I found this buried in the dusty corner of the internet this summer and thought I’d salvage it here. This fall marks four years since we became friends.
We first set eyes on each other in October 2006 during Susan’s first semester at St. Olaf. It was not love at first sight. Mike was still in highschool and had come to visit St. Olaf with his mom. He walked into Susan’s lesson to meet the organ professor. Susan sat at the organ observing the scene as Ferg made Mike and his mom welcome and immediately got deep in conversation with Mike about sports cars. “Weird kid,” she thought. Neither of us thought anything of it but the sports cars memory is how we knew over a year later that it’d been our first meeting.
Our next meeting was when he visited again as a prospective student. Susan was among a group of organists who hosted him for lunch on a Saturday afternoon. “Adam,” as his name tag said, was quiet. His hair was long. “Weird kid,” Susan thought.
Fall 2007 we became fellow members of the organ studio at St. Olaf. Susan’s basic impression of Mike remained about the same” Weird kid.” Mike’s basic impression of Susan can be summed up by what he confided in another organ student, as they tried to figure her out. “She can’t be THAT bad. You should at least give her a chance,” Andrew said. “I will NEVER be friends with that girl,” Mike insisted.
November 5, 2007 we announced on Facebook that we were in a relationship. This was payback to our buddies for their perpetually teasing us since we’d begun to spend time together because of a shared vision for a school project. It was a brilliant hoax and lasted for the better part of a week.
Turns out the hoax was on us because on November 5, 2008, we announced on Facebook that we were in a relationship. Again. A lot of people asked, “Is it for real this time?” Yes, for real.
That year we went from discovering that we had some significant things in common in our backgrounds to becoming best friends. Just friends. Stop teasing us. When Susan was asked by a good friend last August if she would ever marry him her rational, calm response was not unlike his first words about her: “I could NEVER marry him.”
But over that year and especially over last summer God did a lot of work in both of our lives, to the effect that as last fall semester began we were both beginning to consider, silently, that God might be calling and preparing us to “walk humbly together,” as we’ve come to call it.
A lot of hard thinking, praying, and seeking counsel ensued and we began our courtship (“started dating” in common English) on October 28, 2008. We’ve celebrated the 28th of every month since. So in June it seemed only sensible, Mike argued, that we celebrate early since he had to drive home for the remainder of the summer on the 26th.
So on Monday morning, right after we’d gotten back from two weeks of travel in Florida and Grand Rapids, Mike drove up to Burnsville to pick out a ring and an epic bouquet of lilies. The next part of the story requires us to back up.
On February 28, after several weeks apart, we walked off campus a couple blocks to hang out and study for the afternoon, as had become our Saturday custom. When we arrived there were flowers on a table–a bouquet that included lilies, which is probably how Mike found out that Susan liked lilies.
Monday afternoon he walked into the Ole Store and approached Alli, the owner: “Remember four months ago when I brought flowers for you to save for me? Well, I’m back, and this time I have a ring, too.” She was apparently delighted and said “I’ve been expecting this.”
So that evening we dropped our backpacks at our houses, left our bikes, and walked to the Ole Store for dinner to celebrate. There were the flowers on the same table, this time with candles lit. The flowers were beautiful. Susan just sat staring with her mouth open for a moment, not seeing the ring box buried in the bouquet until Mike broke the silence: “There’s a present for you in there. ” The next moment Mike was down on one knee.
She said yes.
We’re overjoyed at the prospect of spending every day of our lives together celebrating the unconditional forgiveness, sovereign grace, covenant faithfulness, and resurrection power of God in Christ, relying on Him every day to fill us with His Spirit and then pour us out wherever He wishes.