Cheyne was friends with Jocelyn’s older brother, and when they met her sophomore year, she quickly developed a crush. After Cheyne graduated, they didn’t see each other again until four years later, on a hike with mutual friends. Five years after that, Cheyne came into the coffee shop where Jocelyn worked, and the rest is history.
In Jocelyn’s words: When Cheyne and I reconnected in the coffee shop, we began a journey together that I now know was the beginning of my walk through this life--and eventually eternal life--with my future husband.
The day of our proposal was Cheyne’s birthday. I’d planned a dinner with his closest friends and family, but little did I know something else was stirring up! On my way to pick up Cheyne at his apartment, he left a voicemail saying he’d gone out and would be right back. When I arrived, a piece of paper hung on the door. It told me I was going to begin a scavenger hunt, and at the end he’d meet me.
My heart knew right away what was happening. I just began to cry tears of joy. Cheyne left a key with instructions. I entered the apartment, where wildflowers covered the living room. On the coffee table sat a picture of us, along with Clue Number One, which led me to the place of our first kiss. When I pulled up there, my best friend was waiting with Clue Number Two.
It brought me to the spot where Cheyne asked me to be his girlfriend, and was followed by a third clue leading to a cafe where we used to talk, read, and dream about our future together. My friends were there, holding a book Cheyne had made with the next clue.
This clue brought me to the chapel at the University of Redlands, where we have often prayed together. My parents were at the front of the chapel, standing proud with tears in their eyes. I was overwhelmed with complete joy!
My parents led me inside, where Cheyne was waiting. He walked me down the aisle, adorned with pictures of each of us as children and ending with photos from our adult years and relationship.
Cheyne had written an original choral piece with the lyrics, "I have found the one whom my soul loves," sung in Latin. I turned around, and with our friends and family sat in the pews, Cheyne got down on one knee and said, "You are my best friend and my soulmate. Will you do forever with me?"
God has blessed me with this man and I cannot wait to begin our discernment of Holy Matrimony together. We have been drenched in his faithfulness and provision, and each time we reflect back on our story, still being written by our loving Author, we are moved to tears. I prayed for this man. God brought me more than I could have ever imagined. Our prayer is that in this next season we are reminded of his plan for our marriage, that we are rooted firmly in the Gospel as our center, and that our union would bring him glory.
In Cheyne’s words: Jocelyn looked over at me from behind the safety of her older brother, with a sense of wonderment and innocence, the first time we locked eyes. It was that moment, now ten years ago, that without a single word spoken we made a connection. She still looks at me that way, as if each day begins with the first moment we met.
We never seemed to go far from that road we first walked together. From the night hike where we met again after high school, to the late night chats that followed, I always felt a sense that Jocelyn was nearby, even when we we apart. Since high school we had watched each other grow. Through the good and the bad I saw strength, stability, and independence in her. Throughout my growth, she saw ambition, passion, and a longing for more. But we both saw a bit of ourselves within each other. My victories were hers. Her woes were mine. I found glory in her triumphs; she found sorrow in my pain. And this was as friends!
Through it all, we waited on one another. We left space, left words unspoken and feelings untold, but our story was far from over. Something kept us close and reminded us that the home we sought so dearly was always there, waiting. I'm reminded of the days we almost crossed paths, and it is easy to become envious of the man I could have been had we taken steps closer to one another earlier in life. Like the time Jocelyn came to my dorm room and left a note, fully aware I could be sleeping on the other side of the wall. Or the many, many times that we spent time with the same crowd, but somehow seemed to always miss each other. Although I envy that young man who could have found his love so early on, I also take comfort in knowing that providence would have us wait to know it was each other when the time was right.
It's strange how things work out, and how life has a way of piecing itself together. Like a puzzle, each moment in our lives fits within a beautiful picture, but without each moment the picture would never be complete--we'd be left with meaningless pieces. I can’t begin to count the pieces that drew me closer to Jocelyn.
Every major decision I've made in life has kept me close to her, and for that I am grateful. We reconnected when Jocelyn’s passion for coffee brought her to the place we now call home. From the small town of Redlands, California came Augie’s Coffee Roasters, a company that has made a big impact the industry. When I saw that Jocelyn had started working for Augies’ new location near our hometown, I knew I needed to reach out. We started talking on the phone for hours each night, growing closer and closer. When we finally saw each other again for the first time it was like re-connecting with a long lost love and friend. I knew so early on that she was the who held my heart and soul.
Three months after we became a couple, I’d already bought a ring. I kept my proposal plans secret for months as I waited and planned and found the right time to bring everyone in our lives together. Seeing Jocelyn walk through the chapel doors at the end of the scavenger hunt reminded me why I love her more each day. I count my blessings that I have found someone with such a deep love and appreciation for me, and who brightens my life in every moment.