Heather and Derrick

How we Met

Heather sent me a friend request on Facebook, and her profile picture really captured me. Now that I look back I would say it was love at first sight because there was just something about her. I messaged her and told her she was very beautiful and she responded with thank you. I proceeded to talk to her and eventually asked her for a date. She wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of meeting someone on Facebook, but we began to get to know each other a little more and finally decided that we would have a date. On our first date, everything seemed to be so perfect and we decided to have another date. We attended a church and really started to build our friendship and relationship around the love of God. We began to together – before hanging up on the phone at night and first thing in the mornings! I was so excited about what I envisioned as a future with her! I could never get anything done at work because I was always on the phone with her. Haha! Things were really going well, so I decided to ask her how she felt about being my girlfriend. She started to smile laugh, and said she would let me know later. Being the impatient person I am, I begged her to just tell me. I told her that I was very interested in her, and that I thought we can do great things together. She agreed! Well, after months passed by, I figured out that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life. I began to think of ways I could propose to her. I stressed so much about how to propose because I wanted to make it the perfect moment for her. I knew that no matter how I decided to do it, I was always going to keep God first. I began to pray about how to best propose!!! So this is what God put on my heart.

How he asked

I have known Brittany for several years, so at a high school graduation party, where she and her fiancé, Grant, were doing photobooth pictures, I asked Grant would he mind capturing the proposal that I was planning. He was thrilled, and then more excitement began to overpower me because it was becoming even more real! After I had my plan, I called Pastor Mike Hamilton to tell him what was on my mind. I asked him if he could preach a sermon about love. He began to think of ideas, and after we put thoughts together, we came up with the most perfect plan. In order get Heather’s family to church, I had to pretend like Mike Hamilton had invited them to visit our church. I didn’t want them to miss that special moment, so the morning of the proposal we left Harrisonburg and headed to Buena Vista. Of course, me being the pretty boy I am, I kept trying to fix my hair. It just seemed that I couldn’t get it right for some reason. We got to Hardee’s in Buena Vista to eat breakfast. As soon as we walked in the door, I went straight to the bathroom to give myself a pep talk. I looked in the mirror and told myself over and over that it was going to be okay! I continued to try to fix my hair, and after several texts from Heather, I came out of the bathroom. She asked, “What is wrong with you?” I said, “My stomach is hurting, but really I just want to look my best!” Little did she know I was about to ask her for forever!

As we pulled up to the church followed by her grandparents, I walked into the church while they were outside waiting on my mother. I immediately found Grant and Brittany, and I gave them the ring to hold because the box in my pocket would have been too noticeable. Then I went to the back of the church where Pastor Mike and I discussed how things were going to take place. He gave me a small microphone to hide in my pocket, we prayed, and then I went outside to catch up with my mother, Heather, her grandparents, my nephew, and his girlfriend. We all went into the church and sat down. As church began, Pastor Mike began to speak about love – what love meant to him and different types of love. Then he mentioned my name, and explained that even though I am not his son, he loves me like his own. In that moment, Heather looked at me and smiled! In my head I was thinking, “If you only knew!” Pastor Mike said, “There’s a young couple here today I would like to use as an example for my message today. Heather and Derrick, I want you stand up.” As we stood up, I could see that Heather was getting very nervous. Next thing you know, Pastor Mike said, “You know what, why don’t y’all come out front.”

As we walked to the front of the sanctuary, I made sure to walk slightly behind Heather so that as I passed Grant, he could hand me the ring that I placed in my back pocket. In front of our number one, God, our family, and our friends, Pastor Mike began to ask me what love meant to me. As I pulled the microphone out of my pocket, I could see that Heather was a little shaken up and very nervous. She’s not the most confident person in front of big crowds. I began to speak about what love means to me and what our love for each other means to be. I finished saying what I had to say, and I closed with the following sentence: “I’m not promised tomorrow, but blessed with today.” Then I got on my knee and asked her to marry me. She said, “YES!” The congregation began to clap very loud as tears ran down her face. In the midst of it all, the only thing I could see was that beautiful smile. It was one of the best days of my life!

As I write this several months later, I have even more exciting news to share! We are blessed to announce that we are expecting our first son on January 31, 2018 and preparing for a wedding next September! Thanks to family and friends for making this a day to remember for a lifetime! A special thanks to Grant and Brittany for the wonderful photos and for passing off the ring to me! Also, another special thanks to Pastor Mike Hamilton for the preparation work and making it possible! A huge thanks to Heather’s grandparents for allowing me to practice several different proposal ideas, and also to my mother for teaching me to love! And last but not least, THANKS TO GOD FOR BLESSING ME WITH THE WOMAN OF MY DREAMS!

Special Thanks

Grant Rettig Photography
photographer