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and I said yes.

24 October 2011

I just had the best weekend of my life.

Most of you know by now that David asked me to marry him. For those of you who do, and those of you don’t, this is what happened from my point of view. For David’s point of view, you can visit his site and read it here.

One of the first things we ever talked about when we met was about going on adventures and things that we love. Somewhere in there, we both expressed a love of the beauty of God’s creation, including – specifically – sunsets. So for months now, we have been trying to figure out a way to get to Lake Michigan to see a sunset on the lake. We even came up with this crazy idea to go to Lake Huron and watch the sunrise and then drive over to the other side of the state for the sunset. …. All in one day. But, we haven’t built up the stamina or courage to try that yet. (Soon, hopefully.) Anyway, one day we were at his parents’ house just talking about how busy we are going to be until after Christmas and longing together for a day just for us. We looked at the calendar on the wall and David said, “Let’s go to Grand Haven on the 22nd.” And that was it. Plans completed. Grand Haven on the 22nd. … We didn’t solidify any other plans until a few days before.

We had briefly toyed with the idea of staying at my cousins’ out in Lowell the night before so we could get out to Grand Haven earlier in the day. I called the Thursday before and asked aunt Patti if that was alright and she gave me the a-okay. Somewhere in there, David made some plans for the day. The next day, we were getting kind of excited. And then David texted me and said, “Hey, sorry – I just found out I might need to work later…” Surprisingly, this didn’t bother me at all. It has happened before… but everything has always worked out.

A few hours later, David and I got all our stuff together (plus a whole stack of brilliant CDs by Switchfoot, Relient K, and Jars of Clay for the ride) and hit the road. We stopped at Potbelly’s to grab some grub only to find that David had forgotten his wallet. I paid for our food and we headed back to the apartments to get it. While we were there, I made a mad dash around my room trying to find my iPod to no avail. A few minutes later, we got back in the car and hit the road. It was a nice drive. We got there and set around with my aunt Patti, cousins Brianne and Alannah and Brianne’s boyfriend Gabe. It was an evening full of laughter. … and butter. ? (Thanks, Alannah, for your delicious creation.) After some good conversation (and some that went completely over me and David’s heads), everyone went their own ways and went to bed.

The next morning, David and I both rose early and got ready for our day. After saying goodbye to the only other person awake – aunt Patti – we took off. David kept telling me I would know where we were going to eat breakfast as soon as I saw it. … This blew my mind because I mean how could you know where you are going to eat breakfast as soon as you see the place? I got kind of nervous and excited all at once. (Cool feeling, by the way.) I started pointing out anywhere that could have breakfast food – anything from random cafes to gas stations. David just laughed and said, ” No, Danike you will know. You will know.” And I did. When we passed “Morning Star Cafe” I knew. My name means the morning star. My heart swelled when I saw that place. God recently spoke to me about who I am and that I have been aptly named so the “morning star” has been fresh on my heart for a while. David knew that and when he saw this place, he knew that God put it there for us. And believe me, it was a beautiful start to the day. They had amazing food and they sent us on our way with FREE coffee and tazo tea!

Our next stop for the day was a small used bookstore near where we parked the car. For those of you who know me well, you know that  I love used bookstore browsing. David took me in there, and not only did he browse with me for a good while, he got me some books. We also had a wonderful conversation with the woman working. She was very kind. After our time there, David and I walked through Central Park… and discovered that it had been both the original cemetery site for the city AND a cattle grazing field? … We thought that was pretty funny. Actually. We found a lot of things funny. For the majority of the day, we were laughing and just enjoying every moment.

