On Chris’ birthday, we got all dressed up for a fancy steak dinner in downtown Detroit. The views from our table were spectacular. On the 72nd floor of a hotel, the restaurant overlooked the Detroit River. Directly across the river was a view of Canada. Watching the sunset that evening was breathtaking. God, in all His majesty, created the perfect backdrop for what would soon become the start of something new.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
While staring contently out the window, in awe of the scenery, Chris interrupted my thoughts. He said, “I have something for you.” I thought, “It’s his birthday? Why in the world does he have something for me?”
He pulled an envelope from his backpack and excitedly handed it to me. I skeptically opened the envelope and removed its contents. I slowly unfolded the paper to find an employee discount card inside. Sarcastically, I mumbled, “thank you”.
Shortly afterwards, he said, “I have another surprise for you?” I thought, “What is it this time?” Needless to say, I was over his interruptions during my perfectly planned birthday dinner!!
For the second time, he reached into his little backpack of “surprises”. This time he pulled out a dissertation – a seven page, handwritten letter addressed to yours truly. Not quite a dissertation, but too many pages nonetheless. Ha!
The number seven in the Bible represents divine perfection, totality, or completion.
Me: “Am I suppose to read this now?”
Me: “Like, right now??”
Chris: “Move over there. To the other side. Directly in front of me. I want to watch you read it.”
Me: Silently thinking, “This is weird!”
TBC, Tiffany Before Christ, wouldn’t have been reading nobody’s seven page nothing, MmmmK! Ain’t nobody got time for that! #boybye
While reading the letter, my eyes began to swell with tears. It was a trip down memory lane. It recapped the special moments we’d shared since our first phone conversation only seven months prior! He recalled our first date at Pappadeaux’s. I call it a date. He calls it a meeting. #whatever, and so many other things. Our courtship thus far had truly been a whirlwind.
When I finished the letter, I looked up. Our eyes met. Though I’d looked into his eyes several times before, this time was different. This time, God gave me a glimpse inside his soul.
Chris: “I have one last surprise for you.”
Me: Again, silently thinking, “What else does this man have in that bag?!?!”
Chris: “Close your eyes. I’ll tell you when to open ’em.”
Me: Still clueless, “Sure. Whatever!”
Chris: “Open ’em”
He was down on one knee. Nervously, he began to speak, “I couldn’t think of a better birthday gift than to have you as my wife. Will you marry me?” #newthing #completion
Me: In between the screams of excitement and shock, “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. I’d already been engaged twice (I’ll share more about that later). Neither of which ended in a trip down the aisle. This was my third, and God willing, final engagement. I’m far from perfect. I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t do everything right. In fact, I did WHOLE LOT wrong. But God, He loves us too much to leave us the way He finds us, or better stated, the way we find Him. #praisebreak
I shared this story for two reasons.
- Brag on God: God’s the hero. He’s been so good to me. He’s been faithful to me, even when I was unfaithful Him. Listen to me, if God removes something, or someone, from your life, it’s for your good. He has something so much better in store for you. Trust Him. 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