John and I knew for several, several months that we wanted to get married, and I knew that he was going to propose eventually. He told me it would be before December, but I wasn’t certain of the exact date. I thought I had it all worked out though. There were less than 8 days left in November, and I figured that the 4 days that landed on the weekend were the only possibilities, because of how much we work during the week. So when I texted him saying that I wanted to visit him after a long day of working on a Thursday, I definitely did not think he would propose that night.
I texted him to let him know I was coming to his house soon, and he responded by telling me he’d be there in 2 minutes. When I got to his house, he was sitting in his car. He got out and we said our hellos and hugged for a while in his driveway. I commented on how his car was still on as we stood there, but he didn’t say anything. I thought we were just going to go inside and watch a movie or talk about our days, but he started walking to his car and told me to get in. I asked where we were going and he told me it was somewhere I know really well. So we drove for ten minutes and ended up at the church I grew up in. There was a white vehicle in the parking lot, which confused me. John got out and pulled a key out from his pocket, which confused me even more because I didn’t understand how he had a key. He opened the door and we walked upstairs to the foyer. Up to this point, I had no idea what was going on, and all of the unanswered questions I had clouded my head, but as soon as I saw the doors leading to the sanctuary held open, and the soft light coming from the room, I knew.
I walked past the doors with J walking behind me, and smiled immediately. There were several strings of white lights set up on the pews on either side of the aisle in front of us (18 strings of lights, to be exact). On the floor, J set up about ten or so photo frames holding pictures of us from the past nineteen months. We walked down the aisle and I recall repeating the following phrases: “What is happening?”, “What the beast”, “Ohhhh my goodness”, and “What is this?” I also heard and saw John’s friend Cody at the side taking photos. We got to the end of the aisle where two stools wrapped in lights were standing. I immediately knew which one is mine, because of what is tied to it.
At this point, a little backstory is required. Around 4 years ago, at our high school prom, John and I really liked each other. We held hands for the first time that night, and even had our first kiss then. Everyone in our grad class received a carboard star with their name and ‘Class of 08’ on it. John and I traded stars. So after four years, three of which were spent entirely apart with no contact at all between the two of us, John kept the star with my name on it. He actually told me that even when an ex-girlfriend got him to throw the star away, he went back to the garbage and got it out as soon as she left. When I asked why, he said it was because he was still in love with me.
Anyway, I sat on the stool with my star on it, and he sat on the stool across from me. He reached over and grabbed his guitar, smiled as me, and started to play what has now become my favourite song that he has ever written for me. It was very, very sweet - filled with the kinds of chords he knows I adore. I remember thinking how much things had changed. How when we first started dating, J would rarely look up at me while he sang, because he would get too nervous. But that night, he looked at me during the entire song with the sweetest grin on his face and with eyes that said just as much as the lyrics he sang. Plus the glow from the lights made him look even more handsome than normal. When he finished singing, I clapped. I don’t know why I did, because I never do.. I guess I was nervous, and wanted to pretend that my hands weren’t shaking. He stood up, and took my hand. I stood up (almost got my foot tangled up in the lights) and started shaking some more. He reached over to the pew next to us and got the box, got down on his knee, and said “Felicia, will you marry me”. I can still remember the look on his face when he said it. He looked so nervous, but so sure. I said yes, he said “you will?”, I said of course. He put the ring on, stood up, and we held each other for a long, long time. He was shaking, I couldn’t feel my heart, but could feel him smiling. As we stood there, we found it necessary to give God a high-five, so we stretched our arms, palms facing the sky, and did. Cody took a few more pictures of us and then left. I needed to scream and run around, so I did. A lot. After I was able to sit still for more than a couple seconds, we sat down in the middle of the aisle with the strings of lights and photos on either side of us and prayed. I think out of all the things that happened that night, from the drive to the church, to realizing what was happening, to him singing to me, to him sliding the ring down the fourth finger on my left hand, sitting there on the floor with him praying forehead to forehead was my absolute favourite. Afterwards, I had to run around some more, shrieking and jumping and dancing and smiling the biggest smiles I’ve ever smiled before. Then we played a couple worship songs, me on the grand piano and him on his guitar, and finished the night by cleaning up the lights and referring to each other as fiancé and fiancée whenever possible, and as much as possible.
[ps, Everyone go tell Cody how awesome he is for taking such beautiful photos]
Excuse me while I just cry some more at my beautiful friend being all engaged and stuff.
Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United
I took 63 little white pills, and prayed that I would die.
The last thing I remember is losing feeling in my feet and other parts of my body, feeling very dizzy, and getting a bad stomach ache.
It was terrifying…
So I prayed, and asked God to let me live. I promised…