Anne-Christian and Ethan
How We Met
Anne-Christian: Months before I met Ethan a friend of mine named Caitlin prayed super specifically for me in regards to how I would meet my future husband. She prayed “…And God, I pray when he sees her for the first time he wouldn’t see her on stage singing, or on social media, but in a crowd of people. That when their eyes meet he would have an undeniable overwhelming peace from You and know that she’s it.” Ethan had never seen or heard me sing, he had never come across my social media page, and the first time we met was in a crowd of people at a serve day event for our church Daystar. I will let you read the why on his story page, but that day when we met Ethan more or less avoided and ignored me. In my heart, there was something about him that made me want to know more and spend more time with him. It is so hard to explain how exactly I was feeling the moment I first saw him, but it was something I had never experienced before and thought until that moment only naive hopeless romantics made up. He had a deep love in his eyes, and his words were rich and full of depth (the ones I got him to say at least, lol). The light and life he brought around him were magnetic. Leaving serve day pretty frustrated that he didn’t seem interested in me, I called my friend Emma in the car and told her I HAD to see him again, that him ignoring me also made me pretty mad.
So the next week I did see him, and a few flirty exchanges and a 45 minute parking lot conversation while he stood in the rain (that was only ended when his friend who was waiting for him at dinner called to see if he was okay or lost), he still hadn’t gotten my information or asked me out. At this point, the frustration was VERY real, and after he left I checked my teeth in the mirror and smelled myself…lol.
Then, I prayed a lot…and frustrated I did what my mentor from Wilmington, Shaunna, once told me was okay to do. I was the doe who shook the branches a bit to get the (what seemed to be an asleep) hunters attention. I slid into his Instagram DM’s. Yes. No shame…It’s true. Verbatim I said this to him the next day…”Ethan, I so enjoyed the conversation we had last night…Hope you finally got to hops safely! *insert laughing crying emojii*”
No pursuit from me, no real flirty forward message, just shaking the branches up a little bit to see if he’d wake up. Again, if you want to hear what went through his mind getting this message see his side of the story below mine!
In conclusion, and to make this already long story shorter, we went out for lunch at Giada’s, and fell in love from there. He is the first man outside my family that I can confidently say I can be fully 100 percent myself with. He is strong, he is so hardworking, he is safe, he gets my heart, he is hilarious, goofy and silly, he loves people without conditions, he’s thoughtful, he loves me so selflessly, he sees and calls out my anointing and gifting, he is slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to get angry, and most importantly he loves Jesus more than anything else. He is a true gift.
I am SO eager and ready to start this journey with him. I know that marriage will be difficult, I hope that I am not naive to the reality of merging two very flawed and growing people into one life. I know that we will have to work and fight to choose to love and that keeping God first is absolutely the most important priority with marriage.
Ethan: The First day that I met Anne-Christian, I almost didn’t meet her. It was Serve Day at Daystar Church. Many people go into the community to pour out love and blessings in various ways to actively create an opportunity to share the gospel. That morning I was running a gym and my responsibilities were many and went long into the morning. I felt weird going to Serve Day super late but thought I might as well. I thought God could still use me, even if I was late! I showed up to the park and began saying hello to everyone that I knew and then began greeting new people. In the process of talking with everyone, someone caught my eye over the shoulder of the person that I was in conversation with.This “person” had the most beautiful, full, and gorgeous smile on – she was laughing and spreading a smile of pure joy to everyone around her. Time went into slow motion. When she looked from face to face smiling, her hair seemed to catch some kind of breeze and flow around her head in the most captivating way. Her laugh was one that would create the inexplicable urge to join in on the laughter in the joke! Then, in that beautiful moment, her eyes, emerald green, caught mine. Now, whether they truly saw my eyes or not, I most certainly saw hers, and what I saw in them was the most beautiful sight that I could have ever imagined. At that moment I knew I must speak to this woman.
Rewind to two days earlier: In the recent season, I started going to Daystar to really get my life back on track, in true pursuit of the Lord. One of the ways that I had committed to doing this and dedicating my life to the Lord was to commit to Him my own desires of finding someone to date. I tried my hand at finding someone to spend my life with and had realized that I suck at it! The only way it was going to happen, was to follow His plan, that He would have to slap me in the face with whomever I was to marry. I was done trying to make it happen on my own.
Back to Serve Day: I snapped back to reality, from what seemed like an eternity of being completely captivated and mesmerized by this woman, and I remembered my promise, NOT TWO DAYS BEFORE, that I was going to give up dating and to go after Him and Him alone. WHAT WAS HAPPENING HERE?!! The person I was talking with picked up on was the fact that I had paused, for I do not know how long, and laughed awkwardly (sorry David Tseng). I tried to ignore her. HA. I finally got up my nerve and we had a conversation. I don’t really remember what it was about, but exchanged names.(Little did I know that the name that I thought was so beautiful would belong to the woman that would be my future wife, Anne-Christian.) We saw each other at “Thrive”, a small group at church, but still, I did not ask for her number! Through conversing with her I had a profound sense of peace. I had no ulterior motive, I just enjoyed her company and getting to know her. After one of our conversations, she messaged me to simply say that she enjoyed our conversation from the previous night. At that moment it seemed like a hand literally slapped me in the face! I said, “Seriously Lord?! What are you doing to me?” I was definitely not complaining, but I was on track pursuing God. We serve a truly humorous Lord! HE had different plans! Our conversations lead to deep respect and friendship. We have had so much fun on this journey! We have spent countless hours worshiping our Lord, having “adventure days”, getting to know each others’ family’s and spending quality time together. And well, as they say, the rest is history!
So, here we are today. I have the privilege of loving the heart of this amazing, Godly, beautiful woman! We get to love each other and develop a deeper relationship revolving around the One who first loved us. I am so thankful for God’s unique way of bringing us together! So thankful for giving me a gift of the amazing woman I will be spending the rest of my life with. Wow.
How He Asked
Ethan planned an “adventure day” for us. We both live and work in Greensboro, Nc, but he had planned to take us to Raleigh, Nc for the day. We went to the NC Museum of History, to an amazing restaurant, and walked around the entire day…I kept waiting for “that moment” to happen. I remember seeing someone with a camera around their neck in one of the exhibits (WWI) and thinking, “Hmm. seems like a strange spot to propose but whatever…”. But no, no proposal happened on our adventure day. I was a bit disappointed, I’m sure he could tell by my non-enthusiastic attitude on the hour and a half drive home.
He was starting to drive a unique, nonfamiliar, way home and I was confused and questioned him, but he said not to worry he had our next address in his GPS. As we rounded a street I know all too well, butterflies starting dancing in my stomach. I knew it was the moment (or had hoped deeply). The “Bog Garden” is a garden my Grandfather built after retiring from the medical field, before he passed away. Tucked away in the city of Greensboro, NC, the bog is an oasis out of place. The Garden’s lush atmosphere with a creek filled with ducks running into a small pond, and a waterfall is hidden in the middle that is dedicated to my grandfather when he passed away in 2011.
As we walked through the garden I spotted flower petals lining the pathway to the bridge overlooking the waterfall. On the bridge, the most perfect flowers were in a basket, with a ring and a note. Ethan read me his note, we cried, then the moment I had been waiting for was finally here. He asked me to be his forever. I, of course, said YES.