Our Engagement Story

We pulled up on the side of the road and I looked up to the small park where we went on our first date. Between the two old fig trees on the grassy hill I could see the warm glow of lights in the darkness and bouncing off the leaves. “Peter,” I said, “we can’t go to the park. There’s already someone up there, I can see some lights.” He opened his door and smiled at me. “Really? Well let’s go and have a look. Maybe they’re just some left over halloween decorations or something.” In that moment, I told myself that I believed him – I didn’t think I could stand the disappointment if I let myself believe what was happening if it wasn’t what I hoped.

~ ~ ~

Dear friends – today I am so excited to tell you the story of how a wonderful man asked me to be his wife, in the most beautiful, perfect, ‘us’ way that there is. I hope you find it even half as special and exciting as we do!

Peter and I were born on different sides of the planet. In a long series of events, God drew us together in a little coastal city in Australia and wrote us a beautiful love story that I am so proud to share. About seven years ago, Peter and I met while leading a children’s program at our church. Initially too nervous to talk to him, we grew close through a mutual friend. He had recently moved from England, and I loved trying to make him say Australian things with his accent. I admired his confidence, humour, caring nature and his love for God. He quickly became one of my best friends and biggest encouragers, and at 15 and 14 we started dating and never looked back. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been perfect – no relationship ever is. We learnt how to fight early on, and we learnt how to fight for each other quickly after – it’s the little imperfections that prove to me that this really is the ‘real deal’.

On our first date, we wanted to escape my house and have some space to talk. Of course, neither of us could drive because we were so young, so I suggested that we go to a park near my house. We walked about 10 minutes to a small park on a hill with two old fig trees, plenty of soft grass, and a slightly precarious rope swing. We sat a good half metre from each other, sharing our secrets, telling stories, and catching up on the last 14 years of our lives. On occasions throughout our relationship we would sneak back there to talk or reminisce. On our fifth anniversary, Peter packed music and candles and we danced beneath the giant fig trees under the stars.

One of our first dates in the park
One of our first dates in the park.

On Saturday last week my family threw me a beautiful 21st birthday party. It was a lovely night, and when it all finished, Peter reminded me that we had church in the morning, because the evening service we usually go to had been combined with the morning service. “Is it still ok if I come over to your place tomorrow night?” he asked when the party was over. I vaguely remembered us talking about him coming over on Sunday night, and promptly agreed that it was a good opportunity to spend an evening together. He casually suggested that we get out of the house and go for a drive somewhere. “Is there anywhere you’d like to go?” he asked, “or should we just drive and see where we end up?” I said that I didn’t mind, and we left it at that.

Peter and I at my 21st, the night before we got engaged.
Peter and I at my 21st, the night before we got engaged.

Sunday looked like it was shaping up to be a pretty casual and relaxing night. I got caught up editing some uni work and I was still in the shower when Peter arrived. Fumbling for something to wear, I threw on a navy blue dress and ran downstairs. “Wow, you’re dressed up,” Peter said, “what’s the occasion?” I didn’t think it was a particularly ‘dressy’ dress, and decided to take his comment as a compliment. It was still light when we sat down for a dinner of party leftovers. When we finished and Peter asked me to show him the gifts I received the night before, I was pleasantly surprised. “They’re a bit girly,” I warned, but he didn’t care – I was impressed. Little did I know that this gesture was a stalling tactic – it was still light outside, and there was no way we were leaving the house until it was dark.

