Let’s take a road trip, he said.
James has been going to Beech Mountain, North Carolina for years, and last winter, I went for the first time as part of our church group’s ski trip. You may remember my takeaways as a first-time skier.
Since Florida doesn’t see foliage, James suggested getting a group of friends together to take a long weekend and hike around Beech Mountain. So along with my best friend Devon, we road tripped to Beech Mountain where our friend Conrad joined us.
After work on Thursday, we started the long drive, prepared with more snacks than necessary, of course. Some ten or eleven hours later, we rolled into the driveway of a rustic cabin along the ski slopes and crashed for a few hours.
Let’s wait for this view, he said.
North Carolina dawned with sparkling blue skies and cool fifties, the perfect hiking weather. It’s as if Beech Mountain were in on the surprise.
We had breakfast and coffee at Fred’s, and if you’ve ever been to this part of the Carolinas, you know Fred’s is a landmark! Fueled with food, if not much sleep, we started out for some hiking trails.
The last hike of the day was called Wiseman’s View, but to get there, we had to work our way over one of the bumpiest stateside roads I’ve ever seen! However, the view was more than worth it. Some people have even described the vista as the “Grand Canyon” of North Carolina.
The late afternoon chill was setting in, and after exploring one of the outlooks, we went to another. However, a couple was there taking pictures, so we waited against some fencing.
“Maybe we can just go check out another view or head back,” I said at last. “It’s freezing out here.”
Freezing is subjective. To a Florida girl, one flannel shirt is not sufficient for low fifties.
“No, let’s wait,” James said. “I want to do a picture like that one.” He meant a “facing away” picture like the other couple.
“Okay,” I said and shivered next to him.
Let’s spend the rest of our lives together, he said.
When he finally led me to the outlook, something was different. Maybe it was his breathing or the way his heart beat in his chest.
AND THEN HE STARTED TALKING AND GOT DOWN ON ONE KNEE.
So help me, I don’t remember much of what he said. Snippets included:
- I love you more than I thought possible.
- There’s no one else I want to spend the rest of my life with.
- Will you marry me?
I said yes.
The video my friend took (which is good, because otherwise, I might not remember anything) involves me smiling as broad as the mountain range (hyperbole, perhaps), saying yes, and embracing the love of my life.
I couldn’t have asked for a more special moment. James was there, naturally. My best friend Devon was there capturing it all and celebrating with us. This cute hiking couple was there and insisted on shaking our hands and wishing us the best.
And God was there. We’ve bathed this relationship in prayer and sought wisdom for this road. I’m trusting this love is from Him, and He’s blessing it.
Let me be vulnerable for a hot second. I’m in my early thirties and wasn’t sure if God would bring along someone or ask me to stay single. Though I prayed for marriage, I was trying to be content with either option.
I’ve learned that both singleness and relationships bring their highs and lows. Right now, my thoughts and emotions feel like fireworks, but I also know marriage requires work. Regardless, my conclusion is this: Godly love purposes the good of another and pursues God first. When that’s the case, we can thrive-whatever the future holds.
I hope I can encourage my young friends today with this: Don’t wait for a relationship to start living. Be your best self right now. That best self will either be fabulous single or incredibly attractive to the man or woman God has for you. And regardless, God can use you for His glory.
Thank you for celebrating with us!
Say Yes to New Adventures (Engagement Story) – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)