(TODAY IT IS! The long awaited story of Cody's proposal of marriage to Kristin! Grab a cup of tea -and perhaps a biscuit- definitely a tissue. And please bear in mind that while I make every attempt to share multiple perspectives when writing, this is my blog. So the story will be my version. That's the best I can offer! Also, I found it impossible to record the entire story in just one post. This will have two parts. But worth the read, I promise!)
April 20, 2014 will forever be a benchmark day for Cody McGhee. It's the day that Kristin Hawley agreed to be his wife!
Their courtship has been long; with many twists and turns. In February, Cody was asked by one of our guest speakers how long he had been pursuing Kristin. Cody hit an app on his phone and said, "1,163 days, sir!"
"Well young man," gasped Dr. Trask. "What are you waiting for?!!"
In reality, Cody was patiently waiting for the same thing John and Nathan waited for - the right time. It just recently came to me that each of the men who've wanted to make a Hawley girl their wife has had to wait patiently.
John knew Joy was supposed to be his but they waited almost two years in order to put degrees behind their names before putting Mr. and Mrs. in front. (They met while touring with the choir of Southeastern University. John, the confident pianist. Joy, the adorable alto.)
Nathan and Meagan first dated in high school! They both cared very deeply for one another even then but it would be six years before Nathan completed college. So they went their separate ways for a while.
I remember Meagan lamenting to me during her sophomore year, "I've tried to date, Mom. But I find myself comparing every guy to Nathan! And none of them measures up!"
Cody became part of the young adults group at our church five years ago. He was a handsome young man on the fast track toward success! With charm and a quick wit, he seemed to win every heart. His walk with the Lord began a slow, steady growth pattern that continues even now.
He and Kristin were aware of one another right away, but mostly because they irritated one another incessantly!
I won't give the recap of all 1,163 days of the pursuit. But I will tell you that waiting doesn't hurt any of us if we choose to make the most of waiting times! (Now that'll preach!)
To his credit, Cody has taken this time to study and learn Kristin. He knows her likes/dislikes; her quirky ways; her favorite food, flower, stores, movies; what makes her laugh and what makes her cry.
He has a masters degree in Kristin Nicole Hawley!
That's why his original plan for the proposal seemed perfect.
This summer we will be taking a team of people to Padova, Italy for ten days of ministry with an international church. We'll be conducting Vacation Bible School each morning and working with the English students in the afternoons. They've planned outreaches in the piazza; evangelistic services; and canvassing along with several other ministry ventures.
We are so honored to be going!
On the one day we have free, the missionaries will be taking us to visit Venice. This is a lifetime dream for Kristin especially. And, of course, Cody knows that!
When he talked with Frank about asking about an appointment to talk with him about asking for her hand in marriage, (yes that's really how it happened) he shared his initial plan.
"I can't go on this missions trip because of my work schedule. But I want to buy a plane ticket and fly over there for the day that the team is in Venice. When Kristin gets to the place where the gondolas are, I'll be waiting there and have the ring ready. I want to propose to her in Venice while riding on a gondola!"
WHAT??!!! Such a brilliant, romantic, over-the-top, fabulous plan! One small problem - Kristin has also always wanted to get married in the fall of the year.
At thirty-one, I didn't think she would want to wait until the fall of 2015. And there wasn't any way in the world I was going to try and help put together her wedding in two months!! We would all be looney!
So, it was back to the drawing board. This proposal had to be perfect, in Cody's thinking.
The per-requisites? For Cody: She had to be surprised! He had to be the one to plan it! It had to make a great story she would love telling for years to come! For Kristin: She wanted her nails done and make-up on. (No pictures for Facebook looking ridiculous.)
And I'm here to testify - every desire was met beyond what the precious couple could have thought or planned. That's just the way our Heavenly Father likes to work it!
(PART 2 TOMORROW)