Jana and Kevin
How We Met
Well, Kevin and I may have different stories of how we first met. He remembers when he first saw me. I know super cute right. He was a counselor at my church camp my senior year of high school. Sounds scandalous, but he is really only 2 years older than me. My memory of him from camp was the creepy “Bethel College Guy” who kept staring at me. He remembers thinking that I was super cute, and also being horrified when he found out the last day that I was a student and not another counselor. Fast forward one more year, I ended up attending the same college, I was a freshman, he was a junior. Whenever I saw him on campus I laughed to myself remembering my experience at summer camp. He still had a crush from afar.
But he now had a new nickname for me. “The girl in the long black coat.” Winters in Northern Indiana are TERRIBLE, so for almost half the year it seems like you have to wear a winter coat, I had a black North Face coat that came to my knees…and Kevin admired me from afar. Haha. The following summer God decided to bring us together. I was studying nursing, but by Gods nudging and guidance I decided to apply for a summer internship in youth ministry at a church just outside of Fort Wayne. I know…nursing, youth ministry not quite the same. Turns out Kevin applied for the same internship. I remember very vividly our first day of work; we both showed up early and awkwardly waved to each other as we sat in our separate cars. Who would have known that that man would steal my heart by the end of the summer.
how they asked
Every year my family spends Christmas on Sanibel Island in Florida. My parents have been kind enough to allow Kevin to tag along the past two years. Some of our favorite memories together are from our time spent in Sanibel. We had talked about when we would get engaged, even set a time frame. (I am a planner…to a fault). We had discussed it happening sometime before the new year. But in the summer of 2015 Kevin’s old Chevy Tahoe wasn’t holding up very well. At the time he was living four and a half hours away from me. So having a dependable car is kind of important. I remember him telling me, “Jana you can either get a ring and I wont see you as much, or I get a new car and will be able to come see you more often.” So of course I said get a car, knowing that this was going to push the engagement back.
Fast-forward several months to Christmas, keep in mind I had no possible inkling that a proposal could be coming. I thought it was months away. I even said in the car ride down to Florida, “Gosh, everyone is getting engaged this season!” Kevin laughed and said, “I think Christmas is a weird time to get engaged.” That little stinker. So it all went down on Christmas Eve. We spent the day basking in the sun by the pool. In afternoon Kevin decided he was going to take a shower and try to “look nice.” I was so confused, why look nice when we aren’t going anywhere. I reluctantly showered as well, but I decided to put on a dress that had “snowmen” all over it. Both Kevin and my sister questioned my outfit choice, I was like, “Guys you have no Christmas spirit!!”
We ate dinner together as a family, after dinner Kevin asked me to go on a walk with him. So we dressed the dog up in her Santa suit and went on a walk. About halfway through the walk I complained of blisters on my feet and wanted to go home…he made me keep walking. Little did I know my family was frantically decorating the pool area with lights, candles and rose petals. We walked back to the house and my parents met us on the road to take the dog and said they were going to go on a walk now. Then Kevin led me around to the side of the house.
I saw the twinkling lights through the palm trees. It seriously looked like a scene straight out of the bachelor. I was in disbelief. He wasn’t going to propose for months, so why would he make an elaborate scene just to tell me he loved me I thought? He led me over to a little table and I saw it, the ring box. The waterworks started. He grabbed the box and started saying sweet things, pausing every few seconds to choke back his own tears. I don’t remember a single thing he said, and then he got down on one knee.
And I said YES! After taking in the moment he sat me down and read me a letter he wrote. After that we prayed together. We asked God to bless our engagement period, we asked Him to help prepare us to be husband and wife. We want our relationship both now and when we are married to be one that lifts people up and brings them closer to Christ. My family was waiting to celebrate with us inside. Apparently we were out there for an hour, they were starting to worry that I said no!
It was the BEST Christmas Eve ever. His proposal was perfect, better than I could have ever imagined.