When I was 20 years old I wrote a journal entry that listed all the qualities I wanted in my future husband. It was around the time my sister got engaged, so I began to ponder marriage. It’s funny in Texas I was already feeling the pressure to find “the one.” Little did I know it would be an entire decade until I finally did.
As a finished that journal entry, I quickly began another. On the very next page I wrote down the qualities of the woman that I wanted to be. I thought it only fitting that I should work on becoming the woman I wanted to be before I should meet the man I wanted to marry. After all, would the man of such high standards I had described on this bullet pointed page even be interested in the person I was at the time? Or did I have a lot of growth to achieve and wisdom to gain in my relationship with Christ as I continued to build my character on the foundation that is Him? Not sure about the former. A definite yes to the latter.
Turns out God had some work He wanted to do with me. Over the next ten years He shaped me and molded me, as He is still continuing to do. I have definitely made mistakes, and I definitely have regrets, but all in all I have experienced God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy in my life in such an incredible way. And that was all before I met Clay. But then God, in all His perfect love and generous goodness, saw fit to bring Clay and I together in His perfect timing, showing me all those things in such a way that I never imagined and filling my life with the most joy and love and peace that I’ve ever known.
I must admit I didn’t always feel God’s timing was perfect… The years before we met were long, and the months before he actually asked me out were even longer. But I truly wouldn’t change one day of it, one detail of it, one moment of it. Because this is our story. And it’s my favorite one.
Clay possesses every single character quality on that list that I wrote a decade years ago – each one of them, and so many more. He truly is a man after God’s own heart. He loves others so recklessly well. I am continually inspired by his discipline, wisdom, and constant seeking of Truth. He is the man that I want to marry. He is the man with whom I want to walk through this crazy journey that is life. He is the one I want by my side through it all.
I don’t deserve the gift that is Clay, just as I don’t deserve God’s faithfulness and the gift that is His son. But I offer up my empty hands and receive these gifts with great gratitude and an expectant heart.
This long awaited, much dreamt about, wedding day of mine has finally arrived. (Well, almost.) And it was so worth the wait. Every tear I cried, every time I wondered, every moment of hurt and confusion and wonder were all a part of my journey that would bring me to Clay. And I love that our marriage ceremony will be such a reflection of Heaven when we will finally be united with Christ. Similarly, on that day I am confident we will feel that all the pain, confusion, and trials of this life were so worth enduring as we enter into eternity spent in God’s perfect love.
We are excited to begin our journey in this next chapter of life as a married couple. And we are excited to share our engagement film – a snapshot of our story – with you. It has moments of sap (how can you create an engagement video without a bit of it, come on!), but I hope you see through Clay’s wise words that we don’t wear rose-colored glasses and our relationship is very real – we drive each other absolutely crazy sometimes. But we choose each other every day. And sometimes that’s really is the most romantic thing of all.
While there’s so much to look forward to this future I have with Clay, today I look back and I reflect on the goodness and wonder of the best possible kind that this last year has brought. Thanks for watching, reading, and sharing in our great joy of this season. We are grateful for each of you.
“Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
“The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from him whose walk is blameless.” – Psalm 84:11
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” – Song of Solomon 3:4
“It’s like puttin’ on my favorite pair of shoes; I like to be with me when I’m with you.” – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors