taking a minute to reflect....

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's been awhile since I have set aside time to sit and reflect.
To be quiet and still just for a few minutes.
I was intentional today about getting away to make this happen.

This rainy Thursday consists of a planner full of homework assignments to finish as I have a mere 8 days left of my first year of graduate school to complete, 4 days of work in a row beginning tomorrow, and other random places to be and things to do that keeps me running like crazy.

Since our trip to Nashville, I came home to a busy work schedule, a week full of break-out camp with church, and it has literally not stopped.
While I enjoy the business and tend to function better when life is really busy, I have realized my need to truly take some time for myself to be still and not feel rushed for a few minutes.

So this rainy morning I am enjoying sitting in a quiet corner alone in Rio Coco. (if you haven't been here in Vero you should definitely check it out!) 

I have wondered when the day would come that I could share my heart like I am going to, and that day is here.

As many of you know and have read my previous post, the last few weeks have entailed the best day of my life when my best friend asked me to marry him! Such an exciting time, and to be quite honest, its been so crazy and busy I'm not sure it all has set in yet. I still find myself looking at my ring, reminding myself that I am in the process of planning a wedding and the time I have so longed for is truly here!

While I shared bits and pieces of my journey in my writing up to this point, it was not the time for me expose all that I really was learning and going through as I was still processing and learning. I have known though, that in the right time I would share.

While I'd like to say the past year and specifically the last 8 months has been an easy time as we continued to transition into our new life back at home, this might have been one of the most difficult seasons of life for me. It is hard for me to admit my true feelings and honestly share with you the truth in my heart the Lord revealed to me through the past several months.

While I was genuinely happy for those around me, after 3 of my closest friends got a ring and started making wedding plans within 5 months of each other, I didn't realize it but it sent me into what I would call a panic mode. I didn't realize that deep down in my heart, stewing was jealousy, envy, and the lies from satan about what would never happen for me and put me in a place of almost being paranoid. Deep down if I was honest with myself and with God, I realized there was an anger deep within me that I needed to let go of. 
Where had all of this come from? Why did I feel like all of a sudden I was slammed with all these emotions I didn't know how to deal with? 

I've said it before and I will say it again.
The Lord truly brought me to myself.
This was a harsh reality for me.
The ugliness of my heart staring right back at me.

I'd like to say that I dealt with it, it went away and I moved on. Instead this was a process. A process to first own exactly where I was at. To admit all the true feelings I had, even the worst ones. To admit I was jealous, scared, freaking out, paranoid that I was going to be left, afraid that I would never have the desires of my heart. Never have my prayers been so honest, and in the same way, never have I felt the Lord be so near to me even when I felt like my life was far from being in the right place.

Little by little, the anger, envy, jealousy, and fears began to be chiseled away. 
Telling myself the truth based on facts, not feelings was an everyday event.
Mentally it was crucial for me to surrender my thought life to the Lord instead of letting Satan take hold of my thoughts.

While I longed so badly for this season of my life to be over, to have a ring and to feel the confidence that comes in moving to the next place, to begin planning for our future together and all that it would entail, 
I needed to be in this waiting place.

I never thought I would be saying or admitting this.
But I'm so glad that even though the days seemed long, that I was put in that waiting place. 

Even with Andrew, and certain things I could not share at the time, Him and I grew in ways I didn't ever think possible. His love, patience, and understanding with me during a time where I felt out of control is something I am so thankful for but also was crucial for me in realizing my need to trust even when I was not in control. I have said it many times before and will say it till the day I die, Andrew truly has been grace in my life and has made me and continues to make me a better person. 

By no means did all of my problems go away when the waiting time was over, but The Lord truly taught me so much during that time and I am thankful for the heart changes that have happened and are continuing to happen. 

The night that Andrew asked me to marry him, while it was the greatest moment of my life, in my heart I was reminded immediately of God's faithfulness to me.
In and through all of it, He was faithful.

He had given me the desires of my heart.

It is my prayer moving forward, that I would continue to be changed to be more like Jesus everyday. It is by no means something I am proud of, but I realize the growth that has come and the pain it took to get there. My faith and trust in God and Andrew grew during this season of life as I was forced to be out of the drivers seat and it is my prayer that I will remind myself of those long days, in my most desperate moments, to find confidence moving forward.

While I don't feel this entry captures even a hint of where I have been, I hope it blesses someone.
I hope if anything it encourages you to believe in the power of prayer, in God's grace and forgiveness, and also in His unfailing love and relentless desire for us to draw near to Him, and to find confidence in His faithfulness to complete all He has started within us.

I am still changing and I thank God for giving me the desires of my heart and for the opportunity to become more like Him! 

We're Getting Married!!!!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I can't believe I am actually writing this post! 
I think I've dreamed of different ways we would tell everyone our story, but I thought this would be a great way to document the details while it is fresh in my mind and a way to to share just how our engagement happened.

Lets see where we begin.
We are actually in Nashville this week on vacation! 
We have had an incredible week and have so looked forward to our trip here to see all of our friends.

Coming into this week we didn't have many set plans, and my best friends Brittany and Lindsey came from home to Nashville this week to spend time with us.
While the rain did not seem to end the first 3 days we were here, we had fun going to the movies, eating delicious southern food, and just soaking in the time with our friends.

Saturday night Andrew and I planned to have our date night while we were here.
Nothing was really set in stone except I had asked him if on our night out if we could go back to Trevecca just for memories sake. 

We decided to have dinner at the Southern downtown, somewhere we had never been. I must add, all the rain that seemed like an endless monsoon was gracious enough to hold off on our date night.

