On our 8-month anniversary, Chase got permission to take me out on a date. I was very excited about it. He took me to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Olive Garden. Afterwards, he drove to a county park where he had hired a horse-drawn carriage to take us for a ride around the park. Inside the carriage was a basket filled with some of my favorite snacks and roses. After a little while of riding in the carriage, Chase got down on one knee, pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked me if I would marry him. I said yes. We came home to find both families gathered at my familyʼs house ready to celebrate and hear the story. Obviously, everyone was sure of my answer. It was a very special night, and I was so happy!
How long was our engagement? Our engagement was about 15 months. We were engaged in June, and I really wanted to get married in the fall (my favorite season). So, if that was going to happen, our engagement would be either 3-4 months or 15-16 months. 3-4 months seemed super fast, and I didnʼt want to breeze through this very special time of my life, so I leaned towards setting the date for the following fall. Originally that seemed like a long time, especially as we were both (and had been) so sure of each other. At the time, we decided to each sit down and make a list of the pros and cons of waiting 15 months to get married.
This is what we came up with:
1. Iʼll have less financial pressure
2. It gives us more time to decide on housing
3. It gives the girl of my dreams the wedding of her dreams
4. It forces us to build a strong relationship before having children become a part of that
5. We would learn genuine love through having to wait.
1. If I buy an existing house soon, it could be tough to own and not live there
2. It involves lots of driving (to be with each other).
1. Chase will have more time to save for the future and start out with a smaller debt
2. I will have more time to learn the skills of a Proverbs 31 woman
3. We will learn to live out the test of genuine love: “Genuine love can always wait to give; lust cannot wait to get”
4. We will draw closer to the Lord through learning patience and be able to bring that into our relationship
5. We will learn to work through problems and have a deeper and closer relationship coming into the marriage. We will be making a commitment based on a greater understanding of what weʼre committing to
6. It will strengthen our communication skills
7. Weʼll be able to enjoy the time of engagement: the fun and details of planning the wedding and taking time to look for housing. There will be greater availability of everything involved in the wedding planning because weʼll be planning ahead.
8. I will be able to experience my dream of a wedding and anniversaries in the fall, my favorite season; and there will be less threat of rain, snow, heat, and other bad weather.
9. It gives my parents time to save and budget for the costs of the wedding.
1. We will need to set protective guidelines for ourselves, which may be inconvenient for ourselves and others.
2. We will experience outside pressure from others and spiritual pressure from the Enemy who does not want God to be glorified through our relationship.
One other thing we worked on during our engagement was reading through a book by Larry Burkett on budgeting, for young couples. It was excellent! After going through it, Chase worked on a budget based on his income. He brought it to me, and we went over it together. He also talked it over with my dad. It was great to establish a budget before getting married, and Chase started practicing using the budget, as it applied, before we were married. I would highly recommend this book!
On one of our month anniversaries (of our courtship/engagement), I gave Chase a jar filled with peanut M&Ms, 1 for each day counting down to the wedding day. On the day of our wedding, he ate the last M&M and was able to open the small box I had placed on the bottom of the jar. Inside the box was my purity ring with a note:
I had gotten this idea from another girl, who had used regular M&Ms, but I used peanut M&Ms because I knew they were a favorite of Chaseʼs.
To answer the question as to how old we were: When we started courting, Chase was 20 and I was 22. When we got married, Chase was 22 and I was 24.
Thank you for letting us share our courtship story! This is a special story God has given us, and we love to share it! Our story is OUR story, and we know that God has a different story for everyone. He is so creative, and we love to hear all the different ways He weaves a “love story”. Though this time in our lives was full of great memories it was also one of the most trying and testing times of our lives. There were battles to be fought around every corner and many moments (sometimes days in a row) full of tears and struggles within us. But we can see now that it was those “strong winds” that gave our relationship deep roots and were foundational to building a strong marriage. The storms will always eventually come, and we were blessed to experience so many “storms” before our marriage! In our few years of marriage we have faced many storms, but the storms have only made our marriage stronger and our love for each other deeper. We thank the Lord for the story He gave us and the story He is continuing to work out in our lives! Praise be to God!