If you haven't seen it on Facebook, J and I got engaged! I gave a brief synopsis of how he did it, but I wanted to record the full story here.
This summer J and I started talking about getting engaged and getting married. During our first conversation about it, he told me, "I already know how I'm going to ask." Over the last couple of months, we went ring shopping, talked about when we wanted the wedding and had some good laughs about how many comments he got from friends and family about when he would propose.
Before we got engaged, I wanted him to meet all my siblings. So we made a trip to Tennessee for Labor Day and then to South Carolina later in September. He also met my closest friends in all of our traveling that month.
Then it was just down to him talking to my dad. I knew he had done that when they were in town the weekend before. After that I was always prepared and completely suspicious, but he promised that he would surprise me. But I just knew that I would figure it out.
But there was nothing unusual about our date on Friday, and then Saturday he called and said he was tired from working on his deck so he'd just pick me up for church. When that happened, I was just resigned to the fact that he would propose the next weekend.
He picked me up for Sunday School and church. He taught Sunday School as normal, and we went into church. It was that Sunday that comes every fall when they talk about the budget and pledge cards. So a guy from the finance committee made an announcement, and then said that J was going to make an announcement. J is head of the building and grounds committee so it's not unusual for him to go up for an announcement, but he hadn't mentioned it to me.
He started talking about planned renovations for the second half of the basement and how they were planning to raise money for it. Then he thanked people for their help completing the first phase of the renovation. He started talking about how that was a time he really had to trust God because he had given up his job. He read Romans 8:28 and said God had blessed him with a great job but more importantly God had brought a wonderful woman into his life. I started to think it was getting a little personal, and then he asked me to come down to the front.
He got down on one knee with the ring and said, "Lizzie, I love you. Will you marry me?" Stunned, I said yes, hugged him and put on the beautiful ring.
He managed to completely shock me with his proposal, and I absolutely loved it.
Our church is a small, baptist church, and there were probably 80 people there on Sunday. This is the church J grew up in, and several of his family members attend. These are people that have prayed for J his whole life. When I showed up, they embraced me and loved me and prayed for us as a couple. I never would have thought I would want such a public proposal, but I was so glad all of those people got to witness it.
The hard part was sitting through the rest of the service with the ring on and not immediately calling everyone I know. But it helped the shock wear off some.
Of course, I was curious if this was the way he had planned to ask all along. J said it was. He had decided months ago that he wanted to glorify God in his proposal and share it with this special group of people. He had a little bit of help on the inside, but only three other people knew that it was going to happen.
To top off the day, we went to lunch, and I spent most of it talking on the phone to people. But there was a guy behind us that overheard, and at the end of our meal, our waitress brought over two glasses of champagne and said the guy had sent them over and paid for our meal.