Cole and Bri
How We Met
Cole lived in Alaska, and I was in Florida. I signed up for the World Race, a nine month long missions trip across the world, in December of 2014. A few months later, he signed up as well and we connected online. Cole knew he was instantly in love with me, while I was pretty hesitant for a while. The more we talked, the more I realized “I really do like this guy.” We spent 9 months, knowing our feelings towards each other, but pursuing the Lord first in the countries we served. We didn’t see or talk to each other but once every other month because we were always in different cities. God grew our patience and we had to learn to surrender each other to Him first. After a long 9 months, we were finally about to fly home from South Africa in May 2016.
Our last night in country, Cole, with the help of some close friends, set up candles on the beach, a bonfire, blankets and pillows, and had cake and hot chocolate to celebrate our last night and for our first real date. While we watched a beautiful blood moon rise in the sky, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was going back to Florida and his plan was to live in Alaska, which meant distance and not knowing the next time we would see each other. Coming back to the states, I decided to pursue a discipleship program in Georgia in the fall. Despite knowing I was leaving again for another 8 months, Cole decided to move to Orlando to start preparing for our future together. With no family here except mine, he worked hard while I pursued what God had for me in Georgia.
How He Asked
One thing to mention about Cole is that he is not a good secret keeper. I can usually tell when he is hiding something and can convince him to tell me what it is. BUT…he planned such an extravagant proposal, involved some of my family and friends, and never slipped on one detail for months!! It was my graduation weekend in Georgia. Long distance was far from easy but it was finally coming to an end! I hadn’t seen Cole in over two months! He had been fighting for a new job in the hospital for a while and didn’t know when he would be able to start. So he booked a plane ticket, along with my mom, to Georgia not knowing if he would even be able to come. A few days later, he was scheduled for orientation the week of my graduation, which was on Thursday. We were both bummed that he wouldn’t be able to come, but we knew that we had been praying about this job for months. Thursday I graduated, and Friday my mom and I packed and cleaned all day. We went out to dinner that night and talked about hiking the next morning; something she wanted to do with me while in Georgia. We had a few places in mind, but ultimately decided on Blood Mountain, which I had hiked months prior with Cole. We woke up and drove to the bottom of the mountain and started the hike at 10 am. It took us 2 and a half hours to get close to the top.
About a quarter mile from the top I noticed a wood sign nailed to a tree. It said “You are altogether beautiful beloved…” and I thought, “WOW, I have to take a picture of that and send it to Cole because he says that to me all the time!!” As I got closer to it, I noticed a second sign under it that said “In you I find no flaw.” That threw me off a little because I also hear that daily from him. The last thing I saw was the heart at the bottom with the initials CM.
A split second later my mom wrapped me in a hug and started praying over me. I started bawling. She told me to go and I didn’t hesitate. I started running up the mountain while crying. Every few feet there was another carved sign; parts 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. There were 16 wooden signs in total that Cole had been making for weeks. It was a longer hike than I thought it was going to be and I stopped to sit and catch my breath. I started crying even more knowing what was about to happen… but I couldn’t rest long because I was too anxious to get to the top. I finally made it to the top when I saw him. He held the last sign that read ”When God writes a love story” and I hugged him so tight while we both cried. He pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!! It happened so fast and I couldn’t believe it!!
Cole knows that I love pictures even though he doesn’t really care to have them taken during intimate moments. So he enlisted in the help of two good friends to capture the whole thing. Little did I know that weeks ago, Cole and my sister went shopping for this day. They packed a bag together for me with shoes, make-up, and clothes and Cole carried it all up with him that morning. I got ready and we took beautiful pictures on top of Blood Mountain and the rain stayed away all day!
Originally, Cole was supposed to be on that flight with my mom to be there for my graduation and then hike on Saturday with me, but because of orientation he booked another flight to leave Friday night. After arriving at the airport, his flight got cancelled… the night before he was supposed to propose!! So he jumped in the car, drove 9 hours and arrived in Georgia at 5am; just enough time to get five minutes of sleep, have some breakfast, and hike Blood Mountain and prepare to propose to me. There were so many things that I could have given the surprise away but it was absolutely perfect in every way! I am beyond excited to spend the rest of my life loving a man who is selfless, loving and God-fearing.