About half way through showing Peter all the lovely gifts my friends had given me, Peter’s phone started ringing. It was our friend Georgia – surprisingly, I didn’t question the opening line that I overheard when Peter answered. “Hi Peter, are you alone?” He looked at me and bit his finger, but I just called out, “hey Georgia!” and Peter continued, “I’ve got Lauren with me, what’s up?” She started asking Peter some questions about where we were going to have our next double date with her and her boyfriend Richard, and Peter just looked at me, shaking his head with a puzzled look on his face (he’s not half bad at acting!), and answering all Georgia’s questions. “Ok,” she said, “so we’ll have it half way in between? Richard’s place maybe?” Peter said that he thought that would be ok, hung up, and we got back to gifts. Little did I know that Georgia and Richard were up at our park, decorating it with dozens of paper lanterns and candles. They weren’t sure where to place everything – but the call confirmed that he wanted it set up ‘right in the middle’ of the park. A few minutes later, I was talking to Peter when he picked up his phone and started messaging someone. “Everything ok?” I asked, wondering why he was glued to his phone when I was talking to him. “Uh – yeah, sorry, just texting Rich about skating. I shouldn’t be doing that right now, I’m really sorry.” Little did I know that I’d just questioned him about the ‘good-to-go’ text.

“Are you ready to go?” he asked. I looked down at my dress and considered wearing something a little comfier for the drive. Peter asked if I had any of his jumpers in my room, which I didn’t. I looked for a pair of track pants or jeans, but figured they must have all been in the wash. My brother lent Peter a jacket (he needed the pocket for the ring box!), I threw on some black stockings and a woollen jumper with my dress, and went downstairs to say goodbye to my family. Mum was in her dressing gown, and my Dad was already in bed. “I’ll say goodbye now,” Mum said, “I’ll probably be asleep by the time you get home.” I nodded and have her a hug – it had been an exhausting weekend. Peter and I walked up my driveway hand in hand. He did all the right things – opened the door for me, put on some nice music, and we started driving.

When we reached the end of my street, I had a fleeting thought – what if he turns right and we end up at the park? What if he goes for it… I immediately dismissed the thought. Mum and Dad were in bed, and I knew that they would have known if Peter was proposing – surely they wouldn’t be going to bed? In hindsight, their acting was both amazing and hilarious. I can’t believe how much effort they put into keeping it a secret.

I wasn’t surprised when Peter turned left and started heading out of my suburb. My heart hardly even sunk – I’d prepared myself to wait for him to ask, and although I desperately wanted him to, I resigned to the fact that it wouldn’t be tonight. Then he turned the music down a little and said, “hey I have an idea. Let’s go back to the park and have a dance.” We turned around and my mind wandered like crazy – he’s done this before. He likes being spontaneous… maybe he’s made a special playlist on his phone for us to dance to. I’m so glad I’m dating someone romantic. I can’t tell you that it didn’t cross my mind – it did, but it was so quickly and tightly locked away that I had no trouble focusing on the thought of dancing with my boyfriend in our favourite place.

We pulled up on the side of the road and I looked up to the small park where we went on our first date. Between the two old fig trees on the grassy hill I could see the warm glow of lights in the darkness and bouncing off the leaves. “Peter,” I said, “we can’t go to the park. There’s already someone up there, I can see some lights.” He opened his door and smiled at me. “Really? Well let’s go and have a look. Maybe they’re just some left over halloween decorations or something.” In that moment, I told myself that I believed him – I didn’t think I could stand the disappointment if I let myself believe what was happening if it wasn’t what I hoped.

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With every step up that grassy hill, I accepted it more. This is it Lauren. He’s about to ask you… I turned to Peter and squeezed his hand. “You did this, didn’t you?” As we came to the top of the hill, I drew in a deep breath and felt my eyes filling with hot tears. In the middle of the park, between the two fig trees was a circle of lanterns on pole stands, filled with tea light candles. Scattered all around the grass were brown paper lanterns, all alight – it lit up the whole park with a romantic, flickering glow. He smiled, held my hand tight and led me through the path of lanterns. Before I could control the tears, he was on one knee. “Lauren, will you marry me?”

I took a brief moment and looked at him, down on one knee, asking me a question that he already knew the answer to in the most beautiful and personal way that I could imagine. Though this moment is such a blur, I remember stringing together my thoughts enough to comprehend the fact that this man was the one I had prayed for since I was 14, and my parents had prayed for since before I was born – this man was asking me into his life forever, and I so desperately wanted to be a part of it. So I said, “YES!”

