Thank you all for such a lovely response to the first post about Dylan and I’s love story! Here is part 2.
September 30th, 2015: Wednesday night, Dylan and I had gone to a Bible study and picked up a kitten for my little brother’s birthday present. We were driving home with a crying baby kitty and were talking about Dylan’s fear and concern about his past having a bad affect on me. He was scared that his past mistakes and decisions would hurt me.
He explained that was his biggest fear. Hurting me. I told him that if none of the bad things had happened to him he wouldn’t be the wise, mature, God-fearing man he was today. I told him that God forgave him and loved him and that he was a new person and that God would restore him day by day one moment at a time. I told him that his past couldn’t hurt me because the both of us would be putting Christ first and learning how to push forward. I told him I respected him and didn’t care about his past because of how God had transformed him through his mistakes. Dylan had never had someone love him in that way.
He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Lisa, I love you. I love you so much. I was going to wait for a while before I told you that but I know that I need to tell you now. No one has ever told me anything like that before. I love you.”
And I said I love you back.
October 2015: After Dylan and I established where we both were at emotionally and spiritually in regards to our friendship we could not have been happier! Everyone knew we liked each other but we were just going to be friends with a relationship in mind for later. We were both drawing closer to the Lord and encouraging each other’s relationship with the Lord. Dylan finally got my number from my older brother and we began sending each other bible verses in the morning and having fun conversations on the phone sometimes at night. It was so much fun!
I remember loving every minute of this time in our relationship.
Nothing was expected of anyone and there was no fear in what should or shouldn’t be said or in what we should or shouldn’t do. It was just fun and beautiful. We were getting to know one another even better than before and our friendship just took off! I was never more comfortable or at home with anyone else than I was with Dylan. I love how God knew exactly what we needed. He knew Dylan needed a friend and a family and He knew that I needed to see love inside of a safe relationship. It was so magical.
One of my favorite memories from that month was when Dylan and I took my three youngest siblings on a hike up a mountain on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The kids were running up ahead of us and Dylan turned around and said, “One day, when we are married, I am going to take you back up on this mountain and kiss you while we are watching the sunset!” He was always that bold! One time he said while we observed a child throwing a fit at a park, “Our kids aren’t acting like that.” And winked at me!
November 2015: It was a Monday afternoon when I went for a walk by myself up to my favorite mountain hillside and looked out over a big field speckled perfectly with pine trees and aspens and snow slowing falling in big flakes all around me. I pulled out my Bible and journal and began my quiet time with Him. I started praying about Dylan and I’s relationship.
I felt like Dylan and I were growing close so quickly. I longed to begin a real romantic relationship with him but I knew it was still soon.
Waiting for something exciting to begin is like waiting for Christmas when you’re 5!
In that moment I heard God tell me that it was going to happen very soon. Dylan and I had said we would wait till the Spring but I felt such a huge peace about being together sooner than that. God had put that peace in my heart over the last two months that Dylan and I had started our “intentional friendship”. But I stayed quiet about it.
Two days later Dylan and I were driving home from a Wednesday night Bible study when he told me he had something he wanted to talk about. He told me that he had been praying and seeking the Lord about our relationship and wanted to begin dating me and wanted to see where my heart was at concerning the matter. God had put the same desire in my heart! I was so excited. God had been speaking to us both at the same time about the same thing and was moving in both of us. This was the first of many times that this would happen over the course of our relationship.
God would say something to Dylan and I at the same time and would lead and guide us both separately so that we would grow together.
That Saturday the 7th of November, Dylan and I talked to my parents about beginning a real relationship and they were thrilled. They could tell we loved each other deeply. That night, we went to a friend’s wedding as a couple.
Over the next few months, through Christmas and New Years I was the happiest I had ever been. I started Bible college online and was able to spend time with my family and Dylan at the same time! Dylan and I went on a couple of dates alone but mostly stuck to hanging out with family and friends. I got to know his beautiful sister, Emily and her two kids and her somewhat funny and sarcastic husband, Sam-Dylan’s best friend, boss, and brother-in-law. They quickly became my new best friends!
February came around and on Valentine’s Day, Dylan invited my sister, Hannah and I to come over to his little house for dinner and a movie. He made us dinner and we had a picnic in his living room =) On his birthday, the 27th of February, I threw him a surprise part with all of our best friends and family.
We were so in love! Everything we did together and apart from each other brought us so much joy.
We have to this day never had an argument. God arranged everything perfectly I think. In March, Dylan and Sam and their construction crew had to go to Seattle for 2 weeks on a job. I got to stay at his house to take care of Jefferson and his home while he was away. I missed him terribly but loved the chance to stay at his house and pretend that I would live there someday. Which now I do!
The next couple of months, Dylan was away most of the time on out of town jobs and I went on a few family vacations which he couldn’t come to. The distance and the lack of communication drew us apart a little. We were getting to know each other better but we now needed to learn good communication. This was a hard time for us because we felt distant from each other. How were we to treat each other and show unconditional love if we weren’t married yet? Things were up and down until June and then God broke through our confusion. We were trying to be too perfect all of the time and we were wearing our selves out.
God gave us the wisdom to step back and readjust our focus.
For a few months we went back to a more simple way of dating. We kept our distance emotionally and physically and just focused on God and on allowing God to work in the other person. We needed a time of retreat. It was beautiful and I felt it really restored our feelings for each other.
