Beauty for Ashes…
“…He gives beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” -Isaiah 61:3
Rick and I lived in the same town when I was in elementary school; we knew one another, but obviously had no idea what God had in store for us. Our families have remained close over the years, but it wasn’t until he sent me a little message on Facebook (“Hey! Remember me?”), that we really got to know one another.
When Rick first contacted me, I didn’t think much about it. I’m a city-girl and he is a farmer in rural midwest. I knew he couldn’t leave his farm and I couldn’t imagine moving back there. But as we began to communicate, I found I couldn’t dismiss him so easily. Not only is he a farmer, but he’s also a missionary, spending his free time every year in Guatemala doing missions work. I quickly realized that he is honest, caring, kind, and witty. He is also a man who knows who he is. He doesn’t struggle to figure out what he’s going to do with his life. He already does what he loves. As we got to know each other, it became apparent very quickly that this was more than a friendship.
As I prayed and asked God if He really might want me to move to the rural midwest, the soft answer that came stunned me. “You were willing to move to Haiti, but you can’t live on a farm?” I quickly adjusted my attitude.
Ten months after that first Facebook message, Rick called me late on a Thursday night to ask me if I still needed a date for a friend’s party the next night. Much to my surprise, he was in Nashville the next afternoon. We spent Saturday around Nashville, ending with a romantic dinner and a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city. Rick had been saying the sweetest things to me all weekend and he didn’t stop when we got in the carriage. When he asked me to marry him, I didn’t have to think for a second. I just said “Yes!” Then he gave me a beautiful diamond ring.
We spent that evening basking in the amazement that in a few months we’ll be husband and wife. Even though it was late, we called a few people to share the news. The next morning began a whirlwind of communication, letting those closest to us know of our engagement, showing off the ring, and trying to wrap our minds around the fact that we had both finally found “the one.”
As I’ve considered all this engagement means for my life, one thing is very clear to me: God has blessed me. Rick is a wonderful man and I feel certain that our life together will be good. We want the same things out of life – a peaceful home, children, and God at the center of it all. I have never felt so comfortable, so blessed, and so loved in my entire life. When I look at Rick, I see a man who truly tries to be like Christ. I am smitten. We aren’t perfect, we don’t always agree on everything, but we are perfect for each other. I’m fast and he’s slow. I’m independent and he’s aware of his need for others. He loves tractors and I love writing. He’s private and I’m, well, you know…
We don’t have all the details set yet, but I can say that we plan to marry in Nashville and we don’t want to be engaged any longer than necessary. We’re looking at all our date options and pulling together the pieces so we can set a date. It’s amazing how much work goes into just setting a date! After we’re married, I plan to move to his home. Yes, the city girl is looking forward to becoming a farmer’s wife.
There are so many good things I could share about how God has shown me His goodness every step of the way, but in closing I will share one of my favorite details. As I’ve written before, I have prayed for wisdom all my life. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Folks, my new last name will soon be WYSE.