Taking up where I left off from part.one and part. two… after our visit of fun memories and seeing who could win at yahtzee and crazy eights… going out with friends, enjoying dark chocolate together…it was back to reality of living 1200 miles apart…he had two weeks left of work to wrap up there back in Maine, plus try to prep his house to sell. I too had typical life, work and getting ready to go as the girls counselor on the church youth trip to Tennessee. We found ourselves, yet again…counting down the days or might you say weeks until we’d see each other again on July 2nd. We finally decided it was time, to let the world know we were an “item”. It’s kind of sad that this day in age so many measure a relationship off of Facebook, but lets face it, it is the day in age we live in to keep in touch with our family, friends and acquaintances. Although all of our family and very close friends knew, we were kind of anxious to tell the world!!!
During this month of June, the Lord continued to show us Him working in our lives with big to small things…and usually it was the small things that excited us the most! As the time unfolded, we had more questions but more answers were coming to light and we knew that…yeh well we wanted to get married. We leisurely started talking and tossing around thoughts. Although at the same time it was something that should be talked about face to face…I couldn’t agree more with him…it really needed to be. At the same time there were jobs coming up that I needed to know if I should take on or wait or decline or whatever…so here we found ourselves talking about it again!!! One night he finally told me…well you know what, there are just a few things I need to get in order before we really talk about this again. So I just patiently waited until he brought it up again…one of which I knew he had to ask my dad permission to marry me…other things I had no clue about!
Skype dates continued to fill every evening… for a couple of hours at a time…it seemed like we had become pros at counting down the days to seeing each other again…time seriously had clicked by so fast, even though some days it just doesn’t seem like it was. July finally got here and we [parents and I] were packing and prepping for our trip to Maine for 10 days. I knew this is when we would get engaged…I always thought it would be neat to get engaged there since it’s part of who he is, I remember praying one day…Lord I know it’s petty and really, I wouldn’t care where we got engaged but Maine would be really neat…then I dropped that conversation with God and continued on with life. It’s in these times I realize how much our heavenly Father loves me and cares about even the smallest of details in my life. We got to Maine on July 2nd. Bern met us at the airport and we had several stops to make while we were in Bangor before we headed to his small town. He had mentioned us dropping by his grandparents house on our way through to his town. I was excited to meet them, so I thought that was a grand idea. On our drive from Bangor to Lincoln, ME we were chatting…we got off of the exit and he got quiet, but I didn’t think much of that…this is Bern and I know when he’s quiet he’s either listening or thinking…conversation picked up again as I asked questions about what we were going by etc. It was fun finally seeing so much of what he had been talking about the past six months!
As we pulled up to his grandparents house, I looked over at him and said why are you so nervous?!?! I think I surprised him by me knowing he was nervous…he just kind of shrugged and said “I don’t know it just hit me…” I was like, but seriously I should be the one nervous, this is your family, you shouldn’t be nervous!!!!! He just continued getting out of his truck, not really engaged in this conversation that I thought was kind of funny! As we walked in he just kind of opened the door and stood back, as for me to walk ahead of him…I was like hmmm that’s odd but- ok! So I walked in and met his grandparents and sister! He came behind my parents in the door…we had a good visit…it was late…I was tired from traveling all day. Just one of those days you’ve been up for what seems like forever…you feel gross because you’ve been in an airport and airplanes all day…hair a mess…make-up is worn off…you just want a shower and bed. Yeh…so one of those! As I was sitting next to his grandmother I could tell the conversation was wrapping up, it was getting late and we were about to leave. When Bern looks at me from across the room and says well before we go I need to take care of one more thing. My little tired brain just assumed he needed to do something for his grandparents…when in reality within a split second I was wondering why he was walking towards me…smiling from ear to ear…and I’m like, what? He gets on his knee and I can clearly remember him saying a few specific things…Erin I love you, Will you magnify the Lord with me and can we exalt His name together? will you let me be your husband and you be my wife? All while smiling from ear to ear I told him YES!!! I would be honored too…I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the ring he placed on my finger…it was perfect but more than that it’s just simply a reminder of our commitment to one another and love we have. To say the least I was absolutely SHOCKED that this happened on that Tuesday evening. As we left and got back in the truck, we both looked at each other just smiling and of course laughing about now I knew why he was so nervous walking in!!! We had a few minutes to just simply say, wow God has been so good to us! We stopped to get ice cream there in town and use their wi-fi (since I had no cell service!) to send a picture to my family back at home along with a few close friends. We made a few phone calls and were pretty much beyond ecstatic. Needless to say as tired as I was, I hardly slept that night!!! Everything was replaying in my head…from how we met, to when, to what God’s done for us, how much he has been worth the wait, to feeling of my ring under the pillow as I tried to fall asleep, to just sheer excitement that I was getting to marry my best friend and share life together. I couldn’t wait for the next 10 days, to be able to meet the rest of his family, see his life and world and of course just spend time together!!!!!!
