So... for the next lesson leading up to our engagement story. Full of many little God lessons along the way. Nick was in the summer before his senior year of college at Portland State, and I had a feeling, that sometime in the next year I would be an engaged and very happy woman.
So I planned a fun little outing, with my mom, Nick's mom, my sister Abbie, Nick's sister Rachael, and my friend Katherine. We went to this place in Portland called Daisy Kingdom. They were a fabric store with all sorts of cutesy and frilly fabrics. But they also had imported wedding dresses. It was a beautiful summer day, and we were having a blast looking through everything. Now mind you this was a trip to just have fun looking. That's right, you heard it from the mouth of the bride to be... "LOOKING." There was no plan to purchase anything. I started sifting through the dresses, when I stopped. There it was. My dream dress in perfect form. A full ballgown skirt, laced up in the back, a beautiful handmade dress imported from Italy, for $250. I had to try it on. I went into the dressing room, pulled it over my head... perfection! I emerged and surrounded by so many ladies that I loved, every one agreed that it was the perfect dress for me. It fit perfect, it was everything I had dreamed about, the price was beyond perfect.
So I called Nick to tell him. I just knew it was meant to be. I started to explain all the details to my future husband to be, when I heard one word on the other end that halted me in my dreamworld. "No."
Excuse me? what did you just say to me?
"Kari, no. I really want you to wait until I propose. I want you to have fun looking at dresses once you are engaged and I think you need to wait until after I have proposed."
"But Nick, it is the PERFECT dress - it's from Italy, one of a kind, it may not be there later."
"No, I want you to wait." Oh I hated those words.
Okay, fine, I would wait until we got engaged. I could be a submissive. This would be a good practice for me. I didn't buy the dress. Nope, I was going to "honor" Nick. So instead, I became that drip that it talks about in Proverbs.... I figured, we just needed to get engaged and that would allow me to get my dress. Problem solved.
Thus began the project called: "Operation Nag Nick." Bugging. Annoying. Drip drip drip. I didn't really care at that moment about getting engaged. I wanted the ring on my finger so I could go to Daisy Kingdom and get my princess dream come true dress that I had wanted all my life.
A week went by... another week went by... I figured a few weeks into this the dress had to still be there. But then a month went by. Next thing I knew it was fall and my hopes of getting that dress became lesser and lesser. Soon my nagging took a turn for the nasty. I was angry at Nick. If he really did care, why hadn't he proposed? Why wouldn't he let me get my dream dress? Didn't he understand what a good deal it was?
So one autumn evening I decided to let him have it. I told him everything I had told him before. When you are getting married you are a princess, and a princess should always get what she wants. I wanted him to hear me, loud and clear. I wanted to be told I could go get that dress. But when I paused for a breath,
Nick spoke these words:
"Kari, it's not there anymore."
My eyes blinked and stared back at him.
"What did you just say?"
"It's not there anymore. After you found it, I worked at saving up the money to buy it for you. It took me a few weeks, but once I had the money I sent Katherine to go get the dress for you. Then when I would have proposed to you it would be back in your bedroom afterwards, waiting for you. But when she went there, it wasn't there anymore. So please stop bugging me about getting engaged, because it's not there."
Silence. So much for being a princess. I just got knocked off my royal throne and found myself sitting in the category of major spoiled brat. Those words that my amazing wonderful boyfriend spoke to me put me in my place. It took me a moment to recognize what I had almost done, and when I figured it out, I knew from that moment on I would not be nagging Nicholas anymore about proposing to me.
I had almost ruined the thing that my heart deep down had truly been dreaming about. I almost missed out on allowing God to give us an amazing engagement story because I was obsessed with a piece of fabric. I was focused all on me. I knew my place now. I would wait. I would be patient, because my beloved, the one whom I had waited 5 years for so far, was planning our future, and this was one surprise I did not want to ruin.
It was a lesson in submission and trusting and waiting all rolled into one. And it was a lesson that a wedding was not about me. It was about committing myself to love and to submit and to cherish my best friend for the rest of my life. About a God who loved us so much and had so much more than what we could plan.