This blog has been fairly quiet lately. There is a reason besides "Captive Faith" busyness too. :) You see, since May a certain young man has been coming to visit and arranging for me to visit him. We met in March at my brother's wedding, and then fit in 6 visits between "Unchanging" and "Captive Faith" which made for a busy but incredibly exciting summer. And last Saturday, on the 7th visit, he had a very special question to ask me...
The Day I'll Never Forget
How do you describe hearing your Dearest say "I love you" for the first time? The sensation of his hand holding yours - so new! The look in his eyes as he says those words you've only dreamed about... "Will you marry me?"
"Yes - with all my heart!"
Saturday, August 18th, 2012. The day started early; up by 5 a.m. to get to the airport on time. As the plane neared Cedar Rapids, IA, I prayed, "Guide Ryan, Father. Be Lord of this visit. Let me have no expectations... simply enjoy whatever happens." You see, Ryan HAD talked to dad about something when he was in Alabama two weeks earlier... but I didn't know if he'd propose soon or later. I thought he'd been too busy in the past weeks to possibly have time to plan anything or buy a ring...
Ryan picked me up at the airport bearing 3 dozen roses - a mixture of pink, white tinged with pink, and red. RED roses? :)
It was a joyful reunion, smiling just being together, hearing each other clearly instead of over a phone. It was a perfect day. Blue sky and a cool breeze. We drove the to Amana colonies where Ryan treated me to lunch and took me to a play telling the stories from this historic German settlement. He knows me so well - what I enjoy... But more than anything, I was just happy to be with him. My best friend.
As we drove to the house of the sweet couple I'd be staying with, I told Ryan I felt like I'd been transported to another world. The afternoon had been so perfect. Little did I know there was so much more to come!
He dropped me off to get ready for a dressy date "since we'd never had one before." I put on my favorite brown and pink dress and pinned my hair up with pearls. As a finishing touch I slipped on those heels that had paired me with Ryan in the first place at that March wedding not so long ago... I'd ended up with Ryan as my escort because I'd told Megan "If you're going to have me wear heels, make sure you put with someone taller than me." :)
When Ryan knocked at the door, I asked if I should bring more comfortable shoes to walk in. "Oh yeah - we'll probably go walking." It's something we often did after meals... Little did I know how momentous this walk - before dinner - would be!
Awaiting me in the car was a peach smoothie - complete with whipped cream - which I enjoyed as we drove, just content being with such an amazing man. We talked... "How do you think we compliment each other as a couple?" he asked. "You draw me closer to God and inspire me to press in to know Him more" was my first response. So true...
He pulled up and parked... "Is this where we're walking?" I asked, and switched shoes. He opened my door (ever the gentleman!) and we set off down a lane lined with trees.
We came to a picturesque flower garden, complete with a white fence and archway entrance. As we admired the beauty, suddenly I wonder if maybe... But no. Nothing momentous happened and we kept walking. "It's not happening tonight," I quickly concluded and enjoyed the walk, though I wished I could hold his hand...
A deer crossed the path in front of us; we admired the light casting variant shadows on the green leaves. A perfect evening... only begun.
Rounding a bend, I saw a car that looked like Ryan's. "No - it couldn't be - I know we parked somewhere else. Must just look very similar" I concluded as I took a second glance. How could I know Ryan had friends working behind-the-scenes that night?
We sat on a bench, but almost immediately Ryan got up and said "Let's go up there." It looked like a clearing behind the trees, and I was happy to go, happy Ryan enjoyed exploring.
Half-way up the hill, I stopped in wonder. Excitement. Am I dreaming?
Flowers on stones surrounded a white rug laden with rose petals. A chair sat in the middle with a book of pictures. I could see our picture on the cover. I was trembling - "This is it - it's really happening!" but I couldn't say anything as I looked in amazement at the man before me... leading me to the chair, kneeling beside me... Hearing those beautiful words, "I love you." Looking at the pictures as he read the poem he'd written on each page... Holding his hand and receiving an exquisite ring... Wow. Hugging. Then praying, thanking God for His goodness and amazing blessings He'd given us. "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine!"
Walking back down the hill to - yes - his car, hand in hand. Going to a fancy restaurant with delicious food... But I was more interested in looking into the eyes of - my FIANCE?! Laughing. Talking. Smiling... Rejoicing in God's goodness to us. Holding hands across the table as we attempted to the eat the food that kept arriving. After at least 2 hours, we left, headed to thank the amazing family he lives with for their help. Laughing as they described dashing into the woods, their young girls in tow, when we arrived earlier than expected... We never heard nor saw.
Calling family and friends, saying "We're engaged!!!!" again and again as we shared the joy with others. Such overflowing joy.
Before we left so he could drop me off for the night (as if I could ever be tired that night!), Ryan grabbed his guitar and sang me a song he'd written... to me. Standing in the driveway, hearing him sing of his love... Wow.
Our God has blessed so abundantly. The wait has been so worth it. God has gone before, writing our love story as only the Author of Romance can. Dreams still do come true...
And this is only the beginning, the promise of life together. I can't wait. I love you Ryan!