Niamh and Ethan

How We Met: About a year and a half ago, I went to my college campus on one of my off days because I had to submit a paper. While there, I ran into an old friend from middle school (who also wasn’t supposed to be on campus that day) who invited me for coffee and to catch up. Before saying bye, he invited me to a Bible study at his house later that week to which I said ‘yes! i’ve been looking to get involved with one!’. It seemed like there were so many divine interventions that day and I went to bed feeling so thankful to have ran into him!

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Later that week, I attended his Bible study, met so many new friends, and decided to keep attending. A few weeks later, a boy named Ethan was able to get off work early and attend for the first time in a while. He played guitar during worship and talked to me about Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan afterwards. Needless to say – I was hooked!

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The weekend after we met, he asked me out on a date – the very first one I have ever been on. He arranged to take me for a sunrise hike and then take me to dinner and ice-skating later that evening (something I had mentioned to a friend that I wanted to do. He overheard!). We had the best time and ended up having a record-breaking 13 hour date. I will never forget it!

How He Asked: About 10 months after our first date, Ethan planned another very elaborate one (something he’s very good at). October is my very favorite month and we both love mountains and hiking, so he planned a Fall backpacking trip in Asheville, North Carolina.

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We hiked up to an area called Black Balsam Knob which is basically similar to a big, clear field on the very top of a mountain. The peak was very high and gave us the most incredible views! We decided to make our campsite up at the very top so that we could wake up to an incredible sunrise.

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After we pitched our tent and bundled up, we headed off to find the perfect place to watch the sunset. We found a rock overlooking layers and layers of mountaintops and the horizon and settled in to watch. About five minutes into it, Ethan unzipped his backpack and pulled out a scroll. Not just a letter. A scroll.

He wrote the sweetest note to me about how this wasn’t just a ‘Fall backpacking trip’, it was a chance for us to get away and be alone with each other, nature, and the Lord. He told me that he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. After a few tears, I looked over to see him grab a little box out of his backpack and get down on one knee. I couldn’t have said ‘yes!’ faster!

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That night was the coldest night of our lives. It was definitely a rookie mistake to pitch a tent on the very top of a mountain in October, but you live and learn :) Although we were up all night trying to keep our tent from literally blowing away, it made me realize how excited I was to face every future storm with Ethan by my side.