On May 6, Zach and I got engaged!!!!!
In the past three months, we have only grown more in love, and in that growth, we have learned even more about Christ's love for us.
Here is one remarkable way being engaged to Zach has shown me a glimpse of Christ's pursuit of me:
A while back, Zach and I talked about our hopes to be married. However, we didn't know what the timing of engagement would look like, so we decided not to talk about being engaged until things were clearer so we wouldn't obsess over it. A few months later, Zach began to think about the right time to pop the question. In January, he asked one of my closest friends (S/O to Sheridan) for access to my secret Pinterest board. On the board? a bunch of engagement rings.
Zach started thinking about how he wanted to propose, and he started ring shopping! All semester long, he knew he was going to pop the question. He was working and plotting out the details, and I had NO IDEA. literally none.
My perspective the entire semester?
If we want to be married sometime in 2017, maybe we'll get engaged at the end of the year?
Probably very end of the year at the soonest.
I tried my best not to think about it often, but in total transparency, there were definitely times I struggled with my need-to-know-everything mentality.
See, I love to know everything. I constantly feel the need to know how things are going to work out and when they're going to work out.
And in the Christian college culture of seeing people engaged left and right, with my friends asking "Hey, so when do you think you're gonna get engaged?", with songs like "Wouldn't It Be Nice" by The Beach Boys...there were definitely occasions on which I just wanted to ask Zach, "Hey.........so when are we going to be engaged?"
One day, Zach and I went kayaking, and I told him all about my struggle with my need-to-know-everything self.
He smiled at me and said, "I want to marry you soon. As far as other things (engagement), I want to keep that a surprise."
Yet, I still thought that meant it wasn't going to be for a long while, not knowing, he actually looked at rings earlier that day.
About two months later, he asked me to marry him!!!
Here is how he pulled off the best surprise of my life:
To get me to wear something dressy:
Two weeks before he proposed, he asked me if I wanted to go to a comedy club and be fancy people. I didn't overthink it because sometimes we agree to dress up "all fancy like" to go on dates, and he told me the comedy club was actually pretty fancy.
To get me to have my nails done:
I have a friend who I always go get my nails done with when we catch up (S/O to Neena). He heard me mention her a while back and made a mental note of it to ask her to take me to get my nails done the day before the engagement. So, she texted me asking if I wanted to get my nails done earlier in the week, and since I had Phi Lamb formal that next Monday, and I hadn't seen her in a while, I said yes with no suspicion. It was so normal and casual. I didn't suspect a thing.
As we were driving away, I even took this picture of my nails and said "Lol, Neena, look!! It kinda looks like I'm showing off a ring," not knowing I would actually be getting an engagement ring the next day.
The day of the "Comedy Club":
Zach suggested we go dancing before the comedy club, so he picked me up and took me to our favorite little spot in the world. Here's a little fact about Zach and me- sometimes after a date, we go up to the Whole Foods rooftop to dance. There's a little corner set apart from the rest of the rooftop that hardly anyone goes to, and that's where we go. We play music on our phones and dance. (I know, we're dweebs, but I love it.)
^Here I am, still totally oblivious.
We danced to some Johnnyswim and Frank Sinatra, and then he walked me over to show me our Adventure Book.
Early on in our relationship, we watched UP and thought, "what if we had an adventure book?" so, naturally, we went to Hobby Lobby and bought a book to fill up with pictures and mementos from all of our adventures. We hadn't filled it out for about a year, so Zach surprised me by filling it out for the past year of our relationship. The book included tickets from concerts we attended together, letters we exchanged while I was at camp, and photos from some of our best date nights- every page reminding me of the great adventure it is to date Zach.
Now, you're probably thinking, "she HAD to know at this point." But, I didn't. Because Zach loves me ridiculously well, he shows me daily. It's totally in-character for Zach to plan out cute dates like this with grand romantic gestures to show me love.
When we came to the last page in the book, he stood up and picked up his backpack. He started opening it up to put away the book (or so I thought). Since we were running late for dinner, I thought, "Oh, he must be in a hurry to go."
He started to open the little side pocket of his backpack.
Why is he opening the SIDE pocket?? Wait, he's getting something out. A little box? A BOX!!! A RING box. Ohmygosh, it's a ring!!!!!!
Opening up the box, Zach got down on one knee. He looked me in the eyes and said, "Selena, I love you with all my heart. I have loved every single one of our adventures, but you are by far my greatest adventure. Selena Depaz, will you marry me?"
And I said "YES!"
A party of our closest friends and family received us at his house afterwards, rejoicing with us and making us both feel extremely loved. Zach even got my closest high school pals to be there for this special moment!
It was a day full of crazy big love, a day of joy exploding in my heart and the beginning of a new adventure with my sweet fiancé.
A couple of weeks ago I asked Zach how it all felt from his perspective and here's what he said:
"It was so fun because I got to look forward to it all coming together and getting to see your face through the surprise was the best. Knowing it was coming, and knowing you didn't know, was just so fun! I knew you really wanted to know. I knew you were curious, but I thought it would be a much sweeter surprise if you were unaware.
It was hard, because on one hand, I did want to give you a better idea so that you would know I did want to propose soon. I wanted for you to feel secure in knowing that it was coming. But, on the other hand, I could just imagine and picture how special of a surprise it would be if I didn't tell you."
In this act of absolute care and overwhelming love, I saw a glimpse of the way Jesus pursues us. The Lord always knows the plans He has for us. He crafts every detail to beautiful perfection. He knows the desire of our hearts from the very beginning, and He's working in the background to take care of us.
Even in our days of stress and "need-to-know-everything" mentalities, He truly has it all under control. The Lord might smile thinking, "they have no idea what I have in store."
So, friends, even if you don't see it right now, the Lord is plotting His next grand romantic gesture. In the meantime, don't forget He's showing you His love in all of the little things too.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD," plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."