I met him in a parking lot.
We met on a Sunday afternoon in March 2007 while loading up the vans for a Flashpoint mission trip to New Orleans. (I had actually heard him speak once or twice at Sunday school but hadn’t talked to him until this day.) I remember sitting in the van of all girls one morning on the trip and we were talking about who each of us would date if we had to pick a guy in the group and someone told me Chris would be good for me. If I had only known then what God had planned!!
|Our first picture together was taken on that trip.|
That fall we started hanging out a lot. TJC play. Football game. Concert after concert after concert. He even helped me through my first semester of nursing school...letting me take his blood pressure 100 times for practice…quizzing me with pharmacology note cards. I was smitten for sure, BUT the timing wasn’t right.
|November 2007. This was the first picture of just the two of us. At the A&M-UT football game. Still just friends.|
Then God called him to A&M. I remember being a little heartbroken when I found out Chris was moving to College Station. We’d grown to be pretty good friends and I valued his friendship and influence in my life. After he moved, we didn’t talk a lot but I still felt like God was scheming something.
Summer 2008 God called him to Egypt again and called me to Kenya. While I was there I felt more of a connection with him being my only friend in the same time zone while I was across the world. While I was in Kenya I got a letter from him and realized that I liked him a lot…and pretty much had since I met him. When I got back to America, we talked some and eventually starting talking/texting everyday. After praying lots and lots about our relationship God finally gave us the okay and we officially started dating October 12.
|This was at the East Texas Fair, 2 weeks before we started officially "dating".|
|This was the weekend that we started dating. We loved each other. Didn't know it yet, but you can totally tell!|
|State Fair-October 2008|
|Date night-December 2008|
As soon as we started dating I knew I would marry him. Now it was my turn to be patient. We continued to make the most of our long distance relationship, while both working and taking a full load of classes. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. God continued to grow us as a couple and we were talking more and more about marriage. Chris was called to Iraq for missions the summer of 2009, which made things a little sticky when thinking about engagement/wedding, etc. I was kind of thinking he would not propose before he left for Iraq, so I was so surprised when he popped the question on April 18.
I hadn’t suspected a single thing. I had been busy all day getting ready for a wedding shower at Ellen’s house that I was helping put on. Chris and I already had plans to go watch a movie after the shower. As we were leaving Ellen’s, Chris told me there was a place our friend Allen had told him about and he wanted to go check it out. I’ve learned not to ask questions, so I didn’t. We pulled in to Hollytree Country Club and I still had no idea. Chris described this place as a “secluded place with a fire pit that Allen visits to study or pray or just be alone.” We walked down the sidewalk a little ways and I saw the fire pit, with flowers and candles. Of course my heart starts racing and I’m thinking this is it, he’s going to ask me.
|It was a PERFECT setup. Gerber daises, my favorite. Cream soda, our favorite. Pretzel, you guessed it, our favorite.|
We sat down and he talked long enough that I had slowed my heart rate down and decided he wasn’t proposing. He told me he brought me out there to show me a prayer journal he made for both of us to have as he goes to Iraq this summer. There was a prayer theme for each week that he’ll be gone. I’m not sure if it was because he was nervous, but he read every single word of it to me.
After he read week ten, he asked to pray with me. When he was finished praying he didn’t say amen, and after a short silence I open my eyes to him on his knee with a beautiful ring! Of course then I knew for sure that he was actually proposing. I consciously tried to remember what he was saying as he was asking if I would marry him, but as soon as I saw him on his knee I couldn’t remember a single thing except to say YES!
After the proposal, we went back to Ellen’s house for what I thought was just to show her the ring. But Chris had thought of everything. My parents, his parents, my best friend, my roommate were all there waiting for us. I was surprised again and so excited everyone was there to celebrate with us. The ring, the proposal, the execution of it all…so perfect.
It was love at first site. Really it was. I was standing in the parking lot at Green Acres Baptist Church as we were preparing to head to New Orleans on a Spring Break mission trip. All of a sudden I see Leisha. I had never seen her before. I later found out she had visited a few times, but our paths had yet to cross.
The trip was amazing, the company was even better. It wasn't long before I had the Leisha bug. But it laid dormant for quite some time. In the fall of 2007 we began to hang out quite a bit. She was just starting nursing school and needed a sucker that would let her take their blood pressure 56 times. That was the perfect job for me. We became great friends over blood pressure, pharmacology tests and guitar hero.
It wasn't long before I knew that Leisha was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. There was just one problem. I didn't tell her. I prayed and prayed that fall. I sought God and what he would have me to do. And all I heard was wait. So I did. And it was the hardest thing I ever did. I waited. And waited. I waited so long that God called me to move away.
This is where the story gets tricky. I knew Leisha was going to be my wife. But God called me to go to Texas A&M and not pursue her in the process. So away I went. A full year went by before I was given the OK by God to pursue Leisha. And boy was I excited.
August of 2008 was an emotional time for me. I was trying to find the balance in pursuing Leisha long distance and focusing on my studies at A&M. But I found the strength somehow.
We officially started dating October 12, 2008. I knew then that I wanted to ask her to marry me. It was so hard to be patient. But God knew what was going on and he kept me in check.
Things progressed rather smoothly despite living in two different zip codes. As the spring rolled around I knew it was time to start thinking about the big question. I looked at rings, talked to a few friends, thought about dates. There were so many details.
April 18th became the date I circled in my calendar. Operation engagement was underway. There was no turning back now.
I drove in from College Station, picked up the ring (it was being resized), made a few excuses as to why it was taking me so long to get in to town. I had a few friends in on the surprise. They went and set up a romantic scene at the destination of the proposal. I then went to meet Leisha.
She had a wedding shower to attend that evening. I was so nervous. I couldn't sit still at the shower. I kept pacing back and forth the whole night. Finally it was time to leave. I told her I wanted to show her this new place I had heard about. And off we went. She had no idea what was coming. We arrived and got out of the car to go for a little "walk" We came upon this secluded little spot with a few chairs, flowers, candles etc. She was starting to get a little suspicious. I had to act fast. We sat down and I began to tell her why I brought her there. I had made a prayer journal to share with her that night in preparation for my trip to Iraq this summer. So I began walking through the journal and talking about the different things I had put in it. She was starting to relax. We reached the end of the journal and it was time to go for it. But there was one problem. The ring was in my pocket and I didn't know how I would get it out without making a scene. SO I did what every good christian would do. I prayed!
As we were praying I was digging in my pocket for the ring. I finally got it out and got down on my knee. She opened her eyes to see me there ready to propose. SHE SAID YES!!!!
After the proposal I took her back to the college pastors house so we could announce our news. What she didn't know at the time was that I had worked it out for the parents, my parents, and her best friend to come in to town and wait for us. So when we arrived they were all there to surprise her. It was perfect.
Ready to read more????
Here is part 2! :D
Ready to read more????
Here is part 2! :D