It was July 17, 1999. It was before our church had a permanent building, so we would have to set up and tear down every week. Like a busy beaver, I enjoyed being a part of the regular set-up crew.
For a season, we would set up at the YMCA on Saturday nights, and the worship team would practice after we set up the staging and sound equipment. My (then-) girlfriend Joanna was one of the singers on that team, and was there that night.
I picked up the engagement ring earlier that day, and had the ring with me that evening while setting up, and the next day at church. I didn't want to be away from it until I would ask her to marry me during a Sunday evening dinner at Furman University (at a picnic shelter that no longer exists on the backside of the lake).
Another guy on the set-up team and I had to buy some batteries that Saturday night. On the ride out there, I told him that I had the ring, and that I was going to pop the question the next day.
He asked, with all seriousness, "What do you think she'll say?"
I stared at him and then replied, "If I didn't know that she'd say 'yes,' I wouldn't ask her."
"Are You Serious?"People laugh when we tell them that we had Bojangles fried chicken for dinner. Not the most romantic pre-engagement meal, is it? But since I was a poor graduate student, I knew that if I did anything too fancy, she would know that something was up.
And I did totally catch her by surprise. I found out later that while she was thinking about marriage, she thought that we would get engaged in the fall, and married the following spring. After all, who starts dating in March, and gets married that December?
I caught her so much by surprise, that after I asked her to marry me, she immediately asked, "Is this for real? Are you serious?"
Who is the non-romantic now?
And after I assured her I was serious, she did say, "Yes." Just like I knew she would.
15 Years Later . . .She said "yes" fifteen years ago. She agreed to marry me, and to do life together.
Little did she (or I) know the adventure that God would have for us. Fifteen wonderful years together. Three fantastic children. A career journey of chemist to pastor to "missionary" in Allendale.
And next week, we begin the next step in our adventure, as we will be moving back to Greenville.
I knew she would say "yes," but I'm still so glad that she did. And I'm glad that she understood that I was, in fact, serious.
- Our Engagement
- 11 Reasons I Asked My Wife to Marry Me
- We Partied Like It Was 1999, Because It Was 1999
- Our Traditional Anniversary
**photo courtesy of Furman.edu