I think it is so important to remember the details of our relationship. Derek always says that when someone someday writes a book about him he would like it to be an accurate account. I agree. With so many broken relationships in the world it is easy to forget what a good one should look like. I’m in no way saying we know it all or that we are the greatest living example of a healthy relationship. I am saying that we are two people who are crazy about each other, who love God with all our hearts and desire His will for our lives, and who want to be a solid example of love and faithfulness. Our effort is full fledged and hopeful that others will see proof of Jesus in our lives and in our relationship. So, I will continue on with a few details…
“You have ravished my heart.” That is exactly what he said before he got down on his knee with a ring in his hand. I am amazed by the timing of it all. It seems like yesterday that Derek came over to my house to watch movies. It was December, just about five months ago, that I thought I was just “catching up” with an old friend. The chemistry far outweighed the “just friends.” We were kissing before the night was over. I remember the nervous feeling I got when the boy I used to have a huge crush on (3 years ago before I left for college) went in for the kiss. I always wanted him to, but it just never happened before. Anyway, since that exciting first kiss we have fallen deeply in love. I’ve always been a little cynical about what it means to truly be and feel “in love.” I know now exactly what it is like. I must say, my expectations have been far exceeded by Derek.
I recently wrote about him coming to Tulsa to see me. It was then that we said, “I love you” for the first time. We had eaten dinner at the Los Cabos on Riverwalk and then took a walk across the Jenks bridge. It was so perfect and romantic. The serious, intense look on his face and the matter-of-fact presentation of his heart into three words caught me so off guard. I was glad he told me because it was getting hard for me to hold in. I wanted to say it a week earlier. I am glad he waited until he was sure and that he said it first. Moving on…the next day we were driving back from a movie. On the way past the mall Derek said, “I would like for you to pick out a ring, if that’s okay.” I, agian, was SO caught off guard. I was still glowing from the intense night before and could not believe that, A. Someone loves me so much, and B. wants to marry me-not just talk about it or think about it-but really follow through with it. We looked at rings, found the perfect one, and two days later he was flying back to Colorado.It was another month before I saw Derek again.
During our time away we talked on the phone for hours at a time. One night, Derek called me from Boise, Idaho and was really freaking out about everything. His dad lost his job, his parents were trying to get ready to put the house on the market, Derek and his sister were trying to find a new place to live-everything was unstable. All of this instability in Derek’s life seemed to carry over into our relationship– at least for Derek. He had a hard time separating me from all the other crazy things going on. It was a very difficult, but very necessary conversation. We went through each part of his life and pieced it out to find out what the real issues were. He told me he thought he wasn’t good enough or ready for our relationship. I refused to let that stand. In my heart of hearts I knew he was the one for me and I told him I would stand by him through anything. I made it clear that he was who I wanted and who I have waited for. We decided to lay off the future talk, no wedding plans or conversations about getting married. We had originally talked about getting married this summer, but felt like we should let it wait until the chaos subsided. The conversation was monumental for us. It showed us how to trust what we hear the Lord is telling us and to trust each other’s faithfulness.
A few weeks later I came home for spring break. I got back on a Sunday and Derek had to fly out Monday for work. He came back on Thursday and told me to dress cute for a dinner date. He said we were going to go by his office to meet his co-workers, then to dinner, and that we could go hiking at Garden of the Gods later. Derek is always doing sweet things for me, so I really thought nothing of it. He showed up at my door with a dozen red roses, looking so handsome (as always). We met his co-workers, had an amazing lunch at PF Changs, then drove to CO Springs to go hiking. We arrived at Garden of the Gods close to sunset. We stayed on the paved path for a while and then went off on a side trail. We would hike for several yards, stop and kiss, talk a little, then start hiking again. We came to a clearing, the sun was setting beautifully over Pikes Peak. It felt like God painted the sky just for us that night. Derek took my hands and held them tight. He told me that he loved me so much and that he had really enjoyed the time that we had to spend together. He went on for a minute pouring his heart out to me. He said he felt like his heart was very full with me. Now, like I said, he tells me all the time how he feels and is romantic with dates. I really had no clue what was coming next. Derek pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and said, “I would like to read you something.” The paper was filled the the words of Solomon- it said…
How fair is your love
My sister my spouse
How much better than wine is your love
And the scent of your perfumes than all the spices
Your lips, O my wife
Drip as the honeycomb
Honey and milk, and peanut butter (Although not quoted in the the Bible itself…peanut butter)
Are under your tongue
You are all fair my love
Come with me from Lebanon
Open for me, my sister, my love
My dove, my perfect one
There is no spot in you
You have ravished my heart
My sister, my spouse
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes
He then said, “I have something for you.” He got down on his knee and said, “Amber Brown, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you marry me?” I said YES!!!! We held each other on the mountain and then prayed and worshiped together at the World Prayer Center in CO Springs. We called our families and they we so thrilled. The next day we left for the cabin Derek had rented in Estes Park for us. I have never felt more cherished, loved, and worth it (expensive weekend). We chilled by the fire, sat in our own private hot tub on the deck, and drank some amazing wine. It wasn’t until this night that our engagement truly hit me. I cried in Derek’s arms and told him that I have never in my life felt loved by a man so much. I had to do nothing to earn his love- it was just there for me to soak up. I feel so blessed to have Derek in my life. My heart is his to keep forever.
We got engaged April 2, 2009, and we’ll be getting married July 25, 2009. The wedding plans are coming along and our love is growing deeper each day. I cannot wait to take the name of my Love and am thrilled to spend the rest of my life with him.
Derek, “no one’s gonna love you more than I do…”
More to come…