Payton and Seth

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How We Met

The first time I caught a glimpse of my future fiancé he was sitting across the room in our Biochemistry class at Harding University. For all I knew he was the guy that did not show up to our 8 o’clock class. After officially meeting Seth, I came to find out that he was extremely brilliant and was passing the class with flying colors. Seeing an opportunity to learn more about the man who captured my attention, I asked for “assistance” in studying for the final. Needless to say, we spent most of that studying time getting to know each other and talking the evening away. I was already shocked at how well I was able to open up and talk with him. I felt as if we could have talked forever. Unfortunately summer came around and I headed back to Texas while Seth traveled out to California to work in a research lab at Stanford University where his brother is currently getting his Ph. D. We minimally kept in touch over the summer and I was thrilled when he called on my birthday in July. The fall semester rolled around and I started school again at Harding while Seth remained in California. Seth came home to visit early in the semester and invited me to lunch. For all I knew we were just two friends catching up. We picked back up right where we left off and Seth invited me to dinner the next night. The next night after dinner we drove around in his truck and talked more about our future goals, dreams, aspirations, doubts, and life in general and I knew by our conversations that I had never met anyone like him. Afterwards we decided to drive to the golf course and lay out under the blanket of stars. We talked more as we stargazed on the green. I looked over and Seth was just staring at me. He told me I had the most beautiful eyes and proceeded to kiss me. It was a kiss that captivated me and I knew from that moment my life was somehow going to change. The next day we drove out to his family’s cabin and spent time enjoying God’s beautiful creation. I had never felt such peace and happiness as I did by his side. He felt like home. I knew from that point forward that this was the man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. Sadly, Seth had to go back to California for work. However, Seth made the month and a half that he was gone absolutely magical. He wrote me a letter each day he was away from me, all addressed the same with a stamp that had “Forever” written on it. I think I checked my mail at least three times a day, eager for a letter to respond to. We talked on the phone every night and I craved the sound of his voice. I was supposed to pick him up from the airport but Seth had another surprise up his sleeve. A week before his expected arrival, I got a knock on the door where I was working and my best friend told me that I needed to come out right away. I opened the door to see Seth standing there in the hallway with his beautiful smile and embrace that I love so dearly. From there it was history. We grew more in love with each other every day. I always knew what love was but I did not know how much it can consume a person. We learned how to love one another selflessly. I never imagined how much peace, comfort, happiness, adventure, love, and optimism a person could add to your life. We grew in our walks with Christ as we encouraged, and still encourage, one another to be followers of Christ and love one another just as Christ loves us. We took a trip to Vail, Colorado this spring with his parents and got to experience a week of understanding and learning about one another even more through trying new foods, long conversations, plenty of falls on the mountain, and laughing until we could not breathe. It was one of the best weeks of my life and I am thrilled that I got to spend it with my best friend.

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Seth and I continue to find happiness in life’s little moments each day. My love grows stronger as the days go by and at times I feel like I am going to explode with joy and love. We spend time doing the things we enjoy with one another such as going to church, visiting his parents, studying (okay we do not really like this one but it reminds us of the future goals we have set!), hiking, going to the gym, finding new recipes and cooking, and watching movies. Seth has completely changed my life for the better and I am thrilled to see where God takes us on this journey through life. Seth will be applying for medical school this fall and I will be applying for Physician Assistant programs the following year. I know that with Seth, my encourager, my fiancé, my love, by my side, we can accomplish anything and work toward fulfilling God’s mission of love and service.

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How He Asked

April 22, 2016 started out like any normal Friday. We both attended classes in the morning and had plans to go out for dinner with our friends, Madeline and Michael. Seth picked me up at 4:30 and we headed out to his family’s cabin on the Little Red River to hang out before we went to eat. In the truck Seth played some of our favorite songs and we sang along while looking at all the flowers blooming in the pastures. Just to give you an idea of how much of a surprise this was for me, I ended up wiping off almost all of my eye makeup on the way because my allergies were flaring up! Seth ensured me that I still looked beautiful as ever. We got to the cabin and we started showing Madeline and Michael around. Madeline does photography and mentioned that the place was beautiful and that she wanted to take some pictures there. Seth took their picture first and then it was our turn. As we were in front of the camera, Seth faced me. I was very confused at first as to why he was not facing the camera. He proceeded to tell me how much he loved me and I responded with “I love you too babe!”, still oblivious. Then he grabbed my hand and looked at me with his beautiful blue eyes and that is when it finally clicked. He the proposed to me and at the end he said that he had one final letter for me. He had a letter addressed with the same stamps that he used in California. He got down on one knee, opened the envelope and the question, “Will you marry me?” was on the flap. Of course I said yes through many happy tears and he removed the ring from the envelope and placed it on my left hand. The man I had prayed for since I was a little girl was standing right in front of me and I was engaged to him. Seth had invited our friends and his family out to the cabin where we all celebrated the engagement with a BBQ dinner. It was absolutely perfect, like a dream.

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Special Thanks

Madeline Walker
Photography