Proposing was a very visceral and exciting experience for the two of us. Some would have you believe that proposing is laced with romance, rays of sunshine and melodies from fluttery classical tunes—but for us, it was a bit more concrete.
God had been working in our friendship for over 5 years, and He brought our hearts closer on our road-trip this fall. Upon our return, God placed marriage more certainly on my (David’s) heart and, the week after thanksgiving, opportunity’s doors began to open.
It was a Saturday morning, and, after a very stressful and nervous week for Keri and me, the engagement plans were secretly solidified between David, Jono and Brendan. Earlier I told Keri to plan on spending the evening at Biola, sipping hot chocolate and reminiscing like we did as friends. After returning from a late morning of “alone time”, Keri and I went to Guitar Center to play around, and then ate an early dinner at Baja Fresh, as we did in Biola days.
With my nerves going off the wall, and after a delicious burrito, we “calmly” purchased our Biola hot chocolate and began to walk around campus. Each place we passed had a different memory, and since I didn’t plan every detail (as usual!), our conversation naturally flowed into relational reflection. Many scenes came back, with reactions like, “Oh, do you remember sitting here?” and, “I can’t believe we stayed up talking like that!” And others like “don’t remind me of that conversation…” or, “What were you thinking then?” It was great to remember the past that we’ve had, and was surprisingly fortuitous, considering the end of this tale.
After many bathroom breaks (from my nerves and text-ing instructions), we eventually arrived at the Prayer Chapel. Keri remarked, in surprise, “What? How could the prayer chapel be caution taped? It’s open 24/7!” And indeed it was caution taped across the front (Jono’s and Brendan’s doing)—yet, I was convinced we should still go inside.
Walking up front, Keri conveniently pointed to her “old spot” in the chapel in the front corner (a place she often met with God during her Biola years). There lay various, nondescript items, covered with paper—“What is that stuff?” She quickly realized I knew what it was, and her head began to spin as she looked at me…
All chalked up on nerves, and without any lead in, I said, “Keri, I want you to be my wife, and, I think God is calling me to be your husband, so…will you marry me?” In a state of shock, Keri had me repeat it and then promptly hugged me with a “Yes!” and a few tears.
I then revealed the four things brought to the scene. The first was four roses, three white and one red, symbolizing God’s Trinity with His Love at the center. The second was a wash bin and rags to wash one another’s feet. The third was a hunk of brown olive bread and a wooden goblet of wine, symbolizing sharing in Jesus’ death and resurrection. And the fourth was a small vile of olive oil, to anoint each other and ask God’s presence to rule our relationship. Each one had a memory and a prayer that came with it, and after sharing each of these, Keri and I prayed in silence.
The strength of this moment together is one that will grow with time. It was filled with laughter, nerves, confusion and, in the end, commitment. God has shown Himself to us, and has led us to each other through His love. The fluttery feelings came after, but first was two ordinary people committed to an extraordinary God, finding peace in His will—and so blessed to learn that obeying Him, means a lifetime, like this, together.
*We wrote this the month after we got engaged as a way to reflect and share on or Wedding Website.