We made our way downtown, parked at the hotel where Andrew use to work, and walked down to the Southern. 
We had about a 40 minute wait and we just talked and people watched until we were seated.
While this place had incredible steaks and delicious food, I found it interesting that Andrew chose salad. He seemed a little fidgety during dinner but I didn't think enough about it to ask if something was wrong. We enjoyed the food, but before we had been eating for 5 minutes he had asked for the check. 
Ha, I was wondering why is he rushing? But again, I didn't ask or say anything.
We finished up and made our way back to the car. I thought maybe we would stop and take a walk downtown, or go for a walk on the walking bridge, but we didn't we headed straight for the car. I didn't really even ask where we were going as I figured we would go by Trevecca since I had asked earlier if we could.
We pulled into the back of my old apartments.
I lived there for 3 years during college and Andrew and I used to stand out there for hours as friends talking. That is also the place where he told me how he truly felt about me, and I joked with him but in all seriousness have told him that is where I fell in love with him.

Bush 55 was our place.

So, we pull in the back of the parking lot. We start walking up the back stairs, and I wasn't thinking anything until I saw the bulletin board outside had pictures of us all over it. It seemed like everything around was dead silent. I asked him: "What is this? " I'm not even sure he answered me. 
He then handed me a piece of paper that was a letter he had hand written me (I am so incredibly thankful I have this letter to keep). 

I'm not sure I could even get through it. My eyes were welling up with tears and I wanted to just jump to the end of the letter so see if maybe this was really it? 

After all the incredible things he wrote me and all the reasons he loved me,
it ended with this:
You are my Godsend.

Andrew had given me a song awhile back that had those lyrics in it.
Before I could even catch my breath, I literally felt like I was in my own world dreaming.
I put the letter down and Andrew was on one knee, and I heard him say the words I dreamed about hearing.
Without hesitation, I said yes.

I must say, I have dreamed about my reaction for awhile now. I have contemplated time and again just how he would ask me. My reaction was nothing I dreamed it would be. I felt like the wind completely had been knocked out of me. (in a good way that is) I hugged the life right out of him and asked:
 "Is this real life?" 
He laughed and said yes.

This picture explains my reaction

As a took a second to finally look at my ring, I looked at it and then looked at him and said 
"There's no way...."
And he simply smiled and said "yes, thats it."

The weekend of my graduation, we were at the factory with my family. As we perused through the antique store, we ended up looking at rings and I fell in love with a ring I had seen. I tried it on and thought to myself I love this one more than any of the others we had looked at. He knew it but told me he didn't have the money. Little did I know the next day he went and put money down for it.
Absolutely perfect!
I stepped back and looked and behind him was a table that had a bunch of meaningful things between us. A dozen beautiful yellow roses, one red rose, sonic drinks, a chalkboard that I loved with "The future "Mr. and Mrs. Silvas" on it. 

I was overwhelmed.

I literally said nothing and just cried.

I then told him I was sorry if this was not the reaction he had expected or hoped for.
He said it was perfect.

It was then that I wondered who knew? When would I get to tell Brittany and Lindsey? And so I asked who knew....He smirked and began to tell me who had helped him put together that night. Little did I know Heather Bryant, my amazing friend and old RD of the apartments had taken pictures of the entire thing and was amazing in helping set up that night: including telling people in the apartment and those around to leave or not come out for that hour. I then found out (the thing that surprised me most) that Brittany and Lindsey had known since we got our plane tickets for Nashville months ago and they had been a HUGE part of making that night what it was.

But, the surprise wasn't over. Sweet friends of ours from Greenville happened to be in Nashville for a wedding and them as well as some of our closest friends were at Jacksons, a restaurant downtown, waiting to celebrate with us.
Did I mention there was a dozen Gi Gi's wedding cake cupcakes waiting on us?

After asking a list of questions I had in my mind for awhile now about who knew, when did he ask my parents, and a few more questions he was waiting to answer (he knew the questions would come flooding his direction), I just sighed.

I stood there and asked for just a moment.

I wish I could have stopped time in that moment.
 Such a sweet and beautiful moment in my life.
The best night of my life actually.

I could not believe that this was actually happening.
The ring was gorgeous.
The surprise was breathtaking.
The people that helped to pull that night off made me feel so incredibly special.

But, my favorite part....
Andrew. The love of my life and my absolute best friend, was ready, ready to ask me to marry him.
The note he wrote me is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
The look in his eyes is something I can't explain in words but it makes my heart so happy. 
This night was more than I had ever dreamed of for this special day in my life.

this smile says it all
The celebration was incredible, a night to remember. I'm still looking at my ring, and thinking to myself, I actually get to start planning our wedding.
I'm going to marry my best friend!

It's so surreal.

Our trip is coming to an end and we fly back home tomorrow, but I am soaking in every moment we are here.

I will have more blogs to share in the future of all the Lord has taught me during this time leading up to this point but I will say this: God is so faithful and His timing truly is perfect.

I feel like the luckiest girl in the entire world.
God truly blessed me when he placed Andrew in my life and I am so thankful for the man that he is.

We have been overwhelmed and so blessed by the amount of congratulations and excitement for us as we start this new chapter in our lives. 
We are so grateful for all the love and support and want to say thank you!

This has been one of the best weeks of my life.

We're getting married!!!!

To Heather, Brittany and  Lindsey: Thank you so much for being the incredible friends that you are. My night was absolutely amazing and it wouldn't have been that without you. 
From both of us, please know just how much we love and appreciate you! 
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