Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Love to Tell The Story...

One of my favorite hymns is called I Love To Tell the Story...

I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.

I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.

I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.

It has always been my heart cry to tell the story of God's great love for His people. I could have never imagined the opportunities I've had to share about the reckless love Jesus showed us, and to have the chance to tell that story, belonging to God's family, is the greatest honor of my life.

I always prayed for a man to come into my life who would love to tell the story as much as I did. From the time I was thirteen years old, I have been praying for my future husband. I have prayed about pretty much everything-
that God would protect him
that his relationship with God would grow strong
that God would bless his life
for his family
for Godly mentors
and lots of other things

since that time, there were periods in my life when I had trouble believing the possibility that God had someone out there for me who was engaged in telling the story already. A man who had been brought into the story and now took great delight in sharing it.

It was hard to believe based on our culture's poor imitation of love.

I still kept praying, hoping in my heart that a man would come along and see a potential diamond in the rough.

When I met Seth, I could tell he loved to not only be a part of the story of God's redemption of His people, but that he loved to tell it as well. It was the passion of his life. Through everything we have faced as a couple and even in the valley of the shadow of death, it became so clear to me that he was a man of great integrity. I could tell that he also placed marriage in a high regard and understood the implications of that kind of commitment. God showed me several times in his Word that this indeed was a man I could trust to guard my heart and to love me.

So it is with great joy that I tell you this joyful part of the story of Jesus and His love being perfected in us.

On Monday night, Seth and my dad had a chat. Of course it was at Mi Pueblo, where I first met Seth and where most of the significant events of my life have happened (whether I am present or not, it seems). For about three weeks, poor Seth has not slept at night for being nervous about said meeting of the minds. My dad, bless his heart, came prepared to their meeting with pages and pages of difficult questions (ack!) for Seth to answer. I felt bad for Seth when I learned this, but I was also proud that my dad took it so seriously. (Seth told me later that he was glad that I have a dad who truly cares and wants the very best for me.)

Last night (Tuesday), Seth came to pick me up for date night. He arrived at my door with a gift bag in his hand, saying he had a present for me. I said "Can I have it now?" He, of course replied to the negative and we went on our merry way to Evansville. He asked if Biaggi's, a local Italian place that we go often, would be okay.
"Is that your favorite place in Evansville?" he asked.
"Yeah. I like it the best. And Firefly too."

We walked into the restaurant and Seth strangely asked the waitress for a more private table in the back. I looked at him like he was crazy when they told us we'd have to wait five or ten minutes. I LOVE MY CARBS, people. And oh the Biaggi butter.

I thought it was weird because we always sit in a booth up front. We were seated right away, and we sat down. Bloggerotsky, you know how much I can't handle a secret I don't know about, so I said oh-so casually, "I haven't hardly asked AT ALL what's inside that bag. I have been so good, haven't I?"

"Yes," he answered. He didn't hand me the bag. NUTS.

I ate my rigatoni alla toscana all while talking to him a mile a minute like always. When I got done, I pushed my plate away and Seth plopped the bag down on the table in front of me.

Now a few months ago, I had mentioned I wanted to do a couple's devotional together but we hadn't had time, so he wanted to give me a gift.

I pulled the gift out of the bag and it was a Couple's Devotional Bible. It is beautiful with silver and brown, and I said, "Thank you honey! It's really beautiful!"
Then Seth told me to turn to Proverbs 31--he had a note to me:

Dear Lauren,
I love you more than anything but Jesus. You are the most important thing in this world to me! Paul tells us that a man is to love his wife like Christ loves the Church. that is what i want to do so will you marry me?

At this point, I was overwhelmed. Shock is probably a very accurate word. I looked up and Seth got down on his knee. I looked over--

get your tissues

---and he had my mom's wedding set in his hand. My mom's ring, formerly my grandma's, was shaking in his hands. And then he said it.

"Lauren will you marry me?"

It took me a minute, girls.

Then I said, "YES!!"

Then I couldn't say anything else. For a while. Imagine it. That Girl silenced for the first time in her life.

What can you say when God grants you the beginning of the next chapter of your story?

We left the restaurant and I called my dad in the car. That's when the tears came. I was crying and laughing and shaking and screaming and I could barely breathe. I think Seth thought it was time for the paper bag!

Off we went to the jeweler, where we arranged for them to take my mom/grandma's diamond out of my mom's set and put into my very own set! In a week or two I will get some photos up!

I thank you in advance for your prayers as we enter into a really precious time of betrothal and I am honored to invite you to share this journey with us.

