A Breakthrough...& a Proposal!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Friends! I am ENGAGED!!!

Yeah! I know, right?!?!

It's still amazing and wonderful, and although I AM starting to come back down to earth so that I can focus on everything I NEED to get prepared for this summer, I am still floating :))

The proposal happened on Sunday, and I'll get to that. But first, a little story...

The past few weeks leading up to this have been something you might describe using the cliche term "roller coaster".  But looking back on it, I can't believe how evident God's hand was! He was preparing me for this moment the whole time. But my blinders were on, and I couldn't have possibly been aware. 

Let me start off telling you that...yes, I was THAT girl who actually dictated when her boyfriend was going to propose. I'm not someone who typically likes to be surprised. I like to know what is happening. I like to know what is coming. I like to be "prepared" for any big, life changing things {Read: CONTROL!}. So of course, we had been discussing when we planned to get engaged for awhile. He was respectful of the fact that I didn't really want to be surprised. He wanted to make sure I was comfortable. Which I appreciated. HOWEVER...........

The closer it got, the more restless I became. I started to ask myself a lot of questions, and began to overthink every little thing, wondering if any of this was right. And what did right even mean? 
A little over two weeks ago, my anxiety started to build so much that I felt physically sick. My stomach hurt so badly and my appetite was completely gone. I had to force myself to eat. Every muscle in my body was in high levels of pain, so much so that no matter how much Aleve I took, I found no relief. I had to fight off panic attacks, which was the hardest part to deal with. I haven't had a panic attack in over two years! I didn't understand what was wrong with me. I had known for awhile that I did want to get engaged, and that I did want to be married. So what was making me feel so awful?? What was bringing that ultimate highest level of anxiety back that I hadn't experienced in years??

And because my brain works in such extremes {thank you, mental illness for rearing your ugly head again}, I began to wonder if maybe this meant that I was wrong....about everything.

Well, praise the Lord {and I mean, really!} that I have friends who know how to talk me down when I work myself up this much. 
After talking to a very trusted friend about how I was feeling, she helped me realize that trying to micromanage when the proposal would happen is NOT my job. I was spending all my time anticipating the moment because I knew it was coming...and I'm not supposed to see it coming! It's supposed to be a surprise, and it's supposed to be exciting! And it's HIS job, not mine. My only job would be to say yes or no.
After putting everything into this new perspective, I felt a whole lot better. More relaxed. I talked to John-David about this, and I told him, "You propose when you want to propose." And I made up my mind that my answer would be YES.  
THEN...I finally prayed and offered the whole situation up to God, which I had not done yet {my other mistake...again, read: CONTROL}. And that brought me more peace and comfort than ever. My anxiety was gone. My appetite came back. I was no longer in what felt like endless pain. My guard came way down, and I was open to whatever God wanted. No fear. {Yeah, that's what I said...whoa!} I even found myself experiencing bursts of excitement that lasted longer than just a fleeting moment...and that wasn't normal either. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to be engaged!

Fast forward to Sunday morning...

After a great week, filled with joy and peace that only God could provide, I was in church on Sunday morning, listening to an excellent sermon. It was just the icing on the cake! And at the end, the speaker did a "listening prayer" with us, which I talked a little bit about in this post
He gave us an opportunity to hear from God directly, which is the way I've been leaning how to pray lately. He asked very specific questions, and allowed us a time of quiet and stillness to hear from God. And for the first time ever, I HEARD. I heard, and it was not seasoned with doubts and questions. No opposing inner voice was trying harder to silence God's voice. The joy and fullness I felt was overwhelming! It was so new, but it was the BEST new! I didn't even know it was possible!

Annnnndddd, fast forward to Sunday night...

It had been a lazy Sunday. My favorite kind. I read in the sunshine all afternoon.
John-David's family had planned a game night with a family friend, which is pretty much a staple in that house. It was nothing out of the ordinary. Now if any of you have played the game Settlers of Catan, you know how complex it can get. It requires asking questions of the other players and trading cards and game pieces and whatnot. Soooo...we're playing the game and everything is normal. John-David finishes his turn, and then he says, "Okay, and I have one more question to ask." Next thing I know he's up from his chair and then back down again, this time on one knee, asking me to marry him. Nothing fancy. Nothing spectacular. I didn't need that. All I needed was, "Emily, will you marry me?" And all I needed to say was, "YES!"

God. Is. Great. He was preparing my heart and I didn't even know it!
Just a reminder, He sees the bigger picture!

1 comment :

  1. Your journey with engagement sounds a lot like mine! My fiancee and I had been having intentional conversations about marriage for over two years, but instead of relaxing throughout the process I was super anxious. I had quite a few panic attacks because after our very specific discussions about timelines and what not, I would get excited, but when certain dates passed I felt so confused. I honestly thought he was going to propose to me at least 10 different times over the last year, hahaha. This is why I always say there's definitely no way I earned this engagement because I was patient the entire time because it was certainly a struggle. It was a reminder to me that God gives according to His will and His goodness. I'm so excited for you! Happy wedding planning as well!