Worth the Wait

Just like David in the Psalms, the cry of my heart has often been, “How long, Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?  How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?”  I’ve felt this way numerous time and over many issues, as I’m sure every person living on this earth has.  But one desire, as I’ve shared before here, has brought this song of lament to my heart.  That of finding love.

But over the past few days and weeks I have been singing a new song.  The end of that same Psalm (13), “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing the Lord’s praise, for He has been good to me.”  All those years of questioning the why and the who have now been answered with a face and a name.  Someone who is a perfect match for me, who I love beyond words.

People always say, “When you know, you know.”  That’s always been frustrating to me.  How do you know?  What is this so called magical feeling you just have that this is the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with?  Well as annoying as that answer is, it’s true.  You just know.

I knew after my 4th date with Tony that I would marry him.  He says he knew before he even met me, so I took a little longer. 🙂

So here’s the story.

Tony had been gone most of the month of December working for his dad up near Sacramento.  I made it through the first week fine and then he came home for the weekend.  Then he left again.  And I wasn’t fine.  Every time I talked to him I was emotional.  I’m thinking, what’s wrong with me?  I’ve always been so independent, but here I am crying because I miss him so much.  Lame!  My mom even took me shopping for some retail therapy.  I was complaining about how it was going to be months until we were able to get engaged.  He had even said to me that he hoped I wasn’t going to be too disappointed this Christmas because funds were tight and he hadn’t had time to go shopping yet.  He said that he had something creative planned for my gift.  It wouldn’t cost a lot but it would be creative.  Perfect.  He would be home on Sunday and since the next two days would be filled with Christmas gatherings, we agreed to set Sunday apart for us to go on a little adventure.

Well, I was in a little bit of a funk right before he picked me up.  I was even complaining about people I was mad at to my roommate Ally.  She said, “We don’t hate anyone today.  Just go have a fun date with Tony.”  Then I said, “We’re never going to be able to get married!”  Unbeknownst to me, Ally was just about to leave to take photos of what was about to unfold.

Tony picked me up and I cried since I was so happy to see him.  We sat and talked for a bit and then headed out.  He told me we were going to LA and that I needed to bring my camera.  We were going to have a fun photo day and I would get more instructions when we got there.  Cool!  We parked across from Union Station at the Post Office and he told me that we were going to take photos of things that reminded us of each other or of our relationship or of love.  OK????  Hmmmm….. that seems hard.  I asked if I could still take pictures of cool things that I like too and he said of course.  So I put my thinking cap on and went into creative mode.  I started taking pictures of trees that reminded me of our trip to Oregon.  I put leaves on the ground in the shape of a heart.  I was taking my time and Tony could see I may be here a while.  So he told me that we were on a little bit of a time constraint so we should probably get over to the station.

As we walked I told him how happy I was that he came home for Christmas and how I sorta felt bad, knowing that it was such a sacrifice for him.  Of course he said that he wanted to be here and that was his choice so I shouldn’t feel bad.  As we walked into the station he said, “We’re going on a journey!”  So of course I thought, time constraint… journey…. we’re going on a train!  Yay!



As we got inside we continued taking photos.  You can see us below to the right.  We’re both wearing black and I’ve got my purse strapped across me.  He put we in weird places to take photos of me, I took photos of his shoes, and then he got a phone call.  I figured it was someone who was going to be wherever we were going on the train.  Maybe his friend Jake.  I didn’t ask questions, just went with the flow.

All of a sudden he told me to turn around.  I said, “What?”  “Turn around.”  And here’s what I saw.

In a blur, here’s what went through my head.

“Jenwillyoumarryme…there’s Ally’s friend Meleka…who are these other people…what?…how did he?…Ally must be here…what?…I can hear the clicks of her camera…wait…WHAT???  how???…what????????”  (that all happened in about 1.5 seconds).

We both started crying and he asked me, “Well, what do you think?”  He shoved the ring box in my hand, forgetting to open it and I just hugged him for a while, laughing and crying and asking him how he did this.

At some point Ally came and got our cameras so I could open the ring box.  He got down on his knees and said that I wold make him a very happy man if I would marry him.  I’m pretty sure I said yes in there somewhere. 🙂

Someone in the crowd yelled, “So what’d she say?”  Tony exclaimed, “She said yes!” raising his arm in the air.  This is one of my favorite photos.

All the people applauded and people got their phones out to take photos.

I was a little surprised.

My favorite place in the world is in his arms.

Ally did a little mini shoot with us for a few minutes.  This shows everything I love about Union Station.

The light in this place is magical.

Tony told me after that what he had planned to say was that the very name, “Union Station” was so symbolic and thought it would be a great place to start our union.  I couldn’t agree more.

I was shocked, surprised and on cloud 9!  We came back to the house where my family and several of our friends were waiting to congratulate us.  We felt so loved that at the last minute, two days before Christmas, so many people would drop what they were doing and show up to rejoice with us.  And I feel blessed beyond measure that I get to marry such a wonderful man.

It really was worth the wait.

Thanks Ally for heading up “Operation Put a Ring on It” and for the beautiful photos.  I love them and can’t thank you enough!

12 Replies to “Worth the Wait”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 To both of you!!!

    And thank you so much for posting these shots — it was almost as good as being there even though I’m about as far away as I can get. Can’t wait to congratulate you in person!! BIG hugs!!

    Whoo hoo!!!

  2. Congratulations!! How amazing. I think you had just met when I came over for the BT meeting and you were already glowing then. Blessing to you both!!

  3. I’m CRYING!!!! What an unbelievably beautiful post, gorgeous images, & magical moment. I’m over the moon happy for you two. Much love & blessings for a fantastic future. xo, Charla

  4. I’m crying. Such a goober. Thanks for sharing your story. I am so happy you found Tony.

  5. Jen.. I love this post. I am so insanely happy for you and for what God has done for you with Tony over the past year. He is exactly right for you, a perfect match, a wonderful partner, and I cannot wait to watch as our Lord shows you even more his amazing care and love as you plan for the best celebration! Praise God for His care and knowledge of who *you* are and what your needs are; proven with Tony. It has been beautiful to watch our Lord show up in such a specific way in your life my friend! Here’s to more of that!! Love you so much neighbor!! Xo, Jess

  6. Oh Jen!! I am so thrilled for you! Rejoicing that The Lord gave you the desire of your heart. 🙂

  7. I’m Tony’s cousin (our dads are brothers) and I couldn’t be happier for both of you!! He’s one of the sweetest guys on earth and you sound like the most adorable thing in the world – what a perfect couple! And your blog is a wonderful place for me to “watch” your journey since I don’t get to see or talk to my little cous very often. My best wishes to both of you for a wonderful and happy future together 🙂 Susan

  8. AGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO AWESOME! Oh friend, I have prayed for Tony for so many years and am SO beyond excited for you two to start your life together!!! xoxoxo

  9. I am Tony’s Aunt (by marriage). I am so happy for the two of you. This is so much fun to witness this wonderful adventure,thru your blog, not being able to be there in person. Tony is a wonderful young man, and you have to be just as wonderful. The Arneson family is a fun one!A bit challenging at times, but always fun.

  10. Jen, Thank you for sharing this awesome proposal with everyone! It seems that God has provided you with the ideal partner. It appears Tony is not only creative but wise. Following the Lord’s lead and choosing you are evidence of his wisdom. My heart if filled with joy for you and your lovely family. Love and blessings from your old Sunday School teacher!
    God’s timing is always perfect.

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