Jillian and Fadi
how we met
Fadi and I met in a small group that launched out of our church. I was in a season of life where I was in desperate need of community, of people I could truly do life with. So, I drove an hour and a half away from home on a Tuesday night to be a part of this bible study. I was oblivious to his pursuit of me for weeks, which is quite funny to me now. But if he were to tell you the story, he would say he left that night, went home to his sister and said to her, “this is going to sound crazy but I met my future wife tonight.” “What? Well who is she? What’s her name?” she said. It was at this moment that he realized he didn’t know my name, but knew he was going to have to find out.
how he asked
Our favorite place to “vacay” in this season of our lives is my mom and dad’s up north. Their yard is a sanctuary to us so we sneak up there whenever we can. In the months prior to our engagement, Fadi and I had been all over the place and spent more time apart than usual. I had returned from a mission trip in West Kenya and just a few weeks later Fadi was off to Israel. When he got back we craved quality time so we backed up our weekend bags and headed to my parents. Little did I know he had been scheming since the day I left for my trip months prior. Because we needed some quality time he asked if we could be intentional about getting away by ourselves. He suggested that we get dressed up, complimenting me on the dress I had worn on Easter and asking me to wear it again. Thinking back now that should have been a clue, but at the same time it isn’t all that uncommon for him to ask if we can get fancy just for fun.
So, it seemed like a normal enough “date day.” We went into town to take a walk and get lunch and he was so nervous but I just blew it off as him being hungry. I actually remember talking about how hungry we were! I was ready to order the second the waitress came to the table but he said to her, “we will order in like 10 or 15 minutes, just drinks for now.” I was like WHAT?! Babe I’m hungry!!!
Later we had planned to drive to my childhood home and do a walk through as it is being converted into a pastoral retreat center. It was sentimental and sweet walking through a sea of childhood memories and knowing that the plan for that home had always been in the hands of God. He kept hugging me and pushing me to be in the moment and walk through memory lane with him. Then we headed to the beach across the street. Which was closed so we almost didn’t go in! But he was persistent.
We parked and hopped the fence and headed down to the water. When we got to the stairway leading us down, I noticed there were signs with 1 Corinthians 13 written on them leading down the walkway. Love is patient, love is kind. Again, me being oblivious thought oh that sweet that someone did that. Then on the other side of the stairs I realized there were pictures of us… and then it all clicked. I began weeping. He had to pull me down the stairway because I froze in place. When we got to the clearing I saw all our family and close friends there cheering. He turned to me, lost his words in tears and got down on his knee. It was a perfect moment, a perfect day, with the man of my dreams.