How We Met
We were both 18 at the time. I lived in Peoria, Illinois and he lived in Viera, Florida. Justen was venturing into the arts as a spoken word poet, he built up the guts to post a video of a poem that he had wrote and spoken on Tumblr. (yes, tumblr) I, too, was just getting into spoken word but as something to listen to rather than to write. I had just gotten a tumblr that day and I had no idea how to use it, so in my efforts I searched through the tags “#spokenword”. Low and behold, I found his video. I watched it and you guessed it, I loved it. So I messaged him. I didn’t think much of it because I thought thats what people on tumblr do, maybe it’s not. I’m still not entirely sure, does anybody know really? Anyway, I message him and told him that I agree with what he had to say and that I thought his poem was great. I thought he was some sort of celebrity so I wasn’t expecting him to message back. I was wrong. He messaged me and thanked me and started a bit of a conversation. After some small talk we formally introduced ourselves and shared what we are doing with our lives and what we want to do. I was still in high school and graduating in June, come September I would be moving to Atlanta, GA as missionary to be formally trained in the gospel and how to go about this life, while attending college online to achieve my bachelors degree early. He was in community college and didn’t like it. He also served at his church as a youth pastor assistant and leader. He, too, was looking to do some sort of formal missions training and school. I told him all about it and he applied. Shortly after, he got accepted. All through this time we talked and we never stopped. It was almost like we went from introducing each other to being best friends. A few months later, I received a text from him that said this exactly, “Hey, I like you. *heart emoji*” I almost lost my wits. I was SO excited. After I collected myself of my happy dance I responded with the same exact thing and about 30 more heart emojis. After that, we talked some more only a little more intentional. Eventually, we started dating long distance. After two months of long distance and facetime dating, we finally met face to face in the dorms in Atlanta, GA. It was all over from then out.
how they asked
It was coming up on our three year anniversary and he had been acting goofy. He was never a “one day when we’re married” or a “one day in the future” conversation starter but the weeks coming up on a supposed picnic that he wanted to take me on, he apparently turned into one. Justen has always been a southern gentleman so he kisses my hand often, he started kissing my ring finger instead of my hand. That’s when I started to think something was up, however I didn’t want to put too much thought into that because if I was wrong in my thinking that would have sucked. (Can I get an amen?) The day came for our picnic and he was extraordinarily fidgety that day. We got ready and he drove to Grant Park in Atlanta. We were both nervous. I was nervous because he had told me weeks prior that he was giving me a surprise on our picnic and I was never good with surprises. I’m working on it. I was trying to make small talk on the ride there through our nervousness and he ended up rambling about Yiddish. What? Anyway. We get to the park and I notice some wrestling in some bushes across from where we were to have our picnic. I saw an arm but I didn’t want to think much of it because it’s Atlanta and it could have been anything. We sat down on a bench and tried to eat. At this point, I felt totally out of control because if it was happening today…. it’s happening and that’s that. He ended up scarfing down his food while I could barely touch mine, however I did eat some strawberries and they were SO GOOD. Anyway, we eat and he asked if I wanted to go on a walk. About 30 feet from where we were sitting was a small bridge. We walk onto the bridge and he tells me he wants another piece of fruit. So I’m like, “okay? get your fruit?” I turn around and he’s digging around in the cooler, so I think that maybe it’s not happening because he really was digging in the cooler. So I walk a bit further and I’m just hanging out looking over the bridge. I grow frustrated because he’s taking forever and at this point, I’m ready for this walk we are supposed to go on. I spin around and he is in front of me on one knee with a ring out, slightly smiling with the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen.
He apparently was still nervous because he whispered “will you marry me?”. My eyes grew probably double in size and I responded, “y………yea….yes……” I couldn’t believe what was happening. He stands up, puts the most beautiful ring on my finger, kisses me, and hugs me. In my disbelief and tears, a friend of ours pop out of the bushes that I saw were wrestling around and proceeds to take our (fresh and hot off the press) engagement photos. The whole day and every day since then have been absolutely magical.