I hardly remember what happened then. He took my left hand and slipped a ring onto my finger. The diamond sparkled a little in the candle light, but it was too dark to see it properly. Peter stood up and pulled me in close, and kissed me – brushing away the stream of tears, I started voicing everything that was going through my mind. “You’re not my boyfriend anymore. You’re the guy who’s going to read my letters. I’m so glad I didn’t wear track pants. Who knows that this is happening? How did all of this happen?” He just smiled and asked me if I would dance with him. He put on one of our old favourite songs, and when the song was finished, we took a moment to enjoy being together, taking in the fact that we were engaged.

After some time had passed, he took out his phone and shone the torch on the ring. It was everything I had ever imagined, but so, so much prettier. White gold, solitaire cut diamond, six claws, engraving on the shoulders — this guy had really listened, and what’s more, he had designed it himself, chosen the exact diamond, and had it made. I still can’t believe that it’s the only one of its kind.

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I had a suspicion that we weren’t the only ones at the park, and I asked Peter if anyone else was there. “Somewhere,” he said. “Is it Richard and Georgia?” I asked. “Yes. Do you want to see them?” I did, and he called them. They quickly came up and greeted us with warm jackets. It was such a special thing to be able to share that moment with some of our best friends. They had spent ages setting it all up, and when we were ready to leave, they stayed behind and packed it all up. I’m so, so grateful for their involvement in our lives and in that special evening.

As we walked down the hill, Peter told me that my parents and his were at his house ready to celebrate with food and champagne. We stopped by my house so that I could get changed quickly, and I gave him a longboard that I had bought him for when he proposed – that is a whole other story in itself, and one that’s probably worth sharing at a later time. We arrived at his house at the same time as Richard and Georgia, and I immediately saw my mum tearing up. We had a moment, and greeted our families, who seemed (almost!) as excited as we were and he gave me a beautiful bunch of roses. We toasted with some beautiful champagne that my parents had bought, and the rest of the night was a whirlwind of calling grandparents and calling and messaging our close friends.

I cannot possibly begin to tell you how much of a blessing Peter has been in my life, and how I can’t wait to truly start our life together. I honestly believe that God has a plan for each of our lives as individuals, and he knows our hearts and hears our requests – whether that be related to marriage or not. I’m so grateful that God has given me the opportunity to marry a man with the qualities that I have prayed for, who makes my life interesting, knows how to relate to me, and continually encourages me to focus on the important things, with the knowledge that God will always be our first love.

The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!

Psalm 111:7-9 (ESV)

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. Congrats! Talk about high school sweethearts!

  2. Stephanie says:

    Simply beautiful! Your sweet story brought a smile to my face 🙂 Hugs and blessings!

    1. Lauren says:

      So glad to bring a smile! Thank you for your lovely comment. Hugs and blessings right back at you! x

  3. Bianca C.M. says:

    I haven’t been following you for very long, but I love the way you write and these glimpses into your world have helped encouraged me in my own. This is beautiful. Wishing you all the best!

    1. Lauren says:

      Bianca, thank you! How good is the blogging world?! So glad to be of encouragement in some way, and thank you for your well wishes 🙂 I hope you’re well! Your blog is lovely! x

  4. Thanks for sharing this Lauren!! It is such a beautiful story and one that I myself have dreamed of but not yet had, so thank you for helping me have faith that these kinds of beautiful love stories do actually happen. So precious and I’m praising God for His goodness in bringing you both together 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Sorry for the super slow reply Kristina – and thank you for this heartfelt comment, it was so lovely. God is definitely good, in all things! Much love xx

  5. crossclan says:

    Oh Lauren! This teared me up both at the point of the lanterns and at the point where your mum teared up! It brings to my mind all the hopes and dreams I have for my 3 girls – to find a man who will love them as they deserve and as God calls them to. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece and treasure of your special night. Will be praying for a wonderful engagement/preparation time and for an amazing life serving our great God together. Penny xx

    1. Lauren says:

      Sorry for taking so long to reply Penny! Thank you so much for your comment! The part about your own girls is so beautiful – I know that my parents have prayed about my future husband for a long time, and I value that a lot – especially now, seeing how God has answered those prayers! And thank you for your prayers! xx

  6. rmillerme says:

    Congratulations Lauren! So happy for you and Peter! 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you so much!

