It all started with a drive down 35 that would be like no other...little did I know that Bryan was waiting for me on our special bench on Baylor's campus.
Kathryn and Stephanie had been in on the whole thing and I was so happy they were there to witness a very special moment.
Okay...here we go!
We get to Waco and Kathryn, Cristy, and myself make a pit stop in the SUB (Student Union Building) before deciding to walk around campus since it was a beautiful day. We walked towards Pat Neff (admin building) and down the long courtyard leading up to Waco Hall. As we were walking I noticed that Bryan was sitting on our bench where we spent the good part of our first "date". I approached him trying to figure out why he wasn't playing golf at an elite course in Ft. Worth (lies!!!) . He asked me to come sit with him and we talked about the first time we sat there (5 years and 182 days ago is what he told me). Bryan presented me with the flag that I had sent him inviting him to Howdy back in the fall of 2003. He had swore for the last year or so that the had lost it, but the whole time he was hiding it for our special day! We recounted some of our conversation that night after Howdy and knew that God started showing us that He had made us for one another.
After he gave me the flag, he pulled a bible out from under the bench and opened it to Colassians 3:12-17. He read aloud the following:
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
He shared with me how much this passage meant to him and how we should continue to put these items into practie through our daily relationship with the Lord and each other. Bryan then said that what was on the front of the Bible symbolized to him our future together and he was so happy to give it to me. When he handed it to me, I turned it over and realized that he had my married name engraved on the front to read "Lauren E Dykes". Cue the flood of tears!!! This is when I realized that this was for real and not just a lovely chat on a gorgeous day.
Bryan then got up off the bench and got down one on knee in front of me...tears still streaming. Bryan even teared up and had a shaky voice when asking "Lauren Epperson, will you marry me?" With my hands over the better half of my face, I shook my head yes and eventually got out "yes, of course!!!". Bryan had stood up by this time, but my legs were not wanting to hold my body up. He helped me to my feet and slipped on the most beautiful ring. After a few minutes of hugging and a few smooches, he told me to turn around and see who had been watching.
I noticed that behind us was Kathryn, Stephanie, and Cristy and then across the courtyard his mom had been taking pictures the entire time!!! I couldn't have asked for anything more perfect than that day. Little did I know that there was still one more surprise.
We slowly took our time eating our celebratory lunch at Nimfa's and even walked around Spice. On our way home we had all of these realizations about all of the wedding stuff we'll get to experience in the upcoming months. The car ride went by so fast with us just calling each other fiance every 10 minutes and looking through our first bridal magazine (well just me looking, Bryan driving). When we finally pulled onto my parent's street there were a ton of cars parked in front of our house that didn't all belong to my side of the family. We walked into the house and his side of the family as well as mine had gathered for a celebration dinner!! What a perfect way to end our special day.
God has blessed me with a wonderful fiance, family, and friends. I'm so thankful for God's love and mercy through His son. We really are able to love because HE first loved us :)
That's all for now :)
-The future Mrs. Bryan Dykes