We beat our way out of the bush and breathed a sigh as we stumbled onto the yard. Jeffrey was in pain from a wasp he encountered on the trek and a little upset that I had led them through the middle of the dense bush because of a little fear. I didn’t know why he was so unhappy all of a sudden, but we pulled the burs off our clothes and started walking down the driveway. As we walked Jeffrey and Rachel were talking asking if there were anymore areas in our bush that looked like the one we had just come from… I was confused once again! I was confused or suspicious a lot it seems. I spoke up, “We just took a lot of pictures with trees why do you want to take more with trees?!” So we kinda aimlessly walked to a field that is behind our house.
At this point in time the sun was starting to set more and there was a sunset behind the trees that line the perimeter of the field. I was tired and kind of getting perturbed with Jeffrey and Rachel because all they seemed to want was trees for these pictures! Remember how Jeffrey got bit by a wasp… well that was the first time that had happened too, so I was concerned and felt really bad for him. His hand was swelling up and was really throbbing. We stopped and Jeffrey got the settings on the DSLR right for shooting some nice pictures at sunset. As he was doing that Rachel and I were fooling around a bit.
Rachel came and grabbed my hand and in a oh so dramatic voice asked me if I would marry her. I, of course, dramatically replied in an exuberant voice “Yes, Yes! forever and always yes!” We laughed and Jeffrey just shook his head and continued fiddling with the camera. Finally Jeffrey handed Rachel the camera and said “Okay! One more picture!”. He grabbed the backpack that he had been carrying around with him for the whole photo shoot and pushed me in the opposite direction. Jeffrey quickly grabbed the ring box from the backpack and when I turned around he was on one knee! Everything a girl dreams about seems to be lost in that moment! As Jeffrey spoke the words “Regan Lenore Wiebe…” these thoughts went through my head.
I had to ask Jeffrey later what he said after “Regan Lenore Wiebe…” because I didn’t hear what he said at all! Rachel captured pretty well every moment and it was/is so special going back and looking at those pictures! I’m so blessed that Jeffrey thought of having that! I think Rachel was really honoured to to have been there and honestly I didn’t care! I didn’t even know she was there in the moment, she gave us our space. Even though things didn’t go as planned and now I could really give myself time to wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t run off when I heard the dog barking, I choose to think that it would’ve been really special yes, but at the end of the day we are pledged to be married and that’s all that matters! It doesn’t really matter where it more matters with who. We have a slightly entertaining story to go with our engagement now as a bonus! To me it was the perfect proposal!
Today marks a month of being engaged and how fitting that today also marks the start of the proposal story!!! Enjoy!
Sometimes Jeffrey and I will reminisce about time past. We both had been praying for friends. I had been praying for some solid guy friends, Jeffrey had been praying for some friends in general. So when we started hanging out both of our prayers were answered! It has been so cool to see God’s hand in our relationship. That doesn’t mean it’s been perfect. We’ve hurt each other in so many ways and have wished we could turn back time and do ‘that moment’ again, but so is life. I hope that every time we’ve moved forward we have learned from our mistakes and do better in the next situation.
I was about to be off to a week of camp that came up short notice. I had asked Jeffrey if there was any reasons he felt I shouldn’t go and it seemed like something was bothering him, but he said he was leaving it in God’s hands. At the time I was slightly confused by that statement but later I found out that he had a day picked out that he wanted to propose but I was now going to be gone that day. I was slightly naive... but it was hard not to notice that Jeffrey had been acting a little weird of late. You might say I was becoming slightly suspicious. We had talked a lot about engagement and marriage and Jeffrey had a timeline for himself; get engaged by fall 2017 or don’t date at all. It seems harsh but I felt the same… if we had been dating for two years and had no plans of moving forward to marriage then what was the point of “dating for marriage” and being intentional?! So with that knowledge I knew it was coming. Every time I saw Jeffrey there was always the thought that maybe today was the day.
Jeffrey and I both love photography and have gotten together often for a photoshoot so on August 18, 2017 when he texted me asking if he could come after work the next day for a photoshoot there was nothing unusual about it. I also cut his hair regularly and he asked for a haircut before the shoot… now that was unusual! I’m typically after him to get it done! Now he asked?! And there was no "apparent" special occasion… I texted my friend about it because it was odd, she brushed it off as “he wants to look top notch for the shoot! Regan there's nothing really weird about it.”, little did I know that she knew exactly what was going on, and had known for over a month. Jeffrey then texted me asking if I thought Rachel would be willing to take some pictures of us. I told him to ask her. The morning of August 19, 2017 Rachel came up and grumbled “Jeffrey asked me to take pictures of you and him.”. Since she seemed so put out I suggested that our youngest sister could take them, to which Rachel promptly replied that she would do it. Jeffrey had told Rachel that he was proposing and wanted it photographed… she knew but was trying to act put out in front of me. The day pasted normally and we finally came to supper time! Jeffrey came for supper that evening after work and then I cut his hair. We got changed into some dressier clothes and went outside to take the pictures, Jeffrey weirdly brought his backpack with him… no comment from me though…little did I know he was hiding a ring box in there.
We made our way to a special spot in the bush that surrounds our house, the trail is quite overgrown though and walking through the dense bush with a floor length dress proved challenging. The spot is a beautiful circle that is all new little trees and soft grass. I found it when I was around 10 years old and have loved the special spot ever since! I have only ever shown it to a few people and Jeffrey was one of them… I showed him after almost a year of dating… it was so special taking pictures in it with him and the photos turned out amazing! One very important thing about this spot though… it is right close to our neighbours property line and our neighbours dog-sit, and guess what... I don’t like those dogs at. all. Jeffrey had asked my dad to request that the neighbours keep the dogs in during this time but unfortunately it didn’t happen. Jeffrey had me right where he wanted me with my back turned to him, he had picked up his backpack and was about to take out the ring box when the dogs were let outside and started barking. I started walking away declaring that I wasn’t staying around to get eaten. Jeffrey and Rachel looked at each other and were like “Plan B? There is no plan b though!” they had no choice but to follow me out of the bush. Jeffrey started considering not doing it that day anymore.. I had just unintentionally ruined his perfect proposal plan.
