It was 8 1/2 months ago, on the roof-level deck of my aunt and uncle’s house in downtown Lancaster City, that Eric told me he wanted to call dibs… on me.
I can’t get over the blessings and good gifts that God brings, especially in regards to other people praying for me and situations of my life. There was a lot of prayer that went into the start of my relationship with Eric Gregory. Working together in ministry, in the same department of ministry and across the hall from each other, gave us great hesitation the end of last summer as we started to wonder what a relationship could look like for us. We were excited about the idea of “us” – but we didn’t want to get ahead of ourselves, for many reasons. The prayers that I prayed and journaled those few weeks in August are so humbling to look back on now…
The Lord has certainly answered those prayers for peace and patience… and I still really like that boy! The past 8 months have not been without their difficulties at times, but I have been so overwhelmed by the ease at which we are able to spend long amounts of time together and work at this relationship without many “dramas”! There is something so freeing and exciting about starting a relationship in our late 20’s when we already know ourselves as individuals, and can recognize our own selfish tendencies early on and how to manage those both on our own, and together as a couple. We know who we are when we are alone… but God has been so good in allowing us to see who we are… and can be… together as a couple.
Standing on the roof-level deck, overlooking the city of Lancaster, at the end of August last year on a cool summery night, when Eric and I were talking about our interactions with other people and how I had some random suggestions for dates with other guys that I didn’t know how to respond to, he told me then that while he didn’t feel like he was able to, he wished he could “call dibs” on me.
And I immediately responded that I wanted him to call dibs. I didn’t hesitate. I knew then and there that I really liked this boy and I wanted to be his.
Fast forward 8 1/2 months into May 2016… Wednesday, May 18th:
It’s not often that Eric and I get a Wednesday night “off” – we usually have Student Ministry activities throughout the school year, and training meetings for Summer Trips throughout the summer months – so we were really looking forward to a Wednesday with a regular work day, and a night free of meetings. Last week, Eric suggested making dinner plans at one of my favorite restaurants, Ma(i)son, in downtown Lancaster. This was not alarming to me, as we had been talking for some time about making plans for dinner there at some point this month.
I feel it’s important to note that over the past few weeks Eric was really good at continuing to offer other suggestions as well, like making plans for a picnic, or plans to go to the beach when it gets warm enough. All of these sounded to me like some kind of possible plans for a proposal, so while I knew it was coming in the near future, I certainly did not know when or how or where he would ask.
After dinner, Eric suggested a walk through the city, which ended up on Chestnut Street… walking towards my aunt and uncle’s house at the top of Chestnut. As we neared their house, I suggested that we stop in and see if they were home. I knocked a few times, with no answer, and Eric suggested we try the door to see if anyone was home… they were not. And he knew the house would be empty. I had a pretty good feeling what was going on, but I had no clue what was waiting at the top when we reached the deck outside…
Having enlisted the help of my two fabulous sisters, Eric had the deck all setup for a romantic reminder of where and when we had our first conversation about diving into this relationship… the same place where he first called dibs…
And as he got down on one knee, Eric Gregory told me that he wanted to call dibs for the rest of our lives…
I hope it’s no surprise that clearly, I said yes!
This journey has been full of wonderful blessings and good gifts from our Heavenly Father, and I am overwhelmed with joy for this next stage of life alongside my best friend. I am often humbled and constantly thankful for Eric Gregory and the time, care and love that he pours into me.
The thoughtfulness that he put into this night still blows me away… the place where it all started: a simple rooftop deck… alongside the place where our greatest adventure begins: an elegant, understated romantic setting with such beautiful gifts of goodness and grace.
We know that we wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for the many prayers and encouragement from friends and family in our lives. For those of you that have been praying for each of us over the years… thank you. God is so good in answering your prayers! Eric and I are constantly aware of the great blessing of each of you and the great debt that we owe to your prayers in bringing us together! Thank you so much for being a part of our journey…
Stay tuned over the upcoming months for more #JenEricAdventures… !