The Proposal

I have a handsome, charming, and loving fiancé! Unlike the movie with Sandra Bullock, this entire relationship, including the engagement was no surprise to our close friends and family. Aaron and I have been best friends for over three years. Our story has not necessarily been smooth sailing, but we recognize how the Lord has shown us so much grace through it all.

Aaron and I met when we were 17. Although we are from opposite sides of the country, we were headed to the same university and quickly became friends. He was a brother I could count on for anything. Over the years we remained good friends even when he transferred to a different school and as we dated other people.

Three years is a long time. We were not strangers to difficulty. I know we were challenged in different ways through school, travels, and relationships. Individually, we walked through some wonderful stories we will cherish forever and learned some lessons that have shaped us for the better.

Our story is one I would not give up for the world. The Lord has shown himself sovereign, gracious, and faithful.

As much as Aaron did his best to keep the proposal a surprise, I started to gather hints a week before. He worked with my best friends, parents, and my Pinterest to form a wonderful evening. The night before he proposed I looked in my closet curious what to wear, ironed two dresses, and wondered where he might pop the question.

 

Aaron had expressed his love for me earlier this year, sometime in February. I did not give him my response for about a month and a half in order to pray and consider what he had said. I told him, “I won’t play games with you. Either you’re all in, or we will remain friends.” Since that time, God has blessed us immensely as our communities have supported us with integrity and held us accountable to His Word.

The big day arrived and I spent the cloudy afternoon with my best friends of six years, Kati and Kelsie. We got our nails done, made dinner, and of course, cried and laughed together as we caught up. After dinner, I started to get nervous. We put some make up on and dressed up so we could go to the beach “to take pictures”. They knew that I knew, but played the part very well.

 

The beach is a favorite of mine. I flew out to Boston a month and a half after Aaron’s sweet confession. We spent that long weekend walking up and down beach after beach, as I finally told him how I felt in return: “Of course I love you!”. That weekend carries some fond memories as we began to fall in love. We love the beach.

Once the girls and I arrived (the rain kept to a gentle sprinkle, thank God!), they walked with me towards the bridge Aaron eventually met me on. He stood there with beautiful bright pink roses, surrounded by garlands and lanterns. Honestly, I barely remember what he said, but he got down on one knee and asked a very simple question, “Will you marry me?”.

Happily, I nodded yes and now we’re engaged! Sure, we’ve only dated three months or so, but this decision has a strong foundation of prayer and surrender to the Lord. We are filled with an unshakable peace. We are thrilled to begin a new chapter of our lives together. Our plans (YWAM and Air Force training) are still in place, as we are looking to tie the knot next summer in Washington D.C.

 

 

We have been SO overwhelmed by the wonderful support and love we’ve received through social media, texts, phone calls, and hugs! We would absolutely love to hear from any of YOU, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The 11th Bridesmaid

“These past days have easily been the best days of my life.” I texted my mom. It wasn’t just the sentiment of a wedding, nor the pretty dresses and makeup that defined that week as the best. I look back and see shared meals, friendships, and still feel the soreness in my core from all the laughing.

Last week one of my best friends married her sweetheart in Tennessee. Another long time best friend and fellow bridesmaid made the trip to Jackson with me. (After a fun weekend in Austin, Texas.) It had been a while since the three of us had been together in one place; perhaps a couple years. What a wonderful reunion it was in that (tiny) Memphis airport.

In 2012 before our Senior banquet; our last year seeing each other everyday.
Selfie in the Houston airport while traveling to Jackson, TN.

As one of 11 bridesmaids (and only knowing two of them previously), I knew I had lots of names and faces to memorize quickly. Fortunately, the living arrangements made it easier to remember. The bride-to-be warned us it would be similar to Little Women for the next few days. That description hit the mark as our eyes met the huge harp in the middle of the living room, next to the cozy fireplace and well-stocked bookcases. It was dreamy, honestly. Right out of a Jane Austen novel.

Just a few bridesmaids at Kels’ 4th bridal shower.

This house held a variety of young women each night. In addition to the 5-6 girls that lived there through the school year, space was made for other friends and bridesmaids. I’d like to say the count got as high as 10-11 girls one night. This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house was full! Let it be known, these girls, my fellow bridesmaids and new friends were beautiful inside and out. Creative, devoted, talented, extremely smart, and humble; I couldn’t get enough of them.

 

Looking at the wrong camera, oh well!

Wedding day came fast. It felt similar to Christmas morning. Sleepy eyes and happy smiles gathered together at the top of the stairs to finish up the final details of the veil and cover ups. Once at the church, curling irons were turned on and the final preparations were made. I kid you not, there was a cloud of hairspray in that room. If only you could have seen the bobby pins, make-up, and shoes that were scattered all around, strategically of course.

Soon we all linked arms with a groomsman and (slowly) walked down the aisle. Approximately 200 pairs of eyes watched as the bride entered with one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. The ceremony was so “them” and could not have gone any smoother. One of their priorities was for their relationship to mirror the marriage between Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:22-32) This is something I admired and believe was executed beautifully. This wasn’t just a simple exchange of vows, it was the entrance into a sacred covenant between God and man. I loved every second, it was so special.

 

Each bridesmaid got to pick her own style of dress.

Marriage is a much larger picture than just romance or being together “forever”. It mirrors Christ’s perfect love for His imperfect church, which is essentially the Gospel in a nutshell. He loves unconditionally with grace, truth, faithfulness, patience, (and all the other fruits of His Spirit), despite our sin. Earthly partnerships such as marriage are limited to Earth. (Matthew 22:29-30, Mark 12:24-25, Luke 20:34-36) I’m thankful for that! Because of my Savior’s sacrifice, my sins are no more, I’ve been sanctified by His blood (something a husband could never do.) I want to spend my forever with Him.

We were among the last few to leave the reception. Such a fun memory to run outside, practically barefoot and “cold” in 40 degree air, and wave the happy couple off as they drove down the street. I had to keep reminding myself, “she’s getting married, not dying.” Hah! What a beautiful thing to be married! And, what an amazing thing to watch one of my dearest friends begin a life with her love.

Off they go! #blurry

Merry Christmas!