First off let me say the Ben completely and utterly surprised me. I had no idea this was coming. None. I knew Ben was thinking about proposing and that this summer was the “make it or break it” summer for him. We had also talked a little bit about engagement this summer, but I was convinced that the soonest Ben would propose would be Christmas break. And since I had until December to get everything about marrying Ben all worked out in my head, I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking or praying about it. I didn’t want to focus so much on marriage that I didn’t enjoy dating Ben. You need to know these things in order to understand…
The whole ride over Ben was acting really weird which was making me really grumpy. When we got to the park I noticed this blanket in the back of his car and asked him what that was for, he said the trunk was dirty and he wanted it to look nicer; I totally didn’t buy that lie and kept bugging him about it. Finally, exasperated with my persistence, he said “there are flowers under it. I was going to surprise you with them when we left.” Which was the truth, but I didn’t believe that either. I am such a trusting person.
We walked to the butterfly house and we passed this little arbor that was really pretty. I told Ben that we should get pictures there and he suggested we come back. So we walked around the butterfly house and Ben kept getting frustrated with how many pictures I wanted to take of the butterflies which I didn’t understand because, pictures, Hello!, that’s why we came.
After a little while Ben started to play with my hair and started to sing me “Have I told you lately that I love” and that’s when I knew he was going to propose. See we hadn’t told each other we loved each other or shared our first kiss at this point. We had decided back when we started dating that we would save those for engagement if we ever got to that point.
So Ben sang the song and then got on one knee, pulled out the ring and said, “Andi will you marry me?”
And I started crying and said, “I don’t know.”
Yep. I said I don’t know. To the man whom I loved and had just asked me to marry him.
Ben just froze and said “Really?” And I cried harder and said, “I really don’t know.” I hated what I was doing to him. Hated it. I felt like dirt. You aren’t supposed to feel like dirt when you are proposed to. You are supposed to feel loved and happy. But there I was ruining both Ben and I’s proposal.
We moved to a more private place and I explained why I couldn’t give him an answer. My relationship with God hadn’t been the greatest in the last couple weeks and I knew there was unconfessed sin in my life and there were areas of my life that I wasn’t surrendering to God. There was no way that I was in a place in my life that I could make a big commitment like “yes I will marry you.” And Ben got hurt because I wasn’t right with God.
While we were talking it started to rain, which was fitting, I felt on the outside what I felt on the inside. Ben was so great through all of this. He agreed that I couldn’t make a decision like this without praying through things. He told me that he respected me for it and that we would work through this. I asked for a week to give him an answer.
Then we headed back to my apartment. He gave me the flowers he had under the blanket and dropped me off at my apartment that was filled with pictures of us. Amberly had put them up while we were gone. As soon as he left I just sobbed. I knew that I had already committed to God that He would be first in my life and He is relentless in His love for His children. I couldn’t commit to Ben when I wasn’t keeping my commitment to God. I couldn’t hurt Ben like that.
So God and I talked and I cried and confessed and surrendered. And I knew that no matter what happened He would always be there for me. I may have messed this up – but God still loved me extravagantly. During this time I also talked with my parents and Amberly and after a while I had a peace about all this and I could give Ben an answer. I could finally say YES! When I told my Dad I was going to go back and talk with Ben he said “Now, you be NICE to Ben because you have not been nice to him today.”
When I got to Ben’s it had been 3 hours since he had proposed to me. We sat down and I started explaining what had happened in those three hours and he wouldn’t look at me. When I asked him why he told me it hurt too much. I felt like dirt again. I don’t ever want to hurt Ben like that again. I finally got to the part about how I knew this peace was from God and something in Ben clicked and he knew it too. At that point he hugged me, told me he loved me and kissed me for the first time. And then he went and got the ring and proposed a SECOND time. I know. He must really mean it. And this time I answered “Yes, with all my heart YES!”
It was after this second proposal that we got to finish everything that he had planned for us. We danced to a CD he made for me. We finished the puzzle of us that he had made (he was giving me a puzzle piece a day up until this point) and we discussed all the pictures in my apartment about the different times in our relationship.
The rollercoaster was slowing down. We were engaged. I was happy and excited and it all felt so surreal. I couldn’t believe that I was going to really marry this wonderful, godly guy that could make me laugh and I felt so comfortable around.
And then that night I started to get sick and the rollercoaster started all over again…..