Updated: Jul 2, 2019
On this day, 11 years since the day we got married, I think it's time to tell the story of how Richie proposed.
At the time, I had been 18 for all of a month and expecting a proposal to come any day. I knew Richie wanted to marry me, he moved all the way from Arizona to West Virginia for me. It was inevitable. I just didn't know when or how. I had visions of an elaborate date with him presenting me with my very own star to name--back then we had this thing about the stars that I don't exactly remember now. Richie has always been a very sentimental person who strives to go above and beyond, so anytime he took me out on a nice date, I was sure it was the day.
But Richie didn't want to be predictable.
On one random day in October, my mom asked me to go run to the store for a gallon of milk. Richie came with me. The whole drive there and back, he started talking about Jesus washing his disciples' feet before the Passover Festival (John 13:3-17) and I started thinking, "I really hope he's not going to try to wash my feet when we get home." You see, a few years previously at a youth camp, Richie had taken it upon himself to wash all of our peers' feet. I didn't want him to wash my feet because...well, he was the guy I like and that was just weird.
But, he really focused in on this specific verse:
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. -John 13:14
Richie didn't plan to wash my feet, he was trying to make a point about how true love is shown in service and sacrifice. Jesus laid aside his status as master and teacher by washing his disciples' feet, which was work done by lowly servants. Jesus laid down his life and became our sacrifice so that we might be called the children of God. This was true love. Richie was telling me that he wanted to love me with the same serving sacrificial heart.
At the time, I didn't really hear all that. I heard him talking about washing feet. There was just this really strange context that I was not grasping. I thought the whole situation was odd.
Later, when we got home and dropped off the milk to my mom. Richie invited me out on the porch to look at the stars--there it is! And that's sort of when things started to click. Richie reiterated what he had been trying to say and my mind started racing.
Is this it??
Is he actually proposing now?!
I can't believe he's going to propose while I'm wearing a stained oversized hoody and ripped jeans!!
What's so special about running for milk that he thought now is the moment???????
Is he actually planning to wash my feet??
(which yes, he has done that and recently actually.)
And then, Richie got down on one knee and held out a delicate princess cut diamond ring.
I said no.
Obviously, that's not true. I said yes, gave Richie a hug and possibly cried a little. Back then, it wasn't as big a deal to have secret photographers for proposals, so we don't have any video or pictures of it, which is fine since I was definitely not dressed for a fancy proposal. It was just the two of us, enjoying our private moment. It is one of those things that I will never forget.
Looking back over all these years, Richie has truly aimed to live up to those words that he spoke on the night of our engagement. He has always put my needs above his own and makes sure to know how valuable I am to him. How much he adores me. Despite how hard he works outside of the home, he always finds time to help me with the house chores, and oftentimes tells me not to worry when I don't have things perfectly tidy. I stress about that a lot, but he is always willing to pick up my slack. He helps me become a better person daily and encourages me to follow my dreams. Like I mentioned in "The Biggest Move," Richie sacrificed a lot to be with me and I'm forever grateful that he did.
After 11 years of marriage, we're not afraid to admit that our life together isn't perfect. It isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but when the storm clouds come rolling in...there isn't anyone else I would rather walk through the mud with. It makes us stronger. After weathering the storms together, our love is only deeper.
I'm excited to see where life takes us next.