial when my perfect health suddenly deteriorated. We spent the majority of that next month at the emergency room, as I was hospitalized or in and out of procedures and doctors appointments. Unfortunately, all of these procedures and appointments were unsuccessful, leaving me sicker with no answers, and ultimately unable to walk for the next six months. The following year brought continued health struggles, and battles with mental health and loss. But that time also brought Mike and I closer than I ever thought two people could get. We accepted our vulnerabilities, which allowed us to develop a deeper trust, safety, and even joy amidst the pain. It has given me a bond with my husband that I am convinced we couldn’t have achieved without such pain.
These hardships also showed us God’s character in a way that no study Bible or devotional could explain. It taught us that the Great Physician still does miracles today. We got to experience our rock at rock bottom. We got to feel the gentle, loving arms of the Prince of Peace wrap around us in the darkest of nights. We got to witness God’s mercy in front of our eyes. God continues to show us how our trials were all for His glory and our good. God has done some incredible work through our relationship over the years…nobody could have written our story as perfectly as God has.
This is our love story in a nutshell. It is a story of my nurse preceptor, gospel sharing, caregiving best friend who became my husband. Now the next time you see Mike and I giggling with our googly eyes, dancing in the church parking lot, or crying during worship, you know our backstory!
Faith Peggar is married to Mike and is a GI nurse at Mayo Clinic. She loves horses, big dogs, and wooden puzzles. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, fishing, and hiking. At Calvary, you will find Faith serving in Sunday school or the nursery. She has also served with Awana and Vacation Bible School.