how we met
Isaac is from Evansville, Indiana, and I’m from Mobile, Alabama. That’s about 8.5 hours away from each other. I never dreamed I would be destined for a long distance relationship.
Every summer my family and I would go on a mission trip. We decided that we should go to the Dream Center located in the inner city of St. Louis, Missouri. It is an outreach that feeds, clothes, and ministers to the homeless and less fortunate kids. The same weekend of my trip, Isaac came with a small group from his church. We served alongside each other as volunteers the entire week. We had never met before this trip but had a love for helping people in common.
We also shared a love for music. I played the guitar and one of the interns working at the Dream Center told me that I needed to meet a guy that came on our same trip. She told me that he played guitar and it would be cool if we had a jam session. As soon as I heard this, I made my way to find this guy. He was shooting hoops on the basketball court with my brother and all of the other interns in the mission program. I sprinted on the court and screamed “HI I’M NAOMI, I HEARD YOU PLAY THE GUITAR!!!!! WELL, SO DO I!!!!” From then on, it was only a mere crush that we had but didn’t know the other one also felt the same way. We knew we would never be together, especially with the distance, so it was never discussed.
Fast forward. A guy that came with us to the Dream Center wanted Isaac to come to Alabama, where we lived, for a night of worship. Somehow, Isaac and his family and a few of his friends managed their way down to Alabama. We reconnected but we still only remained friends. After they left, social media really helped us stay connected. Isaac soon after decided he wanted to become a full time intern at the St. Louis Dream Center. He decided to dedicate his life for a full two years instead of going to college right after high school. I was so jealous because my dream was to become a missionary like him and serve people for the rest of my life. An opportunity happened where I was able to go back to the Dream Center for a tour of what it would be like to be an intern missionary there. At this point, Isaac had been interning for 3 months. When I arrived, Isaac saw me and he ran and jumped on me and gave me the biggest hug- still just friends. As the weekend went on I could tell that he liked me a lot and I think he picked up the same hints. One night, when everyone had already gone to their room, Isaac asked me to meet him on the benches outside to sing and play with him. It was so cold and so windy. I was nervous and I was so shaky but I blamed my shakiness on the cold. We sang a song together and played our guitars for the first time and it was called “Through and Through” by Will Raegan. In that moment we both felt a paradigm shift.
After the weekend was over, we started talking a lot more and really got to know each other. We didn’t see each other until Isaac came down to Alabama again and I took him to Fairhope, AL for our first date. At this point we were living 10 hours away from each other. A couple of months after, I went and served at the Dream Center for a month and while I was there my family came for their annual trip. While they were there Isaac asked my dad if he could have permission to date me, yes, the old-fashioned and gentleman way of telling my dad that he wouldn’t pursue me to date me if he didn’t have intentions of one day marrying me. My dad gave him the blessing to pursue me and they even prayed together before he made things official with me. I’m thankful that our relationship was centered around our faith from the beginning.
how they asked
Isaac and I began talking about marriage and started looking at wedding venues just for fun. So, my mom and dad had a bright idea! They wanted us to go on a get-away weekend at a luxurious hotel in Fairhope, AL and also check out the property for a potential wedding there. My mom told me that we could have brunch there so we could see what the food tasted like just in case I wanted to go another route with my catering decision. She also told me that it was the hotel’s tradition for the bride-to-be to wear a white dress. She went into all of this tradition talk and she told me how all of the staff needed to recognize me as a potential bride-to-be.
I was really sad because Isaac couldn’t be there to have brunch and view the venue because of course he lived 10 hours away in St. Louis. The weekend approached and we got to the hotel. We walked around scoping out the premises and spotting potential wedding spots. My mom told me that we had to walk to a certain place because the lady giving us the tour was in her office. My mom pointed and said “The lady’s office is right through those doors” so I continued.
When I opened the door I saw Isaac sitting at a grand piano singing the very first song that we had ever sang together. The floor and piano were complimented with white rose petals and candles. I began to cry. I knew what was happening.
After the song, he got up and grabbed his Bible. He began to read 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, Love is kind…..”. As we were both sobbing, he said to me the sweetest words I had ever heard.
Then, he proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to be his and for forever. I didn’t even look at the ring. I simply said “yes”. All of a sudden, I hear cheers coming from every side of the room.
All of our closest friends and family were all there witnessing the beautiful moment. I began to cry harder. It was the best day of my life and I can’t wait to spend eternity with the one whom my soul loves.