How We Met
Like all good love stories, ours began at a chain restaurant. Not just any chain restaurant, but in my opinion, the best one. Chili’s.
When JC first came to work at Chili’s, I wasn’t even old enough to be a server. Seventeen years old and eager to please, I worked in the kitchen as a food expeditor. My job was to organize the food on trays in a way that made the delivery smooth and simple. When JC started serving at Chili’s, I made sure to be on top of my game in the kitchen. Though JC seemed way older and definitely out of my league, I made it a point to let him know I thought he was the hottest chili pepper around. When Jc would carry heavy stacks of clean dishes over to my area of the kitchen, I would dramatically “wipe” my mouth, indicating that his veiny arms made my mouth water. That’s how seventeen-year-olds are supposed to flirt, right?
Flash forward five years, JC and I hadn’t seen each other since we both worked at Chili’s. JC left Chili’s for another job, but I stayed through my high school and college years.
Twenty-two and no longer a kid in Jc’s eyes, when he returned to Chili’s in the spring of 2017, it wasn’t me wiping the drool anymore. (Well, okay, I definitely was, but he made the first move). Perched at the host stand just killing time between turned tables, JC approached the host stand and simply asked if I was single. With a smile, I said yes, and replied, “Why, are you interested?” In his mysterious way, our conversation ended, but our relationship was just beginning.
With what we would like to call divine intervention, JC and I began working the same one night a week. Fridays. In trying to out-serve one another, out salsa-pour one another, and out clear-dish one another, we fell in love. Not quickly, not smoothly, or not flawlessly, but inevitably.
How They Asked
Jc is a man of intention. That is one of the things I love most about it. With his intentionality, his proposal was nothing less than magical.
With similar hearts for ministry, JC and I both call Crossroads Youth Center in Allentown, NJ, home. We teach Sunday School together there. We worship on Wednesday nights together there. We first said, “I love you” there. We love kids and we worship Jesus there. JC works there, and I find refuge in this incredible building owned by the Allentown Presbyterian Church. It only made sense that we got engaged there!
As part of the “Advent Xperience” that our church hosted one Wednesday night before Christmas, JC had the opportunity to give a message on December 19th, 2018. Since it was a special occasion for JC to be preaching, having both our families and close friends there didn’t tip me off to anything. In his message, JC compared the relentless love of God to song lyrics from Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, which is our song. Though his message was powerful and inspiring, I didn’t think much of the lyrics being used in his message. Jc has always been romantic.
After the benediction, Jc’s brother, Tyler, approached the mic and began singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. JC grabbed me, and we slow danced right in front of our seats in the front row. Still, I didn’t think much of it. Jc has always been a romantic! About five seconds into dancing, though, I peer over to my right and see a wall of people with their phones out, and flashes recording us. I audibly expressed, “Wait, what?” and then looked back into Jc’s eyes. I knew.
It’s so cliche, but time froze. Leaning into my ear, Jc whispered in my ear, “I just had to know, and I’ve never been so sure of anything in my entire life”. With that, Jc slowly took out a ring box from his left back pocket, and intentionally got down on one knee. When he asked, I said yes 8 times. Maybe 9. I was so excited!
When Jc and I first started talking, he wouldn’t take no for an answer because he just “had to know”. I’m so glad he found out. He was right, some things are inevitable.
My prayer for our relationship is that we keep Christ in the center, and always point to Him in all that we do. After the excitement of the night calmed down, Jc and I crept up to the “Prayer Pit” at Crossroads, got on our knees, and prayed over our future marriage. This was the most important part of our night.
*Jc made a video that does a much better job at telling our story. He collected dirt from significant places throughout our relationship and put them in a small capsule for me. All of this is explained in our video!