Due to popular demand, or demand anyway, I am finally going to share with those who have waited for it, my side of proposing to Abigail. So much seems to have happened since then it may take some work conjuring up some of the details, but I will do my best to get all the nit and grit.
I'm not sure I can point to a singular instant that I decided I knew it was God's will for Abigail and I to be together as husband and wife for so long as He blesses us with life. And as for love, that, too, I can not point exactly to, though a little closer than the other. I knew that I loved Abigail, when I found that I was constantly trying to convey to her that message, that I loved her, without saying those three words (my intent was to not say that to her until I was knew that I intended to propose). Nor did I want to tell her that I loved her from afar, but wanted to look her in the eyes when I said it first. And it seemed clear that God had designed our marriage union when a couple of things happened. One, all I could think about was being with Abigail forever. Two, all I could talk about with people that I loved and looked to for wisdom and Godly counsel was Abigail. Three, what counsel and insight they offered me pointed to one thing, directly or indirectly. Lastly, all that I heard from God through His Word, His Spirit, prayer and circumstances brought me to the same conclusion as the wisdom of my confidants: that if I did not ask Abigail to marry me I would have to be one of the world's greatest morons and mentally impaired individuals. Thus and thus I knew.
So it was that Abigail had the Spring Break vacation coming up and some time previously we had planned for her to come visit me here in Washington. But first I would come to Texas for my dear friend Stephani's wedding, which Abigail would attend with me, and then we would travel together to Washington. My challenge was that time was drawing near for her visit by the time I “knew”. And I did not intend to propose to Abigail without first talking with Jeff and Leabeth and asking for their permission and blessing. Furthermore, the one weekend open to me was the weekend prior to me going to Texas for Stephani's wedding. And some time previous to my heavily deliberating I had gotten myself enrolled into a scuba diving class that started on Monday and went through to the Sunday. However, it turned out that the folks teaching the class were very flexible and were willing to let me start the class, cut out when I needed to, and then catch up with another class later on and finish up then. So that is what I decided to do.
It was a long week. The classes started at 1800, just after I could escape from work, lasted until at least 2200, which put me at actually getting to bed about 2300 or so. Sometimes later because I had not read the instruction manual for the class like I was suppose to and was therefore squeezing that in as I could. And I had to be at work at about 0550. So I was a little worn out.
I had already written Jeff and Leabeth an email (I wanted to send them a letter in the mail but I somehow find it very hard to put a letter in an envelope, address it, put a stamp on it and drop it in a mail box, so email I used, eh). The intent of the letter was to give them some form of warning that, “hey, just to make sure you know, I'm-crazy-go-nuts-twitterpated-and-deeply-impressed-with-and-enjoy-to-no-end
-your-smoking-hot-to-the -point-of-incendiary-combustion-daughter.” That way when I arrived asking for permission to propose to Abigail it wouldn't be out of left field. So, letter written. They responded with basically, “duh, you'd be one of the world's greatest morons and mentally impaired individuals if you weren't feeling and thinking all that about Abigail.” They also said they looked forward to the next time I'd be in town so that they could get to know me better, and asked when that would be. “Funny that you mention that...,” I thought, and said, “because I'm actually wanting to come to town next weekend and could I talk with the two of you. And oh, by the way, would you please not tell Abigail that I'm coming in to town.”
So it was that I hopped on a plane and shot down to Texas right after work, getting into Dallas/Ft. Worth about 2300, getting a rental car by about midnight, linking up with one of my best friend's Zach, his new wife, my bro, his bro, and some other friends at a bar for a very brief visit. Zach was only visiting Texas and was about to leave for Iraq for a year-plus, so it was my last chance to see him before that. It was all-to-short an affair and not how I would have liked to done it, but it was all I was going to get. So then I headed to his brother's place for a few hours of sleep before getting up early enough to get into Nacogdoches in time to meet Jeff and Leabeth at our appointed time. Well, despite my sleep deprived and exhausted state, sleep was not surprisingly elusive. So I got up, slipped quietly out and headed for the Home of the Lumberjacks. I got in at about 7 or 8, crashed for an hour or two, got up, cleaned up, talked with my dear mum for a bit and headed into the lion's den.
When I arrived, the first thing Jeff asked me was, “well, is she worth all this trouble?”
“Yes, sir, she definitely is,” I responded.
So I told them I wasn't going to beat around the bush. I got right to it and told them that I loved Abigail, I like Abigail, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and that I wanted their permission and blessing to do so. They gave me both, shockingly. No baseball bats were brought to bear on my head or knee caps. No pointy objects. Though I'm sure that Jeff would have really liked to do so, he refrained, for which I am very grateful.
But as I said, they were incredibly wonderful to me and I got to hang out with them for a while, drinking coffee (one of the surest ways to my heart) and they even gave me a tour of the little run down church down the street from their house that Abigail would actually really like to be married in. Unfortunately it's state is not very good for weddings right now, but perhaps others will get to experience it's charm in the future, if money is put together to really fix it up.
And ironically enough, throughout the time with Jeff and Leabeth, our conversation ultimately lead me down a path that I don't think Jeff really wanted it to. I did not have the ring yet, and I was not even intending to let Abigail know I'd been in town, but why the heck should I wait to propose a WHOLE WEEK! That would be unbearable! So I decided to bump up the proposal to that very day.
I must take a moment to give some serious credit to Anna, Abigail's sister. She had been my mole, giving me information on what kind of ring Abigail would want, how to contact Jeff and Leabeth, what I might want to say to them, when they would be available, etc. Without her assistance, it would have all been much harder to pull off. That being said, you know from Abigail's side of story her further involvement in the events that followed.
So when I showed up at Abigail's apartment after calling her and telling her I was coming over (to her surprise, as you know), she was happy to see me, but not aware of my intentions. I didn't have the ring yet, a small detail that I knew she wouldn't hold against me. But I did know how I wanted to propose to her.
So I asked her to sit down and read to her from John 13, the account of Jesus's last Passover with His disciples and how He washed their feet. He took the role of the slave and servant, elevating them above Himself, to their shock. And I read to her from Ephesians 5, where Paul talks about how Christ loved the Church by laying down His life for us and how must do the same for His wife. And that wives are to subject themselves to their husbands as we the Church subject ourselves to Christ. Then I washed her feet. Finally, I told her that I loved her and wanted to share whatever God had in store for both of us together, and asked her to marry me. And she said yes! Wooohooo!
Labels: Most Blessed of Men