Jessica and David

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How We Met

We met at a bible study in March 2013. He had a huge beard and I had my hair cut boyishly short. He was so outgoing and fun. I was quiet and shy. We hung out with friends read the bible, and sang songs together. I was so intrigued with him because he didn’t care what people thought,  he was himself and just overflowed with enthusiasm for life.

How He Asked

The day was February 21, 2016. He planned the date for us a week in advance. That tipped me off at first and the thought went through my mind that he could propose. However, the day before, he offered for us to go somewhere else instead. That solidified to me that he was not going to propose. No way would he change plans last minute. I resigned to think he was waiting until my parents came back from being out of the country the end of March.

That day, I went to church with him that morning. We usually go to two different churches. It was as surprise to him that I came.The topic of the sermon was divorce, ironically and what the Bible says about it. Little did I know David was proposing that day. It was strangely awesome to see the topic of marriages falling apart and the grace that can be extended in the midst of it. It was a sobering thought but sweet to be by his side during that time. I love being by his side at church- holding hands walking back from communion and just living real life together. It was followed up by several baptisms. I had no idea how many people at church knew he was proposing that day. Several people I later found out!

We bought our picnic lunch: croissant sandwiches, fruit, wine, cheesecake, and stuff to make a bacon ranch dip with crackers. Super delicious. One of my favorite things to do together is get together a picnic lunch and borrow my mom’s picnic basket and run away somewhere to sit on a blanket and eat, just relaxing. Back at his apartment we put all that together and watched a little of the Amazing Race (we love competitive reality tv). Every second of the day was fun and exciting even without knowing the proposal was coming. He was in a rare mood which was fun. Looking back, I know why.

We left to go to the beach but he said he was feeling sick. The whole time he was “sick” he made phone calls to his buddies and a friend who was bringing his camera to video and take photos to see if they’d gotten to the beach and set everything up. They kept getting delayed so he kept stalling being “sick.” I offered a couple times that we could stay home. I didn’t want to have him sick on the beach, but he said, “I’ll just get some Pepto Bismol at Walmart.” So we stopped and he got a bottle and drank from it right in the parking lot. As we got close to the beach, he said he needed to stop again at another gas station because of his stomach. Again, I offered to go back home and rest. He said no. I was clueless.

We drove to the end of the island and carried our picnic lunch over the dunes. He wasn’t sick any longer and wanted to go far down the beach and get away from the crowds. Walking over the sand, he said, “I’m really hungry, but let’s eat quick and go for a walk.” It was fun to relax together on the picnic blanket, and eat our fill of good food. This random dog came over and wanted some of our food! But thankfully went away with some prompting. David even threw me off and made a comment about wishing he had asked my parents’ permission. We had talked about his getting their permission before they left on a 3 month trip to Papua New Guinea. I admit I was a little bummed when I heard he hadn’t asked. As we finished up and walked down the beach, I started looking for seashells so one could be kept in remembrance of the date.

As we walked, there was an archway in the sand to the left where the dunes came up. It had fabric and red roses wrapped around the wood. David pointed it out saying “that’s pretty interesting, huh” and I said “It must be from a wedding or something, they just left it up.” We walked past it and looked at some shells in the water. David later said he was turning me away from seeing our friends playing ball in the dunes, waiting on us. They had gotten there before us to set up the archway. Then we turned around and walked back towards where we’d came. David was still intrigued with the archway and wanted to look at it so we walked towards it. As we walked closer I saw a camera between the dunes on a tripod. David had tried to get me to see a ship that was not out in the water as a distraction. ha ha But when I saw the camera, I got nervous and I told him so.

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He kept saying, its ok, lets just check this out. Everything from then on is a little bit of a blur. I was nervous and so excited but not sure if it was happening. He was the most nervous I’d ever seen him. We stepped in front of the arch and he said “If I were going to propose I’d probably say this… and if I were going to propose, I’d probably have a ring.” I replied, “Yeah, and you don’t right? so let’s go.” and laughed because I still didn’t believe he was proposing.

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But then he said “I’d probably plan enough to have the ring buried here in the sand.” and got down on one knee. He uncovered the ring box from the sand where it was marked with a red rose! That’s when it hit me. He is really asking me to be his wife! I’ve never been so happy to say yes to anyone.

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He had talked with my friends to pick out the perfect double haloed ring in rose gold. Gorgeous ring, handsome man and beautiful sunset on the beach set up. I will never forget it. He also hand made a sign for me with Proverbs 31:10 and a heart with D+J and 2016 burned into the wood. When the guys brought it out, I cried.

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It was so sweet and so thoughtful. Randy took our photos for a little while and we walked back down the beach together, ENGAGED! One of David’s biggest goals was to surprise me and he nailed it. He also told me that he’d asked my parents’ permission the day before they left.

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On the way back from the island, we called as many family members as we could. My parents were in Papua New Guinea and I was really wanting to find a way to talk to them. We tried face timing and couldn’t get through. David asked if I wanted to go to one of our favorite spots and just dance together. I of course said yes and was so excited. We walked around the corner of the building to a surprise party full of friends.

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My girlfriends had decorated everything with signs and roses; we had cupcakes and a great party. So he surprised me TWICE. It was perfect except I hadn’t talked to my parents yet. Thankfully, they called me back right as we were about to tell everyone the story. I was so excited to talk to them I just started bawling. They cried too. I was so thankful to be able to share our engagement story with them personally before the whole crowd. It was the perfect night and I will never forget it.

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Special Thanks

Randy Turner
Photographer