I had made a big mistake and I knew it. Mike was visiting us that October weekend, but a week earlier I thought I had irreparably damaged our relationship. I was extremely grateful that what I had done in September did not end our relationship. I was very humbled that he came to visit anyway.
Mike loves fall colors, so he asked if we could go for a walk in a nearby park on that lovely autumn afternoon. He stopped under a large, golden oak tree overhanging a river.
“I wanted to talk about the three questions,” Mike explained. (When Mike and I started dating twelve months before, we agreed to pray about three questions. Essentially, we were praying: should we marry and should we marry each other. )
As Mike carefully went through each question and told me after each one, that God said “yes”, I thought, “he couldn’t be proposing, could he?”
“There’s a fourth question, though,” Mike continued.
“Oh,” I decided, “he’s NOT proposing. There’s a fourth question I did not know about!!”
“Will you do me the honor of being my wife?”
I was completely surprised and took a minute to reply. (Mike says to this day it was an agonizingly long time.)
Of course, I had been praying for the three questions, too, but I also had two additional private prayers. One, that Mike would surprise me when he proposed. And two, that he would ask my father’s permission.
Mike certainly surprised me! This was hard for him to do because I was expecting a proposal every time a special event came and went for the past year. However, God used my big mistake from September to change my attitude that weekend. I was glad he was still around and so I was not expecting a proposal.
I finally said, ”yes, it would be my joy.”
As we drove back to the house, I entertained the idea of asking Mike to ask my father, but I sensed God did not want me to tell Mike about this prayer.
As we pulled into my parent’s driveway, Mike turned to me, “Do you think I should ask your father?”
I was stunned and pleased. We went in for supper and as we were eating, Mike asked for permission to marry me. It meant a lot to Dad to be asked and it meant a lot to me, since Dad died exactly a month later of leukemia.
After a year of expecting a proposal, I had doubts during our engagement, but God knew I needed an anchor. I had my two special answered prayers to help me fight my fears.
We were married just short of my thirtieth birthday. On the day after our wedding, the weather was grey and cloudy. We took some of our wedding flowers to Lakewood Park cemetery and I placed them by Dad’s grave. Immediately a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds and spotlighted the flowers and the headstone.
I knew in my heart that my Heavenly Father AND my earthly Father were giving us their blessing on the start of our married life together.