I consider it the second highest honor in my life (besides serving my Jesus) to be Seth's wife and partner in ministry. I am delighted to share my days with such a Godly man and I hope that our marriage will be a reflection of the reckless love God offers His children and the blessings that come with waiting on God.

I love to tell this story because it's only a small page in a Bigger Story. the story of our Savior and His love to me.

I AM GOING TO BE A WIFE to the most precious man ever!

(allow me a bit of squealing for the next few days....I just got to add two new tags: Wedding, and marriage.)

Love you all.


Rachel H. Evans said...

Oh, Lauren. Words cannot express how happy I am for you! Seth sounds like a great catch...and he is a very blessed guy to have someone like you as his bride-to-be.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you, and give peace.

...And may he bless you with eternal patience and sanity AS YOU PLAN YOU WEDDING!!!!!

[insert squeal]

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story. What a beautiful beginning.


Abbie Lynn said...

This is soooo very exciting - and I love how you told the story because you can tell how deeply in love you are with both Jesus and your precious man:) I will be praying for the two of you and wish you all the best! Congrats!!

Christy said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! You got me... the girl who doesn't cry.... cried!! That is SOOO PRECIOUS!! You know I will pray as I already have for you two. Man oh man!!

Chelsa said...


sorryf or the caps lock, but that's just how excited i am for YO!U!!!!!

Kristin said...

I am just thrilled for you! What a beautiful story. I know that God will be blessed by your marriage. Hugs and best wishes from a sister in Christ in South Dakota! :)

Melissa said...

What a wonderful story Lauren! I love happy endings and I love hearing engagement stories. Thanks for sharing!

Jessie said...

I know I already told you via facebook, but Congratulations again!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for you!

Julie Dowd said...

Congratulations Lauren! What a beautiful post. I wish you and Seth all the best as you begin this next part of the journey together.

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

What an awesome proposal story. I'm so happy that you have found your perfect mate! Congratulations to both of you!

sharalyns said...

Oh, what a sweet proposal! I have tears in my eyes when I read about your Mom/Grandma's ring. Very sweet!

Congratulations to both of you!

Andrea said... sweet...that has got to be the most wonderful, romantic, precious story I have EVER read! Congrats to you both! Can't wait to see you tomorrow!!!

llandtmom said...

So as I sit here very late into the night or very early into the morning I am just in awe. I just have to wonder though - who is the lucky one - YOU or SETH - I am guessing it is simply a win-win.

He is so stinking cool!! Of course so are you.

Thanks for making a difference in my life out here in Southern California.

A Great Big Congratulations to the two of you. Way over the top excited for you.

Lauren said...

yes I am definitely crying... right in my office and I don't even care!! That is the most precious and beautiful and wonderful and amazing story!!!! I love it that he gave you your mom's set!! That is just ... indescribable! Thank you for telling the whole story!!!!!! I can't wait to see pictures!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Amber Schmidt said...

I mean is there really a "balling your eyes out" smiley emoticon because that is the one I need right now!

How truly amazing!!!!!!!! I am SO SO SO SO SO happy for the both of you!

I could NOT be your wedding photographer because I would be crying too hard! LOL I cannot wait to see all the wedding plans!

Guatmama said...

Of course we have all been waiting and praying for you for this day! The best part for me? I saw your dad's post on facebook first! You go you are really 'that' girl!

Susie said...

I just broke out a new box of Puffs after reading your post!! How amazing is God's Love and you and your honey's love for HIM and each other!!! I'm super excited for you!! Blessings to you always!!

Leslie said...

Lauren, I'm sitting at my desk, in tears, reading your story. I am so happy for you...and for Seth...and for the Church...and for all those people (your children, your parisioners, your friends, etc) who will be touched over and over again by the love that Jesus has shown to the two of you. Praise God!

M J said...

That is so beautiful!!! Congratulations!

Kim Williams said...

With tears in my eyes...CONGRATS! I think back to when Craig and I were married 16 years ago and I had no earthly clue that I could love him (through God's grace in our lives) more than the day that I married him. He is me, we are one in Christ. That is my prayer for you and Seth! I look forward to seeing you grow in love :)

Leah Robinson said...

OH MY WORD!!! WONDERFUL story! "I love you more than anything but Jesus." me chills!!! And your momma's ring...goosebumps!!!!

I'm so happy for you guys Lauren!!

Susan said...

Oh Lauren, you are so very beautiful! It is so wonderful to see two people so full of love for others and for God show others how very precious and sacred the joining of two lives really is! Thank you for our talk this weekend. You have no idea what that meant to me:)

Rebecca (Sam's wife) said...

i am a little behing on blogging, but congrats! so excited for you and enjoy this time and got teary eyed about your mom/grandma ring! that is absolutely precious!!!