Driving into the church parking lot I noticed that Jeffrey’s vehicle and my dads were both there. I put on a cheerful not-nervous-at-all face and walked into the church. I heard some cheerful banter in the kitchen so I made my way into there. Greeted by some familiar faces I joined the conversation and was quickly laughing along with everyone else. I am slightly foggy on how Jeffrey asked me to go outside to talk but we ended up out there sitting across from each other at a outdoor stone table right in front of our church.
Now previous to this moment in time this table actually was a kind of meeting spot for us. Slightly a joke really, if any of you know Narnia you will recognize why. Really the only times Jeffrey and I would see each other was at church, so if we wanted to sit down and talk a bit we would either email prior to the service or ask when we saw each other to “meet me at the stone table”. It started out as a joke but then we used it enough that it became an actually phrase between us! So it was fitting that we met at the stone table to talk through what had transpired between my dad and himself a few hours before. We sat at the stone table with a group of ladies at the table beside us, and children running around playing at the play structure a few feet away … not the most private atmosphere. Jeffrey and I just sat there in silence for awhile; Jeffrey being someone who wants to word it right. After beating around the bush for awhile I pleaded with him to just say what he wanted to really say! He then asked if I wanted to enter into a relationship with him. I squealed in typical fashion and said yes! I felt like I had just gotten engaged! I was so excited!
We talked a little bit more and then went inside the church where my dad and his dad were talking, I’m pretty sure they were waiting for us. :P I was all smiles and so was Jeffrey. I went and hugged my dad and thanked him and then I was about to hug Jeffrey's dad, I stopped myself looked at him and asked if I could hug him too and he consented, haha. So I hugged him and thanked him too. Our fathers have probably been our greatest supporters during this journey. That has been a big blessing! My dad was single at the time and understood what we were going through as we went through it… he was sort of walking in our shoes. Jeffrey’s dad loved me and accepted me as though I was a long lost daughter! Jeffrey’s dad and I though also have the same virus… the aviation disease. Its pretty serious actually... you need to fly to keep the disease at bay.... Jokes aside though, we do get along very well! We went into prayer meeting and sat together there for the very first time!
A lot of learning had to happen, for me especially, during the next few months. I know I will never stop learning. We’ve had a lot of adventures since then and the next 16 months were full of healing, forgiveness, pain, tears, fun and laughter. We’ve grown to respect each other more and more over time. Finding out that we have more in common than just music and photography… we love Jesus and desire that we honour and serve Him with this relationship. Realizing that the devil is out to ruin relationships that desire to serve and glorify Jesus Christ is the first step to not letting yours become a statistic. The beauty of marriage is the fact that it is a mirror reflection of Jesus Christ and His Bride. It is a beautiful image! Jesus is zealous for His bride and eagerly awaiting the time when He can come for her, His pure bride in a spotless white gown!
Jeffrey is a patient person, and I’m not so much. I wish I was more patient and I try to work on it but us dating was a time where I really learned just how impatient I really was. I really liked Jeffrey. I really, really, really liked him. I would give him notes once in awhile. (because I always have felt that a handwritten note is so much more special than a typed out note or text or email.) I would once in awhile go and see if I could catch him on a break at work. We both knew we wanted to date, I just wanted it sooner than he did.
One day during potato harvest Dad told me that Jeffrey and him were getting together for coffee that evening. I knew automatically what it would be about and I was so excited! I told my closest friends and we texted the time away after work. My dad got home and told me that he had asked Jeffrey to wait till I was done school to date. I was fairly embarrassed actually. My age had contributed to the fact that we couldn’t be together. Little did I know that Jeffrey was okay with waiting. He wanted to be sure of his choice.
Rabbit trail: Jeffrey and I had talked about dating a lot and we both wanted to be sure that we were dating for marriage and not just for the fun of it. We wanted to go into our relationship with the intention of marriage as the outcome of it. We were very serious about this. I feel like I was confident about the fact that I wanted to date before Jeffrey was. We both wanted it but we also had people telling us to make sure we knew there were other “fish in the sea” and how you need to “test drive many cars to know exactly what you want”. Those comments always made me feel sorry for those people. I can stand here today saying that Jeffrey Holm can say that he was my first boyfriend, the first guy I said ‘I love you’ to (beside my dad of course), the first man who started to know me beyond my smiling face, the only person I’ve been engaged to. I understand that no relationship is perfect and sometimes things happen but I feel honoured to be in this godly relationship.
Back to the story: We waited and talked a lot over the next six months! I finished school early… like in march… but we still waited. Finally in May Jeffrey decided to ask dad out once again. This time he was serious. I knew they were getting together but I didn’t know if this would be the end of our friendship or another “wait” from dad or the beginning of a dating relationship. You see, a month before that day in May I had gone to Jeffrey's house… we had been communicating for over a year at that point and I needed to know whether we were ever going to be more. I told him not to contact me anymore, that I needed official or nothing at all because I felt that we were getting too emotionally involved for being “just friends”. We prayed, put fake smiles on to face the rest of his family and said goodbye. I got into my vehicle and started weeping. Crying all the way home I knew at that point that I really deeply cared for this man, I could only hope he felt the same for me. So a month later, after really no communication, I sat in my office chair with a pounding heart and sweaty palms.
next part of the story