As we were driving and doing things the next day…the topic came up from the night before. I had been wandering why he chose first the time and the place of engagement etc. I knew Bern well enough to KNOW without a doubt he had thought this through and it had meaning to his purpose of the time and place. There was no doubt in my mind it was something special. So he began to tell me his story…He first wanted to be able to introduce to me to everyone over the next 10 days as his fiancé! Secondly and more importantly he knew his grandparents would not be able to make the trip down for the wedding, so he wanted them to have a part and a memory of this special time in our lives! I couldn’t have been more thrilled with his choice and simplicity behind our engagement! We had an amazing ten days in Maine…meeting his family and spending time with them at the lake, celebrating the fourth of July together for the first time, meeting his church family, going on walks around the lake, enjoying paddle boat rides at sunset, eating lots of good food, sight-seeing in Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor, having an amazing lobster feast at his aunt and uncles and enjoying their hospitality, working on projects around his house for him to sell it, enjoying sitting on the dock at the lake in the mornings or evenings and just talking about life and dreams and goals and passions and sometimes just nothing, all of these memories are still so vivid in my mind and I cherish these memories! As we left Maine and flew back home, it was sad…it was hard…I felt like part of me was staying in Maine…but I knew for only about 10 days and then he would be moving down. That was hard in and of itself, because I knew there would be a lot of sadness on his end with leaving family and a good church family as he left, yet for me I was so excited…it was mixed emotions at times for me.
The Lord worked it out that we could get married on Labor Day weekend…and his school so graciously gave him the remaining four days of that week off for our honeymoon…we couldn’t have been more thrilled!!!!!!! The funny part…the very first time we talked about getting married…he mentioned the end of the summer which to him is Labor Day weekend…I simply laughed…ask him, I did. I tell him all the time, look you are getting your wish…and of course I couldn’t be happier myself!!!!! We have loved every second of preparing for the wedding and seeing how everything has fallen into place with all of the details so quickly! More though, we have loved being with each other and getting to know each other more each day which is the fun part and seeing our friendship grow, strengthen, deepen and mature. We know this will only get better with time as the Lord gives us valleys and mountain tops to experience together…not that we are fully prepared for what the Lord has for us, but we are ready. The prayers of our faithful family and friends over the years means so much to us and we know that’s why we are where we are today!!!!! God is so faithful to His promises for His children.
These next two weeks I the blog will be very quiet…as will my facebook page and iphone. I want to enjoy these weeks with our loved ones that are coming in town as well as leaving on our honeymoon and enjoying starting our new journey of life together as Mr. and Mrs. We couldn’t be more excited and more in love as we anticipate the next 7 days celebrating the single digits of being engaged leading up to our commitment to each other on August 31.
Stay tuned for a wedding post…coming oh-so-soon with the details of our special day! Thank you for all of your kind words through blog comments, Facebook messages and comments, text messages, emails, phone calls, cards and more! We are oh-so-blessed by each one of you and sharing in this exciting time of our lives!