Today marks a special anniversary for me and Kristen Kedersha. On this day, in 2001, I proposed to Kristen. In honor of our ‘anniversary of getting engaged,’ I thought I’d share our engagement story.
This post will be a departure from what I usually share. There’s no list of things to consider and no collection of points supported by scripture. Rather, today I share one of my favorite stories in honor of 15+ years of marriage. I’m so glad I put a ring on it!!
As I’ve shared on here before, Kristen and I met in 1997 when I was in physical therapy school. I got assigned to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for my two-month neurology rotation. Kristen was assigned to be my clinical instructor during my rotation. For me, it was love at first sight. For Kristen, it took a few years to get with the program!
We dated for a few months in 1999, but it was not a healthy relationship. We broke up in the spring of 2000, and I had no intention of ever getting back together with her. Over the next six months, we both got serious about our relationship with Christ. For each of us, this may have been the best season of spiritual growth we ever experienced. After a few months, Kristen decided to ask me out on a date. So, in October 2000, we went out on a date again. This time around, the relationship was completely different. We were in a much healthier place, and we both knew this time around was going somewhere. After a few months, I knew I wanted to marry Kristen.
Why I Lied to My Girlfriend
At the same time, I was in a bit of a career crisis. I’d been a full-time physical therapist for a few years, but I thought I wanted to go into vocational ministry. I told Kristen I needed to take a day to get away to pray about next steps, and told her I was going to take the full day on February 27, 2001, to go spend some time praying, reading, and journaling about my career. I told her I was going to use a vacation day to figure out next steps in life.
Truth be told, I flat out lied to Kristen. Instead of going to Stone Mountain for the day, I flew to Memphis, TN to have lunch with Kristen’s dad so I could ask for her hand in marriage. I did need to figure out some career next steps, but that would come down the road a few months.
Kristen’s dad picked me up at the airport, and we went out for lunch. Outside of mildly threatening me with his gun collection if I ever physically hurt his daughter, he was very excited and honored for me to ask for Kristen’s hand in marriage. We had a great lunch, he drove me to the airport, and I made my way back to Atlanta. That night I planned a special dinner for Kristen.
She came over at dinnertime, and I prepared her favorite meal: Marinated, grilled, flank steak, squash casserole, sauteed asparagus, and strawberry pie. After dinner, I asked her to come into the family room and to sit down in a chair, take off her shoes and socks, and roll up the legs of her jeans. Like Jesus washed the feet of the disciples in John 13:1-11, I washed Kristen’s feet. I shared with her that I wanted to spend the rest of my life on earth serving her and loving her as her husband. I reached under the chair, pulled out the ring box, and asked if she would marry me.
And Then She Cussed at Me
Here’s the best part of the story. I completely floored Kristen. Up until this point, she had no idea I was about to propose. She knew it was coming soon, but I was able to surprise her with the timing of the proposal. When I asked if she would marry me, her answer was not a quick “YES!” or “No!”. Instead, she said, and I quote, “Holy Sh*t!!!”. If you know my wife, then you know she never cusses. So naturally, I responded by saying, “Holy Sh*t Yes.” or “Holy Sh*t No!”?
As you might have guessed, it was a big “Yes!”. We celebrated with some phone calls to friends and family, followed by a celebration at work the next day (we worked together at Shepherd Center).
Proposing to Kristen on February 27, 2001, followed by our wedding on September 15, 2001, are two of the best decisions in my life outside of following Christ. Thanks for reading our story. You won’t find a video of our proposal on YouTube, and it won’t make a list of most memorable proposals ever. But, it’s perfect for Kristen and me. It’s a decision I’ve never regretted.
We all like engagement stories – what was the highlight of your engagement/proposal story? Please share below!