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While just newlyweds, Emerson and Nikalena (Raikes) Patrick (WC ’17) know that leaning into God’s truth is the foundation of a strong marriage.

How many years have you been married? Emerson and I have been married for a little over 6 months. We got married in July 2021, but we dated for 8 years before getting married! 

When did you first meet? Emerson and I first met in elementary school but became closer friends in middle school and began dating in high school. 

When was your first date? It is hard for us to pinpoint our first date because we loved spending time with our friend group at school and church events. We like to say that our first real date was freshman year homecoming. 

What do you know about God now that you didn’t know before you were married? Emerson and I have learned the importance of leaning into God’s truths. God continually extends his love, grace, and forgiveness to us each day and we want to model that in how we treat each other in our marriage. It’s not always easy but we are so thankful for what we have learned and continue to learn as it has been so helpful as we navigate through the first year of our marriage.

What advice would you give those hoping to marry one day? Meeting at such a young age we were blessed to grow spiritually together and we are still growing in our walk with Jesus. We would encourage any couple to put Jesus first and talk to Him often. Surround yourself with truth speakers, a church that challenges you to seek God’s purpose for your life, and invest in a community of like-minded people who also seek Jesus.

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