Matt's Side of their "LOVE Story!"
Growing up, some of my fondest memories are from the Youth Group at Olivet Baptist Church, and it was there where I can first remember a beautiful girl named Elizabeth Stevenson. Elizabeth was a couple of years older and way more pretty/popular than me, so my insecurities never allowed for me to get to know her. She actually never even knew I existed (as proven when looking at old youth trip photos, and her saying “You were there?!?!?!?!).
I was able to keep my feelings subdued until one Thursday night, when Elizabeth rushed into my house, sprinted over, and sat down next to me. She then said, “ I have something to ask you! But I am only 95% sure that it will happen! So do you want me to tell you now, or wait until I am 100% sure?” Knowing that I needed to play it cool I told her she could wait until she knew for sure. This however, was not the answer she desired, so she then replied, "Well I'm going to tell you anyway! I am probably getting two tickets to go see Taylor Swift, and do you know who I want to take as my guest??? YOU!!!!" I could have passed out right there, not because of Taylor, but because I was going to get to spend an evening with the girl I had been crushing on! Again, I knew I had to play it cool, so I non-chalantly said, “Yea, I’ll go.”
Soon after all of this, I began the process of getting my first tattoo. I explained it in full detail to Elizabeth and made her a part of the whole process. So when the day finally came she sent me a text message saying that she would come hold my hand if I needed. As badly as I wanted her to do that very thing I AGAIN played it cool, and told her I would be ok. That night after the tattoo was complete, she came by my house to see the finished product and hung out for awhile. So tattoo in place but still not enough courage to express my feelings. You have to understand the meaning behind the tattoo to understand how much this started to eat at me. I had gotten a tattoo of a rhino on my side, symbolizing my walk with Christ. You may not be seeing the connection here, but allow me to explain. A group of Rhino's is known as a "Crash" and this is because a rhino can run at speeds up to 35mph but can only see 30 feet in front of them. This is how I strive to live, as a Crash. Trusting that even though I can't see the road a head of me, God can, and he will be my eyes. I was for that reason growing upset with myself for not trusting in the Lord and whatever he had in store for pursuing Elizabeth. My talks with Kamunge began centering on this very topic, until he as my accountability called me out, and convinced me to go for it!
One Sunday night after leaving a game-night at Elizabeth’s apartment, I had made up my mind. It was time for me to take a leap and ask her out, but it didn't happen there. I didn’t sleep much the whole night, and arrived to work earlier than normal. Sitting in my truck I got on facebook, typed up a message, but couldn’t get myself to push send. So I did the only thing I knew to do, popped in the Taylor Swift CD, turned on the song Fearless, and mustered up enough courage to hit the button. Now all I had to do was wait.
The next 3 hours were the longest hours of my life. But right before morning break she sent an answer. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but it wasn’t a no so there was still hope. She told me that she wanted to pray about it, which was something I myself had been doing for quite a period of time, so it was only right to allow her the same oppurtunity.
Only a few months into dating Elizabeth I knew that she was the woman God had made for me. About 8 months in our relationship I started looking for a ring. I can remember one Friday evening, we had gone to dinner, and the jeweler called to let me know some diamonds had come in for me to check out. I didn't really give her much of an explanation, other than I had to go do "something" I'm sure she was probably suspicious of what I was doing. I ended up picking a diamond for her ring that night.
The next day at Sunday school I let Elizabeth know that I had to take a coworker to the airport. Little did she know, I was leaving to set up the proposal. I went to her apartment, set everything up and nervously awaited her arrival. When she finally got to her back porch and it was time, I lost it! Tears of joy rolling down my face I was able to finally tell her I loved her, and asked her to marry me. I had always told Elizabeth that I would never tell her I loved her, unless the next words out of my mouth were will you marry me. So the moment had come, and she said yes!
Engagement and wedding photos taken by: Tim Davis Photography