The Proposal

Here it is!  The romantic, heart-warming, charming, engaging (pun intended :-)  story of how Carl asked me to be his wife.  Go get a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever the drink of the day is, and sit back for a sweet love story!   Someday you will be reading it in hardcover – with my husband as the author!  Bestseller for sure!!
Carl and I met in 1994 when we went through a mission training school.  I then proceeded to go overseas for 3 years!  He was in Cambodia for a year and then went back to Canada to finish university.  The entire time I was in the Philippines, Carl wrote me letters, recorded tapes of himself speaking to me (yes, we are that old!), and prayed for me.
When I returned from the Philippines, I had one year of university left in Tennessee.  Carl was still in Canada going to university too.  But at least we were on the same continent now!  We “officially” started dating and could now include telephone and e-mail in our courtship!!
We had spoken of marriage and knew we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, but I did not know when he was going to ask me, as we were living thousands of miles apart.  Then one day, in the spring of 1998, I was walking along the street toward a book shop, when a stranger walked up to me and handed me an envelope.  A couple of days later, as I went to my car, I found another envelope under my windshield wiper.  And the next envelope appeared on my pillow.  Over the course of about a week, I received about 5 envelopes….
What was in those envelopes?
From the first week Carl met me, he had journaled about me.  In these envelopes were typed portions of his diary – words he had penned about me from the very beginning.  The first envelope contained these words. “I have known Michelle for about a week now.  I believe she is the woman I will marry someday.”  The envelopes continued in chronological order – he was giving me a glimpse of his thoughts and prayers about me and our future together by sharing the words of his journals with me.
At this point, I had NO idea how he was getting these envelopes to me!  Literally, strangers were handing them to me on the street!  I later discovered that Carl had sent them to my little brother, who attended the same university and he organized the deliveries.  (I still have every one of those envelopes.)
The diary entry I received on Friday read, “I called Michelle’s dad today, to ask for her hand in marriage.”  I had not been in contact with Carl all week, and I was desperate to talk to him by now.  I thought perhaps he was hiding out somewhere in the nearby town! :-)  I e-mailed him and told him I HAD TO TALK TO HIM!  I was dying, you know – lovesick!!  That evening I lay on my couch, right beside my computer, waiting for the “ding” to tell me an e-mail had come through.  Finally, around 10:30 that night, the “ding” came.  It was Carl.  In a short, terse email he told me he had gone out with friends after a busy day, and was too tired to chat that night.  He would e-mail in the morning.
I cried myself to sleep.  I had wanted to talk to him, know where he was, know when he was going to ask me!!!  Little did I know Carl had written that email and set it to be sent during the evening.  At noon that day, he had climbed in a car to drive the 20+ hours to me… to propose!
Around 6am, I heard my doorbell ring – I ran to the door to find another envelope taped to the door!  By this time, I was pretty tired of envelopes and wanted to see my man!  I saw his hand writing at the bottom and he had written, “finally here….”  I didn’t even stop to read the typed journal entry!  I just yelled, “Carl, where are you!?”  He popped out from behind some bushes! :-)
Did he pop the question then?
No, he kept me in suspense!  I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know when, where or how!  Later than evening, he took me up into the Tennessee hills.  After almost burning down the tinder-dry, leaf-carpeted forest we were in, he decided to forego candlelight, and used my battery-powered flexible “snake light” to set the mood instead! :-)  He prayed with me, we broke bread and sang a worship song together, he washed my feet as a symbol that he would serve me the rest of his life, and then asked me to be his bride!
I said yes, and now, almost 13 years and 3 kids later, I am still madly in love with him!  (I originally wrote this post in 2011…. so now it is 14 years and still only 3 kids later….)
If you can believe it, this is the short version of the story! ;-)  Like I said, watch for our story in hardcover someday!!  Then you can read the whole tale!!
2 Responses to The Proposal
  1. Ruth Boyd Reply

    Do you know this is the first time I have heard your engagement story! How can that be????! It is precious! I must have been consumed with baby hormones.

  2. Catarina Reply

    Michelle…this is the most moving, beautiful, ‘goosebump on skin’ story….How awesome to have such an incredible, special man in your life. You two are soo incredibly well suited as you are both amazingly, special people.

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