It seems ever since seeing my sins of disrespect and idolatry in such clear light over a year ago, and the work the Lord has done in my husband, that suddenly we’re learning all sorts of new things about each other that we never really knew before.
I have to chalk it up to our incredibly changing ability to communicate. We are so far from flawless at this, in fact, a week ago…. I was completely unable to share my feelings without heated emotion. And heated emotion for me means saying things in a really mean way. And when that happens, I run face first into a husband that stone walls, and pulls back just when I need him to move closer to me.
Was it the same type of interaction from years back? No. Thank the good Lord! And after getting some rest, we resolved things quickly the next morning and let it go, which is so unlike our past patterns.
However, those occasions are much more few and far between than ever before and our good communication is increasing daily. And last night was one of those, unplanned, unprompted, just sitting together and chatting moments where I ended up shocked and blown away by what I was learning about my man.
You see, I have no idea what day we got engaged. Why? Well, I don’t really want to write the truth down because now that I *SEE* the whole picture, I don’t like my part in the story that much…. but I didn’t see the whole picture before (which I think most of us don’t most of the time, even if we attempt to see it) so… I’ll tell you the truth.
I woke up that day and went to my then boyfriend’s (now husband) apartment. Shortly after being there, he got a phone call. I didn’t think much of the call at first. However, we were going to spend the day together and all the sudden, his sister wanted me to go shopping with her and he wanted to do some errands and pay bills. This was truly bizarre. Not the shopping with his sister part, we had done that plenty of times together. But the “wanting to go pay bills, seeming like he wanted to go alone, and encouraging me to spend time with his sister instead of him???” yeah that, that was not normal.
I pushed a little about why I couldn’t just go pay bills with him, but then I just went with it. It didn’t matter – I didn’t mind going shopping with his sister.
So, we went shopping. And after more than enough time of being out, we went to their parents house to wait for Josh. Apparently he had taken his Dad with him to run errands. Ok, this was a DEAD GIVE AWAY. Looking back, his sister should have found more stuff for us to do. I knew right then that he had went to get an engagement ring.
But, as excited as I was about that, I was getting really angry that he was gone all day — because we had plans that night with other people, and the fact that he was STILL gone, after HOURS of being gone and we were going to be very late for our plans - if we made it at all.
And I was stuck with his family, without a vehicle to leave, and this was before we had cell phones so I had zero communication with him all day about this situation.
So, he finally gets back, and we leave his parents house and swing by his apartment on our way to meet up with our friends to grab some things and in the middle of the kitchen, while I’m CLEARLY in a frustrated mood, he reaches beside my cheek and says, “I bought you something.” To which I say, “Oh?” To which he shows me the ring. And not just any ring — a gold ring — (I had told him no matter what kind of ring he got me one day, I only had ONE RULE — it could NOT be gold. It HAD to be white gold.)
Yep — it was a gold ring.
He didn’t ask my dad’s blessing, he didn’t get down on one knee, there was no romantic setting, he asked me when I was clearly in a terrible mood, and when I looked at the ring — it was gold. ((To his credit, he told me immediately that he’d been gone all day because the ring was totally screwed up and he was having major problems at the jewelry store and that it was not going to stay gold, but we had to take it back to get it fixed. Which ended up being weeks of engagement ring nightmare!!!))
It was NOT the way I would do it at all — I felt incredibly disappointed and let down.
Did I say yes? Of course I did. I loved him and I wanted to marry him, I just hated the approach and the day. So, because it wasn’t some special event in my mind, I never wrote the date down or made a big deal of it.
It seemed more fitting just to tell the first part of the story — on our first date we talked about marriage because we both knew immediately this was it. So I always tell people that I have on idea the date we got engaged because it didn’t matter at all — I knew on our first date he was the one. Which is true.
Last night however I heard this story in a different way.
He went to buy the ring, and was incredibly angry that it was wrong. He sat there waiting for hours for it to be corrected, and it still wasn’t right. But, he wanted to ask me so badly, he couldn’t wait. And in his mind, he had planned out this big surprise. He didn’t want to do the cliché, predictable, and obvious proposal that everyone does. In his mind, he imagined telling me he bought me something, and then pulling out a ring and me screaming in surprise and excitement.
That didn’t happen. He didn’t realize I already had it all figured out. That I was upset. That I would have rather waited until the ring was right to get it than get it and have to get it fixed.
Looking back now after hearing him share that he wasn’t an unromantic, unprepared and uncaring man — and hearing that he was too excited to wait and was trying to plan something atypical for me makes me disappointed that I couldn’t appreciate that the day he proposed.
As I laid in bed trying to fall asleep last night, I kept thinking — how many times have I seen my emotions, thoughts and situations so clearly, and thought I was seeing his side or trying to dissect what he *must have been* thinking, feeling or doing — and had it all wrong?
Why have I always been so willing to take things at face value instead of give him the benefit of the doubt?
And just as the conversation was nearing an end he said, “It was April 2nd.”
WWHHHAATTTT???!!! You knew? All these years, you knew? My supposedly unromantic, unprepared and without a plan (in my head) proposal was actually in his mind going to be romantic, planned out, and so prepared and special that 12 years later, even though I had no clue — he knew the date. April 2nd, 2002.
Wow. Talk about romantic. My heart melted last night. I can’t believe he knew. I am so blown away.
He said something to me recently and he’s so right. I always have incredible amounts of mercy for every single person in my life, except him. Not that I never show him grace or mercy — but not first, fully and faithfully.
What situation can you look back on with anger, disappointment, sadness, bitterness — whatever negative feeling you have — and revisit today?
Maybe there are just a few details to that story that you need to hear today, or have heard but didn’t really fully grasp because your own feelings were in the way, and today would be a good day for a new perspective. Talk it out — you might be surprised what you learn.