Two Versions of the Same Story


♥   the short version   ♥

he asked a question. i said yes. and we couldn’t be happier!

(now, i know some of you want a few more details. don’t worry i’ve also included the longer version)


♥    the long version    ♥

Some of my favorite things in life are handwritten notes, thoughtful, little gifts and SURPRISES. And Thursday May 26th was filled with all three.

I was at work all day. We had a talent show that evening and Gerber had told me the day before that he wanted to come watch. I said he really didn’t have to. I mean watching 5-10 year-olds dance and sing and march around the stage is usually only entertaining when they’re your own. But he came. (and he came carrying a latte for me, too!).  For the next two hours we watched the kids perform, talked to the other teachers, walked around and joked about how it was almost year ago when we were here in the same place watching another school performance.

He kept asking when it was going to be over. I knew these things tend to go on and on and on. He said he was hungry, so we left. He asked if I wanted to grab dinner. And really, all I wanted to do was to change out my uniform that I had been wearing for the past 12 hours. (yes, I now wear a uniform to work every day. That’s another story altogether) We drove to my apartment, but there wasn’t parking on the street where he usually parks. He was acting a little weird, and asked me if I would park the truck. Which thanks to many stick-shift driving lessons I now can do all by myself : ) So he hopped out and I drove around the block and parked the truck.

And then I opened the door to my apartment and saw this:

♥     ♥     ♥

I was confused. And surprised. And I even asked out loud, “What is this?” He had set candles on my table and a beautiful bouquet of flowers resting on top of a huge box. At this point I’m thinking…Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh. It’s not my birthday. Oh, my gosh, this is IT!

I opened the box and inside was a journal. But not just any journal, it’s a journal that he gave me 10 months ago the day after we started dating. 10 months ago he wrote a list all of the reasons why he liked me. And since then we’ve added pictures, lists of things we want to do together, and memories. I had written reasons why I liked him and had given it back to him. He brought with him to California and gave it back to me for Christmas and then I gave it to him when we celebrated 6 months. This journal has very little monetary value, but it is one of the most precious things I own. In fact if there was a fire in my house, I would probabaly grab it and my passport!

I opened it.

And inside he had written a list of reasons why he loves me.

I started reading the first page.

And then another.

And another.

And another.

♥     ♥     ♥

I was overwhelmed because I realized how much He knows me. He sees me for who I am.

And he loves me.

There was another box inside and I pulled it out to find a beautiful card with a poem that he had written for me – in English and Spanish.

And then there was another box. A simple, little brown box. I opened it, but it was empty. Confused, I looked at him…

I have a question to ask you before you get what was in that box.”

And then he got down on one knee, held my hand in his, and with tears in his eyes he looked at me and told me that he wanted to spend his life with me.


And then, he asked:


Will. You. Marry. Me?


With a huge smile:


I. Said. Yes!


He started crying. And I started screaming.

I still couldn’t believe it. I think I said oh, my gosh, oh, gosh, oh my gosh at least 30 times. I kept looking at him and then at this beautiful ring on my finger, thinking how did this just happen?

♥     ♥     ♥

It’s this surreal feeling because you can’t really anticipate or plan for it. We sat on the couch, smiling and called our parents. One conversation in English. One in Spanish. From different countries and cultures. But they both shared how excited they were for us and how much they had been praying for us and the person we would one day marry. We called my sisters and brother and then texted a few friends.

Finally, I did in fact get to change my clothes. And he took me to dinner at my favorite, little restaurant here in Antigua. We laughed and talked about how we met 3 years ago and how we never imagined that we would be here together. In love. Engaged. And excited to spend our life together. We reminisced about the past 10 months of dating and how much we have learned. We dreamed about what’s next. And because we’re both pretty practical we also talked about the challenges that are to come. Marriage is a lifetime commitment that is made of a thousand small, daily choices to love and serve someone else. And, that sounds like it takes a lot of work. But, good work.


My Promise

In spanish the word fiancé is “prometida.Literally, translated it means, promised. I like that. I am promised to Gerber. And my prayer and promise for this season is that:

I will continue to love God first. I will give us grace as we learn together. And I will remember that a wedding is a one day celebration, but building a marriage will last a lifetime.

Gerber, I love you. And I am thrilled to spend the rest of my life with you!

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30 thoughts on “Two Versions of the Same Story

  1. I am so, so happy for your Michelle! What an amazing proposal, and such fun ahead. Thanks for posting about it. 🙂

  2. Beautiful– on so many levels. I am excited to walk along side BOTH of you, and support you as you learn and grow together through the years.

  3. Such a beautiful story…brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing! I am so happy for you both! I never would have imagined all these years knowing you that you would be living and getting engaged in another country! I love it!

