Dave and I met through FOCUS 7 years ago. We were placed on the same team together at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He was my team director and I was a first year missionary on a dating fast. I loved my first year as a missionary but it was very difficult at times. I knew that I loved Dave in October of that year...but had a long time until my dating fast was over. That year was amazing in what it taught me; patience, trust in God's will and the love our heavenly Father has for us. That year taught me that before I could hand my heart over to a man I needed to give it fully to our Lord. I learned so much about who I was that year and my relationship with our Lord really blossomed. In May of that year Dave asked me on our first date and on June 2nd, 2005 (after my dating fast was completely over) we went on our first date in Madison, WI during Summer training. It was everything that I imagined...the wait was worth it.
During our courtship Dave lived in Las Vegas, NM and I lived in Atchison, KS. We both still continued to serve with FOCUS. Distance dating is never fun but Dave and I were blessed to see each other once a month. As soon as our dating began I was ready for Dave to propose....seriously it could NOT come fast enough! I knew that he was the man I was going to marry! I truly thought that he was going to propose at Christmas time. I was going to Michigan to spend the holiday with his family. I was picturing a proposal at midnight Mass...how romantic! My mother assured me that I was not going to get engaged over the holiday...but I was still hoping. You can imagine my disappointment when it didn't happen. Poor Dave, can't a guy surprise a girl is probably what he was thinking :)! Life continued and I was really trying to focus on not being so anxious for engagement, just to enjoy the time we dated and to really leave it up to God...and Dave.
February came and myself and my teammates were heading to KCCSC (Kansas City Catholic Student Conference) in Topeka. That Friday night I was sitting in adoration and trying my best to hand over all my feelings of engagement to our Lord (I WANTED TO BE ENGAGED SO BAD its embarrassing!) That night my heart truly released control of the situation and I was ready to just wait, be patient and enjoy my courtship with Dave. That night I had a dream that Dave came to the conference to surprise me. He proposed and when I looked down at the ring it was the ugliest thing I had ever seen and all the diamonds were falling out. I woke up smiling because I knew this was my release of control...this was me handing the situation over to God and letting Him steer the wheel. That afternoon I called Dave and told him about my time in adoration and about my dream. I also said...and I qoute, "Honey, I'm ready to be content with our dating. If you came today to propose I would say "NO" because its just not the right time. I am ready to be patient!"
Now lets step back a few moments and look at things from Dave's point of view. Dave was in the car driving 13 hours from New Mexico to Kansas...and he was an hour away from surprising me (and proposing) at the conference when I decided to tell him about my conviction and my dream. Just a hand full of people knew about him coming to arrange a few things, other then that myself and the rest of the room was going to be completely surprised upon him entering. Can you imagine what Dave was feeling at this moment? Poor guy :(! He tells me now that he was tempted to turn around and blow the whole thing off...but continued with it anyways. That its good for a man to not be certain about a women's answer...to really be asking her and waiting for an answer.
So Dave walked into the conference and I was COMPLETELY SURPRISED! How did he pull this off...drove 13 hours, talked with me on the phone while driving, and I had no idea. It was February 11th so he told me it was a valentines surprise. We sat through dinner and a talk by Matthew Kelly, talked with friends and then we went out for drinks. Looking back I didn't know that Dave was going to propose, I thought he truly had come to surprise me for valentines day...but he was touching his pocket a lot and seemed nervous! We went out to a small restaurant and drank wine and ate cheese curds. It was wonderful to be with him. He then took me to a park...a rose garden to be exact...except it was February so everything was dead. It had a beauty about it though as we walked on the path hand in hand. He then stopped, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I of course said yes and the rest is history! I was ecstatic...the ring was BEAUTIFUL! Not ugly like in the dream...and it was the right time. In my own heart I needed to be patient and was ready to do that...even if it was just for a short 8 hours!
Dave left the next morning to drive back to New Mexico...it was hard to say good-bye, just like every time its hard, but this time more so. He wasn't just my "boyfriend" anymore...he was my fiance! I was getting married to the man I loved...the moment I could not wait for was finally here!
Our engagement was 9 months and we got married November 25th, 2006! I feel so blessed to have met Dave and to be his wife. He is an amazing man, husband and father. In God's time all things are perfect...and this is perfect!
Dave and I the summer we started dating!