Today I have a very special guest blogger – my husband Daniel! He’s sharing with you today the story of our meeting and our engagement. Please have a read, it turned out to be quite a funny story!
It was the 25th March 2014, I was sitting in Gloria Jeans near Town Hall waiting somewhat anxiously. I was doing something I never did. Meeting for ‘coffee’ with a person I had never met, to see if they could be the person I might want to spend the rest of my life with. Of course at this point in time I had no idea whether it would head in one direction or the other. It was raining outside and somewhat cold on a Tuesday afternoon.
We hadn’t talked online much either, just a few quick emails outlining our lives, it seemed like we shared quite a lot in common. Then she stepped inside from out of the rain and my heart skipped at beat, I knew it was her and she was prettier than I anticipated. I liked the way she looked over the cup shyly and bit her lip. After talking for a bit and were about to leave I suggested we go out for a walk, so we strolled around Circular Quay. By the time we finished walking I realised I wouldn’t make it to Bible study in time. It was a small thing but spending that extra time together beyond the casual coffee time kick started our date and set us on a trajectory when we could have just parted ways after coffee. I am so glad we didn’t!
Fast forward a year or so and I was sure we were ready to marry. Only problem being that she didn’t wear any rings and as far as I knew didn’t even own any. After months of browsing stalls and trawling the internet for the perfect engagement ring I found her ring. Looking back I don’t feel ashamed of how we met through online dating, its becoming less stigmatized. For us it was no different then being introduced through mutual friends for a blind date. The site we met through in particular matched us rather then us searching ourselves. We were matched with many others too so we did have to put in the hard yards. After all my years of searching, planning and wondering if I was going to meet someone we were matched and it worked. I guess it proves that all things are in God’s hands and he allows them to happen when the time is ripe.
The day I proposed to Bella was the 29th August 2015. I took her to one of her favourite places, the Blue Mountains. The day started with going for a short bush walk around Katoomba. It was maybe 10:30-11 and Bella was ready for lunch. I was hoping to do a bit more before lunch and make the day a bit more memorable before I considered proposing. But I agreed to set up lunch. I had packed a picnic lunch and we stopped at the Kingsford Smith Memorial Park to have it as I planned we would.
We had a short walk around and Bella suggested sitting on some steps. I suggested the grass but she insisted on the steps and I thought ‘you are making this hard so far’. So we had our picnic lunch on the steps. I kept the wine for later and its presence aroused Bella’s suspicions. We had a spread of antipasto, bread and meat.
Afterwards we went and sat on the grass and relaxed, the mood was calm and quiet. Was now the right time? Would I have another chance today. I was hoping to do a bit more today but it could be now. As we relaxed in the soft winter sun I noticed individuals filing down the pathways into the park. We noticed that they were carrying hand drums. Before long we realised they were doing some kind of rehearsal or something and there were a couple dozen of them. It seemed a little strange, but this was Katoomba. The group then started to play the drums. They were like a tribal drumming group or something.
Once they were in rhythm they sounded quite good, a kind of eclectic beat that encaptured the senses. Bella and I soon found ourselves nodding along. It was fun to be here, but it wasn’t exactly a turn I expected in the day. I knew that this was surely not the time. It was an interesting and fun atmosphere but not the time for this and a small part of me was glad because I was not ready yet.
After listening to the drumming in the park we went for another walk. It was a fairly popular tourist walk which had a lot of lovely lookouts of hills and valleys and it was quite romantic. At the end of the walk there was a waterfall which Bella had been to before. We walked down to the bottom, there wasn’t much water flowing but the air was cool and crisp like you expect of the mountains. It was quiet and my heart was pounding. I thought this was it, the time to propose. I started to talk about us and our relationship to date. All the great memories and time we had together. Just as my heart was just about exploding and my chest and the moment approaching, sure that she would even feel my heart beating. Some loud voices came out, some people were heading down towards the waterfall, generally excited about being in the mountains. They came down and did some tourist photos near us and balanced on rocks in the water. Bella said she was feeling cold and I knew the time was past, we left.
On the walk back it was hard not to be discouraged, the day was getting later and we were starting to run out of time. It was disappointing knowing that it probably wouldn’t be today. Then I thought of an idea to extend our day a little. We still had the wine with us so I suggested we find a park nearby so we could have a glass of wine together. The wine itself was a rose aptly named ‘Bella.’
Then with the help of the GPS and all my plans pretty much out so far, we came to ‘Silvermist Park,’ a small park in the mountains which until that afternoon I had not heard of. This time I was feeling much less nervous, my heart wasn’t beating out of control this time. I had said most of what I wanted to say so then I took the plunge. I said ‘I’m so happy we met and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?’
I’m so glad about how the day worked out even though it didn’t happen exactly as planned. But the missed opportunities or rather the adventures made this day all the more! Without twists and turns life would be boring and after our first year of marriage of twists and turns I know that I couldn’t be happier. I can be myself, I can be as silly and distracted with her as I could possibly be and it doesn’t matter. We forgive and we forget as we journey through this life together.