That summer we fell deeper in love with each other than ever before.
We began leaning on each other not in a way of neediness but in a way that we relied on each other to encourage and daily lift one another up. God was pulling us together. It’s hard to explain but I felt that God was preparing us for something. The love and adoration we had for each other was so deep. God was simply pulling us closer.
September 28th, 2016: It was on a Wednesday. I went to work early that morning to open the coffee shop I worked at and by noon I was exhausted. It had been such a busy day at work. On my way home I stopped by the job site that Dylan and the crew were working on. He asked if I was doing anything special that afternoon and I told him I was just going to take a nap and play outside with my kitties. My friend, Jill had asked me to come over that afternoon but I turned her down because I was so tired. So Dylan said he would come pick me up for Bible study that night.
Unknowingly, Jill was supposed to take me somewhere special that night and I was being difficult by skipping out on her. So she said she would come over to my house, 40 minutes away to hang out. I was shocked but excited to have a visitor (my family had moved about 30 miles away earlier that month). She came over and handed me a letter, I thought it was from her but it was a poem and a clue from Dylan. It told us to go back to the coffee shop! So Jill told me to get dressed warm and get in her car. I was so confused! At the coffee shop there was another clue leading somewhere else then somewhere else till finally the last clue told us to go to the lake.
This is where it gets really romantic.
After pulling up on the shore of the lake, Jill kicked me out of her car and took off. There was Dylan, next to a canoe all dressed up in a handsome white button up and rolled up jeans. He took my hand and put me in the canoe where he had a blanket and a bottle of champagne and a little picnic.
We rowed around for about an hour eating and laughing and having fun paddling around the lake. The mountain sides were blanketed in yellow and green pine trees and the sun was setting over the peaks. I asked him what the special occasion was and he said it was in honor of our “One year anniversary” that had been the week before on the 21st. But since we hadn’t done anything very special he wanted to do something fun. In the back of my mind I thought he would propose but he was so casual and not nervous at ALL! Plus, he didn’t have the money for a ring yet I thought!
The sun went down and the evening was dwindling. Suddenly as our canoe sat in the middle of the lake we saw a bunch of little lights light up on the shore. I immediately thought it was a bunch of partiers but Dylan started talking about how much he loved me and how he wanted to keep making memories with me. Then, under the light of a million stars and in the shadow of the majestic mountains on the lake, he took my hand, knelt down in front of me in the canoe and slipped a little ring into my hand.
“Will you marry me, Lisa?”
Yes,yes, yes, a million times yes. I was so happy! We popped the champagne open and he shouted at the people on the beach (who turned out to be all of his guy friends) “She said yes!” They had been lighting little lanterns that Dylan had made himself on the beach. We rowed over there to say hi and celebrate. It was such a happy and romantic moment!
On our way back to shore I remember looking over at Dylan and seeing him for the first time as my fiance. We were getting married!
We set the date for December 18th, 2016-a short 12 weeks away. We could either get married before the holidays or wait till Spring and when it comes to love no one wants to wait!
The next few weeks were busy to say the least I was working and taking care of a ranch by myself and trying to plan a wedding and get my things move over to Dylan’s house. Eventually in November I quit my job as a barista to focus on my last month of being single and to spend time with the Lord and my family. It was a big decision but one I think the Lord truly blessed.
Thanksgiving came and went and then it was only 2 weeks till the wedding. Dylan and I were never so happy and we thrived on our time in marriage counseling with our pastor. We loved depending on one another and growing together before the big day.
Well, the morning of our wedding rolled in finally!
It was a balmy 10 degrees in Montana and snow was coming down gently. Dylan showed up to my family’s house where I had been staying that week and he and I could not stop smiling. While everyone was rushing to get to the venue and start setting up, Dylan and I snuck away to go on one last date before we got married. We went to coffee and breakfast then to Crispy Cream Donuts. We weren’t nervous or in a hurry at all. We prayed together, told jokes and just enjoyed the morning.
Around noon we got to the wedding venue a beautiful barn complete with over 300 mini candles and lanterns. In 5 hours the ceremony would start. We parted ways and then it was a madhouse until the ceremony. It was the most beautiful time of my life-the flowers, the barn, my bridesmaids, my family, Dylan. Everything was perfect! During the ceremony Dylan and I did communion and an old Irish tradition of handfasting (symbolizing two cords, Dylan and I and the third was a plaid tartan portraying God as the Fastener of our marriage and lives together).
We wanted our wedding to be a representation of the church being consecrated to the perfect Groom, Jesus.
We wanted to show that grace is bigger than our pasts and that God’s love transcends all of our knowledge of guilt and shame. We didn’t have a perfect relationship, we messed up more times than we can count but God in His mercy bound us together and called us to His throne of grace boldly.
I give God all the praise and glory for this time in my life. The love everyone has shown us and the mercy God shines on us is more than my heart can take in. This love story is only a glimpse of the love that Christ has for Dylan and I. The love we feel for one another is only an inkling of the amount of love God has for us.
It is my desire and hope for all of my friends and family and readers to experience true love at least once in their lifetime so that you can know what it means to know True Love, Jesus Christ, even deeper.
Thank you for sharing in our joy by reading this! I can’t wait to write more about our experiences through dating, engagement and now married life. God bless!