Honestly, I couldn’t be any more cheerful! I am marrying the most incredible, considerate, big-hearted person in the whole entire world! The time I’ve spent with Matthew has been the best of my life. When God puts something together, nothing that I could arrange could ever compare. Here is my scrambled version of the events that happened.
November 26th marks a wonderful day! Matt and I woke up early in the morning to head to Washington DC to “pick up books.” Little did I know I was prepped in advance for this little decoy of a plan two weeks before. Pastor Todd told me that I may have to take a drive to Pastor Mark Batterson’s church to pick up donated books for Sandy victims. I was so confused…
Me: “Why can’t they send them down?”
PT: “Something, like there are too many to send via mail.”
Me: “Ohhh………. okay!”
Of course I was going to connect with the lovely Jennifer, Pastor Mark’s assistant to schedule everything but apparently Pastor Todd already worked out the details… I read her email, signature included… her fake email! The week of, Pastor Todd confirmed our travels and Matt chimed in to explain how he was off from work and that we would make a small trip out of the Monday. I couldn’t really argue with a deal so sweet. I needed a disjunction from the normal and we love DC anyways. Why not road trip and delight in a date?
I spent that past month shifting my life around, losing my home, living in instability, dealing with daily stresses and more, trying to keep the peace, needless to say… I was literally overjoyed just to spend a day with Matt. I went out and bought new shoes and a cardigan, just because. The night before, I had the unpremeditated feminine urge to paint my nails for the first time since the hurricane (talk about perfect timing).
I know it may sound cliché and expressive but I literally woke up that morning saying, “today will be a good day and I will see the good in everything!” I sounded like I took advice from a self-help column but honestly, life had left me feeling so downtrodden and exhausted that I couldn’t spend one more day dealing with negativity and heaviness. I made the choice to bless God and behold all the good in my life.
I’ve always wondered how I would feel the day of. You know? Will everything go as planned, will it go smoothly, will it be creative and special, will I know, will I not know, will I feel ready? I am always on a quest for the perfect conditions. Perfect timing and settings for everything (I’ve been unlearning that a bit too). I can’t be the only female who has thought this?! But beyond the pleasant and relaxing morning, my heart felt at total ease. What’s relieving is that without knowing, or anything that I could do with my own ability, God had everything in his hands, and I was very prepared for this occasion.
If there is one person who sees the good in everything it is Marissa. After receiving a heartwarming text from her, I sent her a video back in the car. Recollecting now, that small snippet of communication is something I cherish before my engagement.
So our road trip went a little like this. We grabbed a small snack and coffee (duh) and started our journey into the perfect fall weather, talking, switching through CDs, and reading and discussing devotionals. We stalled at some road stops to reflect: DC is pivotal because it was a time in my life when God was really working on my heart and clarifying my call. Little did I know, God was doing the same in Matthew’s heart as well. After that staff trip, I knew I needed to excel to a higher level of leadership and dedication (you would think having a bachelors in ministry would have confirmed that but you know… slow learner.) That had to be my main focus and as I trusted Him, I knew all things would work out for good in the end.
Well, you would think I may have had a clue that something extravagant was going to happen by then, you know, with our conversations and our pit stops but noooo. Be ready because this is going to come off mushy but Matthew is really that sentimental to me always. Actually his love for me continually surprises me and stands as a reminder of how my Creator views and loves me: precious, unique, and beautiful. Finally when we arrived in DC we stopped at Ebenezers Coffee House, grabbed some tea, and headed outside. First we sat in one place… only to move to another…?
Me: “So you want to go get the books now?”
Matt: “Umm, yeah I’m just waiting for a text.”
So what does any oblivious and excited girlfriend do in DC? Take pictures of everything on her iPhone! I start taking pictures of the area, Ebenezers, and Matt. Looking back now they crack me up. He’s smiling in one, serious in another. One nervous and a few of him looking around. I thought he was modeling but really he was scouting out the perfect moment. So finally when this naive girl finished her snapshots, Matthew seiezed the opportunity and filled the air with a bunch of special sentences that I keep to myself- and got down on his knee and asked me to intertwine my life with his.
I was shocked. I think I went through…. who, what, when, where, why, how and then I said “yes.” I laughed, I cried. People in the coffeehouse gave their smiles of approval through the windows, their intern came out and snapped pictures of us and asked us our story along with our new friend, Vondale, who “never witnessed someone get engaged before!”
We basked in the moment! Ebenezers tweeted us on their homepage, we called our family and friends. We had an elegant, mature dinner as… fiancés, and walked DC as… fiancés. It was wonderfully weird and everything I thought it would be.
Matthew and I are people, people. We love people! Family, friends, acquaintances, strangers. It’s what’s important to us and all the encouraging words, phone calls, laughs and “we knew its” made our day even more beautiful. I know I speak for the both of us when I say, “Thank You!” Your words are more than just words. They hold peace, happiness, support and excitement.
Now this is for you because I know you’re reading this. Matthew, my most dedicated blog follower and soon-to-be husband. I cannot picture my life without you and I refuse. Our story is made up of so much detail and character that we know it wasn’t just our doing. I mean don’t get me wrong, we’re good but we’re not that good ;) You add more laughs, smiles, understanding and love to my life every day. I’m grateful that our paths converged exactly when they did and beyond that I’m grateful we both trusted ourselves and each other moving forward. All my prayers, wishes and desires have calculated to you. Now before this turns into my future vows… I love you!
Oh, yeah. There were no books.