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Engagement Stories: Kathryn & James

James and I at Brendan and Lauras

Boundless has played a big role in shaping the way I’ve gone about pursuing marriage and making sure I put God first in my life. I would like to share this story:

I wrote in mid last year to shout out from Perth, Australia! But before my spiel was published, on June 14th, the day before my birthday, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. I e-mailed again requesting that my story not be shared. But this one I would like to!

James and I met at a mutual friend’s 21st birthday party at the end of July. Apparently, I encouraged him to come along to Murdoch’s Christian student group on campus, so he did. I also encouraged him to come along to the Tuesday afternoon ministry training session, so he did that too. I was still hurting from the breakup, but was endeavouring to get over it and try pursuing marriage in whatever way I could, reading Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? by Carolyn McCulley and Get Married by Candice Watters. They were very helpful in giving me direction, even if God decided he wanted to use me as a single woman. Friendship between James and I blossomed and I was very open about my desire to not date again, but wanting to get married. Though to be honest, James wasn’t the only single Godly man on my radar — though he was the biggest blip. He was also invited along to my church’s Bible study thanks to the aforementioned mutual friend. I had previously asked my Bible study for prayer concerning “a nice young man I was interested in”, so this was an excellent opportunity for them to meet and scope him out.

James decided he wanted to marry me, so on November 16th 2009, he asked me to go out with him. I said no for three reasons. The next day I chatted about it with my Dad over the phone and he gently told me that although my reasons were valid, they were tiny and not deal breakers. I chatted about it with a good Christian girl friend, now a bridesmaid, who agreed. By the end of the day, I was convinced otherwise. I went to his house and asked him if it was ok for me to change my mind. It was.

On Feburary 5th 2010, we had a picnic dinner at Kings Park (which is a beautiful location overlooking the city skyline) and he proposed. I said yes. There were fireworks (literally. Seriously, there was an event in the city that had fireworks and it was perfect timing — right after him proposing. Neither of us knew about them until they happened).

Our relationship is not entirely conventional, in the sense that we weren’t madly in love at the time. Our emotions went up and down and that particular weekend I was only feeling friendship love towards him. But we had a strong basis in friendship, our interactions as a couple felt natural, not forced. We have had tiny, minor spats, and despite my hot-headedness, he has a much cooler demeanor and we balance each other out brilliantly!

We are getting married on the 15th of January 2011, which is entirely too far away. But the date was picked after having dinner with both sets of parents and is the result of a compromise between their desire for a longer engagement (given we dated for such a short period of time) and our desire for a short engagement. Having reasoned and rationalized our choice of marriage partner (attraction was there too), having made the decision to get married, our hearts have followed and are now crazy-in-love and are so very thankful to God for blessing us so abundantly with each other!

Going out with him was a risk as I needed to have faith for the man he’d become. Though he was a new Christian. I’d witnessed him growing and maturing in leaps and bounds in the course of our friendship, which gave me hope and certainty of God’s work in his life. It also required me to make myself vulnerable again after such recent hurting. But God carried me through that time and I wouldn’t be afraid to go through it again because He has proved Himself faithful. Boundless was a helpful resource to us individually, and now together. I am so excited for our future together!

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Do you have an engagement story of your own that you’d like to share? Send your photo and narrative to [email protected]. Please note that all stories that are selected for publication may be edited for clarity and privacy and become the property of Focus on the Family.

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