We went to a small museum where they had a few old bikes, model trains, and model boats and stuff. That was a cool place, too. Then, we walked down the boardwalk. (And after an amusing adventure to find a bathroom – in which we tried to go in to a Coast Guard bank? And decided that they don’t like civilian germs…) We went all the way down to a lighthouse. It was beautiful. And it is so encouraging to know that, while we couldn’t see Illinois (or Wisconsin?) on the other side of the Lake, God’s love for us is greater than the distance to opposite shore line and deeper than the deepest point in that lake. Next, we went on the beach and David something beautiful in the sand. It said, “And like the plentiful sand, my sin was washed away by waves of love.” =]

Next stop! Lunch. Oh my goodness. It was so good. We had some delicious soup and sauteed mushrooms. And the best root beer in the world. After that, we walked back to the car and went off to the Rosy Mound Natural Area. I took a brief “nap” and then we got all dressed up. Mind you, it was like 50 some degrees. Maaaaybe 60. And neither of us had dress shoes with us. So we started down the path barefoot. Wearing dress clothes and old winter coats. (and mine belongs in a barn.) After a few yards, we decided the ground was too cold and put our sneakers on. Believe me, we got a lot of weird looks. A mile and a half and a strange conversation with a passing couple later, we got to the beach and set up camp. David pulled out his guitar and played for a while. I took pictures. After a little while, David stood up and said, “Let’s go on a walk.” So we did. It was about five minutes long. After that, we went back to our stuff and sat back down.

He started playing guitar again. This time it was sweeter and his whole mood seemed different. It was really passionate and I started wondering “Is he going to ask me?” I had been thinking this to myself all day. “The only way today could get any better is if he were to ask me to marry him.” But, then, I always talked myself out of that thought because I didn’t want to get my hopes up and have them dashed across the sand. I didn’t want to be angry with him for something that isn’t his fault. But – he started singing. The last line of the song (that he wrote for me!) was “and I have just one more question for you.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out … wire cutters? He began cutting the wires of his guitar and I got so confused. He had told me months ago that he was going to start alllllmoooost asking me to marry him. “Is he actually going to ask me? What the heck is he doing?”  I asked him what was going on and he just looked at me all serious and said, “These strings are no good. They have to go.” Heart pounding in my chest, I asked again. He said the same thing. Years later (really only seconds), he reached into the body of the guitar and pulled out a ring box.

He stood up and pulled me to my feet. And then got down on his knees, took my purity ring off my finger, threw it on his coat (he says that he just tossed it, but I for some reason remember there being a little aggression in the toss), and asked me to marry him. I said oh my goodness a few times (more than a few times) and then said yes. And he slide the most beautiful ring I have seen onto my finger.

Something that really stands out to me about that whole day (especially the ending) is that I have been at a pretty intense fork in my road for a little while. And I wasn’t sure which path I was supposed to take. A week ago, I confessed to David that I was afraid that I would make the wrong decision. The words that came out of his mouth are words that will stay with me for the rest of my life: “Danike, if you choose not to do anything out of fear that you will mess up, you receive no grace. If you make a decision believing that it is what God wants you to do, even if it was the wrong choice, he will have grace with you.” So on Friday, I made a pretty big decision to take a leap of faith for God. And a few hours later God gave David a ring to put on my finger (read his post for more on that).

On the way back to the car, we heard cheering. Chaotic, euphoric, excited cheering… and David looked at me and said, “the angels are rejoicing.” It is true. They are.

David, I love you so much. You are the answer to years (literally) of prayer. Thank you for walking with me, even when it hasn’t been easy. Thank you for forgiving me when everyone else would have walked away. Thank you for loving me, for encouraging me, for pushing me and challenging me. You are the love of my life and now my fiance.

The angels are rejoicing – let’s go change this world for our heavenly Papa.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. April M permalink
    24 October 2011 16:21

    Such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kathy Moroney permalink
    24 October 2011 17:08

    Thank you for sharing your story. This is a great idea because everyone always wants to know how it happened. Finding love with someone who is also like a best friend is the best love to have as far as I am concerned. It looks like David is that “best friend” in your life. I wish you a life time of happiness. Hopefully we will get a chance to see each other before the year is over. Loving hugs!

    • 25 October 2011 12:24

      Thanks for reading this, Mrs. Moroney! David certainly is my best friend and I cannot express how excited I am to spend my life with him. =] We will be around for certain.

  3. Michelle Mazur permalink
    26 October 2011 21:35

    Hey, Danike. Congratulations!! Thanks for sharing your story. I can’t wait to meet your new fiancee at Thanksgiving.

    • 27 October 2011 08:59

      I can’t wait to introduce you to him! You will like him – he is a great man.

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