Katey and Zach
How We Met
Zach and I grew up and went to grade school together in small town Carrollton, Ga. He was on my mom’s yearbook staff in fifth grade, and my dad had coached him in football. We definitely knew of each other, but since he is a year older than me, we were never around each other much. My junior year of high school I found myself sitting next to the superstar senior football player in our graphics class. After a little bit of amateur flirting, Zach finally got the guts to ask me on an ice cream date. That Friday after school, I met him at Bruster’s.
The date got off to a rocky start when he jumped in front of me and ordered before I did (the boy was excited for some ice cream) AND then proceeded to make me pay for my own (I will never let him live this one down). Despite that, I thought this boy was the bees knees, but I knew it’d be just a fling for a short period of time. See, Zach had just recently signed an athletic scholarship to play football at Wake Forest University. He’d be moving six hours away in a few short months, and I would be embarking on my senior year, definitely not wanting to be “tied down.” Well one thing led to another, and I found myself falling fast and hard for Zach Gordon. The next thing I knew, I was (willingly) in a long-distance relationship for the next five years.
how they asked
I had just gotten back from a long and exhausting week working camp. My mom, ever so cleverly, rescheduled my little sister’s senior family picture for that Saturday we got back from camp (and the day I would get engaged). So, I showered, fixed my hair, put on make up, and threw on a dress to take this picture. After the picture, my mom made the comment that I should get Zach to take me to dinner since I was already so dressed up. Well, I was tired from camp, and all I wanted to do was put on a big t shirt, eat Chick-Fil-A, and go to bed. After some serious protesting, I finally caved and agreed to be treated to dinner (it sounds silly that I had to be begged to be taken to a fancy dinner, but y’all I was tired).
Anyway, Zach took me to a restaurant called The Hill at Serenbe, a restaurant we had been wanting to visit. Serenbe has had a special place in our hearts for a while. Four years ago, before Zach left for his first year at Wake Forest (hours away from where I would be), he took me to a beautiful stone labyrinth nestled in a wooded area in the center of Serenbe. A labyrinth is essentially a circular maze. However, in this particular labyrinth, no matter where you start on the outside of the maze, every path will lead you to the center. Zach and I walked the labyrinth from different sides, and when we ended up in the center of the maze together, he smiled and took my hands. He explained to me that no matter how far apart we were geographically, no matter where life took us individually, he was confident that Christ would bring us back together, to the center, to do life together forever. So you can see why this place is so meaningful for the both of us.
When we pulled in the gates of Serenbe, he called the restaurant, which turned to actually be my sister, and pretended to put our name down for call-ahead seating. After he got off the phone, he told me that there was a 30 minute wait. He suggested we take a visit to the labyrinth while we waited, which would have been fine except for the fact that it had started to rain pretty hard. I was so confused as to why he was going to make me get out in the rain when we could have visited the labyrinth another time. After some more protesting on my part (I was NOT making this easy for him on this day), I finally got out of the car into the rain and walked underneath the shelter of Zach’s arm toward the labyrinth.
Just a few yards past the labyrinth is a beautiful wooden bridge that crosses over a small river. As we passed the labyrinth, we headed to the bridge. In the center of the bridge were beautiful sunflowers (my favorite) that had been handpicked from Zach’s grandfather’s garden.
At this point, I knew what was going on, and the tears just started coming. Zach read me a beautiful love letter that he wrote, and then he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
Through the tears and smiles, I managed to utter a YES!
My sister, Hannah, and childhood best friend, Kat, came out from behind some bushes where they had been hiding and taking pictures. I continued to cry harder and harder, in awe of what had just happened and overwhelmed with joy.
We all then went to the restaurant where we were greeted by my family, Zach’s family, and some close friends. We celebrated with food, drinks, and cake, and nothing could have made me happier. I am so blessed to be able to spend the rest of my days doing life and serving The Lord together with Zach Gordon!