Friday, April 13, 2007

The Only Man I've Ever Loved: Epilogue


Epilogue

Although I had been hesitant about my love for Matt, God had allowed my heart to reopen. A month later, Matt told me that he loved me as I quickly returned “I’ve been waiting for you to say that. I love you, too.” I could no longer wait to tell him about my trial -- how I had fallen in love with him almost two years earlier and felt led by God to wait for him without telling him. I explained my prayer of him coming to me as a sign that we would forever be bonded in holy matrimony.

Later in June of 2001, I took a two week trip to Colorado as part of my dietetic internship. Matt didn’t want to be away from me for that long, so he arranged a trip to come see me over the middle weekend. I told our love story to a few of the other interns, and they explained how they knew Matt was coming with a ring. I had my suspicions but tried not to let on about the idea to Matt.

He flew into Dallas on Friday afternoon, but since his Nashville flight had been delayed he missed the connecting flight into Denver. We were both disappointed that he wouldn’t be arriving until Saturday. I awoke early that morning to drive the hour from my dorm to the airport. I frantically searched for his gate, but he was nowhere to be found. I walked up and down the row of gates where his flight was supposed to arrive almost in tears. I turned around to race back the other direction, and there he was! He looked as handsome as ever, and I raced into his arms, tears streaming down my face. I was so happy that he was there and was alright.

That evening, we drove into Colorado Springs for dinner. The landscape was breathtaking. Matt had made reservations at a fancy restaurant but it turned out to be crowded and noisy. We ate and talked while I waited not so patiently for “the ring.” Even he looked nervous and seasick. I hoped he wasn’t coming down with something. We finished dinner, but he still hadn’t proposed.

I was becoming anxious. I didn’t want to have my hopes up, but wouldn’t Colorado be the perfect place for a proposal? A waitress at the restaurant took our picture, and then we headed out with our leftovers in tow. We got into the car, and Matt suggested that we find a spot to view the sunset overlooking the Colorado Mountains.

He drove several minutes and wasn’t able to find a typical tourist stop, so he found a gravel work road going behind some of the most beautiful million-dollar mansions we’d ever seen. He parked the car, and we walked down the gravel path until we had an excellent view of the sun fading into the mountains. The sky was a brilliant array of purples and pinks. The mountains were neatly folded into the background like a master artist’s painting would be.

We stood, arms intertwined, underneath the Colorado sky. Matt began to speak softly into my ear about how his friendship for me had grown into love over the past several months. He had loved me for longer than he realized, and he wanted to make a commitment to me. I turned to face him as he fell to one knee, displaying the ring from its hiding spot in his jacket pocket. “Will you marry me?” he proposed.

Instantly, I was bending down to hug him, pulling him up from his knee, and exclaiming “Yes!” I didn’t realize that I hadn’t even seen the ring. I had been too excited to look anywhere else but into his eyes. The ring was a one-carat princess-cut diamond held in place by a slender tiffany band—just how I had imagined! He placed it on my outstretched finger--a little big, but otherwise perfect.

I wouldn’t let Matt take it back with him for resizing because it was a representation of his love for me, and the thoughts the ring imparted would help me bear through the rest of the week without Matt there (I also wanted to parade it around all the other swooning girls in my internship program).

Five months later, our friends and families gathered in the sanctuary of a local Baptist church. I walked down the aisle, my 5-foot jewel-encrusted train flowing behind. Tears gushed down my face even before my father placed my hand into Matt’s. We ascended the steps of the stage, Matt careful not to let me trip as I had instructed him earlier. We had written our own wedding vows, both entailing how our strong bond of friendship had grown into a fully blossomed flower of love. We lit the unity candle as we were serenaded by the song “For the First Time” by Kenny Loggins. The words of the song sum up what was there all along, what God had implanted into both our hearts.

“Are those your eyes, is that your smile
I’ve been lookin’ at you forever
But I never saw you before
Are these your hands holdin’ mine
Now I wonder how I could of been so blind
For the first time I am looking in your eyes
For the first time I’m seein’ who you are
I can’t believe how much I see
When you’re lookin’ back at me
Now I understand why love is.......
Love is.....for the first time.....”

4 comments:

Vader's Mom said...

Sweet, sweet! And I love to say that I saw you walk down the aisle, but mom & I were watching Matt's face. It was so precious to see the look that crossed it the first time he laid eyes on his beautiful bride! We were both crying!!

Sonya said...

Awwww, very sweet love story. I've really enjoyed reading it! It sounds so beautiful! I am so happy things turned out the way you had hoped and prayed!

Heart of Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing your sweet love story. It's such a romantic wedding proposal. I could imagine how beautiful your wedding was. You're both blessed to have met each other.

Judi said...

Aww....I have so enjoyed reading your story. I don't know what we will all do now that it's done! Thanks again for sharing!