But J asked me to marry him and I said yes. He asked on Sunday, August 31st, 2008 (obviously). He asked me to go with him to his new home to help move him and his stuff in. His call is about 11 hours away from Seminary. Four of his congregation members came down in a suburban to help him move that weekend. They got here late on Friday night and went to sleep. Early the next morning, we went down to J's apt and loaded up his Uhaul. Two people drove the truck, two people went in the suburban, and J and I went in his car. Before we departed, he asked me to go get a CD he had made me. Good music.
We stopped a couple of times for gas and food, and made it to his new home in pretty good time. There were several congregation members there to help unload the truck, and J got to tell them where to put all the boxes and furniture. Someone else brought pizza, beer, water, and pop, and so we had some good time for fellowship and getting to know you. One of the congregation members showed us how to get to the hotel at which I would be staying. Then, J brought me back to his house, after we went and saw the church. It seems like a really neat place, and I mentioned how much I like it. When we got back to his house, I helped him set up his bed so he could sleep comfortably during his first night in his new place (even though he was coming back to Seminary for about two more weeks).
After we got the bedroom situation figured out, he took me back to the hotel because we were both pretty beat. As I was getting ready for bed, he sent me a really sweet text message, and I replied, and then went to sleep.
The next morning, he came to get me for our long trip home. We drove around the town in which one of his congregations and the parsonage are. It's a town of about a thousand people. They have a prominent landmark right off the Interstate, and so we stopped and looked at it and read about it for a little bit. Then, he took me to the town where his other church is. He showed me the outside of his other church because we couldn't go in. They were still worshipping. Both places seem really cool, and I enjoyed the congregation members I met. Good folks.
After he showed me around that town, which has about 200 people, give or take a few, we headed out. We drove for a little while, but then stopped at another prominent landmark in a town on the Interstate. We had our picture taken with said landmark, viewed the museum and tourist sites there, and then got back into his car. Before he started the car, he said, "Did you ever listen on your computer to the most recent CD I made you?" I told him that I had only ever listened to it on my DVD player. He said, "So you don't know the names of all the songs?" I told him that I didn't. Then he said, "I finished the insert for you. You might want to pay special attention to the first letter of each song." So, I read the first letters that spelled out, "Trish will you marry me?" I turned to him and said, "Are you asking?" And he said, "Yes. Will you marry me?" Of course I said yes, and I am thrilled. We got the engagement ring later that week because he wanted us to pick it out together.
We tried to keep it quiet, but told several of our friends the next week. I asked the usual Seminarians Gone Wild crew to go out to lunch for a "pre-Wednesday get together event." All but one was able to go. We went out to lunch at a Chinese Buffet. As I came back from my second trip, I was standing up near the end of the table and I said, "Hey guys. Hey guys... I lied. The reason I wanted you all to come to lunch is because we're engaged." It was so neat to see their reactions. We got hugs and squeals and all that good stuff. We asked them to keep it on the downlow because were were planning on going to Illinois to tell my family the coming weekend.
So, Friday, we got to Sis and BiL's house. I wanted to tell both of my sisters at the same time, so I had kinda put a bug in YS's ear that she needed to visit us at Sis's house that weekend. I'm thankful that Sis, YS, Howard, Sunscreen, BiL, J, and I had dinner together on Saturday night. YSB had to be someplace else, so that was a slight bummer. Anyway, though, before dinner, I was making cocktails, because I gotta make myself useful somehow, and YS came up to me and said, "Hey T, I had a crazy dream about you the other night!" (Remember that the week prior, I had had that dream where she was incredibly angry and she really was?) I said, "What did you dream about?" She replied, "I had this dream that when you and J came home, you guys were married!" I kinda smiled and said, "No... We're not married." Then, about an hour later, after we had finished eating dinner, we were enjoying a nice glass of peach champagne when I asked BiL when he was going to Canada. He told me when and then he said, "Too bad we're turning right at (town where J and I got engaged), or else I'd come see you, J!" I said something like, "So, you're turning there? That's where he asked me to marry him." And they were all like, "WOW!" And BiL said, "I KNEW IT!" And YS said, "My dream was almost right!" And they gave us congrats. YS said, "I told YSB that if T gets a ring before I do, I'm going to be pissed!" I asked her if she was okay with it, and she said, "Yes, I'm very happy for you!" And she was. I can tell when she's upset, and she wasn't upset. Maybe this will be the impetus for YSB to ask YS. They've been together a good long while, and he's a good man. I just think he's been burned before.
So, the family knew, and that freed J and me up to tell whomever we wanted.
The next morning, we went to my home church and I introduced Pastor to J. Pastor told J congrats on graduating and being ordained, and J said, "Among other things." And I held up my ring hand and said, "We're engaged!" It took Pastor a second to realize that I was holding up a ringed finger and he was excited about it. We told him that we had wanted to wait until we told my family, but now we could broadcast it to the world. So he said, "I can help you with that, if you'd like! I can make an announcement if that's alright with you!" We told him that it would be.
So, Pastor did the regular announcements that morning, and as the last one he said, "Some of you maybe have met Trish's friend, J when he was here in August?" (He looked at me to see if that was right and I said, "July"). "When he was here in July when Trish led worship when I was gone. J is a recent graduate and is ordained and will be starting a call (in his call towns). But when we were talking this morning, Trish held up her hand like this and showed me that they're engaged!" I heard the whole congregation go, "Awww!" And then they all started clapping. I turned bright red, of course, but I felt very loved by them. It's good to have "congregational approval," despite the fact that I'm in love and would marry him even if they didn't approve.
I'm just glad they didn't freak out and think I was going to quit seminary. That is not AT ALL my plan. J realizes this and supports me in my continuing education. We are planning on getting married this coming May, though. I'm excited, to say the least. I just wanted to share this news with you, my blogging community, despite the fact that most of you knew already. :)
Anyway, this has been an extremely long post, so I'ma head off now. Have a delightful day.