This post is now a long time coming, but as you probably all know, I'm engaged! In the summer of 2009, I would drive to Georgetown each Sunday where I would have a Bible study with some friends and go to church. One Sunday after I had returned from a trip to Tanzania, a new cute young man attended my church for the first time. He began joining us for Bible study and impressed me by volunteering hours and hours of his time to help out a disabled couple I had started assisting. Though there were immediate sparks, Brad impressed me further with his humility and desire to grow with the Lord before he began a relationship. The other problem came from the fact that he went to Vanderbilt several states away. Over the next few years we grew to be good friends when Brad was back in town (although some of my friends will never accept that we were just friends). God did so much in each of us over those years, as well as growing an affection for each other. If you want to hear the longer story of some of the amazing thing the Lord used to draw us together, you'll have to ask me in person sometime! But needless to say, we did feel God leading us into a relationship! Ironically enough, that began right when Brad left for Costa Rica for six months for an engineering mission trip in January 2012. I convinced my mom (not that it was difficult) to take a vacation to Costa Rica to visit Brad over the summer and we had an amazing time exploring. The thing I enjoyed most though was seeing my mom get to know Brad and see the way he treats me with love and respect.
Since Brad has been back in the states, we have learned so much about how to love and serve one another in a relationship. But we've also had so much fun! We both share a love for discovering the beauty for God's creation and take any chance to be outside. I'm so grateful for the way that God reminds me daily who I am through Brad and how he lifts me up to be the radiant person I was made to be.
We've always know that we were dating with marriage in mind, so I knew that a proposal would come before too long. The day after Valentine's Day, we went out to my parent's ranch where I grew up my whole life to celebrate my mom's birthday. Little did I know though, that we weren't celebrating my mom's birthday! Brad suggested walking up to the beautiful pasture with a big (in my eyes) oak tree where we had talked about getting married. Being a happy clueless person, I really didn't know what was coming, but after walking around the oak tree, Brad got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I was speechless for a few moments before I could squeak out a yes and then start jumping up and down for joy! He then put a gorgeous golden ring on my finger and it was official...we are engaged!
The story of my ring is just a little picture of the care and thoughtfulness Brad puts into the things he cares about. Knowing my love of all things trees, especially oak trees, he fashioned a ring out of an oak twig from the tree in front of his house and took it to a jeweler where they cast the twig and a flower in gold for the most perfect engagement ring ever. Brad gave me the choice of what stone to add and, of course, I chose a light aqua stone. I can't imagine a more wonderful symbol of our commitment. Since I'm in the wedding industry, I'm so excited to have my own wedding, but more than ANYTHING, I'm just so happy to be marrying this Godly man who serves the people around him, delights in adventure, and is so intentional in loving me.