  4. Welcome to the club! (Maybe there isn’t an official club, but I think we should start one, haha) 🙂

    I am so excited for you and Gerber – what a great proposal and I love your line at the end about marriage being a lifetime commitment made of small, daily choices, I am learning that to be true more and more!

    Can’t wait to celebrate in person!!!

  5. I am so excited for you and Gerber! The love is so obvious in this post (and others that have come before it). What a romantic man you have found for yourself. I wish you years of happiness and days of wonder with one another

  6. Lesley, Jen, Diana, Abigail, Carrie, Helen, and Vickie…wow, thank you! Your comments, excitement and joy make me feel so loved and supported even when I’m far away! You ladies are wonderful.

  7. This is my favorite part: He started crying. And I started screaming. That image is just funny…and sweet.

    I remember that night at dinner on the rooftop the way he looked at you after talking about some ways you guys are different and how he said, “that’s why I think we make such a good combination”…and his accent on combination was really cute. And then he won me over when he started dancing.

    Did you go to the fancy restaurant? With the good desserts? I hope you have lots of moments where you look at your ring for way too long. I love you!!

  8. Dear Michelle and Gerber, we are so happy for you both, and thank you for sharing your good news. It’s so wonderful to have a lifetime best friend.
    all our love, Ruth and Bob

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. What a fun proposal! I had tears of joy and happiness in my eyes as I read it. I’m so happy for you guys. It’s definitely been a series of small daily choices for us. AND the idea of extending grace to self and each other has been fundamental for us.

    I have this clear memory of us at 24 talking about Gerber, (although we didn’t know who he was at the time) wishing he would come sooner and wondering where he was. It’s amazing how you took a chance, followed your heart, and found him so far away from SB!

  10. 1) You could probably call the short versions Gerbers version and long version yours..

    2) Best line ever: “He started crying. And I started screaming.” Only because I can see you just completely freaking out. So great.

  11. I love it, Michelle! I am soooooooooooooooooo happy for you both! Love is a beautiful, splendid thing. It heals all and brings peace to everyone and everything around you, seen and unseen. I am thrilled for your happiness and that you have found someone who sees you for all your wonderfulness! You two look so cute and happy in each other’s arms. I hope to see your love in person one day! Happy rejoicing and planning, my dear! All my love! xoxo

  12. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! Many blessings to you dear one! Geber is one lucky man! You are so very special to us Michelle! I can’t stop thinking about you and the exciting season ahead! LOVE LOVE LOVE to you!

  13. Congratulations, Michelle!!! I loved reading your story!! I’m SO happy for you. It was so great to be there last summer and to meet Gerber. It’s amazing, the journey you’ve shared since then!! 🙂 I could tell that Gerber is such a genuine man of the Lord, and how awesome to see that his heart is the one God has prepared for you!! It was also obvious you had a great connection and enjoyed spending time together, before you were a couple 😉 God is SO good, and it is wonderful to see how He has led you through this journey of adventure, questions, faith, and providence. I trust God will use you as a couple in mighty ways. Sending you a big hug with congratulations and love!!! 🙂

  14. SO happy for you lovey 🙂 LOVE is the thing you know! We’ve been talking about this day in your classroom for a long time, and it’s finally here! Love you!

  15. yeah, you’re kinda right. We tell the same stories just with a different amount of words 🙂

  16. Thanks, Bob and Ruth! Yes, agreed. Lifetime best friends are such a gift. Your excitement and support mean so much!

  17. Yes. it’s true. He had tears and I couldn’t stop exclaiming oh, my gosh, oh, my gosh, eeeeeeeeeee.
    Yep. we went to the same place that I took you too and we did indeed order one of their great desserts! I’m so glad you could spend time with us here!

  18. I agree….He is one lucky man! ha. I mean, I feel pretty lucky as well. I hope to see you guys soon! Love and miss you!

  19. Sarah, I love that you got to see us and know us before we were dating. We often look at the picture that you took of is at the restaurant that one night and think, wow…little did we know then. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement!

  20. I just peed my pants. ok maybe just cried a little but CONGRATS! I will never forget my missions trip to Guatemala and working with you and Gerber at Los Proximos Pasos….especially the conversation Annie Battles and I had on day 3 about how one day you would get married!! <3 Ahh so happy for you both.

  21. Jordan, I don’t remember that conversation between you and Annie on day 3?!? Really, are you sure? Regardless, yes we’re excited! And we have guate 08 to thank 🙂

  22. CONGRATULATIONS Michelle! Sorry this is WAY delayed message but I finally got to read your story and I’m SO thrilled for you and Gerber. Your story is just one word. beautiful. I have actual tears after reading it! Can’t wait to celebrate and you in December! Love,


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