**I thought the most perfect way to share our love and engagement story would be for you to hear it from my beloved Patrick who wrote every word of this and gave it to me as a love note years ago. So here it is from him, hope you enjoy his cute commentary.
“We met years ago. You had just gotten out of high school and I was already out of college, but still hangout out with the college group. I noticed your incredible personality and stunning beauty from day one. That’s what drew me to you, but also made me think, “no way do I have a chance with her!”
So we lived our respective lives for about two years, with both of our mothers telling us we should date. I finally devised a plan to at least have contact with you by trying to recruit you to be a VBS teacher in the summer of 2010. But you were busy and couldn’t do it, so that idea didn’t play out. Then one day I got a random facebook message from our mutual friend Jennifer. I had just taught her son in VBS and, although I’ve known them for years, seeing me every night of VBS week got her wheels turning in her head. When she asked if I was single and told me she thought the two of us would be good together, I almost completely dismissed the whole idea. There was no way in this world I thought you would ever go for me. But with a little prodding from Jennifer (and the Holy Spirit), I mustered enough courage to….SEND YOU A FACEBOOK MESSAGE! She had given me the perfect excuse to hang out with you: to help you take her kids to do something fun while you were babysitting them for a week. I figured it was harmless since I had just had her son in VBS and there was an obvious connection there.
I asked you and you said you would love to. But before we were ever able to even take the kids out, I saw you on a Wednesday night singing at Middle School Youth Group. After church, you and I went on that fateful trip to Starbucks, which sure made things a lot easier on me once we did take the kids out. When I finally got the guts, I bravely graduated from texting to calling (hah), and we finally went on our first date to Carrabba’s.
Weeks (which felt like an eternity to you) went by and we finally determined the relationship after the braves game. I liked you and wanted to keep pursuing you. Even more long weeks passed and we finally became official. I knew I loved you from day one, but the whole relationship thing was so new to me that I did not know what to expect. You and I consistently prayer (unbeknownst to each other at the time) that if the Lord wasn’t in it, that He would just close the door without any heartbreak. But He was in it, and He left the door wide open.
Seven months crept by and the busyness of life without a help mate was wearing me down, and the deepening of our relationship without a real commitment was stretching you thin. I knew I wanted to marry you, but I was scared to death that I wouldn’t ask you in just the perfect way. I finally asked your father’s permission in February and after grilling me and making me sweat for a little bit, he said yes.
I planned everything out to the last detail. It would happen on friday, March 11, 2011. I called your dad and asked him if I could buy “our swing” ( the one we put a lot of mileage on and had a lot of major milestones in our relationship on) and he graciously said…..”No.” Thankfully he followed that up with, “I don’t’ want to sell it to you. I want to give it to you.”
I stressed for days over how we would sneak the swing out of your yard and into mine. I also tried so hard to act nonchalant and say things to throw you off so you won’t think I was up to something. I planned a date for Friday night and acted like it was just a special date since we hadn’t seen each other for several days. I didn’t want to look too concerned about it, but at the same time I was on a strict time frame and wanted to make sure you were ready when I needed you to be.
At 5:00am that morning, Scott and I crept into your driveway and kidnapped the swing. I took it back to my house and set it up. With the help of Kerry, I was able to put some more romantic touches on it, like scattered rose petals and a single rose.
The whole day I was nervous as I could be. I worried that your hair appointment would take too long and that we wouldn’t make it back to my house until after sundown and the pictures Kerry was taking from inside the house wouldn’t turn out (I was right, they didn’t.) I worried that my nervousness would give it away. I worried about every detail except the answer I was going to receive. I knew you’d say yes, but I wanted the night to be perfect. So the whole day, I cleaned, prayed, tried to nap, tried to do some work, and prayed some more.
Finally, the time came to pick you up. When you got in my car, you were as stunning as ever and my nerves were supernaturally calmed. I was SO calm, that I could tell you had no idea what was going on. We went to Carrabbas, which is where we had our first date, and we ate a delicious meal- even though I scarfed mine down. I read you the letters that I had been writing you over the course of our relationship but never gave you. Those letters just showed how the Lord has been working on my heart and how His hand could be seen in all of the past seven months and even previous years as He prepared us and wrote our love story. We both cried as we were just overwhelmed with how incredible God is.
When we finished, I told you I needed to stop by my house to pick something up. The sun was setting fast, so I was swerving in and out of traffic. I do that on a regular basis anyway, so I didn’t think you would catch on. I remember you saying, “man, I don’t know how you’ll EVER top this date!” I thought, “if you only know, baby.” We got to my house and I told you I wanted to show you something in my backyard. You thought it was a hammock (apparently you thought I was lazy and proud of it??)! After (FINALLY) trusting me that it was OK to go into my backyard when nobody was home, you closed your eyes and I quickly grabbed the ring out of its hiding place in my car and ledd you to to the back, at which point I turned on a playlist of some of our favorite music that may as well have been written just for us. When you heard it, you thought I was just surprising you by asking you to dance.
You saw the swing and asked me what your swing was doing in my backyard. I told you it was “our swing in our backyard.” We sat down on the swing and I read you on last letter. This one letter I have been writing for months. One line at a time.
“I love you, Brittany Brummel. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to love you, highly esteem you, open my heart to you, and share life with you more and more everyday until the Lord calls me home.
My heart safely trusts you, so much so that with you, I have no lack of gain.
On our first unofficial date to Starbucks, you told me that you simply want to be a wife, a mother, a help-mate to your husband, and raise and invest in godly children.
On that boat ride we took on your lake, the Lord confirmed in my heart that I wanted you to be my wife, my help-mate, and the mother of my children.
When you cried in front of me for the first time, I wiped away your tears. I want you to know that I’ll always wipe away your tears and shoulder your burdens.
When we held hands for the first time it was a feeling I had never felt before. I want you to know that I’ll always be there to hold your hand until the day I die.
When we kissed for the first time, my heart went wild. I want you to know that my heart is forever yours and will never be shared with anyone else.
Brittany, I’m ready to take the step of covenant with you. I’m ready to die daily to my own desires and lead us in a way that honors and glorifies God and points us to Christ.
I’m ready to quit being a frog and become your prince.
Brittany Brummel, will you marry me?”
You were STILL clueless at this point, until I got to the last line about how I was ready to walk in covenant with you.
I got down on my knee, and asked you to marry me. And you said yes!
We danced under the stars to “Marry Me” while you asked over and over, “is this real??” it was real and is IS real, and I can’t wait to spend every day of the rest of my life with you!”
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