How We Met
I went off to college halfway across the country, excited and nervous about the new adventure I was embarking on. Before I left Colorado, one of my friends from church told me I was going to meet a beautiful southern belle, but I thought he was joking. I expected a lot of change, but I never expected to meet the woman I was going to marry so early on in my college experience. We met at a freshman kickoff event at the basketball arena before classes started, and when she invited us over for cookies I didn’t go. By the grace of God, I saw her again the next night at Target for student night, and I immediately took notice of how sassy and funny she was. We told jokes all night long, and she got especially sassy with me when I picked up a normal sized coffee mug and told her she should buy it (normal sized mugs aren’t big enough for Lauren). She also dropped a box of light bulbs in an aisle and ran away but don’t tell Target. We started hanging out in groups a lot but Lauren and I were inseparable.
By this time, I was really starting to like her and I took it to the Lord. I prayed about dating Lauren, and I remember God saying, “Do it,” so clearly that I couldn’t question what I was being told to do. After hanging out with Lauren in group settings for a while, I finally got the courage to ask her on a date. I had planned this awesome date to a beautiful restaurant on the river, but I didn’t have a car so I had to drive hers. Apple Maps gave us the wrong directions (some things never change) and we drove around in circles forever. I was nervous and frustrated and Lauren was just laughing away. We finally made it to Cypress Inn and we got seated at a table right by a window facing the river. We ate chicken tender salad and she looked so beautiful wearing her black and white dress. Afterwords, despite the coming rain, I took her to the park and sat her down on a bench by the river. I had prayed about her being my girlfriend and I knew it was God’s will, so I didn’t waste any time. I told her everything I liked about her and asked her if she would like to start an adventure with me. She cried and kissed me and never actually said “yes” so I guess I just assumed we were together from that point on. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I was so excited to see what the future held for us.
how they asked
After saving for months and searching for the most beautiful diamond I could find, I finally had the ring. Before the day of the proposal, I had planned it out so my parents would fly in from Colorado to celebrate with us. Lauren’s mom, dad, and a couple other family members traveled from South Alabama to celebrate after the proposal as well. Since our 3 year dating anniversary was the next Thursday, I told Lauren we would be celebrating our anniversary on Friday, September 30th instead.
She had to wake up early in the morning to get ready for the day, so I decided to wake her up with flowers and a pumpkin spice latte on her doorstep. After getting ready, I took her to breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast spots, Another Broken Egg. I did this because her favorite dates are breakfast or brunch dates. We sat on the patio overlooking the river and ate City Grits together. Then, Lauren had to go to class and work until 5:30. While she was going about her day, I drove back and forth to our favorite spot to watch sunsets. In that location, which is about 20 minutes outside Tuscaloosa on the Black Warrior River, I set up a table on a rock outcropping with a bunch of things that represented us and our relationship. I put sunflowers (her favorite flower) in mason jars with coffee beans in them (anybody that knows us know we both love coffee).
There were Alabama shakers on the table, a light up “B” for her future last name, and cotton to represent where we met. Behind the table was a big wooden cross to set a back drop with the river and sunset behind it. I spent some time during set up to pray over the spot, that God’s Presence would be evident and that He would bless our future marriage. After utilizing the help of my dad to set up the table, I went home and got dressed up to pick Lauren up from work. I made sure Lauren knew to be dressed nice when I picked her up from work. I picked her up at 5:30 and told her we had dinner reservations at 7:30 but we were going to go to our spot and watch the sunset first. Little did she know there was a big surprise waiting for her. When we arrived, I held her hand and walked her down on the trail to our spot.
We rounded the corner and she could finally see the top of the cross behind the hill. She immediately stopped and started crying. We walked to the table, and a book highlighting our relationship was on the table. I set the book up to have 50 pictures in chronological order covering our entire relationship. With each picture was a short description of what we did the day the picture was taken and a short sentence telling her something I loved about her. We looked through the picture book and she couldn’t stop crying. I just kept telling her how much I loved her and how blessed I was that God gave me somebody like her. For the last couple pages of the book I stepped back and let her look at the book by herself.
At the very end, she turned around and I was on one knee to ask the most incredible woman in the world if she would marry me. SHE SAID YES!!! I thought I would be nervous but I was so overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and His beauty that I didn’t really get nervous at all.
I was simply overjoyed with what God had done, was doing, and was going to do in our relationship. After packing up, we headed to the engagement party Lauren’s parents had organized. This was when I started crying. I was so excited I couldn’t hold back my emotions anymore. We praised God with some worship and played the song that makes me think about her every time, Clear by NEED TO BREATHE.
We arrived at Heritage House with about 40 family members and close friends welcoming us. It was the best day of my life besides the day I accepted Jesus, and I’m so excited for the life to come with my beautiful bride to be.