Nathaniel and I had been dating a while, and it had been going really well.
I mean REALLY, REALLY well.
We could hardly believe it–but prayers that we both had been praying for years, journal entries with specific requests penned on both sides-we were seeing answered day after day. We had been told “when you know, you just know” before in life, and until meeting each other-we never know what that meant. Now-we totally get it <3.
He lived in New Mexico, but was in Destin, FL for a few weeks for a work certification, and so I planned a trip to visit him down there. I was *pretty sure* that IF he were to propose before Christmas time, he would probably do it around the end of October. We would be celebrating the 500 year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation together–and what a magical time that would be! 😉
However on September 14th, as I drove to the airport, I found myself thinking about the possibility of him proposing to me. I got butterflies at the thought of it, but didn’t want to be distracted by the thoughts when a nice vacation with the love of my life was all I was guaranteed. So I did what any girl in my shoes would do–I snooped.
I called my sister and asked her if she had heard anything about Nathaniel connecting with Dad. She assured me that she JUST talked to dad earlier this week, and he hadn’t mentioned anything about a conversation with my boyfriend. She also let me know that Nathaniel never mentioned anything to her. I called my dad too, and he had no idea that I was even headed to Florida to be with my beloved. After turning off bluetooth, and turning into economy parking at the Philadelphia Airport, my heart was settled with the reality that Nathaniel definitely wasn’t proposing during this time together. All I had before me the next few days was sunshine and sand-with the man that I love. I knew I would be marrying him sometime in the not so distant future, and I knew he wasn’t going to propose during this vacation.
I arrived in Florida and our time together was wonderful. He picked me up in his flight suit 😍😍😍 and took me shopping for beach essentials. We went out to dinner at one of his favorite spots where I had the best pork chops OF MY LIFE, I gave him a gift I had been working on for months, we met up with some of his friends for drinks, and my heart was so happy and content to be his girlfriend. The next day, we ran (okay, he ran and I mostly ran and walked a little) a 3 mile trail, had breakfast out, hit the clear waters and white sand of the local beach, and then he told me that we were taking a little trip to a local town called Seaside.
Seaside was an absolutely adorable little tourist town where The Truman Show had been filmed. We walked all around the charming community and chatted about life and love. We talked about family and community, our hopes and dreams for the future, and our mutual desire for marriage and each other. We laughed at the names of the homes down the residential streets and enjoyed being hand-in-hand on the warm September afternoon. While wandering, Nathaniel pulled me aside to a sort of private cul de sac of trees and shrubbery– he stopped walking.
He stopped, laughed at the confusion on my face, and took a step back into a kneel.
“Betty Catherine-Michelle Pompell, will you marry me?”
His voice was as steady as the warm look in his eyes.
I could barely believe it. I said “absolutely!” and wrapped my arms around him as he stood up from his position of holding out a breathtakingly gorgeous engagement ring. My heart raced as I squeezed him and over and over again, with varying inflections, I just said “Oh my word. Oh my word. OH. My. WORD. OH MY WORD!” He shushed me, laughed at me, kissed me, got the ring on my finger (which brought a whole slew of more “oh my words”) and escorted me back to the main street of the town.
My feet didn’t touch the ground, as I goofily smiled at passerby’s and continued with my steadfast breathless chorus of “oh my word”. He told me that we had a few minutes to make some phone calls, and that our dinner reservations were at 6:30. Calls to my dad and sister proved the sneakiness of both their responses and their knowledge of the life-changing event.
The remainder of our time in Florida was filled with many more sweet memories, and the first few lessons and joys of planning a wedding and a life together. I am so thankful for the gift of being with Nathaniel. Dating him was an ABSOLUTE joy, being his fiance is an ABSOLUTE delight, and I daily look forward to being his bride and his wife ❤ Praise God from whom all blessings flow!