Our Life...

Our Life...
...summed up in one photo.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Our Story - Part 2

We were both afraid of running ahead of God's plan, so we soaked every detail in prayer and asked a few people close to us to do the same.  Amazingly, those people, including our moms, didn't think we were completely crazy. Well, two, possibly three people I can think of thought we were crazy. But we listened to their concerns and addressed each one.  "Is this really how You're working Lord?" I remember thinking that often and surrendering it over and over to Him. I had made a mess of things with relationships in the past and was determined to allow God to be in control of WHATEVER it was that was happening.

Take delight in the LORD,
   and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

(I have to pause to give a loving word of caution to my single friends reading: ALWAYS make sure a family member or a trusted friend is involved in the process, no matter how you meet a potential spouse. They can hold you in prayer, keep you accountable and help you notice any red flags. A lesson I learned the hard way before this point.  Ok, I'm finished. On with the rest of the story....)

Money was tight for both of us, so Chris took the initiative to make arrangements to visit me. He prayed for a plane ticket for the day before Thanksgiving for under $200. He found one for the exact dates that he needed for $198.  He flew into Maryland on a Wednesday and back to Colorado early that Saturday.

He stayed with some wonderful friends of mine, met my family and passed all initial tests. :-) Before he left for Colorado, Chris asked my parents for my hand in marriage. That went well, except for the part when my mom told him, "You're NOT taking my daughter to Colorado!"

We both just grinned.  It was a whirlwind trip to say the least, but it confirmed everything we hoped it would.

Next, it was my turn for a visit. I flew to Colorado for 19 days and stayed with a family from the church he was pastoring. I was a little nervous of the reaction I would get from his mostly older congregation. My worries were put to ease when a little old lady asked me how we met and I told her. Her response?  "How romantic!" I still love that lady!

The visit was further confirmation God was moving us toward marriage. Especially since we spent over 50 hours in his Ford Explorer driving to Texas and back and were still enjoying one another's company! We both thought the only thing left to do was wallpaper a room and we would know for sure. ;-)  (Time didn't allow for that, but God continued to give us confirmation in other ways, thankfully.)

I was able to meet most of his extended family and some of his lifelong friends and felt at home immediately. We even found wedding rings within our budget. I had decided I didn't want/need an engagement ring, but God graciously made a way for me to have one. We found the exact style of ring I had always loved for over 70% off, thanks to Chris' mom's keen eye.  Although I didn't "need" the ring, to this day it's a special reminder of God's faithfulness. During our trip to meet his brother and sister-in-law in Louisiana, they were so kind as to arrange for me to have the ring resized and it was all taken care of before I left for Maryland.

The only thing left was a proper proposal.  On our way back to Colorado Chris pulled the Explorer over to one of his favorite spots, came around to my side of the vehicle, opened my door and got down on one knee to propose. Was this really happening? 

Did I say the only thing left was a proper proposal?  Well, there was the minor detail that I had a month and a half to plan a wedding and pack up my life to move 3,000 miles away.  But other than that... 

We thought God's hand in our relationship couldn't get anymore evident. We were wrong. The ways He would provide in the days leading up to our "small family wedding" were equally overwhelming.