When you’re waiting, it feels like the most exhausting and the longest season. Then in an instant, everything changes- You meet your future spouse (whether you know it or not) and the rest is history.
My story is an interesting one. From a very early age, I kew I wanted to give the Lord the pen to write my love story. I succeeded in this, but I also fell short a time or two. Before Clay, I had been engaged once before and it was the result of trying to write my own story. However, God is sovereign and knew there was something else meant for me. I went from waiting for my future husband to a broken engagement then back to waiting again. And, then I met Clay. It’s been a roller coaster, but there’s been purpose in every step (and misstep).
What is so crazy is Clay had been there for like two years before I ever noticed he was. He followed me on Instagram several years ago (but I hadn’t followed him back, oops) because he saw that I had a non-profit that was focused on students. The guy was there all along but didn’t even notice; however, it wasn’t time yet for me to know him. There were some things Jesus needed to teach me before I could be ready for our relationship.
I think this is the beauty and hilarity of Jesus. He knows so much better than we do and He loves to show off when we give Him the opportunity to.
Ole Clay slid into the DMs and asked if I wanted to have a FaceTime date (this was during the height of COVID). Thankfully, I was feeling adventurous and said yes to an almost stranger (we have a few mutual friends). We talked every day for about 3 weeks until we could meet and I would say it wasn’t too soon after I was convinced he was it. I still wanted to be sure, but I felt pretty confident.
When I look back on my teenage years, I spent so much time dreaming about my future spouse. I also spent a solid amount of time praying for him. I just always felt he would be tall (silly I know, but I like a tall guy), blonde, witty, strong, loving, and steady. So when I met Clay it was almost like I recognized someone I already knew. I know this sounds really silly, but I think this demonstrates the importance of praying for our future spouses, so when we meet them, we can recognize them. I think it also speaks the same of the opposite- when we’re with someone not meant for us, we can see it.
Neither of us needed much time- and to be honest- 2020 was a great test for a relationship! We made it through a pandemic, my dad’s election, new jobs/businesses, Clay moved to Mobile from Birmingham, and Hurricane Sally. We just honestly were ready to move forward with the dreams we had together.
I met Clay for the first time at the Orange Beach Waterfront Park. We got food to go from Anchor and had a picnic. He was sweet and tall and lovely and all the magical things you hope a guy would be. I fell real quick. I probably should have made him work harder, but if you have ever met him, it’s hard not to just love the guy.
He bought a ring in October- I know this, because I was there and I definitely picked it out. I love Clay, but I strongly believe you cannot leave something like an engagement ring up to chance so I came along to shop 🙂 We didn’t plan to buy a ring, but the perfect one was there (and on sale- thank you Jesus) so the stars aligned. I knew the proposal was coming, just wasn’t sure when.
I woke up on December 12th honestly feeling grumpy. I pulled a muscle in my back the day before (not sure how, must have been sleep-fighting) so I hadn’t been sleeping well. My parents told me to get dressed up because they were taking me to lunch to celebrate my college graduation. I came out of my room and they handed me a card from Clay.
Clay had planned a scavenger hunt for me- He involved several of our friends so a pair of them were at each stop to give me my next clue (Chris, Nick, Hunter, Hannah, Polly & Caleb- Love y’all). The first stop was at the Cotton Bayou Beach Access and then to the Backcountry Trail. We have spend a solid amount of time on that trail, especially the first time he came to see me so it’s special to us. The next location was Southern Grind at The Wharf- He told me he loved me for the first time outside of Southern Grind and we’re there about 2 times a week so we love that spot! The next stop was the last and where we met for the first time- And also the place where we’ll be married next year.
I pulled up and he was standing by the water at The Coastal Arts Center. He had ordered this blanket that had some of our favorite photos printed on it and then got down on one knee.
Our friend Jacoby was there to capture that special moment.
Clay and I are incredibly blessed and so excited to begin our life together. He’s truly my best friend and I love quite literally everything about him. I think what drew us so close was that we have the same dreams and we’re so excited to not just follow the Lord as individuals, but now we get to pursue Him together and build a life that we hope will glorify Him.