There is something so precious about two people in love. I can’t even put into words how exciting it is to capture unrehearsed, genuine adoration between two individuals…mix in superior creativity, a surprise proposal and unexplainable joy and you might as well hand me a box of tissues, because I’m going to be standing in a puddle of my own tears.
Insert Daniel and Jill.
Two individuals my husband and I both love and respect. Two individuals who passionately love and serve the Lord first; then each other. Two people, who have waited for one another their whole lives; and who through obedience to the Father have found themselves walking a journey together hand in hand.
Two individuals that after this incredible evening, will soon become husband and wife.
The sun was glowing, all of our nerves seemed to be bundled together in knots and the anticipation of what was to come seemed comparable to that excitement you feel when you go to bed on Christmas Eve as a child… you know something amazing is going to happen, but you just don’t know quite how it will all unfold.
With a sweet and simple set up, we each dashed to our places. A man, about to propose; 2 photographers, hiding behind the protective covering of sea oats and a friend, strategically positioned to make sure the evening went off as planned.
And then there was Jill…
“It was not long after meeting Jill at a get-together, that our mutual friends invited us to, that I realized I was in trouble. I was head over heels for this incredible young woman, who exuded so much of the love of Christ to everyone she came in contact with. I knew that I wanted to be more than her friend, and before she even said yes to being my girlfriend, I knew I wanted her to be my wife. To say that God orchestrated our story would be an understatement. In just two short months, I felt like I had know this amazing person for my entire life. We shared the same passions, the same heart for people, the same desire to do whatever the Lord asked of us.”
“Just a few days after I asked Jill’s father for permission to date his daughter and she said “yes”, I flew out to Texas for an interview at a church. At this point, I thought that I would go, thank the church for their time, and politely decline their offer. Instead, God began to give me vision for ministry and life in this East Texas town. Upon returning to Tampa, I told Jill why I had been out of town. With the grace that flows from her continually, she told me that whatever the Lord called me too, she was committed to our relationship and to seeking God. After many weeks of prayer, God made it clear that I was to move to Lufkin, Texas. As I began to break the news to family and co-workers, God continued to confirm this move, and strengthen the bond between Jill and me. Many may think that the “friendship stage” of our relationship went by too fast, but God knew that in a short time, I would be moving away. He drew our hearts together in His timing for His purpose.”
“Ever since January, Monday nights have been “Skype date” nights, with us communicating through other means every other day during the week. We have both traveled for visits and have soaked up every minute that we get to be together. It hasn’t been easy, but we both know that God has had us work through this for His glory. I decided long ago that I wanted to propose to Jill on our one year anniversary, October 20th. I knew that I wanted to surprise her and I knew that I wanted to do it in Tampa.
After working through obstacles that seemed to stand in the way, I suggested that I come into town for the FSU Homecoming game. She was excited, even though that meant I would not be in town for our actual Anniversary. I told her that to make up for it, I wanted to watch the sunset over Skype with her on October 20th. I told her to go to a certain spot on the beach, and I would go to a local park in Lufkin, where we would video call each other to watch the sunset. After much planning and throwing Jill off of the trail, the beach scene was set.”
“After Jill was situated, I walked up on the beach access, and was greeted by a look of surprise and extreme confusion. It had worked! She had no idea I was coming! After we talked for a bit and some of the shock wore off, I dropped to one knee. I can’t remember everything I said, but I do know that I said one thing and asked another. I had decided long ago that the first time I told my girlfriend “I love you” would be right before I proposed. So, on one knee, I said, “Jill Shelton, I love you, will you spend the rest of your life with me?” She said yes! Afterward, we laughed, took lots of photos, and celebrated with some of our closest friends and family.”
Congratulations to the one who said “yes!” and to her blessed fiance’ who gets to spend the rest of his life with this precious girl!
Part 2 Coming Soon…