Once upon a time, I was a young silly undergrad without definite future plans for my life. I went to Paris to study abroad, and quickly found that studying abroad is pretty amazing as you don’t do much work. Unfortunately, when you have no friends, lots of free time – even in Paris – can get pretty lonely. And at first, I really didn’t have many friends. But then on my birthday, a random person I met at church asked if I wanted to meet for lunch. Ana-Joel became my kindred spirit. She was working on finishing her MA in art history, and also in possession of a flexible schedule. We would buy flowers from markets and sketch them, wander through new exhibits at the Louvre, and she would listen to me drone on about the boy I liked back in the states who WOULD TAKE WEEKS TO RESPOND TO MY EMAILS. (Were it not for her sage advice and counsel, I would probably not be marrying that boy in less than 7 weeks.) When we said goodbye in front of Notre Dame the night before we left, it was so sad knowing that I might never see this dear friend again.
When I was back in Paris a couple years ago, Ana-Joel was in Canada working on her PhD, but 2 years ago, she returned to Paris for a year to complete her dissertation research. Meanwhile, in Wilmore, my brother told me that one of his closest friends from college would be moving to Paris for the fall. I gave him my French cell phone, told him to track down some of my amazing friends at my beloved church, and he did.
And with one of them, he fell in love.
This past summer when I went back to France, I stayed with Ana-Joel, after having not seen her in almost 5 years. But with some friends, you pick up right where you left of. It was so much fun to stay up at night talking about the boys we loved again, only this time that boy was responding to my emails, and hers had sent little gifts over from Kentucky with me. When she came to Kentucky to visit him over Christmas, I was home and I was able to take these pictures of them. (Yes, they do look cooler than the rest of us.)
And then, this past week, he flew to Paris where she happened to be for a month and asked her the most important of questions in front of Notre Dame.
Which is too fantastic a love story to not share.
One of our friends took pictures of the surprise and emailed them to me for some edits, and I am so excited for them that I had to share some. (Though for the record, I can in no way take credit for any part of this proposal, despite putting it on my blog. I only knew slightly in advance because I made VERY dramatic threats to Joseph about my incapacity to live if he didn’t tell me what was going on. Nor do I take any credit for their relationship past passing off the cell phone and names of cool French people. But I would also like to recommend to the world trying to get people from different spheres of your life to fall in love because it is SUPER exciting.)
Ana-Joel and Joseph – I am so excited that God brought your two lives together and I can’t wait to see what your future holds!