April 26th, 2012 marked 14 months that we had been dating. Being that this was a Thursday, I was looking forward to our normal Thursday routine – going through the book of James. My plan was to come home from work, cook dinner for us, and head over to his apartment for the James study. I called him to see what he wanted for dinner, and he said he’d let me know when I got home. After we hung up, I remember thinking, “Are we doing something for the 26th?!” I didn’t want to get excited, so I prayed and asked the Lord to help me calm down as I drove home. Once I got home, I called David and asked him if he’d decided what he wanted. He then informed me that what he wanted was to spend time with me! I was so giddy! I told him that would be great! He let me know what time to be ready and we hung up the phone. When he picked me up, I asked him where we were going and he only smiled. We ended up at Mt. Bonnell, one of the places we went when I first visited Austin.
(Dave’s Commentary: Talk about nerves. I’d never planned a proposal in my life and I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say; I had no script. What I did want to do was somewhat recreate her first trip to Austin by going to Mt. Bonnell. I figured with the nice scenery, which Jenn appreciated, it would be a proposal that she would enjoy greatly.)
We walked up the stairs and sat down. As we overlooked the lake, David led me in reflecting on the Lord’s grace and faithfulness that we have seen in the 14 months of our relationship. A lot had happened during our relationship and we shared with one another just how good God has been to us. As we talked, David grabbed his Bible and led me through Scripture – 1 Peter 3:1-7 and Ephesians 5:22-33. We talked about our convictions, which lined up with Scripture. It started getting dark and we left Mt. Bonnell since we could no longer see to read! We headed downtown and grabbed burgers and called it a night.
(Dave’s Commentary: The scene – perfect! The only problem was that it was too many people there. Mt. Bonnell is one of Austin’s main attractions, but I figured that it wouldn’t be as populated on a Thursday evening. I was sorely wrong. So we ended up finding what we thought was a cozy spot where we could talk without interruption. Nope. Lo and behold, a young lad pops out of the brush on a little cliff below us. Great! I also wanted to reflect on God’s grace in our relationship and His truth about marriage because I wanted to continue to lay that foundation because this is what we’ll have to continually remind ourselves of over time. When I noticed it was getting dark, I started getting a little antsy because I had the ring in my cargo shorts pocket and I wanted to propose the same day as our dating anniversary….plus it’s easy to remember. I wouldn’t have to remember a 2nd date… Just kidding. However, I didn’t want to rush and propose for the sake of proposing, so I nixed the idea and she was none the wiser.)
On Saturday, April 28th, he was preparing for a sermon. I wasn’t expecting to see him at all and he ended up texting me to see if I was available. I told him that I would MAKE myself available! :-) He picked me up and we ended up at Mayfield Park, another place we’d gone when I first visited. We weren’t able to get into the park due to a wedding reception so we headed to Mt. Bonnell. When we drove up and saw all of the cars, we knew it’d be extremely packed at the top and opted against going up. I suggested that we go downtown and grab burgers at a place we’d seen while walking around one evening. David said that he wanted to stay outside and I was fine with that.
(Dave’s Commentary: It was my goal to finish preparing my sermon by 1:30 pm. Missed that deadline by an hour, even though I’d gotten up early that morning. I drove a different route to Mayfield Park / Mt. Bonnell because I didn’t want her to figure things out. LOL! So we get to Mayfield Park and we see the main attraction – peacocks walking around, something else Jenn loves – animals. Again, I’m trying to re-create the scene, but she isn’t picking up on anything. LOL! However, my attempt at being sentimental and romantic was shot down because another couple was celebrating their marital vows in the park. On to Option B….)
We drove to Town Lake and ended up sitting down behind the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue at Auditorium Shores. He continued our conversation from Thursday night, discussing Biblical manhood and womanhood. Leading me through Scripture again, David shared Genesis 2:18-25. He then began to tell me about the things that he’d observed in me over the past several months. I was encouraged and humbled by his words. He then stood up and asked me for a hug. I gladly obliged. While we were standing, he told me that he wanted to love me for a long time and I responded in kind. Pulling back, he then told me that he had something to ask me. “Okay?”, I responded. Smiling, he said to me, “You know what I have to ask you.” It all started clicking and the tears began coming! “But I want to honor you, so I’m going to get down on one knee.” I was blinded by my tears as he slipped the ring on my finger, asking if I would be his wife and glorify the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him. I laughed, cried, and had to sit down. “So is that a yes?” he asked, laughing. I nodded yes, and we hugged.
(Dave’s Commentary: Those moments leading up to the proposal were a bit nerve-wracking, but not in a bad way. As we were sitting on a ledge in front of the lake, people were jogging and walking their dogs or letting them run free. It wasn’t a super calming time for Jenn because she is not too fond of unrestrained dogs. Childhood trauma. As a couple of dogs came close to us, Jenn grabbed my arm almost stopping bloodflow, but the dogs trotted away, unworried about us. As we were talking I kept thinking, “Okay, transition David because if you keep talking the sun is going to set and you’ll be in the dark…again.” So when I said, “You know what I have to ask you”, she was done. All I saw were tears and quivering lips. LOL! She put her hand over her mouth and buried her head in my chest. “Wait, I haven’t officially asked you yet!”, I thought. Getting down on one knee and proposing seemed like it took longer than it did – as if time ticked slower. Imagine a slow motion voice, “Jennnnniferrrrr, willlll yooouuu beee myyy wiiiiife and gloooorifyyyy the Gooooospellll of Jeeeesus Christ with meeeeee?” Really!)
We both prayed, and so began our next stage of our journey to marriage!
(Walking away, Jenn said, “Can we get married tomorrow? Hehehehe!”)