Monday, June 8, 2009

The Proposal

The Proposal, June 5, 2009

At 10:30am, this beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to my office with a note that read "Looking forward to the rest of our lives. -You know who"

At noon-ish, I met Paul for lunch in my apartment and we made sandwiches. He was expecting me to come home for lunch saying that my boss had excused me for the afternoon. Well, my boss never got the message, so I never got the message, and I went back to work!

Poor Paul was ready to propose and I went back to the office.

I finally came home around 4ish, and Paul told me he wanted to take me to Owen Park, which I recognized as the Rose Garden. After a little delaying on my part (I was trying to figure out if this was it or not!), we walked outside to my car. I figured he wouldn't make me drive to my own proposal, so I was really thrown off at this point.

We wandered through the maze of roses, and ended up inside a gazebo where a basket full of goodies was neatly displayed.

The card inside conveniently had my name on it, that said:
"Elizabeth, I've been waiting and praying a long time to say these words to you. I love you." This was the first time he had expressed his love for me.

I read the card over and over again and said "This is it!" out loud. I knew that when Paul told me he loved me, there would be commitment behind it. I gave Paul a huge hug, and I could hear and feel his heart beating abnormally fast. It really was beating INCREDIBLY fast!

He had to gently nudge me back so I'd let go of the bear hug so he could get down on one knee. He told me again that he loved me and then asked if I'd marry him.

Of course I said "YES!"

We sat on a bench outside of the gazebo and shared a glass of wine, cheese & crackers, and stories of the last few months and how we both knew "this was it."

As we were sitting on the bench, a live band had moved into the gazebo behind us and started singing love songs! I recognized them as well-known artists in Eugene because they had led worship at my church a few times. Another surprising detail of a very special day!

This is our first photo together as an engaged couple:

Because Paul thought I was getting the afternoon off, he had placed the basket in the gazebo 5 hours prior. He met a woman in the rose garden who was wearing a cross necklace and gave him the "I'm a Christian" look. He approached her, found out that she was, indeed, a Christian, and asked her to pray a prayer of protection over the things he was leaving in the gazebo since he wasn't sure when he'd be back to the garden with me. The lady expressed some concern over the unattended items because a lot of transients wander through the park. Then they prayed together! This is where he met the Christian lady:

Later that evening, we attended a Hawaiian themed dinner at Kirsten's house (pre-arranged plans) and we decided to show up wearing matching Hawaiian shirts and be "thaaat couple." It was a fun way to celebrate with friends and be goofy.


I accompanied Paul to Longview Saturday evening so I could be at church Sunday morning when he preached. He gave an amazing sermon based on Proverbs 16 -- man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps. To close the service, Paul talked about how this verse has meant a lot to him ... and how he had been in Eugene for the weekend and had asked me to marry him. At that point, he called me up on stage (in front of a few hundred people) and people cheered and clapped and screamed. Several people even cried out of utter joy!!! They commented to us over and over again how happy they are for us, and how they'd been praying for Paul for 6 years, ever since he started pastoring at the church. I was warmly welcomed into the church family and several people even told me they knew I was 'the one' when they met me at camp last July - before Paul and I even started dating!

It was a very special moment to share with his church, especially since I'll be relocating to Longview once we're married... in about 3 months! :)

My beautiful engagement ring:

My handsome fiance: :)