  7. sejtraavmas says:

    This is so beautiful Lauren! Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your incredible day!
    Congratulations on your engagement and I can’t wait to see what God does in both of you!

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you so much Sam! x

  8. Beth Hogan says:

    God is so good! Great love story! May God fulfill all His mighty plans for you and your beloved in the years ahead! Thanks for posting this snapshot of your life!

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you Beth! x

  9. Hi there! I love your story and I’ve nominated you for the Liebster blog awards! 🙂 http://wp.me/p2CxSz-zo

  10. kyandrab says:

    Congratulation! Your story is so touching and was done beautifully.

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you for your encouraging words and congratulations!! x

  11. Reblogged this on Wild4uFashion and commented:
    Congratulations!!! This is a must read!

  12. How beautiful! Congratulations … and many prayers for a long life as husband and wife!

  13. Merryn says:

    Awww! Thankyou for sharing such a sweet engagement story and for the way you write – it is just beautiful, as I can tell your heart is too! Sorry I haven’t checked in on your posts for a while – I’m doing a lot of “catching up” lately. I will be sure to stop by more often – your post uplifted my heart and I’m sure it will restore a lot of people’s faith in true love. Praying for God’s richest blessings on your lives together.

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you Merryn! Ahhh, so lovely to hear that this uplifted your heart! Thank you for your prayers and blessings – they are so appreciated. I hope you’re well 🙂 x

      1. Merryn says:

        I’m doing well- thanks for asking. The days till Christmas are flying by now, so I am just trying to complete my “to do” list and also conserve energy so I can enjoy this time.

  14. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Isn’t engagement wonderful? The joy of finding your soulmate, the delicious anticipation of wedding plans, the hopes and dreams of the future. May God bless you with many adventurous years together! P.S. You will be so glad to have these posts about your relationship as the years go by. While the memories are fresh that’s the time to record them! And thank you, Lauren, for becoming a follower of m blog. I pray you’ll find the posts meaningful.

    1. Lauren says:

      It IS wonderful Nancy, thank you! I’m quite sentimental, so reading back over things is great fun! Lovely to have this in common with others as well 🙂 x

  15. I just found your blog and read this wonderful engagement story. Blessings to you both as you begin this new chapter in your lives.

    1. Lauren says:

      So glad you found it, thanks for your lovely comment! x

  16. ANooP says:

    Lauren,

    This was a wonderful read. Beautiful pic of your first date, beautiful pic of the ring too. Happy for you 🙂

    Cheers

  17. fromlegotobricks says:

    Congratulations Lauren!!! What a beautiful love story. God does amazing things when you least expect it. You are both loved and blessed abundantly. X

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you so much! He definitely does, doesn’t he 🙂 I hope you’re going well! x

  18. Renate says:

    Aaaah! Congratulations! Amazing, amazing.
    May God bless you both in all the days that are yet to come ^^

    1. Lauren says:

      Thank you!! I agree, it’s amazing! x

  19. Ali Martinez says:

    I’m so happy for you both! It’s been so fun getting to know you through your blog, you have a beautiful heart and I’ll be praying for y’all! 🙂

    1. Lauren says:

      Thanks Ali! It’s so nice to get to know people in blogging! I’ve been enjoying your blog too — and happy 1 year blogiversary by the way! x

  20. Reb says:

    You are so sweet the way you write and with so much hope and joy. I pray that you two walk together in tune with the Father and each other so that you will be able to weather the storms and rejoice in the triumphs that awaits you both.
    Thanks for sharing

  21. Lauren, Such a great job sharing the your engagement story. Great to read about a young couple similar to myself and Steph that love each other and the Lord.
    Merry Christmas!

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