In case you hadn’t heard…
I’m engaged! 🙂
Actually, I’ve been engaged since August 12th, but I’ve had a hard time deciding how I was going to blog about it. Obviously, there’s the proposal story (which I will share); but, there’s so much more that I want to say, and I don’t know where to start. I’m also NERVOUS about saying some of this stuff because, well, this is the internet…and both my family and my future family could be reading this. But, I’ve decided that that’s ok. They’re welcome to read.
I guess I’ll begin by saying…marriage has always been a terrifying thing for me to consider. On one hand, I spent a large part of my life believing that I would never be good enough for someone to want to marry me. On the other hand, I worried that I would never find someone who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with…someone I could actually trust that way.
Having witnessed what happens when you “choose wrong” in marriage, I have always been terrified of making that mistake. Relationships are always a risk, and I’m not one to risk making a mistake. Ever. But, relationships don’t come with guarantees. You can’t run your significant other through a “compatibility check” system to find out if he or she is, indeed, the “right one” for you…and if your relationship will last through the ups and downs of life.
That has always scared me, because as I said earlier — I don’t like making mistakes. I especially don’t like making the same mistakes that others have made before me. So, relationships have always been difficult for me.
Being a Christian, I was taught and to this day believe that God has a plan for my life – including the man I’d eventually spend it with. Many of “the adults” in my life have told me (repeatedly) that when I met that man, I’d “just KNOW.”
Uhm, hello… what the heck does that even MEAN?! Just know what? And how? Will there be some sort of neon sign pointing to the man telling me “THIS ONE! Pick THIS ONE!” Will I “just know” that it’s time for marriage? Will all of my fears, self-doubt, and second guessing “just” go away? Will an a-la-Dickens ghost of marriage future visit me in my dreams to tell me “you will meet the man you’re meant to marry at the stroke of midnight?”
And even better is being told that “it’ll happen when you least expect it” or “it’ll happen when you stop looking.”
“Well then,” I thought, “I guess it’ll never happen, because I never stop looking!”
And when I met Kevin, by the way, I WAS looking. I met him on eHarmony. I mean, I was there for the sole purpose of looking.
But, admittedly, I wasn’t expecting it.
There I was, looking through my matches when I find a listing for a guy from my teeny tiny hometown in rural Maryland. I was beyond excited for some reason…even though I no longer live in said hometown and any relationship I might find out there would mean quite a bit of distance. I mean, I had some really good matches just minutes away…and I expected that I’d probably date one of those guys for a bit.
But, anyway, I messaged Kevin. And it turned out that not only did he live in my hometown, but he’d gone to my same middle school, high school, AND college as well as been involved in ALL of the same programs as me (choir, theatre, etc.)…and we even knew some of the same people. But his being 4 years older than me, we’d never met until now. (And just in case I didn’t notice the similarities the first time…we now work for the same company!)
We talked for hours; and, as crazy as this might sound to some of you…I JUST KNEW.
I remember hanging up the phone one night, looking up towards heaven, and being like “Seriously, God? Did you need to make it THIS obvious?”
I’m pretty sure that he did. Because God knows me pretty well…and He knows that when it comes to relationships…I needed an obvious, in-my-face answer to all of my fears.
I truly believe that not only did God play a big part in sculpting both Kevin’s and my lives so that we wound up fitting so well together in the end…but, He ensured that we did not meet one another until vital and difficult lessons in BOTH of our lives had been learned. I believe that with ALL of my heart.
Our relationship has certainly not been flawless. But, with each and every real-life challenge we’ve faced, I’ve “known” more and more. Kevin makes me want to be a better person because he is such an amazing person. He’s one of the few who truly puts others before himself; he’s one of the even fewer who I can truly and fully trust with everything. I’ve never for even a moment questioned whether or not I could trust him.
So, now I’ll tell you the fun, mushy story of how he proposed 🙂
I knew it was coming (we’d picked out a ring together), and I knew (and he knew) that I was DYING for it to happen during my recent vacation with my extended family to the beach.
On this particular day, I was kind of grumpy… I admit it; I can be really grumpy sometimes lol. Kevin had brought his guitar to the beach, and he’d been playing it on and off all morning. I was honestly starting to get irritated at all the guitar playing. (bad me!)
We’d just come up from swimming in the ocean, and Kevin asked if I wanted to go have a picnic lunch on the beach. I told him that I wasn’t hungry. He asked if I’d go sit with him on the beach while he ate; but, I told him I didn’t want to get all sandy again. We’d just rinsed off. For some reason, I didn’t even think twice about this. Despite the fact that I knew a proposal was coming, it didn’t occur to me at all that he might want to propose at a picnic on the beach.
So, Kevin ate his lunch out on the deck overlooking the beach with me. And then he goes back inside and he and my cousin come back out; Kevin is carrying his guitar. And then…then comes the part where I embarrass myself eternally.
The scene played out like this:
Me: You’re playing your guitar again? Seriously? I’m going inside.
Kevin: No…you need to stay here and listen to this new song that I learned.
(I sit down, and Kevin begins to play a tune that I IMMEDIATELY recognize as Train’s “Marry Me.” I suddenly realize what is going on. And I suddenly completely freak out because my family isn’t there, nobody is there to videotape (my one request!), and and…and…OMG is he seriously proposing?)
Me: No! This isn’t happening! (I get up and run over to my cousin.)
My cousin: What’cha doooin? (I suddenly realize that she knows what’s happening…and that she’s there to videotape)
I probably said some more stuff in there…babbled a bit? Who knows. I was shaking like crazy. All I know is that my cousin told me that my family was inside watching…and then, finally, I relaxed (some). Because it was SO important to me that my family be there, and now I knew that they were.
I went back, sat down, and Kevin both played and sang Train’s “Marry Me” before getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him in front of my whole family (he’s so brave lol). I cried. A lot.
Of course I said yes, and now he has this hilarious, MORTIFYING story to hold over my head for the rest of our lives 😛
So, that’s the big change in my life recently; it’s brought with it a lot of thinking and reflection. I can hardly believe that this time in my life is here. After years of worrying that it would never come, I now realize that I never needed to doubt myself like that. This growing up business has been a very up-and-down journey so far. I have to wonder if it might have been easier had I just learned earlier to trust in God and those around me to help me through it one step at a time. But had it been easier…I may never have learned the lessons that made me really, truly ready for this step in life.
And now I get to continue learning with someone very special by my side 🙂
This is the song “Marry Me,” by Train that Kevin proposed with: