how we met
Sometimes life is hard, and it’s difficult to discern the path God has for you. But when you stop and look back, you realize He was guiding you (maybe even carrying you) to the very place He planned all along. It was that way when I met Devin, my bride-to-be, for the very first time. God had prepared both of us for each other and He brought her into my life at the perfect moment. I had lost my father in March of 2015 and it was a trying year for my family. In August, at the invitation of some friends, I decided to begin attending a local Bible study. It wasn’t long after I started going to the study that I met Devin, this girl whose entire face lit up when she smiled. I seriously had never met anyone whose eyes had their own smile and shone so brightly when she was happy.
Devin knew right away that we were meant to be together. I must admit, it took me a little while to come to that same realization – it was two months before our first date, as she likes to point out. But it did not take long before I realized that not only was she beautiful on the outside, but her heart was even more beautiful.
Devin had also lost her father when she was only two, so we shared a depth of understanding and experience that was no mere coincidence. I took Devin on our first date to Cabelas (her choice!), with dinner at Cracker Barrel, followed by an enchanting night at the popular Christmas Village lights display. It was just the first of many adventures we have had together. Hiking, snowshoeing, shooting, archery, trips to Amish country, hosting parties – we have enjoyed so many adventures. Most of all, we enjoy serving together. Serving our families, our community and the Lord. Our relationship together serves as proof that God takes some of the most difficult and dark of times and brings forth something new and beautiful. He will not allow pain “without allowing something new to be reborn.”
how they asked
From the beginning, I always said, “The woman who considers a trip to Cabelas a date, is the woman I will marry.” And I stuck to my word. In October of 2016, I decided it was time to take the step of proposing to the love of of my life. I begin planning a nighttime proposal against the backdrop of the beautiful waterfalls near my mother’s home. I contacted a good friend of ours and photographer to join me in scouting out the perfect spot for him to lie in wait and capture the critical moment. After many hours spent cutting out giant, painted “WILL YOU MARRY ME” letters, hanging lights over the woodland clearing, and creating a trail of tea light luminaries, the setting was perfect.
On the evening of November 13, Devin came over to my mother’s house for what she thought was an early Thanksgiving dinner, but little did she know that a photographer was waiting for us to walk out of the woods. Little prodding was needed to get Devin to accompany me on a romantic post-dinner walk and I led her right to the falls.
Pictures of Devin and me in makeshift frames made from twigs were hung along the stone steps leading down the waterfall, a timeline of our adventures together. When we reached the clearing, another friend fired up the lights overhead and I led her eyes-closed to where I had hung the letters.
When she opened her eyes, the letters were illuminated. I dropped to one knee, said some words that neither of us can remember (I was just so enraptured by the look in her eyes) and she said “YES.” Our engagement was sealed. When we got back to the house, Devin’s family was waiting with open arms to celebrate the occasion. As beautiful as the falls were, they could not hold a candle to the beauty of my bride-to-be.