The best surprise engagement she could have ever imagined
HOW WE MET: The day Matt met me, he was supposed to be driving back to Denver, CO, where he had been living, but that day his Jeep broke down and he was unexpectedly stranded in Olathe, KS. So he decided to go ahead and go to the young adult ministry he had previously attended at his old church. Usually he would have been playing the bass on the worship team and would have been up on stage, but since it was a last minute thing, he was just attending that night.
The day I met Matt, it was my first time in a church in many, many years. I had been living a life that was breaking me and wearing me out and had agreed to go to a church with a friend I had just met, after having a long conversation about Jesus the night before. I had no idea that I would be meeting my future husband that evening.
When I walked in the door, I shook many hands, but I remember Matt coming up to me, with a huge beard, bright blue eyes, and a yellow stocking cap. When I shook Matt’s hand I had this strange sense that the God I didn’t yet know was telling me that this would be the man I would spend my life with. If you talk to Matt, he will tell you he experienced a very similar thing that night.
Later that evening, I gave my life to Jesus for the first time, which truly changed by life completely. It was a great time of celebration – and of new beginnings. And the icing on the cake is that I also met Matt, the love of my life and my best friend.
HOW HE ASKED: Matt proposed to me on Saturday, February 17, 2013. I had no clue it was coming. Near the beginning of the month, my friend Rebekah asked if Matt and I would be willing to do a photo-shoot with her and her husband, Addison, so that he could practice directing clients. They were super close friends of ours and fantastic photographers so I was excited, but I knew Matt really wasn’t a fan of getting his picture taken so I told Rebekah I would have to ask him first. Much to my surprise, when I asked Matt he said it sounded fun! (I wasn’t even onto him then!)The night before the shoot, I had gotten ill with a nasty cold and it was snowing and freezing outside. I texted everyone to see if we should reschedule and they all said it was still on. So the next day we drove out to the Perry Lake, KS area to start scouting different locations. I was still under the weather and was really not aware of them plotting and scheming in secret whenever I got into Matt’s jeep to change outfits. We went to lots of different locations and Matt and I laughed each time as we posed in the cold winter air, just thrilled to be together.
Finally, Matt drove us to the last location – a little white school house on the edge of town. We took a couple of different shots and then Rebekah said “Okay Matt, you pick this last pose.” Well that’s weird, I thought, Matt hates pictures. As soon as I thought that, Matt swung me around and said, “Elizabeth, we’ve been together a pretty long time now, and every day we are together I love you even more. And I just want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Then he got down on his knee (insert me with a wide-mouthed muppet face here), pulled out the most perfect ring I’d ever seen and said “Will you marry me?” I just stood there, shocked and belated! “YES!” I said, “of course!” And he slid the ring onto my finger.
After the adrenaline wore off a little, I spun around and looked for Rebekah and Addison and said, “Did you two know about this!?” Of course they had – they had been taking pictures of the whole thing!
Matt gave me the best surprise engagement I could have ever imagined. And I’m so proud to say that now, nearly four months into our life together, that day was just the beginning of the JOY that is our marriage.
Photos by Gracenote Photography