Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Five and then four years ago today . . .

Pictures are from our 1st anniversary-also spent at the Kuphal cabin.

There are some memories that I love to dredge up and dwell on as if time didn't exist. The day Jesse asked me to marry him is one of those days. I can still remember the smells of the cabin, the relaxed feeling of having 4 days on a lake with 2 best friends, being around people we'd just met, yet who were so excited for us and welcomed us in as family. I remember snuggling with Jesse as we watched the fireworks, surrounded by the most quaint small-town American 4th of July celebration I've ever been to. Here's what happened:

One of my best friends, Jenny

Jesse and I were invited to spend the 4th of July with our best buddies, Tom and Jenny (not quite yet) Kuphal. We drove to their cabin in Minnesota on Thursday July 3rd. While Jenny walked with me to the car to get something, I shared with her that I knew Jesse had met with my Dad about something. I didn't know what he would have wanted to discuss, seeing as we'd only been dating a little less than 5 months. The "M" word had never surfaced in any of our discussions, so although I knew asking my Dad for his blessing was a possibility, it wasn't likely. Jenny told me that he probably was just seeking some wise counsel about something from Dad. I agreed and we went into the cabin to join the rest of the Kuphal clan.

Sometime after supper, when it was dark, Jesse asked me if I wanted to go sit by the water. It was a beautiful night, I had just returned from a 5 week trip to Turkey so spending time with Jesse was all I wanted to do. Plus I'd realized during my trip that I'd fallen in love with this guy; we’d only been saying “I love you” for a week. We headed down to the dock, and sat in the boat tied there. We talked for a few minutes and Jesse decided the mosquitoes were too much of a pain so he ran and grabbed some repellent. I guess he didn’t want to deal with annoying bugs during this normal, run of the mill conversation . . . . As we were talking, I began to unload how unworthy I felt of being Jesse’s girlfriend. I felt inadequate, and undeserving of him. Jesse then began to tell me why he thought the things I was saying were untrue. Soon, I realized he was talking about Christ and his church and how he wanted to love me like Christ loved the church. In slow motion (so it seemed) I saw Jesse move from his seat next to me to one knee on the floor of the boat. In his hand was a box with a beautiful ring inside. Then out of his mouth came the question every girl dreams of hearing. All of a sudden I realized that the moment I had dreamt about was actually happening . . .and it all seemed so surreal, yet so normal.

In my head I thought, “No way . . . This can’t be happening . . . We’ve only been dating 5 months . . .I always said I didn’t want to be one of those girls who dates a guy for a few months then gets married really young . . . No way . . .no way . . .”

And then the “No ways” became audible for Jesse to hear as I said over and over “no way, no way, no way.” Of course that wasn’t what Jesse wanted to hear and he told me so with a smile on his face.

I then began processing this reality: Jesse is a man that loves and follows God. I know I want to marry him some day. He doesn’t rush into anything without much thought and prayer. He also seeks counsel when making big decisions. If he thinks we should get married, then I’m going to trust him because I know that ultimately, Jesse is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with.

I said yes.

And in the back of my head I thought, “Well, if this isn’t right, it is an engagement and we can always call of the wedding.” Crazy huh!!!

We spent some time looking at the ring and each other, we talked for awhile and with each statement the reality hit me harder and harder. I was going to be Julie Masson! What a weird thing to think about! Oh! And then I realized I was going to get married and have a wedding! Wow! After awhile, Jesse prayed for us and we finally headed up to the cabin where Tom and Jenny were anxiously waiting (yes, they knew it was going to happen.) I will never forget how exciting it was to come and hug Jenny and be excited with her, and then to be able to tell the rest of the Kuphal family that we’d just got engaged. Everyone was so excited and I think I was living in a dream world. Jenny gave me a bridal magazine and that was really when the reality hit that I had a wedding to plan! I had a dress to pick out, bridesmaids to find, and flowers to choose.

That night, I lay in bed staring at the cabin ceiling because I couldn’t sleep. There were so many things to process. I had just signed my life away to Jesse. I knew it was right, but there was also a bit of me wondering, “What did I just do?” In the middle of the night, there was a bad storm and we had to move next door to a safer house and Jenny I had the privilege of feeling protected by our fiancés. What a fun word for me to say. The rest of the weekend was spent tubing, swimming, relaxing, talking bridal talk with Jenny, and just enjoying our new engagement. We went to see fireworks on the 4th and I loved being in public for the first time as an engaged woman. It felt so surreal, like most things that weekend.

We made it back a year later.

Today, Jesse and I are celebrating our 4 year wedding anniversary, but for some reason, I find myself reflecting on this day 5 years ago. It was the day I began learning to trust what I can’t see, and what I can’t feel. I said yes to Jesse because I trusted his faith in us. And to this day, he is the one who keeps us rooted in all that is TRUE, all that is HOLY and all that is RIGHT. I’m so glad I said yes.


Jonathan & Kari said...

Congratulations, y'all.

I'm glad you said yes too, sis-in-law!

Scott & Julie said...

If this isn't the greatest love story ever written I don't know what is. Seriously! You bogger, you made me cry.

Happy Anniversary!

Mandi said...

I'm glad you said yes too :-) I love you both!!!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 4 years! I believe we arrived at the lake the next day and found out all the fun news! Great times with great friends!

Anonymous said...

Dad and I are real glad you did not change your mind. Jesse is our favorite son-in-law!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you said yes too! I remember that yours was such a beautiful, God-honoring wedding. Happy Anniversary. Love ya both.
Aunt Lori

Jenny said...

I'm teary eyed! I remember that night very well! I remember hearing you scream from inside the cabin :)Congrats on 4 (5) wonderful years! God is good! All the time!!

kpjordan said...

I'm so pleased...and thank you, Julie for sharing your very personal account of that precious time. I appreciate your surrendered heart and the thoughts you shared. A wonderful posting!
Happy 4th anniversary.
Love you guys.

Anonymous said...

AWww...what a great story! Congrats on 4 years of marriage!!