Paige and Hunter
How We Met
From her perspective – Hunter and I met in June of 2015. We went on two dates and he was a great guy, very much a gentleman. I remember, after our second date, jokingly telling my BFF that I thought I loved him because he opened all doors for me and that just wasn’t something I was use to guys doing. However, something in me just wasn’t ready to move forward with him so I called it off after that second date.
During the second date, we discussed which churches we went to and he expressed interest in mine because he was looking for a new church to really get plugged in and build community. Fast forward a couple months later, I see him at church, keep in mind my church is huge so I was surprised and decided to go say hello. We exchange casual conversation and then go our separate ways. I decided to text him later that day to see how he liked church. That led me to becoming interested again because he just still seemed like a great guy. I decided to invite him to my birthday dinner so I could let my friends decide if they like him or not. Of course.. they loved him.. but I just still wasn’t feeling it.
A month later our church has its annual Hoedown, which is super fun, and guess who was there.. Hunter! I felt like I owed him a dance because once again he’s a “great guy” so we danced and had a nice time. A day or so later he texts me to invite me to be his date to his work Christmas party. I thought it sounded fun and agreed to the event, strictly as friends. I should’ve realized that night how loved and well-respected he was by his co-workers. Still there was something holding me back from this great guy.
Many months pass and in May of 2016 I wish him a Happy Birthday. He thanked me and proceeded to tell me that he was getting baptized the following month on, June 5th (exactly 365 days from the day we met). I vividly remember that day and am so blessed to have been able to witness my future forever washed by the water and born into the Kingdom of God.
Over the next two months I periodically thought of him and wanted to contact him but I hesitated. Finally, one day I see him at church. I wanted to say hello but he was busy in conversation and I had a friend waiting on me. I decided to text him. We had a nice conversation and I finally realized that he was more than just a great guy. The next day I boldly tell him how I am feeling and that I would like another chance to get to know each other. After being let down three times he was extremely apprehensive and was questioning my motives, which I totally understand. We decided to pray over this. My prayer during this time was for God to guide our thoughts and steps and to give us the desires of His heart. My patience was certainly tested because it started very slow.
Hunter didn’t initiate a date for at least two weeks. He then waits another couple of weeks before asking me on our next date and boy am I glad he did. That night we had dinner, dessert, and music on the lawn. While listening to music we shared our testimonies and from there I think we knew we really wanted to continue seeing each other.
Looking back, God was shielding our hearts. Hunter says God was protecting me from him because Hunter admittedly was still not walking with the Lord. I say God was protecting Hunter so that God could call him deeper into fellowship with Him. I may be partial but I think our story is particularly beautiful, especially since it is covered in the fingerprints God.
How He Asked
After months of diligently searching, negotiating and building the perfect ring for Paige I was finally ready to take the next step. During the time leading up to our special day I had reached out to the Kemah Boardwalk managing group and inquired about their live music. After making an elevator pitch to the managing group and the band’s manager, I was finally approved to work with the band. We set a date and laid out a game plan for this top secret operation. Two weeks prior to July 29, 2017, I floated the idea of a day at the Galveston beach to Paige since she had never been. It involved going to The Strand (a popular downtown Galveston street), dinner at a nice restaurant and time spent on the beach looking at the stars.
Well the day finally came and I picked Paige up at her apartment. As we jumped on the highway I spontaneously “remembered” that I had read that morning that the The Strand was under construction. I explained to Paige that walking down the street was a main part of the attraction and we needed to find an alternative. I suggested that although we had already been to the Kemah boardwalk, if we visited for a short period of time we could still make our 5:30 dinner reservation. She agreed and we rerouted our course.
As we arrived at the Boardwalk we parked and hopped out of the vehicle. Remember, we were in Texas in late July and for those of you that don’t know that means it was HOT. The heat index that day was 110 degrees. I remember that because Paige informed me as we pulled up! I persuaded her to take a stroll down the boardwalk with me. We made our way down the boardwalk until you could faintly hear live music playing in the distance. By this time Paige had informed me of how hot the sun felt. She was wearing an nice dress and did not want to ruin her look prior to dinner. I encouraged her to push on as we neared the live music. We rounded a corner and there in a large setting was a three story hotel overlooking the bay and a stage with the band playing music. I suggested we stay and listen for a bit and sat down. After a few songs we decided to keep walking. As we passed by the main stage, I grabbed Paige by the hand and kissed her on the lips. I said, “I love you, stay here” and jogged up the steps onto the stage. The band was finishing the song so I broke out some of the finest dance moves I knew! After the song finished the guitarist asked the crowd if they were in the mood for some karaoke. Paige had no clue what was happening! I walked up to the mic and introduced myself and told everyone that I was with my girlfriend Paige. I turned out around and told him to “hit it” and out of the loud speakers boomed a melody that Paige has known a very long time. Immediately the tune of Brown Eyed Girl, a classic Paige used to sing with her Father, was heard amongst all of the onlookers. The specific track I choose was an instrumental and on Queue I began to sing the song from memory.
Once the song was finished I walk down the steps to Paige and grabbed her hands and said “follow me”. We walked back up the steps and onto the stage where I got down on one knee and said, “Ever since I’ve been with you there is something that I’ve known. As y’all can tell I’ve always known I’m not a good singer, and so I know I can’t make a career out of it. And I don’t think I want to. But there is something I do want to do for the rest of my life and that is to wake up next to you knowing I get to love you until the day that I die. Paige I promise to you and I make a commitment that as Jesus Christ loved the church, I too will love you. I am committed to you and I will do everything in my power to show you my devotion. And I want to make sure that you know that every single day we are together that you are loved by me and Jesus Christ. I love you more than anything so I want to ask you… Will you marry me?” Paige, nodding her head, exclaimed “YES!”
After a big kiss I pointed to the second level of the hotel and said “Look!” Immediately a large exclamation of people began to shout for joy. Paige saw her family, my family and close friends all watching us from a distance and jumped up and down in excitement! We walked down the stage and meet them for picture opportunities. I had hired a photographer to take the “action” shots and still photos with family and friends.
After the pictures, everyone headed back to my house in Houston for the after party. Paige and I made a few stops to allow everyone to arrive. As I unlocked the front door of the house I allowed Paige to walk in. There were streamers coming down the entrance into the living room. We walked through the streamers to find the group of friends again yelling “surprise!” We spent the night enjoying time with family and friends, telling fond stories of each other and enjoying catered food. It will be a day forever remembered.