Emily and Daniel

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How We Met

Daniel and I met early last summer. I had just recently been divorced and was broken down and lost. I met a girl while looking for an apartment to rent and she invited me to her Bible study group that Monday night. After losing a relationship, a house, dogs and even friends, I figured I had nothing left to lose…so I went. I was welcomed by everyone at the group with open and non-judgemental arms. They took me in and were determined to hold my hand through this difficult time. Sitting across from me on the same couch was Daniel. He waited until after that evenings Bible study to come and introduce himself to me. He told me he too was divorced and promised that it would get better. He gave me a big hug and said he would see me at next weeks study. We saw each other every week after that until he decided to invite me to his gym where he trains others from study. Again, I figured it was worth a shot and started seeing him more often outside of Bible study. I began training with him at his gym and started casually hanging out with him. It wasn’t long before he asked me on a date where he took me to an incredible Saturday evening church service and then to dinner. I hadn’t smiled as much as I did that night…in who knows how long. Soon after, he introduced me to his incredible daughter and it was like it was meant to be. We all took to one another faster than we could believe. It was all in God’s hands after that…

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how they asked

Since Daniel and I met, we have spent countless hours at his gym. We’re either working out (together or with a group), cleaning it, rearranging it or getting new things for it. His passion is growing his fitness business and mine is to help him achieve those goals. When things really started to get serious with us, we talked jokingly about where he could propose to me. I told him I wasn’t a fan of big over the top proposals and didn’t want anyone I didn’t know to see me ugly cry. I even said “you could do it at the gym for all I care…we spend enough time there. Just please don’t do it in public!” Well…he certainly listened. Daniel decided he wanted to update his website with new photos of him (and I) working out. He asked one of his students from his church high school ministry to come take pictures of us at the gym. Daniel had his student climbing all over things and working hard to get the best angle for all these crazy “action shots.” While Daniel was being photographed, his daughter and I ran and danced around the gym to stay busy.

Next it was my turn for photos. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, so Daniel dictated to his student what he wanted shots of etc. I did everything from pull ups, to handstand pushups, squats, cleans and finally pushups. Little did I know, pushups was the “magic word.” Daniel told me to do pushups and after a certain debate of how to angle so the light was right, I got down and listened as the photographer said “down. up. down. up” and he clicked away. While I was doing push ups, Daniel’s daughter ran to his gym bag and pulled out the ring and quickly ran it back to him. Little to my knowledge, the photographer had also started recording the whole thing on his camera phone hidden in his shirt pocket…while clicking away. As I stood up from the push ups, Daniel and his daughter waited patiently and then it happened. He got down on one knee and I lost my breath. His daughter stood by her dads side grinning from ear to ear while he told me that he loves me so much and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. He asked me if I would marry him and I (ugly cry at this moment) shakily said yes and gave me the ring.

This moment in the gym was one of the best moments I have ever experienced. Daniel, his daughter and I embraced for a long time after that and all shared in happy tears. His daughter is so excited to have a “step mom” and I can’t wait to start this second chance at happiness with two people who make me the happiest girl in the world.

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Special Thanks

Tanner Kalin
 | Student