...I suppose I've held you all in suspense long enough.
So, I had a ring and a date before Michael even proposed. Michael gave me a promise ring that Christmas- a ring that meant he intended to date me with the intent of marrying me, and that he was serious and not just "dating around." As to the date, with Michael going to different churches to present his ministry and try to gain support to go to the country of Georgia, his schedule was pretty booked. He wanted to make sure he scheduled time in for a wedding and honeymoon so we wouldn't have to wait for a year or two.
To make a long story shorter, I'll skip to February.
When I arrived, Michael said he was needing to schedule our work at BIMI and wanted to know if such-and-such days would work. Then he asked if we could go on one nice date while I was there. (That's usually the terminology he uses when he wants me to be in a nice dress.) He then asked if I would like to go for a walk down by the river one day as well, and I said that would be great. Thursday? Okay.
Thursday before Valentine's day, as we're getting in the car with his mom to go to the river, Michael tells me that this date is special, as my dad had given him permission to take me on a date in a public, well populated place, without a chaperon. So, instead of going with us, his mom just dropped us up and told us to call when we were ready to go home.
It was cold, wet, and ugly out, but it was a lovely walk. Michael kept apologizing for the weather and telling me how much nicer it would be if I could see Chattanooga in spring when all the trees were budding and the flowers were blooming. I like water, and taking a walk by the water is always enjoyable, no matter the weather. Really, I was walking with Michael, without a chaperon, and it wouldn't have mattered the weather or location.
After a walk along the water and the bridge, we went inside a coffee shop to warm up. Michael got me a chair, and brought my coffee, and stirred in the milk and coffee for me. (Awww... isn't that sweet?) Though Michael is typically very sweet, I thought that he was acting a little more watchful, careful; more syrupy than usual. He then said we could warm up again later if we wanted, but there was a garden outside that I just had to see.
Michael is not usually quite that expressively forceful, and I thought, I guess this must be some garden. It didn't cross my mind that it was winter. We walked through the garden, which had some unique metalwork statues and such, and then we got to a water fountain. It had been designed so that it looked like a mini waterfall, and as I admired it, Michael asked if it would be too cold to sit on the rock ledge. No, I didn't think it would be. I sat down, but Michael knelt in front of me on both knees and said...
"Can I ask you a question?"
Yes, of course, I replied.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. "Will you marry me?" "YES!" I answered. Michael put the ring on my finger, kissed my hand, and helped me up. We walked around the garden some more, hand in hand, as he told me about his love for me and quoted verses to me. We warmed up some and went to dinner.
It was fantastic. Michael had reserved us a table (with candles) at a nice restaurant, right in front of a fireplace. It was early in the evening, and we had the place basically to ourselves, besides the waiter standing in the corner of the room. We talked a couple of hours away. The food was delicious. When it was time to go, Michael called his mom. She picked us up to go home. When we go to the house, Michael delayed a moment, went to his car, and brought me back some flowers. (Awww.... isn't that sweet?) Then we told his family, and they all cheered. Quite literally.
I hope I don't ever forget that evening. It was beautiful. Indeed, God makes all things beautiful in His time.
And that's our story. I hope you enjoyed it!