Samantha and I were not forced to do things this way, we both choose to do it this way. We were not forced by our parents, pastor or church, in fact we were the first couple in our church and families to ever do it this way. This was a choice we both gladly made.
This is an exciting time! For Samantha and myself, our families and also for our church. After I asked Samantha to be my help meet (November 20th, 2010), we waited to tell others. The only people who knew were my pastor and his wife, my parents and Samantha's parents. We chose with the counsel of our Pastor to not let everyone else know till we could make a public announcement at church (Sunday morning in front of everyone---just a little nervous!! ). We chose to do this because we knew that it would seem so sudden for everyone. We also wanted everyone to know that we were 100% under our authorities.
You see Samantha and I do not believe in dating and we did not court prior to our betrothal, we let the Lord guide us. While Samantha was working at a Bible camp she got a peace from God that I was to be her husband, and even though she didn't know, I had gotten that same peace and had been visiting with my pastor about it for sometime (3 Months). We had been praying and seeking God, and his will, and he led us both to the place of peace.
I knew Samantha was the one for me for a long time, but I wouldn't tell her anything until I gained the approval and permission of my parents, our pastor and her parents. I didn't even hint one bit, I was even a little standoffish, so much so that Samantha thought I didn't ever like her as a friend. But I wanted to protect her heart and her emotional purity. If I hinted that I liked her it would of stirred up emotions in her heart and could of easily became defrauding. There is a proper time for that, and now was not the time. It was a little hard on her, but she gave it to the Lord and faithfully prayed for me, (and still does, Amen)
Over 4 months had passed since she got her peace, and since I got mine - but my pastor and I continued to fast and pray to make sure we were perfectly in God's will. (I'm the patient one in this relationship :-) )
Once I gained permission. I arranged for Samantha to be brought to a place by my parents, so that I might be able to surprise her. It worked out great. My dad told her to go down to where I was sitting, and we had a wonderful Bible study, then I asked her to stand and got on one knee and she said yes! We were never out of the sight of my parents, which was a great testimony to them, and a great accountability for us. We have a great desire to do things God's way and with all purity.
In time to come I hope to write a little bit more on the details of the whole event. But for now lets just say God is so good to us!
Below is the video of the Public Announcement. If we look nervous its because we are :)