Ever since Clayton and I started dating, I had always imagined this moment of “sharing the story”. The story of how we met, the story of how we fell in love, and all the little healing, redeeming, freeing, eye opening, peaceful, joy-filled moments in between. There are so many things about Clayton and our relationship that I can’t wait to write about. Our relationship has become the easiest thing for me to talk about, because it is one of the greatest ways I’ve seen God’s faithfulness in my life. I’m SO excited to write about all the things in the last ten months, but today I’m going to narrow it down to the story of our engagement day!
On June 28th (my birthday) and also the day I was getting engaged, (but didn’t know it) I woke up to a house decorated with streamers, cake, my favorite coffee mug on the counter, balloons everywhere, and flowers on the back porch that Clayton had dropped off on his way to work. That morning I sat with my friends in our living room while we talked and dreamed about the future. We talked about what we thought our weddings would be like, where they would be, how many kids we hope to have one day and what it will be like to push strollers and be “mom friends” one day. As we talked and dreamed I thought that would be a good time to just go ahead and ask the question… “Will y’all be my bridesmaids??!” Without any ring on my finger and honestly no idea when that would be, I was confident and fully at peace that I had met my husband. In fact, I was positive I had met my husband about 3 weeks after Clayton and I started dating.
*God detail* On January 25, 2017, in my heart I heard God say that He was bringing me my bridesmaids. At the time, this did not makes sense. I didn’t have a boyfriend, nor anyone I could see on the horizon, but these words and His promise brought such peace. Nothing on the outside looked like I needed bridesmaids anytime soon, considering I was single as a Pringle! But God was preparing ahead of time what He had for me, just like He does for ALL of us. I had absolutely NO IDEA Clayton was going to propose on my birthday when I asked the girls to stand by me! What a sweet gift to be reminded of what He said over two years ago, before there was any evidence of the promise. God brought the best friends and bridesmaids I could have ever prayed for and I’m so thankful and honored to have them stand by me on our special day.
So, after I asked the girls to be my bridesmaids (and they said YES, praises!) I asked them if they knew when Clayton was thinking about proposing. My friend Sarah said, “well I asked him about a week ago and he said for sure by Christmas”…. All the while, they KNEW he was planning to propose that night! The rest of the day I was in a dream world and couldn’t get over the fact that he was going to propose before Christmas!!!! I couldn’t stop talking about it… I kept saying, “YALL, I can’t believe before Christmas!”
I was in shock and so excited!
That night Clayton had asked if he could take me to dinner for “my birthday”. When he picked me up he was playing the song “Big Big Plans” by Chris Lane. Right when I sat down the song said, “I’m gonna ask her to marry me”. I’m pretty sure in the span of one second I thought, “he planned it, he definitely didn’t plan it”, and I told myself not to get my hopes up that he was going to propose.
Clayton had me convinced that it was going to be awhile before he was able to do that. And although I’m excited to marry him as soon as possible, I would wait for forever if I needed to.
So, we go to dinner, and he honestly seemed perfectly normal… until I asked him why my mom stopped sharing her location with me!
He immediately tried to get me to open gifts and then again in a matter of one second I thought… “What if she’s here because he’s going to propose… Yeah right, he doesn’t have the money for that right now, remember?… Laney, it’s going to be a while… chill.”
After dinner we got in the car and he asked if he could give me one more gift.
Then I remembered what request I had made months ago when I knew Clayton was the person I wanted to spend my life with. *God detail*
I asked God for my birthday to have Clayton propose. This may sound funny, but there was nothing I wanted more, and I knew there was no one else who could make that happen.
My heart started to race a bit with excitement, but I tried to calm it down again with a big “don’t even let yourself go there Laney”…
We got back to the house and before I got out of the car, Clayton asked me to take my shoes off. When he said that, I immediately remembered what God had spoken to me June 4, 2018… “Take your shoes off and feel the new ground. You have no shoes to fill.”
1 John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”
From the first day that I met Clayton, he has loved me with a love that has taken away all my fear. He has made me feel safe and completely secure. Daily he has reminded me of who I am, and never made me feel like I need to be anything that I am not.
I used to think that the love I felt from God would be a different love than what I could receive from another person, but Clayton has shown me that God IS love and there is no love outside of Him.
