Matt and I met almost six years ago at church. I am the second oldest of nine and Matt is the oldest of ten. Neither of us had ever had a boyfriend or girlfriend and both of us have had the strong conviction of saving our first kiss for our future spouses on our wedding day. Our families had a lot in common so, naturally, we spent a lot of time together. We are alike in many ways and became best friends almost immediately. The more we hanged out (actually dated with a chaperone), the more our feelings for each other blossomed. I’m a little older than Matt and we both agreed that we would wait until he turned 18 before we considered dating. Soon after his 18th birthday, on April 14, 2016, he secretly invited my mom and dad to our neighborhood park to ask for my hand in marriage. He also let them know that he got a second job in order to earn one of the most coveted venues, Ashton Gardens, for me. I suspect he did this also because at that time, my dad was laid off and wouldn’t have the funds to pay for such an exclusive venue. But that’s my Matt, my hero. This valiant act reminds me of Jacob in one of my favorite Bible stories where, in Genesis 19:20, “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.”
Two months later, on June 10, 2016, Matt took me to the Market Street Waterway in The Woodlands to have lunch. Unbeknownst to me, he had pre-arranged a picnic scene on the grass, complete with sparkling cider and wine glasses, our favorite foods (gummy worms, chocolate, and my favorite mango drink), an IPad that played a video of our love story, and a mushy love poem.What he didn’t tell me was that both our families (all 23 of us!) were hiding in the trees, waiting to come out as soon as he flashed my custom-made engagement ring and popped the question. … and so he did. We hugged, lost our balance and fell on the grass, and out came our families cheering and applauding like that scene on Sesame Street with a million kids, minus Big Bird. It was the best day of my life! Because he is a hopeless romantic and I love how charming he is, we set our wedding day on our two-year dating anniversary – July 5, 2017 at Ashton Gardens.
I’ve always dreamed of that day with my prince charming. We are each our first loves and he knows me more than I know myself. I can ‘t wait for that day when all the symbols of a Christian wedding – a white dress for purity, the never-ending ring for eternal love, and the pledging our love in the sight of God and our families and friends – will be as true as the oneness of our hearts.