On June 6th, Josh and I celebrated four years of marriage. We've actually been together for nine years since we started dating back in 1998. They've been the best years of my life, and I'm so thankful for my precious husband. As I was going through our file cabinet, probably for the first time in those four years, I came across our engagement story that I'd written out several weeks after Josh proposed on Oct. 19, 2002. Being our anniversary and all, I thought it would be fun to share. Hope you enjoy!
It couldn’t have been more perfect. Even though I knew it was coming in the next couple of months, I can honestly say I had no idea it was coming that night! Now it’s so funny to look back at things that seem so obvious, but I just didn’t notice them at the time.
It all started earlier that week when Josh suggested that we go to the symphony on Saturday night. This was not at all unusual since we’ve been several times together (it was our first date.) Josh claimed that he had received free tickets (a donation to CrossCamp) that would expire in December. I agreed to go (they were playing Brahms’ Requiem) and was excited we would spend the whole evening together.
This weekend was not unlike any other I had spent at home this semester. I was student teaching in Waco and would graduate from Baylor in December. Josh was living at home, taking classes at DTS and personal training on the side. I came to Dallas most weekends so we could be together. On Friday night, I stayed home with Mom, Dad, and Missa (who was home from Baylor on Fall Break.) The next morning I woke up, got a haircut, and began completing applications for different school districts in the Dallas area. Josh called me from work around 1:00pm and told me that his dad offered us a gift certificate he had received from a patient to Del Frisco’s. He pleaded with me to be ready by 5:00pm so that we could make our dinner reservations at 5:30pm (making sure we had plenty of time to get down to the Meyerson.)
Around 3:00pm, I met with Sunni and Tiffani at Starbucks about selling Mary Kay. I even mentioned that Josh and I planned on getting married sometime that coming summer. They asked if I thought I would be engaged soon, and (as always) I said, “Probably some time in the next couple of months, but not anytime real soon.” So, after our discussion, I went home, changed, and (to Josh’s delight) was ready to leave at 5:00pm sharp. We got to the restaurant at 5:15pm, and Josh complained of not being hungry. This he blamed on a late lunch, but later I found out it was really nerves! Josh and I sat down and shared a delightful meal of salad, filet mignon, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. Josh hardly ate half of his meal, but – don’t worry – I made up for it by eating all of mine and then some! During dinner, Josh mentioned that he really wasn’t up for the symphony. A little disappointed, I agreed we could just go back to his house instead. So, we left the restaurant around 7:00pm. On the drive home, I mentioned how blessed we were to have had such a long time to grow together. We both agreed we have matured a lot in the last four years. I told him that I cherished our relationship (not knowing that this fit perfectly with what he was about to do!)
Upon arriving at his house, I began to take Josh’s leftovers in the house but he insisted I leave them in the car. We headed in and I asked where Richard and Janie were. He said they’d gone to minichurch. As I walked into the living room from the kitchen, I noticed several candles burning on the dining room table. I told Josh that this was dangerous and very unlike Janie. So, of course, I blew them out thinking that I was saving the house from fire rather than ruining the mood! Josh told me that he wanted to read me something he’d read that morning. He pulled me into the study where I saw five or six more candles burning. But, don’t worry, I blew those out too! On one of the endtables, I saw some roses arranged like a bridal bouquet. I told Josh how pretty they were and commented that Janie always had such neat little things around the house. Finally, he got me to sit down on the loveseat with him. He read two passages out of John: chapters 13:36-38 and 21:15-19. Josh asked me how this related to us and at this point, I still have no idea it’s coming. So, Josh begins a story.
Our first Valentine’s Day (about 6 months into dating), we sat in this room on a loveseat similar to this, and he told me that he loved me. This freaked me out; I was not ready to say that – too big for me. I told Josh I only wanted to say that when I knew for sure I would marry the guy. So we never said it all throughout our dating. He told me that now, four years later, he understood what love meant. Josh said that like Peter (in John), he had spoken without truly understanding the call or commitment required. That love is a choice as well as an emotion. And he wanted to tell me, that with his whole heart, now he could really say that he loved me and was ready to commit his life to me. I couldn’t believe I was actually hearing him say that!!! It felt so good to hear those words. I told him that I loved him too as I began to cry. My heart was just overflowing with emotions: I started to tell him how I had wanted to say that for so long…but he stopped me. He told me he wasn’t through yet. At this point, he got down on his knee, and told me that he wanted us to spend the rest of our lives together. And some other really sweet stuff and asked me if I would marry him! I told him Yes!!! I just cried and cried! I couldn’t believe this was happening. We held each other and prayed and sang “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” It was truly wonderful. So intimate and personal. Just as it couldn’t get any better, Josh pulled out a stack of letters that each family member on his side had written me welcoming me into the family. I continued to bawl as Josh read them. After he finished, he told me there was one more surprise. He blindfolded me and put me in the car. On the way, I found out that he asked my dad the previous Wednesday, and my whole family knew this was happening tonight! There were no symphony tickets and my dad had given Josh the gift certificate for dinner! Such a sweet night.
After fifteen minutes of driving, we stopped and walked up to a door. He let me in, and I could sense people around me. As I waited for something to happen, I couldn’t help but exclaim, “I’m engaged!” Everyone cheered. Then the song “At Last” began playing. The night was so special. So many friends and family were there to celebrate with us. Many hugs followed. Dad got everyone quieted down and Josh shared the whole story. Then the guests all introduced themselves and said how they knew us. We had a time of prayer and Dad closed it out. It just seemed so right. After everyone left, Josh, Missa, Mom, Dad, Carolyn, and I sat around and talked about wedding stuff. It just seemed totally surreal. I am actually getting married!!! To Joshua Rice Patterson!!! Thank you, Lord, for I am truly blessed!!!