Secrets Revealed

Secrets bind anxiety.

Part of the awesome decorations

I have been oh-so-anxious lately. I’ve had a secret.

A few months ago, a fine young man came to visit me. I’ve always been impressed with this fellow, for a variety of reasons. Intelligent, resourceful, kind, smart, talented, funny, polite. From a terrific family. Loves Jesus.

Loves my daughter.

Came to see me a few months ago to tell me that he loved my daughter, which I knew; and that he wanted to marry her. Which I suspected.

And so it began; he went to a jeweler who happens to be part of our family. He drove four hours to buy a ring from Hearne’s because he thought it would matter.

It did.

He planned the day, and asked me to host a party for our families and for the friends from Richmond and Harrisonburg who have walked alongside them for the past several years. He said he knew that’s what she wanted.

She did.

We kept the secret, bringing the big sister in under cover of night and hiding her at my parents’ house. We did stealth shopping for food and party stuff. We were nonchalant about disappearances and slips of the tongue. (When my dad accidentally let it slip on the phone that Syd and Sarah were still asleep, Shannon wondered what was up…and if Grandpa was losing it. I told her – with deep sorrow – that, indeed, I was afraid that he was losing it; that he’d been acting strangely lately. Dad took one for the team; all afternoon, Shannon thought he was crazy.)

Travis shows his grandmother the cake

We gathered at the house, cleaning and setting up and prepping food. Her friends put up special photos and decorations. They made a slide show. Her dad and stepmom brought a gorgeous cake with their photos all over it.

He gave her a “spontaneous” day of fun that included lunch and a movie, and then he took her to Maymont, where her favorite photographer lurked in the bushes to capture the moment.

He told her he loved her.

He gave her the ring.

She said yes.

And then he blindfolded her and brought her home, to a group of people who were half-crazed with love and anticipation. The blindfold came off and her face cracked open with joy and love.

Surrounded by her housemates

I watched my daughter take the first step into a lifelong commitment that promises great joy. Her heart beat her to this moment; she has longed for this all her life. Devoted to people, to nurturing others, to living out her calling in the kingdom of God, she embraced her friends and all those who love her, one by one, and the world shifted ever-so-slightly.

My beautiful daughter Shannon, a wonderful red-headed bundle of joy, is engaged. Her fiance is a handsome young man who is well-loved and respected by all who know him and by everyone who loves Shannon.

There is grace enough for all of us in this moment, and for peace that courses through my heart and stills my anxious thoughts.

All is well, and all will be well. And I am thankful.

We wanted the story of the proposal; they obliged

5 thoughts on “Secrets Revealed

  1. Absolutely beautiful. So excited you let us in and allow us to experience all of this with you. Love Shannon and Travis and your whole entire family, even your crazy dad!


  2. It truly is beautiful and isn't it a joy and thrill for our hearts to see young people who love each other, God and all around them. I wish them a life of beauty, grace and abundant blessings.


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