Hannah and Chase
How We Met
Oh boy. This is always a fun one to tell. Well, if we are being completely honest… I (Hannah) knew who he was for awhile before we ever officially met. I mean, he’s gorgeous so it’s impossible to not notice him. But in my head he was a senior and I was a freshman and he had no idea I even existed. Anyways, besides 3-5 second eye contact we never actually spoke. That is until, one Monday night at a mutual friends house, fate stepped in. I showed up with a couple of friends to a gathering for a night of prayer over TCU campus (where we both were attending school). There I was, in a casual conversation with a few other people, when all of a sudden, I felt the end of my hair being lightly tugged on.
My hair is pretty long, and sometimes it gets caught on things, but this was a very intentional tug. I turned to see who the guilty party was and there he stood. The tall, dark and handsome senior dude stood there with a look of guilt on his face, “Sorry!” he blurted. I paused for what seemed like hours.. A stream of thoughts playing out in my head, “wait what?” “was that an accident?” “did he do that to be mean?” etc. I finally staggered the words out, “Umm.. Did you think I was somebody else..?” He replied, “No, I knew it was you.” And then proceeds to give me an awkward side-hug.
Not sure what else to do, I turned back to my friends, with a look of confusion on my face. Luckily, someone spoke up to announce that it was time to take a seat to pray and sing some worship songs. All the while, I sat in utter confusion. Afterwards, when everyone began to disperse, I saw him make his way back over to me. This time, though, he stuck out his hand and said, “So, Iv’e seen you around a lot but I don’t think we’ve ever officially met.” I took his hand, and the rest is history!
How He Asked
I was on a college mission trip in Belize with my whole community and all of my close friends. Chase, however was not there. Because he had already graduated and on staff with the church, he was scheduled to go on a different trip. I knew it would be strange going without him (we had both gone the year before), but I was excited to return all the same! The last day of the trip rolled around, Friday, March 11. Because it was the last day it was a free day. So everyone could either stay at the hotel and go to the village for some shopping and gelato, or they could go snorkeling.
Being the beach bum, and ocean enthusiast I am, I obviously was passionate about going snorkeling. However, all of my close friends decided, for some crazy reason I thought, to stay. I refused to give into the peer- pressure. But finally, the guilt tripping wedged its way through my stubbornness and I gave in. I rolled up to breakfast that morning in comfy clothes, no make-up (I didn’t bring any on the trip to begin with) and my hair unbrushed. I was ready for the day! Or so I thought. Two of my best friends then told me of their great idea to look kind of cute so that we could all get some good photos together while in the village roaming around and exploring.
This was odd to me, because I mean, we were on a mission trip!! Who cares if we look cute? I opted out. But after more subtle persisting I agreed. The day went on, we went to the village for a few hours, me all the while being bitter about not snorkeling. Upon returning to the hotel, I was approached by our pastor, Ben. He told me that they wanted to interview me and my friend Julia for the trip video. I was so nervous but so excited. I felt so honored to get to be in the video! But then, as Julia and I hurried back to our rooms to change I began to get nervous. What was I going to say? What if I was awkward on video? Who all is gonna see this? I was so caught up in my nerves over this video that I didn’t notice anything. We walked down to the beach and met up with Ben.
He told Julia to wait there and that I would go first. “Why me?” I thought to myself. We walked over to the gazebo on the beach where Brett and Darian had cameras set up and ready to go. I sat, and then Ben began asking me a few vague questions about my experience in Belize. Thats when I see him. Mid- sentence. Mid- thought. I see Chase slowly walking up to the gazebo.
He’s wearing a white shirt and khaki shorts. I immediately enter into a state of shock and disbelief. “Did I pass out?” “Is this real life right now?” “What is he doing in Belize?” “Did we both die and are now in Heaven?” the stream of thoughts went on. I touched my face, still questioning the reality of what was happening.
When he knelt in front of me, I franticly embraced him. My heart SO overwhelmed. When I realized that it was, in fact real, and that I was not dreaming or dead, I knew why he was there. My heart was flooded with so much emotion.
How much I’d missed him that week, how much I loved him, how shocked I was that he was THERE in Belize, the craziness of what was happening and more. He pulled out his bible and read scripture to me. We prayed together, and then he knelt down again and asked me to be his wife.
I immediately said YES and hugged him again. I have never experienced joy like I had in that moment. I then hear excited cheers and screams and look over to see all of my friends rushing down the beach to celebrate with us!
My friends gathered around me and prayed for me and I asked Brett, to grab his guitar so we could worship on the beach all together.
Because in that moment, as loved as I felt by Chase and by my community, I felt most loved by God. I never planned on falling in love and getting married so young, but I did. And I wouldn’t change any of it. This far exceeded anything the little girl version of myself ever dreamt up. I’m so excited for the future and to marry my best friend and favorite person. It’ll be so hard, but so worth it!