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?”
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.
- 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.
- 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