I knew I was going to marry Jeremy about four and a half years ago…And for those of you who are mathematicians, you would be able to figure out that I knew I was going to marry him even before I even met him. …Crazy, you say? About four and a half years ago, I was enjoying a fun girls’ night with my friends Ashley and Sarah-we spent some time praying for each other, and also enjoyed the typical “girl talk”. Of course we talked about guys and how we each hoped to someday meet one and marry him. I briefly mentioned how I am oddly attracted to fellas who are “techies”, make videos, and play the drums…Immediately Ashley blurts out: “Oh my gosh! I know who you are going to marry! I can’t believe I didn’t see it before!…Jeremy Denlinger is perfect for you!” I responded with a laugh and commented that I didn’t even know who Jeremy Denlinger was! Ashley assured me that she would introduce us soon. ….And by God’s providence and her cunning matchmaking skills, I indeed met Jeremy just a month later at Creation music festival. I spent a few months after that with my eye on him as I observed him with his friends and serving at church. (I have to say that seeing him on the drums at church was a major selling point!) At that same time in life, God challenged Jeremy and I (separately) to end the frustrating pursuit of finding a “mate” and just focus on God, and trust His timing….oh the way God works when we place things in His hands! And how amazing that He was teaching us the same thing at the same time! So just about a month after this decision, Jeremy and I found ourselves enjoying fireworks in the city (with Ashley along). Ashley insisted that Jeremy and I pose for a photo (and “get closer together”) ….and that is the first photo we have together. So, just a few days later, “some man” calls my house (a very strange event for my family). Jeremy sneakily got my number, and called to ask me out on our first date. The rest is an exciting blur of learning about each other and growing to love each other deeply.
So since that first date, we’ve had MANY conversations about getting married and what it would look like to spend our lives together. For the past two years, I have consistently asked Jeremy, “When will you propose to me?” His response: “soon”. “But when is soon??” …And he smiles that sneaky smile. …I admit, just a few months ago, I began to have some mental breakdowns, fearing we would never be engaged. But then the day came…
I can honestly say that I had no idea that Jeremy was going to propose to me on November 6. I did not see it coming that week, and I had no idea that day. He bought a new camera that week, and the plan was for us to have a fun hike/photo shoot to try out the new camera and enjoy the end of the fall colors. When I got to my house, Jeremy was already there talking to my Dad. Not a big deal, since I was running a little late. My Dad said, “I hope you have fun hiking…uh..um…maybe you weren’t supposed to know that…maybe Jeremy wanted to surprise you.” …Now this may seem like an obvious hint, but if you know my Dad, you know that he would say something like this on a normal occasion when we went on a date somewhere. (But you also understand why Jeremy chose to ask my Dad just an hour before we went hiking! My Dad is not the best at keeping surprises, but I understand because I am not good at that either).
So we got to the park and enjoyed a beautiful day. We spent lots of time playing with the new camera and taking some fun photos. We were beginning to get to the point of turning around and heading back, when Jeremy suggested we climb a hill (mini-mountain) to “get some more light for the photos” since the sun was setting. While we were climbing the hill, I thought to myself, “Man! He’s making me climb this hill all for a stupid photo!” When we got to the top, Jeremy set up his tripod for us to take some photos. And this is how the conversation went as I can remember it: “Lea, do you know what day it is?” “Oh yeah, it is the 6th–and we started dating January 6th. ….(my brain doing fast calculations)…that means we’ve been dating for 46 months!…Ugh! That is a long time! I hope someday we can celebrate a real anniversary. You know, like a wedding. I hope soon we can figure out when we will get married (in a sarcastic tone because I am always bugging Jeremy about not being engaged).” Jeremy says, “Well, I was hoping we could figure out that date soon. I was hoping we could pick that date today.” …Jeremy proceeds to get on his knee and pull out a ring. I make a shocked face, and say things like, “shut up!! …you’re kidding! …oh my gosh!” Jeremy says, “Will you marry me?” and I say “YES!!” Then Jeremy jumps up in excitement…we hug, kiss, cry. Then we remember that he didn’t put the ring on my finger yet! So he takes off my glove and puts the ring on. We are engaged!!
We spent some time getting photos. Jeremy tells me about the ring. We slowly walk back the hiking trail. …I sporadically yell, “We are engaged!!!!” at the top of my lungs. Jeremy had a dozen roses in my car. We spent the rest of the night spreading the amazing news with our family and friends…and dreaming about joining our lives together. …I am still on the celebration high! However, there is much work to be done as we anticipate beginning our life together and throwing the biggest party you’ve ever experienced… in just 7 months….You can read Jeremy’s version of the engagement by clicking here.