Saturday, June 16, 2012

E is for Engagement

Friday, June 8, 2012 was a beautiful day outside. I woke up that morning with excitement in my heart as all week, my sweetie was talking about his plans he had for me as it was my birthday weekend. Although it wasn't our date which caused this excitement, I hadn't seen him in ten days, and the anticipation to be in his arms had been eating me up. When I finally did see him, I nearly tackled him as I was so excited to feel his touch, to feel his lips on mine, and to smell his neck which was lightly scented with Polo Black. Oh, to love and to be loved, it is a magical feeling!

After getting settled in the vehicle, he picked up some food, and we ended up at Freedom Park here in our town. Oddly enough, I've been here in this town for almost three years now and not once have I been to the park, other than driving in the lot to turn around and come back out. We situated ourselves under a tree at a picnic table and enjoyed our meal as we talked about missing one another. His phone rang in the middle of the meal and I heard him telling his father he couldn't talk right now as there were ears around, so I'm thinking, okay, he's got secrets. I let it go and thought nothing else of it however.

Once we finished our meal, we walked around a bit, talked, he laughed as I jumped from spiders and fought off sweat gnats, but holding hands and a few snuggles made us feel as if we were in the clouds. It was such a lovely day to be outside with him, hearing the children scream from the ballpark and swings squeaking from the little ones on the playground as they laughed and screamed in delight. Little did he know, my heart was exploding in joy the same as those children on the swings because being with him brings that out in me.

If you're following my blog, I'll admit to you, I've never felt this in my life. I've had what I thought was love, I've been married before, and I've dated plenty but no man has ever swept me off my feet and kept me off them in all my thirty-eight years. As you recall, a recent mention in my "Changes" blog, you'll remember me speaking of God bringing me to my new town for someone special? Well, it's true. Let me give you this story...

When I was on the highway, coming to NC, I prayed a lot over those 500 miles and talked with my daughter as well. In conversation, my daughter and I talked about what our new life would be like and how I wasn't going to be dating once we settled down, but that it would be the two of us planting new roots in our new town. She was still asking questions about what her new life would be like, how school would be if she chose to go as we were homeschooling, etc... I told her I felt it would be best for her to go to school in order to make friends and not be excluded as she didn't know anyone. 

Also, on those 500 miles of highway, I forgave myself for the lifestyle I had lived in for several years after I had split up with my ex-husband and then asked God to forgive me as well. God and I had a long conversation on the way to NC, but I stepped foot in my new yard with peace in my heart. As a matter of fact, those first couple of weeks, it was my daughter and myself, learning our way to Walmart and to the grocery store. It was scary venturing out the first couple of times, but we figured it out rather quickly.

Amid our explorations, I was working from new home with a new call center job I had acquired right after I got to NC, and chatting online via Facebook as well as I changed my zip code to match my new town and immediately, on Tagged, I began receiving friend requests from local men. Mind you, I wasn't here to meet a man and declined all of them. Another day I had logged in, there were more requests, and again, I declined them... all but one. For some reason, one of them, I couldn't delete. I left it sitting there for a couple of days, then went back on the site and checked out the profile. Interesting how this man had a sense of humor, he was handsome, he enjoyed the same types of Gospel music I enjoyed, and he was a Godly man. I wasn't completely sold on accepting his request however, so I logged out.

The very next day, I logged back in and went back to his page. I listened to his playlist for a few moments and thought to myself rather I should email him or not. Finally, I did with a subject which simply said, "Hi neighbor". This simple email with a subject and two lines of saying hello and telling him I was new in town started off a major chain of emails. First they were short containing only a few lines, then into full paragraphs, and before you knew it, our emails blasted into page long conversations. This went on for a couple of days until he asked if we could speak on Yahoo Messenger... and so it started. He intrigued me, his morals were different yet amazing, and his conversations were serious at times, funny at others, and silly at other times and yet, each time a message would come through, I'd sit at the computer with a smile from one ear to the other.

Even though he and I were talking, I had also come in contact with a friend of mine who was living here in NC as well. He wanted to come visit and I saw no problem with him being here, so I allowed him to come over. He stayed a couple of days and the whole time he was here, I was unable to talk to my new friend online as we used the computer to watch movies and surf the internet. By the time he packed his bag out of the living room and headed back to where he came from, I was exhausted from not being able to talk with my new friend! The minute he was gone, I jumped on the computer to talk to him and my smile had returned.

