August 11 — My Birthday, Our Engagement
Updated: Jan 22, 2022
As my birthday approaches (it's tomorrow!), I look back on my momentous birthday two years ago and the deep love and commitment shown on my birthday last year, with our engagement.
This post starts gorgeous but gets gritty, so buckle up.
This photo was taken on Aug. 11, 2019 — my 30th birthday — one of the most beautiful, romantic days of my entire life.
When I walked toward him on the sand in the golden hour, feeling like a queen in the flowing dress I’d just received from a girl I’d recently met, everything felt like it was moving in slow motion.
Embracing him next to the ocean, every moment felt so perfect that I wanted to be so careful, like I was holding a fragile crystal gift.
How did his shirt perfectly match the dress I had been gifted just an hour before? How was the golden sky and white tide so unusually gorgeous? How come he looked so extra-handsome? How did everyone who came seem so peaceful and full of joy? How could he look at me like I was his greatest gift, when I felt like he was the greatest present I had ever received!?
We met on his birthday and got engaged on mine*, so we are presents to one another.
To have my parents there all the way from Kansas was so special, and to have so many friends there to celebrate was such a sweet surprise.
When he knelt down and asked me to be his, I felt humble, grateful, undeserving.
Worshipping Jesus around the bonfire with family and friends was holy and joyous. (And how he snagged that bonfire spot is a story all its own!)
I will always remember Josie and Taljon’s prayer over us and our relationship that night on the beach, as Anthony and I knelt together and received the Father’s blessing.
Thank you to all who made this day unforgettably glorious.
I love this man. (We had the ring Photoshopped onto this 2019 pic for our 2020 engagement announcement.)
*Our actual engagement was my following birthday, Aug. 11, 2020.
In February or March 2019, Anthony told me that he wanted to marry me (wow!) and, with just the two of us in my Hollywood apartment, he sang me an original song he wrote on guitar in which he told me he wanted to make me his wife. (I absolutely love that song; maybe we'll record it sometime!) I accepted it as a declaration of intent but not as a proposal, because, to me, a proposal includes kneeling down with a ring, a photographer, a beautiful location, and my family and friends present to celebrate.
He continued to pursue me, which was peppered with some powerful moments from God, as you can read about in my previous post, April 7 Anniversary.
In June 30, 2019, God told me when I woke up, “You need to become Anthony’s girlfriend today.” I questioned if I heard Him correctly, so I sat with my Bible and asked God, “What do you want me to tell Anthony?” I opened to the verse, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16). While I don’t advocate usually studying the Bible by opening it randomly and claiming whatever verse you first see as your life direction, I have found it can be helpful for confirmation in certain situations.
I considered obeying (which should never be “considered,” just done), but then I worried. I took dating and the role of "girlfriend" very seriously. What if I didn’t want to marry him? What would the breakup be like? Or, thinking, if I did marry him, I visualized myself as a miserable, overworked housewife who was forced to cook for potlucks, had no voice and had lost all her dreams in life. I wrongfully told God that I wanted to serve Him in all other parts of my life, but my marriage was the one part in which I wanted to choose my own way and make my own happiness. Now that was stinkin’ thinkin’.
That day on FaceTime, he looked so handsome and spoke so sweetly to me as he talked again about knowing I was his future wife and the pain of having to wait for me to come around. There was a war within myself as I part