Warmth flowed out of the BMW’s vents. The February cold slowly disappeared and I was finally able to relax in my seat. Joey and I were packed up and ready to hit the road. Our destination: a weekend in Des Moines for our college ministry’s spring retreat. Two days and a series of conference sessions and break-out groups later, the message of the retreat was clear. Some of us are called to serve God overseas in missions, while others are called to stay and serve in their everyday lives. The question of which of those two groups we fit into remained open.
Instead of our typical direct route home, Joey and I took a more scenic route through Des Moines. After seeing the gleaming golden dome on our way into the city, there was no question. I wanted to see the capital. My design-oriented heart was in love with architecture and city history. Joey, eager to please me, made the decision. If I wanted to see the capital, the capital we would see! The car came to a halt in front of Iowa’s most beautiful historic building. Joey exited the BMW to read a sign posted out front. Closed. A little bummed out, we returned to our direct route back to Ames. As the miles rolled on, we chatted about the retreat.
How did the question of missions impact my ideas for the future? Joey was dying to know my thoughts. Did I feel called to go overseas or live an everyday life here? I’d been wondering the same thing. As much as the retreat had stressed the importance of leaving for missions, it didn’t sit right with me. At the time, working a normal job as a designer seemed where I could make more of an impact. I poured out my feelings with him. He agreed that he did not feel leaving for permanent missions was his calling.
The miles continued to tick by, our destination neared and our conversation shifted. Rather than talk about plans for the future, we began to plan a trip. It was Joey’s idea and I loved it. Our next free weekend, we would head back to Des Moines to see the state capital I’d so desperately wanted to see. Little did I know, Joey had a different plan in his mind. When he’d asked where I saw my future, I’d given him the answer he was hoping for. While I rambled on, one idea stuck in his mind. He was going to ask me to marry him.
I: Middle School Band, Day One
II: He likes me, he likes me not
III: Summertime Crush
IV: Royalty and Selfies
V: Cookies + Texting
VI: Gas Station Hugs
VII: The First “Date”
VIII: The First Kiss
IX: Plans for a Future
X: Dancing the Night Away