Monday morning I walked into French class with Bree, and the two of us took our seats. We chatted and talked while we waited for Madame and also Valeria, our third classmate, to enter the room. I showed Bree the Navigator t-shirt I wore, and she talked about her weekend.
Then, when Madame returned, Bree turned to me suddenly.
“Montres-tu ton bague!”
My face became exceedingly red and I looked at Madame, my heart overflowing with joy and excitement but also a small bit of confusion.
Bree proceeded to communicate something to Madame, and I couldn’t catch it, but Madame came over to me. Bree then took my left hand and displayed it so Madame could get a closer look at the diamond ring on my finger.
Granted, Bree was simply doing what I had been wanting to do with everyone that passed me on the street, but the inner something in me that abhors being the center of attention didn’t quite know what to do; I wanted to tell everyone about this man to whom I’m officially pledged to be married, about the beautiful ring he put on my hand, and about the God behind it all.
I’d flown down to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, to attend Jacob’s battalion ball, my dress packed neatly away in my duffel to avoid wrinkling it, my knees shaking and my teeth threatening to chatter. I’d flown down Friday afternoon and he’d met me at the airport. Late Saturday morning, as we’d been going for a hike at Raven Rock State Park, he proposed to me, and after an eternity of my inability to form a coherent sentence, I nodded.
In the words of Jane Bennett, “Yes, a thousand times yes.”
Last night, at Bible Study, it was only girls. Alex and Teddy had been preoccupied, so Amanda, Cailyn, Bree, Kat, and I sat in Kat and Amanda’s dorm room, talking about John 13. The discussion reminded me of God’s ability to use the unqualified, the young, the inexperienced, the incapable, the weak, the naive, the people who just miss the obvious. And it was a reassurance to me. God can use me, even when I just don’t get it or when I misunderstand, miscommunication, misinterpret, even misuse.
And then, when I’d prayed us out, everyone wanted to hear the story of Jacob’s proposal.
I half expected this to be a giggle fest, where we would all be giddy over certain details, since we’re women and tend to notice and observe and remember everything. But as I told the story of the weekend, as I was continually reminded of God’s preparation of my heart before it and during, and as I walked through the time at the Pad Dinner Study (Friday night), the hike, the battalion ball (Saturday night), and then sitting in M&D’s Pancakes doing our quiet time and drinking coffee together (Sunday morning, before chapel on post), I realized this was the telling of an epic tale. Cailyn and Kat cried joyfully, and I was once again overwhelmed by this story God had been writing, continued to write, and would keep on writing, and how perfectly He’s woven the threads that keep it strong.
Of course, now, as I wade through the waters of finals’ week, I wonder how engaged people can function like normal human beings. I am doing my best to avoid Pinterest and talk of wedding plans, in order to better focus on the tasks at hand. And yet, I have plenty of time to complete my projects, all of the necessary resources, and God, who has proven time and time again, that He can do abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” —Ephesians 3:19,20