And we’re going together.
Who? Well me, and my fiancee. Yup. Fiancee. In case a few of you somehow missed what that link I posted last week meant, it is that I am engaged, to an amazing, wonderful, beautiful young lady, Laura Jenkins.
Let me tell you a little bit of the adventure so far…
Laura and I met (as some of you will know) through the One Year Adventure Novel program. We were both first year members, and met on the online forum the fall of ’08. She had a cool screen name, and once I got to know her a bit (because of that reason), I was sending her a message any time she got online. To just message, or ask her to chat. It was always fun. Though there were times when she used this forum feature to be invisible and not talk… and I did notice, but ah well. 😛 She still talked to me afterwards, so. I figured that was okay. We were both fantasy writers, and huge fans of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings, and because of that, we always had something to talk about at the beginning of our friendship.
In the fall of ’09, Skyping was added to our means of communication, and email had also been added in somewhere in there. Soon after we started Skyping was the announcement of the first One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop, which would be in 2010. I was very excited about it, especially that I’d be meeting some of my fellow students of the program. And, I was very excited to meet Laura in person. She had already become a good friend.
We met before the Workshop started, at Red Robin, with our respective companions (my mom and siblings, and her mom, and also the Schwabauers), for lunch. That was a very fun meal, and though at first I was a bit nervous to meet someone who had become a good friend through the internet alone, it turned out awesome. And by the time we headed to the workshop activities after we finished eating, I was pretty sure I had a good friend in Laura.
Over the next year we continued talking, and hung out at the next workshop quite a bit.
That fall (’11) was an interesting one for me, and full of struggles. As the New Year approached, I was struck by the fact that out of my many friends, I really just wanted to talk to one. So I texted her.
And she texted back.
That was the start of 2012 for me. And it went uphill rapidly from there. 🙂 (Uphill being a good thing, just so you know.)
Laura and I started talking more than ever, asking each other silly things, and serious things, too. We shared struggles, hopes, dreams, and prayer requests with one another.
The journey during spring of 2012 was quite the ride, and God taught me a lot, and much of it He used Laura to teach me. Summer arrived, and I have never been more excited about a Summer Workshop before. Early in the year I had begun to pray, asking God if Laura was the one. I’d asked Him to either close doors, or open them, and that it was just in His hands.
As the Workshop grew from months away, to weeks, and then mere days, I prayed harder.
I arrived in Kansas early, and soon I was headed off to the airport to do my volunteer job of meeting OYANers flying in and helping them get to shuttles. Between the flights I was meeting, one plane came in that I was able to meet that had a dear friend on board. Yes. Laura. As she came out the doors, and I saw her… Well, it’s hard to describe that feeling, but looking back, I guess it was love. Very strong, and it almost took me by surprise, just how strong that feeling was. I couldn’t stop grinning the rest of the day. My best friend had arrived, and I was happy.
That week we were basically inseparable. And it was truly wonderful. And apparently what we were wondering about each other everybody noticed except us. Ah. Such is the trial of being IN the moment, and not being able to SEE the moment. haha.
The Workshop ended, and I headed to Salt Lake City, Utah, for a convention there, while Laura headed soon after back to Seattle, Washington.
The month of July was long. And full of prayer. And just wishing time would go faster. Why? Because I was visiting Laura and her family in August. That’s why!
Finally that trip arrived. And it was a wonderful time. We went hiking, explored a few areas in Seattle, went to a Renaissance Fair, and several other things.
Before I went up there I had felt God telling me… It was time. He had told me yes, that it was Laura. And now it was time to do something about it.
I talked with Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins while Laura was running an errand with my mom, and I asked permission to court their daughter, which they gave. And once Laura got back, I asked her, too. I was a bit nervous, and just looked down at the floor (well, her feet), as I asked for her permission as well. She said “yes”.
That was August 11, 2012. The courtship that followed was enjoyable and fun, even though their was a great distance between us almost the entire time (what, with me being in Oklahoma, and she in Washington). I was overjoyed to be pursuing this kind of relationship with my best friend, and everyday just felt even more sure about where God was leading.
Right after Thanksgiving I started talking with Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins again. And shortly after those conversations began, I was calling them (in secret… well… secret from Laura) to ask their permission and blessing to propose to and marry Laura. Which they gave.
We set a tentative date of February 8, 2013, as the day I would fly up and just… show up.
The Winter Workshop arrived, and Laura and her mom visited, this time coming not just to Kansas, but also Oklahoma a few days before the Workshop started. All of those times I have been blessed to spend with Laura have been wonderful, and those days were no exception.
Then it was time for her to go.
It was not nearly as hard as it could have been for me, or would have been, if I had not known I was seeing her in one more month.
Finally, February arrived, and I made sure everything was ready. On the morning of the 8th, I got up and headed to the airport. I arrived safely in the afternoon, and arrived at the Jenkins’ home soon after. And then I had to wait for Laura to get off work. While I waited I played a few mind games with myself to pass the time, and also played some Uno with Laura’s siblings.
And then, while Mrs. Jenkins was running a quick errand, and Mr. Jenkins hadn’t gotten home yet either, Laura sent me a text, happily telling me that she had gotten off work early that day and was headed home.
Well, everyone got back before her, and we took our places. There was a vase of roses and a card on the table waiting for Laura, and her brother and sister were set up in the kitchen with cameras.
She came in and after setting her stuff down, picked up the card with her name on it. As she was reading it I came out of my hiding place (the timing was perfect, thanks to a signal from Mr. Jenkins), and walking up behind her said “Hi”.
Laura turned around and gave me a big hug. So I can say that I literally felt her surprise.
After that hug I got down on one knee and proposed to the amazing young lady that I had fallen so deeply in love with.
And she said yes.
Slipping that ring on her finger has been one of the happiest moments of my life.
Laura and I are getting married this October.
God has blessed me so much. He has led me on quite the adventure, but now I will no longer be taking this journey alone. I have a companion.
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
We’re going on an adventure.
God bless you, as He has so richly blessed me. Follow Him, because where He leads is a place of such joy that you can’t even truly imagine it until you are there.