*God detail* A couple of weeks before I met Clayton, I was driving down the road and I remember saying to God that I basically didn’t feel like we had room in our relationship for anyone else. I was so thankful and so content with where I was at in life. I had found such peace and joy in my relationship with Jesus. As I was driving, I remember hearing God so sweetly say that I didn’t need to worry about being divided, because the love that my husband would love me with one day, would be the SAME love that He loved me with.
This is why I believe I had SO much peace with Clayton. The love that I receive from Clayton every day, is the same love that I have known from the time I was a little girl. Love is love through and through, never changing, always the same. Love is consistent with Who love has always been. This is why Clayton has always felt like home. I have never felt divided, but just LOVED even more.
Ok, so once we got out of the car, I noticed the whole back porch was lit up with beautiful lights… flowers… LOTS of flowers… and a pitcher of water. Clayton asked me to sit down, and then he handed me a letter.
By this point you’d really think I would’ve gotten the hint that he was about to pop that little question, but the only thing that was popping in my mind was the “possibility” of that. I honestly was telling myself, “what a sweet birthday gift this is for him to wash my feet”.
*God detail* I had actually forgotten this detail. Then a couple of friends reminded me that I had said I wanted my guy to wash my feet whenever he proposed… not even knowing who it would be at the time.
As Clayton began to wash my feet, I began to read the letter that he had written. The letter started with how excited and anxious he had been for that night. Then I read, “I hope as you sit here, this washing of your feet represents accurately, the stance and position I try to take in our life together.” I think this is where I looked up, and for the first time began to really notice how many flowers there were! Although Clayton hasn’t stopped spoiling me from the beginning, I did have the thought, “Clayton wouldn’t buy this many flowers and do all of this twice… I actually think he’s about to propose!” As I continued reading, he continued to wash my feet. Oddly enough, when most people would probably cry, this realization of what was (possibly) about to happen made me laugh!!! And I’m not talking about a little giggle…. I BURST into laughter!!! I felt like joy was bubbling from the very bottom of my stomach. The realization of a dream fulfilled and lifelong prayer was becoming something tangible and I couldn’t contain what I was feeling.
He then handed me another letter that read, “Lane, the ways of Jesus are not always the first instincts of my mind. My thought was to commit to a field of work, not a person… And He brought me to you. He carried me in all my flaws and failures. Even this is a clearer picture of His love… on September 10, 2018 I met my wife.”
And this my friends is where I got the big C-L-U-E. *Clayton, on my back porch, with the engagement ring* (okay if you’ve never played the game “clue” you might not get that).
But short and simple, I finally realized and let myself think that he was about to propose.
When I looked up from reading the second letter, Clayton got on one knee and said those 4 little words “Will you marry me?” To which I of course said a big absolute “YES!”… as I continued to laugh!
Like I think most young girls or women do, I had dreamed of this day all my life… who it would be, when it would be, and how it would be.
To be honest, I even imagined it being a little scary! But from one girl to another, or maybe one girl to another boy, let me tell you… this day was MORE and better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined and the furthest thing from scary. Saying “yes” to Clayton was one of the easiest decisions I had ever made, because I was confident I had let go of control of my life 3 years ago and fully put my trust in what Jesus has for me.
I could have never imagined a man as amazing as Clayton or the peace that far surpassed my understanding when I said “yes”. I’ve never been more at peace and excited for the future in my entire life. Although there are still many things that are unknown of the future, my soul is at rest in the arms of my savior. I’ve put my life fully in His hands and He continues to blow me away.
There was a time when this story seemed too good to be true. I wanted to believe that THIS was what God had for me, but nothing in my life looked like this was possible. My heart had been broken, and I couldn’t even recognize who I was anymore. BUT God. But, His goodness. But, His faithfulness. It is beyond what you can imagine and it’s often beyond what you pray.
Ephesians 3:20 (tpt) says, “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”
Friend, let me tell you and please believe me… God knows what you want and what you need better than you do. He has your very very best in mind. His heart is ALWAYS for you.
Trust Him. Let go… and trust Him.
He is faithful to bring your heart’s desire in His perfect timing. You will not be disappointed.
Your friend, and sis,
Ps: Clayton is sharing His heart and His side of the story on the blog on Monday and I promise you, YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT! Xoxo
Laney Redmon is a lover of Jesus who loves sharing about what He has done in her life. Whether it’s through writing blogs, music, or designing clothes, Laney’s prayer is that it would always remind people of how loved they are by HIM.
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