Archive for March, 2013


True love began with a bag of Doritos and some cheap, generic Kool-Aid. As we sat in our first Christian Club meeting at Harford Community College in the Fall of 2010, neither Ambrey nor I knew we were sitting in the same room as our future spouse. My loyal friend Eric Powell and I had just started the club that semester because, at the time, there was no real venue for Christians to meet on campus. So, on the first Wednesday meeting, sitting around a table of cheap junk food in the chaos of a crowded student center, I met Ambrey Zaun for the first time.

The first thing I noticed about Ambrey was her infectious smile. Her continuously shining smile and laughter seemed to be a magnet to everyone around her. As the weekly meetings continued, I began to see her vivacious and outgoing personality emerge even more, which I found increasingly attractive. In addition to her personality, I witnessed an authentic love for God in Ambrey and could tell she had a very personal relationship with Him. One of the first times I remember hanging out with Ambrey outside of school was at a bonfire hosted by Eric. To this day, I’m not sure why she wanted anything to do with me after I sang Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in a falsetto voice, or why I sang it in the first place. By the time 2:00 A.M. finally rolled around, it was time for the few of us who remained to finally leave, and I walked out to my car along with Ambrey to hers. I asked her if she knew how to get out of the neighborhood, to which she hesitated before admitting she did not. I started to explain, but then suggested it might be easier if she followed me out. To this day, Ambrey says that small act of kindness piqued her interest.

Not long after, I needed to get Ambrey’s number from her friend Samm, purely for club event invitations, of course. After I texted Ambrey for the first time, we began texting more, chatting on Facebook more, and flirting more. Our conversations covered everything from our favorite food to various trips we had been on. I distinctly remember asking Ambrey once about the qualities she looked for in a guy. She replied with her thoughts and then returned the question to me. I replied with a thinly disguised description of her.

Toward the end of the semester, Christmas was coming. I asked Ambrey if she would like to do some last-minute Christmas shopping together, so we went out for the first time by ourselves. We shopped around at Five-Below and some other stores, being goofy and enjoying our time together. A couple weeks after, we decided to go for a walk together and take pictures at the Ma and Pa trail with our two Golden Retrievers, Molly and Holly.

As our friendship began to grow, my feelings for Ambrey outgrew contentment with mere friendship, and I decided it was time to officially ask her out. After securing permission from Ambrey’s dad, we went for a Saturday afternoon lunch at Panera Bread. I don’t remember what we talked about for the first half hour, but we enjoyed some conversation and both ate in our usually messy way. I thought it was cute that she had even more crumbs around her plate than I did, which was a challenging feat indeed. Finally, I mustered up the courage to share with her how I felt our relationship was growing quickly, how much I admired her and her godly character, and how I wished for her to be my girlfriend. She smiled that joyous smile of hers the entire time I was speaking, and we were both ecstatic that our relationship became official.

Over the next year-and-a-half, our relationship grew and matured steadily. We experienced the joys of new jobs and new schools together, endured the grief of losing loved ones, and overcame the longing of months apart from each other while serving God. We have shared our spiritual lives together, talking about the lessons God is teaching us along the way and the goals he has called us to.

Eventually, we both knew we wanted to get married and were eager for that day. My plan had always been to finish school and get settled into a career before getting married, but that date was too far off and the anticipation was too great. When you know you want to spend the rest of your days with someone, you want the “rest of your days” to start as soon as possible. Together, we came up with a plan to get married before my last semester of school, as long as I could get a good enough job to support us until graduation.

In the summer of 2012, I had my foot in the door at a good summer internship and decided it was time to ask Ambrey’s dad for permission to marry her. I was nervous for all the same reasons any guy is, only more so because I did not have a job lined up beyond the summer. However, I had faith and a strong conviction that God was calling me to take decisive action on a long-considered, long-prayed-for plan. I met privately with Mr. Marion, Ambrey’s dad, one evening when Ambrey was nannying. I told him how much I loved and cherished his daughter, how our relationship had matured and developed over the year-and-a-half since we began dating, and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I told him I wanted to provide for her, protect her, and lead her. Then, I asked for his permission for Ambrey’s hand in marriage and held my breath in anticipation. Mr. Marion could not have been more kind and gracious in giving his approval, and he told me he saw our relationship heading toward marriage as well. He said that he felt God made us to be better together than apart, and he felt this was God’s will, too. We talked a little while longer, prayed together for our wedding and future marriage, hugged, and said goodbye. The very next day, I received an email informing me that I was accepted for the position which I applied for weeks earlier, and it would last from the end of the summer until graduation. It seemed God decided to generously reward our faith.

After I bought the ring, the Zauns invited me to go along with the family to a friend’s beach house in late August. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for a proposal, since the beach is Ambrey’s favorite place in the world. I began to plan the proposal with the help of Ambrey’s mom, Mrs. Cheryl, and by the time we left for the beach everything was in order. On the morning of September 1, 2012, Mr. Larry and Mrs. Bonnie, the friends with whom we were visiting, took Mrs. Cheryl and me out to scout out the beach and finish up the last-minute plans for setup while Ambrey was sleeping. Later in the evening, Ambrey and I were dropped off at the beach and we went for a long, romantic walk. When we returned, a blanket with a picnic basket and roses awaited us. Next to the blanket were three seashells. She picked up the first two, under which were written, “Will,” “You,” and then I held up the last one reading “Marry Me?” With the ring and the shell in hand, I poured out my feelings to her, telling her how much I loved her and cherished her, how much I admired her, how much happiness she brought me, and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I asked her if she would marry me, to which she joyfully and tearfully replied, “Yes.” This time, we were infinitely more ecstatic than with that first “yes” at Panera almost two years earlier. God even seemed to smile on our engagement with a rainbow directly above us. It was perfect.

Ever since that day, we have been busily preparing with immense excitement. We are ever hopeful and eager for all that God will do in our lives together, and we cannot wait for our wedding day!