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Part 4: Engagement

July 20, 2006

New Attitude 2004. I almost didn’t go, but am so thankful I did. The theme was relationships, it came at a perfect time. God worked through the messages during New Attitude to give me hope. Josh and I grew closer and closer in the few days we were there. I saw finally that although sin has marred marriage, it can still be God’s perfect design for us in this world. Again, Josh Harris put my struggle and the cure for it so succinctly:

Maybe God has been confirming the goodness of your relationship, but you’re afraid of the unknown. Or maybe your parent’s were divorced, and you think its inevitable that your marriage will fail as well. That simply is not true. By God’s grace, you can overcome your past and your own sinful tendencies and build a successful marriage. -Josh Harris, Girl Meets Boy

By the time New Attitude was over, I was at peace and sure about marrying Josh. And not a moment too soon.

One Thursday morning at work, a little over a week after we got back from New Attitude, I got a bouquet of red roses. Instead of calling him, because people were all around my office, I emailed Josh a thank you note. Instead of emailing me back, Josh called and asked if I’d like to go out to dinner that night, in celebration of our 6 month anniversary of courting. I said yes, of course.

The rest of the day flew by. I was calmly aware that Josh was going to propose to me. I could tell by the tone of his voice.

He picked me up at work and took me to Little Italy, where we went to dinner at Amicci’s. I got my favorite dish there, tortalini with sausage and peppers with pinot grigio. The restaurant is cozy and Josh initiated conversation about the past 6 months: what was my favorite time together, what had I learned, etc. After a leisurely dinner, we left. I tried to talk him into dessert and Vaccaro’s, but he pretended to be full and we left Little Italy.

Once in the car, he suggested (like the thought just came to him) that we go look at the harbor lights. So we drove to an area of Baltimore called Federal Hill, where Josh parked to the car and we walked to a little park that overlooks the Baltimore Inner Harbor. That’s where he took my hand, told me why he wanted to marry, then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and presented me with the ring.

I said yes.

Then he lead me over to another little area of the park and pulled out a remote control (that was smooth, I must say) and hit a button and music began playing from a CD player from under a park bench. Then he asked me to dance to the strains of Andrea Bocelli, which poured out into the crisp air.

It was while we were dancing that I noticed a man taking our picture. I mentioned this to Josh, and he noticed as well, and then just said we should ignore him.

Eventually, going back to the car, we headed back to my house. It was then that Josh revealed that he had our whole engagement video taped by our friend Zac, who’d also positioned the CD player for us! So we have our whole engagement on DVD to review whenever we want. It’s wonderful to relive that way.

So finally we arrived at my house, where my family and Josh’s mom and sisters were waiting to surprise us with dessert and congratulations. So that’s pretty much our story! Tomorrow I’ll have some wedding pictures to share and some closing thoughts. The next 6 months after our engagement went quickly as we planned our wedding that was held outside at my home. All the struggles I had subsided and my spirit was at peace as we approached marriage. Although there were certainly tremors of fear here and there as we looked toward the future and adjustments that would take, they weren’t the struggles I had before.

We’ve been married for two years and I’d never have it any other way! Our transition to marriage has been fairly smooth, in part to all the work we put into preparing before marriage. We went through excellent premarital counseling which also was essential for a smooth transition. One thing I’m thankful for was Josh’s willingness to help planning the wedding. He wasn’t a groom that sat on the sidelines, but he pitched in all throughout the planning process. This helped take pressure off of me, and it truly was a joint effort on both our parts. Also, Josh led in not just preparing for the wedding ceremony, but also practically and spiritually, taking time to ask questions of those who already are married, read books, and listen to messages that helped prepare us for marriage. I’m so thankful to God’s faithfulness to us and that this marriage was God’s perfect plan for my life.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2006 10:50 am

    Danielle, I’m so loving this story. It just gets better and better! Great picture — really shows the joy and excitment of being newly engaged!

    Ted was the same way when it came to planning the wedding. He had his fingers in all the details and decisions except my dress and the bridesmaid dresses. He even designed our wedding invitations. I loved having him involved because it felt more like our wedding instead of something I planned and he simply showed up.

  2. July 20, 2006 11:12 am

    I remember seing Josh at the church office right after the proposal..he was..giddy! You know he took alot of ribbing from the staff (notably my husband) about his involvement in all the planning. You know they still call him “Mary Kay”. He’s a keeper, thanks for sharing your story, ours is much more scandelous!

  3. July 20, 2006 12:33 pm

    I love it!!! Everything. It is sucha a great story! I love the picture…you guys look SO cute! And so much younger even though it was just over two years ago!

  4. July 20, 2006 2:09 pm

    What a great story!

  5. July 20, 2006 2:18 pm

    Karen, I think your scandelous story should be the subject of your next post . . . pleeeease!

  6. July 20, 2006 3:50 pm

    Scandalous Love. How is that for your blog title, Karen? HA!

  7. July 22, 2006 12:38 am

    Danielle, your hubby simply MUST give romance lessons to the husbands. He should write a blog of his own and call it Smooth Moves or something like that.

    Great story here. Puts Jane Austen to shame.

  8. July 22, 2006 12:53 pm

    Note to Ashleigh: I really appreciated the stance you took on the soon-to-be-released book called Stupid Parents. I couldn’t see how to leave you a comment on your blog, hence the insert here. (Please humor me, Danielle.) I fully agree that someone who has never been a parent should not be dishing out advice so candidly AND behind a book cover that shouts how out of touch we are. Not that I’d throw out all advice from a nonparent (we can learn from a talking donkey, after all) but when she’s being touted “a teen expert”? Hmph! You write excellent reviews!

  9. July 22, 2006 12:55 pm

    That is, “how out of touch we SUPPOSEDLY are”! Taking advice from nonparents on teens is a bit like taking financial guidance from a pauper.

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