Before ‘I Do’: So Like I Was Saying… (PROPOSAL PHOTOS INCLUDED)

So like i was saying before… a little over a week ago, Jason and I were both super tired and just feeling overwhelmed in general. He just got a new position in his job and I have my own share of… stuff. Sundays are a work day for me which started way early on that particular day. I had no clue when I woke up before the sun that my world would be so different by the time I fell asleep again. What I knew was, we were getting out of Lakeland and taking our minds off anything that we may be responsible for. When these days happen, sometimes it means going out to find fun, and other days it means sitting around in comfy clothes and catching up on Big Brother. This day: it was a stroll into one of our favorite areas of downtown Orlando.

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We walked hand in hand talking about this and that, and even at one point I thought “oh, I bet he’s trying to get ideas for a proposal.” There’s one place where one of my favorite pictures is taken (above) and when we were passing by he threw out that we should take another selfie there. The sun was terrible, I kept shifting us to better lighting and he kept shifting us back to the original location.

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The pictures were awful, to say the least. The left above was taken by the ninja photographer who was secretly planted. The right is the best of our results.

As he turned to me from putting my phone back into my bag he said “before we get to our lunch spot…”  with a small white box in his hand.

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*a moment for your heart to drop… I know, mine too.*

After that I don’t really know what happened because I went into a little bit of a shock/black hole/wondering why I didn’t spend more time getting ready. I do know that he got on one knee and said some super sweet words about spending forever together… and then opened the box and I didn’t care about any of the other words after that. I even forgot to say “YES!”… We both just stood there and then I was like “omg, of course!”…  Okay, actually, if we’re being honest, I got really excited and took the ring out of the box and put it on my own finger. I know, I know, tradition says… but I didn’t have time for all that.

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Best part was at the very end, a homeless man who had been hanging out in the park, came over to celebrate with us and “be a witness to our love” before riding off into the city on his bike.

Both anxious and excited and calling everyone we knew, we called our day date successful, and gladly agreed to skip lunch and head back to Lakeland to put on those comfy clothes I was talking about and stare at my hand all day. I even took my wedges off in the car – totally ready to relax – and arrived at his parent’s house to share the news (that they already knew was happening) into yet another surprise – most of our closest relationships in one room to celebrate the occasion! To say that we felt celebrated is the biggest understatement possible!

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I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and a better way to agree to a life with someone else.

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It’s weird because my day to day is exactly the same today as it was two weeks ago, yet it feels incredibly different. A season shift faster than I’ve ever experienced. With one word, one answer, one “yes”, my life took a turn that I’m super excited and terrified for. I’m still the 27 year old girl who is figuring it all out. I’m still processing God’s plan. I’m still trying to understand the journey that I’m on – however, now I (currently) get to mix an element of planning and signing up on theknot.com and whatnot, and then eventually mix an element of an everyday slumber party with one the best people I know.

Here’s to china patterns, figuring it all out, and whittling down a guest list! I’m a little scared.

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Baby Bergly: Choosing To Fight Anyway

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No matter how many miracles (on every scale) that we witness on a daily basis – whenever a rescue doesn’t end in success it is painful. It is painful because in choosing to fight for a child’s life we are choosing to be attached. To love. To go all in. Even when it doesn’t look promising. Even when it doesn’t even look hopeful. Aware of the potential pain in hopes of the potential success. And choosing to fight anyway.

Tonight my heart isn’t hurting for Bergly.

It actually makes me smile a little knowing that he has no more exhausted cries that sound like light little hums or emotional meltdowns (on his behalf) to get any kind of food into his belly. At two years old Bergly weighed only 11 lbs. (ya that’s right, what you probably weighed at birth) and any sense of exerted energy was just about too much for his little body to handle without a nap. And when I say exerted energy I mean swatting my hands away for too long and/or thinking of strategic ways to get the food out of his mouth before I got it back in. It really took it out of the little fella.

Tonight my heart is not hurting for him, but for his young mother who is about to receive news that her baby died. That she won’t even able to be there, to say goodbye, or to grieve at a burial. Just continue on with life as usual, as if he never was. My heart is hurting because I can not even imagine how her heart will be hurting.

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I am grateful, however, that along with the news of baby Bergly’s passing we are able to sincerely say that he didn’t go down without a fight. That there were many people working on his behalf… staying up nights and monitoring him each day. Interceding on his behalf to the God who created him and numbered his days. There were people caring for him and loving him and taking care of his mother and brother. I am grateful for The Real Hope for Haiti and how they were willing to take him on, knowing his severity, and fight for him until the very last moment.

Bergly is only one of many stories of complications within malnutrition. The inevitable effects of a food crisis, a country in crisis, and a family in crisis. Stories like his are taking place many times every minute. Unknown names. Unknown faces. So often fading from this earth only known and loved by Jesus. One more reason I am so grateful to all who are making it possible for Danita to make our Medical Center a reality. So Mom’s like Bergly’s don’t have to spend the rest of her life wondering what her baby boy would have grown up to be like.

Psalm 34:18 “Our Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and he saves those who are crushed in their spirits.

Our Lord is always with us, but especially close in the moments that break our hearts. And tonight my broken hearted prayer is for Bergly’s mom. That she would find peace within the tragic reality and pain of losing a child after two years of a desperate struggle, and that she would know that God hears her hurt and He is present… even when she can’t identify Him.

… and that her sweet baby boy is safe, happy, and whole.

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