Monday, April 5, 2010

Dear Hope.

IF you haven’t read part one of this apparently “never-ending-story” – check it out and then continue reading here.

Saturday was a blur of speaking, shopping, family time and a few intermittent texts from David. At one point my mom, dad, sister and I were sitting out on the back porch and my mom asked when I thought David might “have his ducks in a row.” As far as I knew, he had yet to speak to my dad or to even purchase a ring. I was about to change the subject when my sister lamented that she had to return to work. I was indignant. She had already spent her Saturday morning working. For goodness sakes - her boss was a personal friend. Didn’t he know that she had a family in town? Little did I know – but almost all of my interaction with my family that day was a COMPLETE AND BOLD-FACED LIE.

After dinner I went back up to speak at the girl's conference again and then rushed home to be able to catch David on the phone before he was to go out with the guys in Phoenix. We had about a 15-minute conversation and I hung up feeling frustrated that we hadn’t had time to speak at length in almost two days. Confession: I not only cried when I got off the phone, but I also thought to myself, “If you were really using your time well you could be getting your DUCKS IN A ROW!!” Of course, what I didn’t know (catching a theme here?) was that he was about 5 miles down the road watching NCAA basketball on his hotel tv and trying to gear up for the next day. The ducks were all in a perfect row.

My text from him just before I went to sleep read: “Night babe. Hope tomorrow is perfect for you. Xoxo.”

I crawled into bed and tried to get some sleep.

Sunday morning I jumped up and got ready to give my final talk. My mom, grandmother, and sister had all said they wanted to come with me. Around 9:10am Val text to say that she had overslept and would be meeting up with us at camp. Not a problem. I shared with the girls, had a great time speaking with several of them afterwards, and then turned around to find my family and head home to celebrate over lunch. I could only locate my sister. She claimed that my mother and grandmother had traveled to one of the other camps to see a scenic overlook and that we were to go and meet them there.

I really didn’t give any of this a second thought. I rode with her and only asked a few questions along the way. She was smart enough to distract me with music that I would sing along to. We took the long rode to a beautiful point overlooking Lake Palestine. As we drew near, it became apparent that my mom and grandmother were nowhere to be found. Val said we would merely turn around but then she slowed and pointed to a tree stump in the middle of the clearing. It was holding a small bag. She quickly said, “I think that’s for you.” I got out of the car with a sheepish grin on my face. David had sent a sweet card with me on my trip over Thanksgiving, so I assumed he had mailed something to Texas for me to have during our six days apart. I opened the bag and found a copy of “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken. This book is one of my absolute favorites and is actually one of the main reasons I was interested in David in the first place. He had listed that it was one of the last books he had read right before we met. I couldn’t believe I had found a guy who had not only READ this book, but had enjoyed it as much as I did.

So, I open the book and in it I find a folded piece of paper that reads:

I turned to Valerie and said, “You’re ridiculous.” Because clearly, that’s an appropriate response. At this point Val said something about me needing to stay by myself and read for a while. She then pulled the car door shut and drove off, leaving me in the clearing all alone.

I slowly sank down onto the stump breathing deeply. The pervading thought was, “Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. This is about to happen. He is here. He is here somewhere. He is in Texas. He is at camp! HE IS HERE!” I’m not sure how long I sat there as the tears began to pool in my eyes. And all of a sudden... I heard him. He was about 40 feet behind me and he gently called out, “Hey.”

Dumbfounded I turned around and stood with my mouth hanging open. He later told me that he had expected me to scream and run to him excitedly. I think I was just in shock. He had completely surprised and overwhelmed me. He finally asked, “Can I have a hug?” I walked forward to help close the distance and clung to the arms of this man I have come to love so deeply. He said lovely and wonderful things and I laughed and cried through it – all the while sporting a giant grin on my face. He knelt and then he asked if I would do life with him and if I would be his wife. The answer was of course, yes.

One week later and I am still in shock. I am humbled by the grace of my Father in Heaven who has seen fit to give this doubting heart such joy and abundance. I am thankful for my dear and wonderful family who have cheered me on through this journey. I am blessed by friends all over the country who have faithfully prayed for this desire of my heart.

I am filled to the brim.

I love this man.
I love this man.
I love this man.

I will spend the rest of this life in awe of the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead. I will serve Him by loving this man. This chapter is just beginning.

Dear hope: thanks for holding on.


Megan Bates said...

Watching your longings be fulfilled is nothing less than beautiful! I can't wait to see what the next chapter in your life holds!

dc said...

I bawled like a baby. Well done, y'all. Isn't love incredible?

Hilary said...

So happy for you Ginger! (Wayne proposed with a book too...I just though we were nerds, but maybe not!) I'm so excited to hear about what God will do with and through you all.

Carey and Eric said...

Tears! What a perfect day for the both of you.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know you, and I cried! I connected to your story through a link on my daughter-in-law Dani's blog. Congratulations and all the happiness in the world to you both!

shannonmichaelis said...

You should be a writer someday. :-) Love the play by play!

Jayna said...

Crying like a baby, Ginger! What a sweet and AMAZING story. Thanks for sharing. I'm excited to hear what God has in store for your lives together :)
ps...I love "A Severe Mercy" too...GREAT book!

Austin and Ashley Evans said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! I read this with tears in my eyes. You deserve minute!

laceface said...

linked over here from your post yesterday and now I'm BAWLING in the middle of Panera.

seriously trying to keep the ugly cry inside. but it's not working. yikes.

thanks for sharing!!!