Sammy and Tyler

How We Met: It all started 4 years ago when my best friend introduced me to her newest boy toy. His name was Tyler Batts and he was a singer/songwriter from Greenville, South Carolina. I made my best efforts to be “tough” and show him that he would have to win my approval, but I couldn’t help shake this overwhelming feeling that he somehow already had it. I didn’t know then, I couldn’t have, what God had in store for us.

As time went on we started to get to know one another, he was of course my best friend’s boyfriend, so it was in my job description. It was all very basic, we talked of passions, fears, our likes & dislikes, but behind the scenes God was doing something bigger than either of us could have ever imagined. I mean he was my best friend’s boyfriend…HOW could that EVER work?! I was soon to learn that God’s ways are higher than our ways.

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So, we grew. We learned about each other, about the deep stuff. One day at a time, with no conscious effort I began to see more & more of this heart, and found myself letting him into more of mine. Even the quiet places..the ones that embarrassed me and shamed me..for some reason unbeknownst to me I let him in there. And to my surprise, he wanted to go. With every secret I shared, Tyler showed himself desiring to know more of me. All the while neither of us recognizing what was brewing beneath the surface..until it was time.
If you’ve ever found yourself in one of those “How could my life POSSIBLY get worse?!” kind of moments  than you can attest to what happens next.

In May Tyler received a phone call that would change his life forever. The girl he had planned to spend his life with, my best friend, had had an affair and told Tyler that she was leaving him. I got the same call and truly had no words. It all happened so suddenly, she called and before we knew it she was up and moved away cutting all communication with those she left behind.

Now as you can imagine there was a whirlwind of emotions & confusion. Tyler, in that confusion, reached out to me; the only person he felt could relate to his pain. We started to chat with each other again, like we had before things got rough with him & the girlfriend.

We talked about the pain of it all..the betrayal..the lies..all of it. Little by little, one day at a time we started to feel whole again. He began to fill a part of my heart that I didn’t know was empty..and I could see that I was starting to fill a part of his.

One afternoon I got a call from Tyler saying he was in town & wanted to grab coffee. We met up and what was intended to be a 20 minute chat turned into a 2 hour life altering conversation. I got in my car to head home for the weekend when I got the best phone call I’ve ever received in my life. It was Tyler.

He told me that he didn’t intend it to be this way, and he definitely never saw this coming, but over the years of our friendship & in light of our new deeper forming friendship it had become increasingly apparent to him that he was whole-heartedly, irrevocably in love with me.

He went back over the past 3 years & told me instance after instance of times that I had unknowingly showed him parts of my heart & how after everything we had gone through together..he knew. I was IT for him. I was the one his heart had always loved & never had the chance to hold, until now.

And in perfect God fashion, the stage was set..two best friends who had been growing and learning each other without even realizing it, now pruned and prepared to perfectly love one another in truth and selflessness.  And me? Well I melted. My heart began to feel alive again. It felt warm and safe, it felt like home. I found myself in a whirlwind of emotions trying to wrap my mind around how this could possibly be happening and I still ask myself that question every day. How could God be THIS good to his children?! How can love be THIS safe and joyful?! And my answer is always the same, because God loves us THIS much.

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How He Asked: It started Wednesday night when my  mom walked into my room to ask me how I would feel about doing a “girl’s breakfast” Saturday morning while Tyler helped my step dad, Todd, with some “youth stuff”. Immediately my mind starting turning…“youth stuff”…sounded to me like a sneaky excuse to get me away from Tyler so he could plan a proposal! So I had my mind set, I just KNEW it HAD to be Saturday!

Then Saturday morning rolled around…

Of course, in typical “me” fashion, I took foreverrrrr getting ready; perfecting my hair and makeup and making sure I had just the right outfit on for any secret photographers. Except I realized one BIG thing was off…my mom. I knew that if this was the day I was getting engaged, my mom would not be able to help herself from fixing my hair, ironing my clothes, bringing me coffee, and making my day as perfect as possible (because she is just THAT kind of mom).

But to my surprise my mom wasn’t doing ANY of those things. In fact, she was fussing at me for making her late! In that moment I suddenly realized, today WAS NOT the day I was going to become a fiancée. And with that realization, my day was ruined. I went to breakfast, went shopping with my best friend and mom, and still nothing was getting me out of that funk. I missed my boyfriend, my hair was flat, and I getting engaged…what could make this day worse?!

Behind the scenes, however, there WAS a plan in the works. Tyler’s supposed “youth stuff” was really a ploy so that he could go to Charleston to pick up the engagement ring, which he planned to give to me the following weekend. However, upon seeing the ring for the first time, and having an hour long car ride to dwell on said ring, he changed his plans!

He called his mom for advice on what to do because he just couldn’t imagine waiting one more day! She gave him the best advice a mother could give…she told him it wasn’t about anyone else..just us..and when he felt it was right, IT WAS! With that he knew; today was the day he would ask ME to be his wife. He then began to put his plan into action.

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When I arrived home from my breakfast and shopping date with my mom and best friend Anna he asked me how I would feel about having a dinner date just the two of us. I begrudgingly agreed, still upset that I was not getting proposed to when I thought. I changed for dinner and off we went. At dinner Tyler realized that the reason I was in such a funk was because I thought I was getting engaged. He laughed internally knowing that I actually was!

After dinner he did something totally out of character; he asked me if I wanted to doing something spontaneous! I looked at him with bewilderment and said “…SURE!” He then took me down to the island and in a turn of events I perked up, knowing I could soon smell that salty air and dip my toes in the crisp ocean water. When we got onto the island I told him to “take a right!” so that I could show him my favorite spot!

Naturally he became even MORE excited knowing that I truly had NO idea what was coming. Once on the beach he began to tell me a story. It was about a man named Lazare Kaplan who was a jewelry designer famous for inventing the oval diamond. He then explained to me (my knees quivering and eyes flooding with tears) that the oval diamond was invented by this man, Lazare, who would take the unworthy and un-beautiful diamonds other jewelers would throw out and remold them to make something new; something beautiful.

He told me that this was the very thing God had done with us; taking our worthlessness and brokenness and remolding us into something beautiful. And this was what God had done with our love..taking something that was once broken and creating a new unimaginably beautiful relationship. He then got down on one knee and with shaking hands reached into his pocket and pulled out the most exquisite oval diamond ring I had ever seen.

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With a trembling voice he said “Sammy, will you be my wife?”. I then, in a moment of overwhelming joy and emotion, fell onto my knees to which he replied “You have to stand for this part..” He helped me back up to my feet and with an “Oh my gosh are you serious?!” he slipped the ring onto my shaking finger and kissed me. With the moon shining as bright as the sunwe looked out over the glassy ocean and took in the fullness of that moment. We then prayed together over our relationship and our lives and thanked God immensely for this once in a lifetime kind of love. Afterwards we headed home to share the news with our closest friends and family.