At this time, I had also realized how much time and energy my new friend was taking up and let him know if we planned on meeting, then we needed to do so otherwise, I'm going to have to back off these notions of how we wanted to get together and see where things went. Up to this point, we hadn't talked on the phone either, but we decided we would meet up on a Thursday as he had other obligations. On Wednesday, we talked about being excited to hear one another's voices but he feared I wouldn't like him because he stuttered. I told him I wasn't concerned about his stutter as I know too well about stuttering as I grew up with a stutter and still at times, stutter to this day, so it wasn't going to bother me.

We had our first conversation the night before we met and he wasn't lying about stuttering because the first couple of hours, I wasn't sure he'd be able to get through the conversation! However, the more we talked, the more he was able to talk and we stayed on the phone for nearly seven hours. The next day, I worked as usual, he went to school as usual, and then it was time. Butterflies danced in my belly with excitement of how I'd finally get to meet the man behind the screen. If you've ever danced on a cloud, then you will know how I felt the first night of meeting him. We joked how we would give each other a big bear hug when we met in person and that we did. His hug felt amazing where I almost didn't want to let go of him, but then we sat and talked. I'll admit, I was completely mesmerized by him, in awe of his handsomeness, loved how his silky voice melted me, and to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd come off that cloud.

Apparently, I hadn't. I'm still on that cloud two years and ten months later. Everything hasn't been perfect, we have crossed quite a few hurdles thrown in our way or even hurdles which were purposely encountered. There's been a lot of laughter, moments of joy, and a few tears of sadness and heartbreak, but when you realize you're meant to be with someone, you work through your obstacles and build from it yet you set boundaries and expectations on what you will and will not deal with. From the beginning, it was made known I wouldn't deal with drama, cheating, lies, or ex-girlfriends just as he wasn't one to deal with drama, cheating, or a couple of other unacceptable fouls. After going through storms together and growing stronger through them, we realized just how much in love we were with one another and began to talk about the what-ifs regarding our future and being together eternally.

There are a few things which made me understand my move to NC much better as time went on in this relationship. You may recall my saying that I had a whisper in my ear which told me I was moving to NC. I didn't plan this move here nor did I ever see myself living so far from home, but I'm here and thankful I am. I didn't know my sweetie when I first moved here as I met him almost a month after I got here, but he has told me several times how he spent five years praying to God to send him an angel. Does it all make sense to you now? God brought his angel to him, one which came 500 miles from her life to be placed in his life.

Now that you have a background, back to this perfect Friday evening. We had walked and we had talked. He hugged me up and told me how much he loved me and how he had spent all his life searching for his missing rib and now he felt whole that he had me in his life. He brings tears to my eyes when he talks to me like that, as a matter of fact, I get so filled with emotion at times when we talk about our lives together or how much we love one another! We sat down on the picnic tables and prepared to watch the sunset, then we started talking again. He kept telling me how much he loved me and then reached into his pocket. My first thought was he was getting the keys so we could leave, I looked away for a moment to see the position of the sun, but when I turned around, he said, "Tonya, will you marry me". 

My emotions are crazy at times and I started laughing and choking back the tears, I grabbed a hole of him and hugged him, saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" repeatedly and said, "It's really real now, isn't it?" And cried my eyes out. When he put the ring on my finger, I cried even harder, saying yes yes over and over, telling him I love him, etc... I sat back to look at him and said to him how when we first met, neither of us wanted marriage in our future, then said to him, "God sure has a way of changing our minds, doesn't it?" and he said, "Our plans aren't always what God wants". Amen to that!

We had talked about marriage back in November, even talked about getting married in March, but after a few months of talk, I had slipped it to the back of my mind as I didn't know if he were just talking or being serious. With a ring on my finger, I know it's real now. We'll hopefully get to talk to the pastor tomorrow about setting the date in stone, but if all goes well, we desire to marry on March 16, 2013.

And here is the beautiful ring in a picture. I can't stop looking at it, sometimes I look at it and just cry all over again. It's beautiful, it's like the kiss of Jesus on my hand! I'm so grateful to God for bringing me so far away and look forward to my future with my sweetheart.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

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