Our Engagement Story

Chris and I met in Detroit for the weekend to celebrate his birthday. On this particular day, I made a dinner reservation for the two of us at Coach Insignia. Coach Insignia was a fancy steakhouse located on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. The views from the restaurant were spectacular. It overlooked the Detroit River. From our seat, we could see Canada directly across the river. Watching the sunset that evening was breathtaking. It was romantic to say the least.

As we were eating dinner, Chris says, “I have something for you.” I’m thinking, “What in the world does this man have for me? It’s his birthday? Why does he have something for me?” He pulls an envelope from his bag. I open the envelope and it’s a Gap discount card. I said, “Thank you.” #sideeye

Shortly afterwards, he says, “I have another surprise for you? I said, “What is it this time, the garage door opener?”(This was inside joke.) He proceeds to pull a book from his bag. OK, it really wasn’t a book but close enough. It was a 7 page letter. Yes, you read that correctly, S-E-V-E-N, SEVEN, pages!

Me: “Do you want me to read this now?”

Chris: “Yes.”

Me: “Like, right now??”

Chris: “Sit directly in front of me so I can watch you read it.”

Me: Silently thinking, “This is weird!”

I must say, God prepared me for this moment. TBC, Tiffany Before Christ, wouldn’t have been sitting there reading nobody’s 7 page letter, OK! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Boy bye!

As I was reading the letter, my eyes began to swell with tears. The letter was a trip down memory lane. It recapped the special moments we’d shared since our first phone conversation only 7 months and one day prior! Side note: As I’m sitting here in bed typing this, the number 7, throughout this post, really stands out to me. It’s the number of completion. God was completing our courtship.

After I finished reading the letter, I looked up at Chris. Our eyes met. It was as if I could see inside his soul. It was a special, intimate connection. I’ll never forget that moment. I thanked him for the letter and told him how much I appreciated him taking the time to write it.

As we were finishing up dessert, he told me there was one last surprise for me. I’m thinking, “What else does this man have in that bag?!?!” LOL! He instructs me to close my eyes and he’d tell me when to open ’em. I’m thinking, “Sure. Whatever!” About a minute later he says, “You can open them now.”

I opened my eyes to find him down on one knee. Nervously, he began to speak. He said, “I couldn’t think of a better birthday gift than to have you as my wife. Will you marry me? #lifechanged

After I screamed a few times in disbelief and shock, I finally said YES.

You may be thinking, “Good for you. What does this have to do with me?” Before you roll your eyes and exit the screen, gimme a minute. You see, I’d been down this road before. Prior to this, I’d been engaged twice (I’ll share more about that later). This was my third, and God willing, final engagement. I didn’t share this to brag about me. About how good I’ve been or how much I deserve a good man. I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t do everything right. In fact, I did WHOLE LOT wrong. But God… He redeems all y’all. #praisebreak

Here’s the thing. I shared this story for two reasons.

  1. Brag on God: God’s my hero. He saved me from myself. He’s been so good to me. In fact, He was faithful even when I was unfaithful. Listen to me, if God removes someone from your life, let ’em go. He has something so much better in store for you. Trust Him. I’m a living testimony. I’m SO, SO, SO thankful He didn’t give me what I thought I wanted. Not because I’m good, but because He’s good. It’s true, Father knows best.
  2. Encourage you. God is gracious. I don’t deserve to be married to the most amazing, supportive, handsome, loving, caring (OK, I’ll stop with the adjectives. Ha!) man, BUT God loved me enough to make it so. There’s nothing special about me. He did it for me, He’ll do it for you.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:10

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Marriage: Why It’s Not What I Expected

 

“Is marriage different than you thought it would be?” was the question asked in a devotional Chris and I were studying. Pausing for a minute, I reflected upon what I thought versus reality. I answered first. “Yes! The first seven months of our marriage have been much different than I thought.”

I envisioned a two income household, endless shopping, disposable income, and lots of travel. Far from the cooking, cleaning, and piles of laundry awaiting me. I never in a million years envisioned myself being a housewife. I thought being a housewife was an elite status, reserved only for the rich and famous. I was neither of those things.

From a very young age I was taught – Work hard. Take care of yourself. Don’t depend on a man, or anybody else, to take care of you. Now what would people think? Scripture clearly says in Proverbs 29:25, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety” but that didn’t stop me from entertaining my thoughts. What would people think of me becoming a housewife? How would I explain forfeiting my six figure salary as an engineer to be a housewife? People would think I was crazy to give up my life to marry a man I barely knew (that’s a story for another day). All of these thoughts were confirmed when I received the following email from a friend/mentor.

Tiffany, don’t give up who you are for your new marriage…if something should not work out, you will be left with nothing. Chris is not giving up who he is for you, why in the world are you giving up who you are for him? What if he divorces you in two years, then what?

And, men respect hard work, intelligence and partnership from their spouses…if you become one dimensional, you risk becoming uninteresting. What is going on with you…I don’t get it? You marry a man that you don’t know, you quit your job, and you move away from all independence, you have no income, do you even know what his legal worth is and who he has assigned it to should anything go wrong?

Yeah, me too! I was at a loss for words too! Needless to say, I was upset. After calming down, I realized she was coming from a good place. Like me, she was taught, work hard and don’t depend on anybody. The thought of surrendering control to someone else is scary; however, that’s what God requires of us. He wants our hearts. He wants our complete trust. He wants to know we really believe He’s a good, good Father. Would I surrender this season of my life to him and trust He knows best? What about you? Is God tugging on your heart to surrender something? It’s easy to believe it’s us making things happen in our lives, but that’s simply not true. God is in control of all things.

For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being. Job 12:10

We can’t expect others to understand what God is doing in our lives. That’s why it’s so important to have a relationship with God. If you don’t know who you are, someone else is waiting to define it for you. Had I received this email prior to having a real relationship with God, I would’ve frantically started searching for jobs to prove my worth. Not this time Satan! I chose to trust the plan God has for me. We’re often taught, good things come to those who work hard. While that may be true, I also believe better things comes to those who trust God.

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Thank you for reading! You can find me online on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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