Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)
TITLE: Of the ‘Net, Love and Butterflies…
By Shari Armstrong
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I got out of the car. He walked over, smiling, and drawled, “Hi. I was worried you’d changed your mind.” We hugged and I felt total peace. We eventually moved to the picnic table and sat down, him behind me with his arms around me and talked awhile. He gave me a gentle kiss on the top of my head. “I have something for you.” He went to the car and came back with a box. “I saw this and thought of you.” It was a figurine of an angel with two small children. “She had red hair like yours, and I had to get it.” We hugged again.
Both tired from the drive, we decided to call it a night. We had to share a tent, but he was a perfect gentleman. Plans were made for the next day. The sun came up way too early, but it didn’t matter. He left the tent so I could change first and get the fire going again. After some breakfast, we left for one of the nearby caves. It would be impossible to get into Mammoth Caves. During the tour, we held hands and marveled at the artwork of God around us. I marveled at how God had brought this man into my life. He was exactly the way he had seemed in our months of chatting. Funny, sweet and cared for me. We hadn’t said the “L” word, by mutual agreement. I was sure we both knew it, but wanted confirmation in person.
That evening, after a wonderful steak dinner he made for us, he told me he loved me. Again, that wonderful peace came over me. It felt right, like we’d always known each other. Here was my best friend telling me the words I’d been waiting to hear from the man God wanted in my life. I responded, “I love you, too.” We decided to attend a little church we spotted near the grocery store the next morning. It had a sign that encouraged campers to visit.
When the sun came up, we stayed in the tent awhile. He put his arms around me and asked, “Will you marry me?” I didn’t even hesitate to tell him I would. He wanted at least a six-month engagement. We set our wedding date before we left the tent for breakfast. Many people would probably say we were crazy, but we both just knew. He told me much later, “I knew from the minute I saw you get out of the car that you were the woman I was going to marry.” This amazed me, knowing how I looked after a seven-hour drive!
After church, we decided to just stay at the campsite and relax, since we had to head home Monday. We wanted to spend every minute we could together. He got one of the sleeping bags out of the tent and put it in some shade. We watched some butterflies flitting around us as we lay there. Next thing we knew, a few of them decided to land on us and we played with them for nearly an hour. It was the most amazing thing, like God was giving us His blessing.
Leaving was hard on both of us. We prayed, cried and hugged. We left with a promise and cheap souvenir rings. At work on Tuesday, I said a prayer for him, because I was worried about him being tired at work. Later that night, he asked what I was doing not long after lunch. It had been about the time I had prayed for him. He said these butterflies showed up out of nowhere and he could smell campfire smoke. We’re sure God sent those butterflies to encourage him and bless us again.
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