Two posts ago, I left off sharing about how I chose to move forward dating Fox. Well we kept on moving right into engagement! (I’ll share the engagement story at the end.) We got engaged in April and as we started to think about wedding plans, I was thankful and excited, but also really struggled. I had been wrestling with my own forgiveness from God for my divorce for a while, and was making progress in my ability to receive forgiveness from Him and from myself, but a wedding was also about a lot of other people. I felt foolish thinking about how I had invited 300 people to my first wedding, and how I stood before them all and promised to be married to Brian forever. I thought about that commitment I had made and how I hadn’t been able to honor it the way I had planned to. It was humbling to think about asking all those important people I loved to come back, and watch me make those same promises again after failing the first time. I didn’t want to do it.
I had never felt this way about anyone else’s second marriage, only my own. I have never had any problem being excited and thankful to watch people get another chance. I know God is a God of forgiveness and of 70 x 7 new chances, but I knew my own mistakes too well. I knew how I fell short and how my actions didn’t live up to those promises I had made before. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe we would do it this time, but I just felt silly having a wedding. I imagined the invitations:
Please join James & Veronica as they get married…
This time they REALLY mean it!
And no gifts please, they still have all the crap you gave them the first time!
NOOOO THANKS! I selfishly wanted to keep our ceremony to ourselves because that was the easier thing to do- not having to face all those people again. But thank God for the beautiful people in my life! I had many heartfelt conversations with dear friends about the struggle to have a wedding and realized that God had blessed us with each other and another chance at marriage and family. It was exactly what I had been praying for but felt I didn’t deserve. God gave me the desires of my heart and part of having a real wedding was about honoring Him and honoring these precious gifts He had given us. Part of having a wedding was about putting God’s forgiveness and goodness and giving-ness of second chances on display so that others could be reminded of them. And people who loved me and watched me go through all the sadness and brokeness of my divorce wanted to celebrate! They were so happy that James was loving me so well and helping me live out the life I always wanted to live.
People did not want to gather around us and laugh because we failed before, doubtful that we’d succeed. They were thanking God too. They wanted to lift us up and celebrate love and second chances with us, and a wedding gave us all a chance to do those good things.
So it was decided! We would have a wedding! And we would celebrate hard- with friends and family and food and drinks and dancing into the wee hours, because God and our relationship were worth honoring in that way.
Now for the proposal
James had gotten the kids’ blessing and bought a ring, and he planned on asking me with the kids… but then the ring came and the kids were at their mom’s for a couple more days and he couldn’t wait. I was over for dinner the same day he’d picked it up- one second I was cooking at the counter and the next, I turned around to find him on one knee asking through tears if I’d marry him. This is the only picture we have from that day, snapped after we’d both shed a bunch of tears.
We were so happy but he was really feeling bad for not having the kids with him when he did it, so he asked if we could do it again when they were at his house next and I agreed. It was important to us to make sure they felt included and like they were a part of the engagement too. I didn’t know how he’d do it, but I knew the day they’d be back.
That day, they picked me up and we drove and got slurpies and then went to play on the beach. James again got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, but this time I was ready!! I unzipped my shirt and underneath had on a tank top I had made that said “YES YES YES”.
We laughed and the kids thought my tank was a clear sign that it was meant to be and we were definitely supposed to get married! I loved being able to recreate that moment with them included. Here are some photos from that day!
It was a sweet time of healing and restoration for us both. And now it was time to plan a wedding!