I hate packing.
This is pretty unfortunate considering much of my life is lived out of suitcases, but none-the-less…
I hate packing.
I think I mostly hate packing because I have a clothes problem.
Compared to most American 20 year old females, my closet probably looks relatively normal and maybe even a little minimalistic….
But in like super-awesome-ready-to-pack-and-leave-with-just-the-clothes-on-my-back missionary world… I have a problem.
Like I can’t even fit all of my clothes in two suit cases even if they’re all in space bags….
Trust me I have tried.
So needless to say, packing was it’s normal overwhelming struggle this summer as I prepared to go to Guatemala for a month.
I began to mentally pack and think of what I needed and what I wanted while I was there weeks in advance (yes… it’s a process)
And I specifically remember asking Z MULTIPLE times to just give me a SMALL heads up if he had anything planned for us while we were gone… aka a proposal.
I HATE surprises and knew he was going to propose by the end of the summer.
I even tried to talk him into proposing to me in Guatemala just so that I would have an idea when it would be.
(I may or may not have a mild control problem)
He ASSURED me along with the rest of my friends that he would not be popping the question in Guatemala.
As I began to put my clothes in my suitcase I remember thinking “well at least I know he won’t propose to me in this…or this… or this”
Around three weeks later we were wrapping up our time in Guatemala and going on what I thought would be kind of a last “hoorah” in Guatemala for the summer.
We had been told all month about how pretty Lake Atitlan was but I definitely did not know what I was about to get myself into…
Lake Atitlan is this big lake thing created somehow by the three giant volcanoes around it.
It is one of the most green, lush, and beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.
Our journey to this grand lake started with a six hour bus ride.
After the beautiful ride down to the lake and much negotiation in Spanish about parking our car, most of which I did not understand, we somehow ended up at a dock of sorts.
Like the kind of dock with boats
Small, rickety, adorable ones…
We eventually boarded one of said boats (one much bigger than the one in the picture) and proceeded to ride to San Pedro.
San Pedro is one of the twelve little Mayan villages that sort of surround the lake. After like thirty minutes of riding around on the lake we finally arrived at cute little San Pedro.
I totally wish I would have taken a picture of the dock we arrived at,
I was literally scared I was going to fall through one of the holes in the wood and break my leg.
Once we made it to the cobble stone road we walked for a while until we could get into tuktuks and headed toward our home for the weekend.
I think my favorite thing about San Pedro was the adorable Mayan family we stayed with.
They made us all traditional food all weekend and gave lots of hugs and were awesome.
The buildings in San Pedro all seemed to grow up instead of out, this families’ house was no different.
The little room I stayed in with a few of my teammates was right next to a balcony with a hammock…
It is actually what dreams are made of.
The narrow cobble stone road under the balcony rang of tuktuks’ tiny little horns all night.
The entire weekend was relatively chill.
The only thing we really had “planned” were meetings with the entire team at night and one group picture on the dock the second day we were there.
I would just like to take a second to emphasize the fact that everyone I talked to on our team was adamant and persistent in assuring me that Z would not surprise me on this trip…
Needless to say Z and I were standing on the dock with everyone else right after our group picture when I asked him if he wanted to ask our friend Amanda to take our picture with the gorgeous view.
I smiled for the camera only to hear Z say… “I lied”
I think I was in shock for a second before I actually realized what he was talking about.
At that moment Z got on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
I SAID YES.
Shortly after I got done fighting back tears of joy I looked at our team that consisted of some of my closest friends standing behind Amanda, who was “taking the picture”,
and saw guilty, but extraordinarily happy faces.
(all of you guys are still liars, but whatever)
The rest of the day consisted of lots of coffee and a coffee shop were we got WiFi and called our families.
That night our favorite little Mayan family cooked us a celebratory meal.
It was perfect.
I tell you all this for a few reasons.
First, because many of you guys have asked me about our proposal story,
Second, I promised to be totally transparent with you guys through this whole life journey thing and I figured that probably included my soon-to-be marriage
And Third, there are some major changes that have already happened to this blog, as well as some even more major changed in my life and ministry.
Z and I are getting married in just a few days (AHHHHHH!)
To say we are a little excited/stressed would be the biggest understatement ever.
When I first moved to Africa at the beginning of my gap year in Swaziland I had the most “Just Jesus and I taking on the world” spirit…
This attitude is awesome and I totally believe God calls some people to be single for life, but for me it was more of an arrogant “I don’t need anyone” attitude than a humble trust in the Lord.
The more time I spent in Africa the more the Lord was rocking my world and the more I began to realize I just simply was not made to do this alone.
I remember specifically one morning looking out of a car window at the beautiful Swazi mountains with a full heart and lots to share, wishing I just had a partner in ministry to share this with.
There are no words to express how excited I am about marrying Z, but the truth is I am even more elated to be following Z to the Ends of the Earth sharing the gospel.
He is an incredible partner in missions, my best friend, an awesome fiancé, and will be an even better husband.
I am so excited to not only be able to share my journey through this blog but to begin to share ours.
As far as what our future in ministry looks like, I will be continuing on in my journey and so will Z…
We are going to continue to live in Nashville and minister to the refugees here.
Next fall my two years in America with our organization will come to an end, and as of right now we are planning on finishing my final-two-years in the Middle East.
…All of that being said I almost feel like God is allowing us both a partner in crime and then saying, “It’s time to get to work!”
We indeed have much work ahead of us and need all the prayers we can get.
Please pray for us as we begin to lay the foundation for our marriage.
Please pray for our fundraising, we have lots of work to do financially before we will be able to move overseas.
Please pray for our wedding, that it would not be a celebration of us, but a celebration that God has chosen to use normal humans to bring His gospel to the Ends of the Earth and that He has given Z and I a partner to go on this journey with.
We are so thankful for you guys and love you more than you know.
To The Ends of The Earth