Sunday, November 30, 2014

to have & to hold

Big news folks. Really big news. REALLY, HAPPY, WONDERFUL, JOYOUS, GROWN-UP, PRAISE-THE-LORD, kind of big news.

Jordan asked me to marry him.  And I said yes - no surprise there!

It was the sweetest of evenings.  Just perfect for who we are as individuals and who we are together.  So, I'll spell it out for you.

I had been sick the whole week.  Sick as a dog.  Friday morning (the day of the proposal) rolled around, and I had not improved.  Not even a little.  I was bummed that I might have to ask Jordan to postpone the date he had planned for us that evening, but was distracted because my head felt fuzzy and I thought I might have a temperature.

Jordan called to check on me that morning, and I'm relatively certain the sound of my voice could have sent him into cardiac arrest.  But he played it cool, telling me to rest and that maybe I would still feel up to dinner later - gently persuading me to keep our plans.  I thought that was odd, but quickly talked myself out of assuming that anything was up.

After nap number 2, I started to pep up a bit!  And Jordan says that when I called him to tell him I still wanted to go to dinner, he nearly drove off the road celebrating.

So, he came to my apartment to pick me up and we walked to Market Square, like we so often do.  We were going to Cafe 4, my favorite restaurant and where we had our first date.  I was talking incessantly about a delicious grilled cheese sandwich when he said, "Let's walk this way" and lead me to the stone path between the trees that stand in the entrance to Market Square.  He turned around and said, "Jen, I need to talk to you about something."  And my heart skipped a beat. This is happening.  We're about to do this.  For real.  Holy cow.

He told me that he loved me so dearly and that he wanted us to be a family.  It all happened so fast that most of the conversation is still a blur.  But I'll never forget the look on his face when he said, "So, I've got a question I need to ask you..." and got down on one knee.


He celebrated and I was so surprised to hear yells from his sisters, who had been sneakily taking pictures of us.  They came along with their partners in crime (Abbey's boyfriend and Amy's roommate) with a sign they had made for us and took all kinds of pictures.

After they left, we went into Cafe 4 to have our dinner together.  Sitting on our table was a letter C decoration and the sweetest note from my new fiancĂ© - which is a word we're still getting used to!  That hour that we spent together over my mac n cheese and his chicken and waffles is one of the sweetest times we have shared.  It was just us, like the first date, but so much more now.  Jordan blessed the food and prayed for our marriage and asked God to be with us in this new stage of life.  He told me the stories of telling his parents and sisters his plans, going to Johnson City to meet with my family, picking my ring, and pulling to all together.  I wouldn't change that time together for the world.

After dinner, we called my family, who claimed to be driving to the Topper football game, and then walked through Market Square to find Amy a birthday present.  (P.S. How awesome is Amy Cross for sharing her birthday with us?  I am so grateful for her generous spirit and gentle heart.)  As we were driving to the Cross residence to celebrate Amy's birthday, Jordan said, "I've got one more surprise for you."  And as we crested the hill to his house, I saw all of the cars.  The cars of our families and dear friends who drove from all over to be there, waiting to celebrate with us.


Our parents and siblings and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends that are more like family were there.  And we had a BBQ feast (Well, they did.  We had just eaten at Cafe 4, remember?)  And we laughed and talked and shed a few tears of joy.  We were abundantly blessed and celebrated and the whole night was just a dream.  A night that was set aside for us, by the man that I'm going to call my husband in a matter of months.

The thing about it all is that it sets a new season in motion.  A season when we start to plan our life together.  A season where people share with us their advice and wisdom.  A season where we make plans as one family rather than two individuals.  A season of preparation, wonder, joy, and growth.

I am so grateful that our love story is built on a foundation of friendship and is grounded in Christ.  It is not perfect, certainly not.  But the love and trust that we have built is strong.  I know that Jordan's proposal is the promise of a man who is resolved and faithful.  And my response is the promise to be the same, resolved and faithful, for always.  To love and support one another.  To build a life together.  To point each other to Jesus.  To have each other's backs and to hold each other's hands.  To become one.  To have and to hold.  Amen.

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