Saturday, September 29, 2007

How I Got Engaged Meme

Rebecca tagged me for a "how I got engaged" meme. Apparently you tell your engagement story and then tag three others to tell theirs. Well, here is the short version of mine:

When Billy and I began our long-distance courtship in March of 1999, it was with the express goal of finding out if God wanted us to marry or not. Neither one of us was interested in a casual relationship. To this day I’m not a fan of undefined relationships—It was always good to know where we stood and enabled us to be deep and honest with each other from the beginning.

We were an unlikely couple, coming from diametrically opposite backgrounds and 10 years apart in age, but the encouragement of godly friends and family gave us the courage to step out and begin our journey together.

If one word characterized our relationship, it would be questions. We asked each other hundreds, if not thousands, of questions as our friendship progressed. We wanted to leave no stone unturned. Unbeknown to the other, each of us had a list of “non-negotiables,” issues that would have caused us to break the courtship off immediately if we discovered that we weren’t in agreement. We believed strongly that we should be united in our most important beliefs about God, family, and life.

By October we had reached an impasse. There were no more questions to ask without moving to a more intimate level than we were comfortable with, as a couple not yet engaged. (Except, of course, the things we didn’t know to ask, the things we later actually had conflict about, like the right way to make a peanut butter sandwich!) Yet we knew the time wasn’t right for engagement either. We felt very frustrated. We sort of limped along in a melancholy state for a couple more months, when everything finally began to fall into place. We entered a 2-week period of intensively seeking God to make sure we heard clearly regarding His will. This is the short version, but let’s just say the God made it abundantly clear to both of us (independently of the other) that He wanted us to marry. How that would play out, though, I was not sure.

The day before he was scheduled to move 6 hours away (as opposed to the current 3), Billy came to visit my family. When he asked me if I wanted to go out to eat after church that night, I was immediately suspicious since we’d never been out without a chaperone before. (Yeah, we are old-fashioned.) On the way I kept asking, “What is going on?!” He said, “Well, I’m about to move a long way off. Don’t you think it would be nice to go out one time before I leave?”

There was one problem no one had thought of. Nothing is open late on Sunday evening in a small town. We drove all over the place looking for a decent open restaurant, and when it became clear that we weren’t going to find anything, we had to settle for Jack in the Box! Somehow proposing in Jack in the Box just didn’t seem quite right, so we drove back to the house and talked for a very long time parked in the driveway. Finally Billy proposed, and I (obviously) said yes!

He moved the next day and we only saw each other once after that, before our wedding three months later. One year after we met, we were married, and we’ve lived happily ever after! I have to say that the absolute assurance that God gave us to each other has carried us through some tough times that might have otherwise rocked our marriage. Even when we encounter challenges, we never, ever wonder if we made a mistake, because we know that no matter what, God put us together. We were in love when we got engaged, but that is not why we married. We married because God wanted us to. And that makes our love that much sweeter.

OK, that's it! Now I tag:

My sister Leah (cause she has the most unique story EVER)

Windy (just cause I'm curious)

Lindsey (cause I bet she has a good one)

Hey, ladies, I am really shy about tagging others, so I would love to hear your stories, but if you don't wish to participate that is fine too!


Rebecca said...

Thanks for telling your beautiful story!

TulipGirl said...

Oh, this was wonderful to read. . . We had something similar-but-different. Long distance courtship, lots of letters and questions. . . *mush, mush*