Jackie and Dan

How We Met

Dan and I met in October of 2010 at a Halloween party in Lynchburg, VA where we both attended Liberty University. Neither of us really remember meeting or thinking much of each other. That same night I met another guy, that I started dating a few months later. I was in this relationship for about 2 years. During this time, Dan was also in a serious relationship. Dan and I still got to know one another, as we were in the same group of friends. Fast-forward two years later, without having any previous discussion, we both happened to end those current relationships within a week of one another. That kind of brought us together in a way, as we now felt it was appropriate to hang out without our significant others being present. After the breakups, a group of four of us (me, Dan, our good friend Dylan, and one of my best friends Kari) began hanging out regularly. Dan and I still never entertained the thought of liking one another until my friend Kari brought it up with me. She mentioned how he was very protective of me and always looking out for my best interest. I totally turned that down and denied those words, but after going back home that night I could not stop thinking about it. As time went on, it became more and more obvious that I had totally fallen for this guy. It was totally unexpected and to some, not allowed due to our previous relationships. After a few months, it was apparent he too was developing feelings. We had a few very long discussions on how this would work and if it should. Throughout the next 6 months, we went through time periods of taking steps back and forward. It was in June 2013, Dan asked for permission to date me. We have been inseparable since and have continued to fall in love with each other every day. It has been more than evident that we made the right decision. Although 5 years ago, neither of would have ever imagined us together, we are truly thankful for all that happened, as we feel it led us to one another.

how they asked

Dan and I are currently dating long-distance. We get to see one another about once a month, sometimes we are forced to be separated for even longer. I had planned to visit Dan, after seven long weeks of being apart, during the third weekend of October down in Lynchburg, VA. We have discussed marriage, so I knew a proposal was coming, but I was absolutely positive it would NOT be this weekend since my parents would be out of the country and no family would be anywhere near. Another thing we have discussed was the fact that I would eventually have to move down to Virginia, as he had a good job and was pretty settled there. Although I want to be where he is, the idea of this makes me very emotional, as I will be leaving my family and place I have lived my entire life. With all of that said, Dan is a part of the worship team at Elevation church as a drummer. He has grown very close with the people there and his fellow band members. So, on Sunday, October 25th, he was scheduled to play for two services. Since I was visiting, I attended both of them. On the way to church that morning, I told Dan that he was not going to be able to surprise me with a proposal because I already knew it was happening over Thanksgiving break. I, of course, was totally wrong and he did an amazing job of keeping it a secret. So, after church when Dan was done playing, I went up on the stage to meet him. He told me to wait on the side since some of the band had to practice a song they would be playing the next week. I didn’t think anything of it, until…they began playing “How long will I love you” by Ellie Goulding. This was a song I had sent Dan a few months earlier. Since then we have considered it our song. As soon as the first line of the song was sung, I immediately went numb and dropped my jaw. I turned around to see Dan smiling ear to ear. The first thing I said was, “Did you asked my Dad!” and he said he did. He then grabbed my hands and took me to the center of the stage where he told me how much he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He explained how although he knew I would want my family there, he wanted to show me just how much my “new” family down in Virginia loved me. He then told me he had a question and to look up at the screens, which showed “Will you marry me?” Dan then got down on one knee and asked me the same question. The only thing I could do was to shake my head yes since I was too shocked to speak any words. Dan proceeded to fist bump and jump up and down. I then gave him the biggest hug and turned around to see a TON of people in the audience watching. They erupted with applause and cheer. Everybody had known what would be taking place that afternoon, except for me! It was one of the sweetest moments to know that although it will be sad to leave my family, I am already loved and accepted by an entire new family. It was the most perfect moment and I truly could not have asked for anything better. After the proposal, Dan had informed me that my entire family and all my closest friends had known and were expected a phone call. It was incredible that he pulled off such a surprise!

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