It was beautiful. Awesome. So "them". I was so proud and excited to be a part of it, and was overjoyed to see these two friends get married, who had waited so long for the day. It was glorious. They are the couple I probably most respect, of my peers, and their example of service to one another and others floors me. See pictures here and here.
So, as I mentioned on the blog when I left for Wheaton, Josh's birthday was Saturday, and the plan was to go, after the reception, to the John Hancock building in Chicago then dinner at Water Tower Place, both of which are on Michigan Avenue's "Magnificent Mile". The reception was fun- we danced!- I love swing dancing, and we got to do a bit of that, which was so fun. And slow dancing.
The Trip to Chicago
So, anyway, we left the reception at about 5:30 and headed toward Chicago. We had an approximate map of where the John Hancock building was, and we found Michigan Ave. and we parked in a somewhat-sketchy-looking parking garage, but it was the least-sketchy-looking we could find. Really. As we started walking we figured out we were on the wrong end of the Magnificent Mile, so we had a long walk ahead of us.
It was cold out, so, about 3/4 the way there, I mentioned to Josh that we might want to stop for dinner first before going to the John Hancock building, to warm up and break up the walk. Josh insisted we keep going. I complied. We stopped in a Mac store on the way there, which was very cool, full of iPods and other Apple gadgets. And we trudged on. We got the John Hancock building and went to the top in the fastest elevator in North America. It was quite a view, all we could see were the city lights. I particularly enjoyed seeing the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier from above. Very cool. It was a similar view to the top of the Sears Tower, where we had been a little over a year before on another trip to Chicago.
After walking around the windows for a bit, Josh stopped and turned to me. He said
"So, I've been to the Sears Tower with you, and now to the John Hancock building. I've been on top of the world with you twice, will you make it a third time?"
and he pulled out a ring. My mouth dropped open, I was shocked. In all the excitement and surprise, I kept my senses enough to say 'Yes'.
Somehow the ring ended up out of the box and on my finger, and I hugged him. And hugged him again. And again. And we kissed. and hugged. And this went on for a little while.
When this was done, we went down the John Hancock building (but I'm still on top of the world, in case you were wondering) and walked to Water Tower Place to have dinner. We went to Mity Nice Grill and ordered food, but neither of us ate much of anything. We were too excited. We walked all the way back to the car, which seemed like a much shorter walk, probably because I was walking on air.
The Trip Home
We headed out of Chicago towards Indianapolis a little before 11 Chicago time (midnight, Indiana time) and it was a mostly silent ride home. We talked a little, but I was still processing, still in awe of the events of the evening. I think we both were. We got to my house at about 3 am Indiana time, went to bed, and were up in the morning for church. Ironically, the sermon was on the marriage of Boaz and Ruth, and the happenstance circumstances that brought that couple together (Read about the happenstance circumstances that brought Josh & I together).
We headed back to Muncie Sunday for another highlight of my weekend. We sat in Josh's apartment and talked for hours about what a Christian marriage looks like, what would 'make God smile' about our relationship, and what qualities couples we really respect seem to have. We actually wrote down a list (I'm such a dork) and discussed each thing, from cherishing each other, to practical things like finances and balancing family and work. It was a wonderful conversation. Very encouraging. After the conversation, we prayed together, which I always love doing.
The rest of the evening consisted of a long trip to Target, dinner (our appetites were only just returning), and bible study before I left. I was challenged with Proverbs 31, and he with 1 Timothy 6:11-16. It was a wonderful day. I couldn't have dreamed it better.
Back at Taylor
I wandered into Gerig at about 10:30pm, with all my bags from the weekend in tow, and with my ring hidden, as is the custom at Taylor until an announcement on the floor. Zay, Sopeak, and Joanna are standing at the doorway, and the first thing after 'Hi' out of Joanna's mouth is a very loud, "Are you engaged?!"
(According to Joanna, she does this periodically- randomly asks friends, out of the blue, blunt questions, and is right. She must have some sort of gift of prophecy.)
I was caught very off guard at this point and put in an awkward position, not having an answer ready for that yet. I just stood there silent, my mouth open. Sopeak realized the answer was not "No" first, and Zay and Joanna quickly did as well. Zay and Joanna excitedly followed me up to my room, where I closed the door and told them some version of this story. They were giggling loud enough to alert my next door neighbor, who also asked very loudly, "Joanna, are you engaged?!". So much for my little secret. It was a very random way to be welcomed back to the dorm, to say the least.
The last few days, I've just been so overwhelmed. I'm excited, I'm happy beyond belief. I'm about to burst, because I've had to keep my joy a secret for just these few days. I've carried the ring around in my pocket, and kept putting it on during classes with no girls on my floor in them.
I feel so loved and wanted and valuable and undeserving of the attention and care that's been poured out on me. I'm going to get to spend my life with my love, my Prince who sees me as a princess, and THAT'S exciting. I'm so blessed to be loved by such a Godly man. My heart melts.
Through these last few days, I've also learned how much my family loves me and is concerned about my life. I've had good conversations with them, which have been so valuable.
Speaking of my family, I'll leave you with my sister's thoughts on the engagement.