Sunday, February 18, 2018

Say Yes

Everyone loves a love story. And while each individual story is unique and special, there is one thing in common - it all starts with a question. Today, just a few days after Valentine's Day, I'd like to share with you the journey of my daughter, Heidi, and her fiancĂ©, Tim, and their love story. And yes, it all started with a question.

September 30, 2012:
Tim: "Meet me for frozen yogurt?"  Heidi:  "Yes."
Columbia, MO - Yogoluv
Boy meets girl. Tim was a sophomore engineering major at Mizzou in Columbia, MO - Heidi a freshman drama major at Stephen's College, also in Columbia. They met on Saturday night, September 29, 2012. He was 20, she was 19 - and yes, they were total opposites. It was magical, unquestionable love at first sight. Wonderful and exciting for them - understandably scary for Mom! Time would tell that it was real. Their first date was the next day, on Sunday afternoon. They met at Yogoluv for frozen yogurt. They were inseparable for the next several months - and the questions kept coming.

October 31, 2012:
Heidi"Will you dress up with me for Halloween?"  Tim:  "Yes."

Tim and Heidi as Tom and Summer from "500 Days of Summer"
Take another look at the photo above and the way Tim is looking at Heidi. Even back then, after only knowing Heidi for a month, it was obvious that he adored her

The weeks, months and years passed as Tim and Heidi faced the challenges of college life as well as their relationship. There were struggles, growing pains, and bumps in the road. But they loved being together and simply enjoyed each other's company. Although they loved one another deeply, they never said, "I love you." That was reserved for the time when a lifelong commitment would be made.

And that day came. It was not yet time for a formal proposal, but Tim was ready to proclaim his love and give his heart and life to Heidi wholly, and to make a promise of forever.

January 23, 2015:
Tim:  "I love you. I want to spend my life with you. Do you love me, too?"
Heidi:  "Yes, absolutely."
Officially, their love for one another was proclaimed.
February 14, 2015 - Tim and Heidi's first Valentine's Day
April, 2015 - Heidi's 22nd birthday
May, 2015 - Heidi's graduation day from Stephen's College

December, 2015 - Tim's graduation day from Mizzou

2015 - life and careers begin for Heidi and Tim in Chicago, IL
2016 - 2017: The young couple grew . . .
closer together:
and more in love.

The boy, Tim, had grown into a wonderful, caring, responsible young man. His maturity, gentleness, compassion and strength of character will take him far in this world. God sees him as a giant. He is going to make a difference and change this world for the better as God leads him and as he pursues his dreams and goals. 
The girl, Heidi, had grown into a beautiful, charming, mature young woman. She is little but mighty. She is going to change the lives of countless women of all ages as God leads her and as she pursues her dreams and goals. Her life will serve as a role model and mentor to girls and women who are hurting. 
This young couple, both the babies of their families, are not babies anymore. They are stronger together than alone. They are a power couple. They have the power of God working on their behalf, going before them - defending them, protecting them and preparing the road ahead of them and their futures.
Time for more questions 
November 25, 2017:
Tim:  "May I have your permission to marry your daughter?"  Me:  "Yes."
That was seriously one of the happiest, sweetest days of my life. Tim took me for coffee at Starbucks on the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. He opened up his heart to me that day and honored me as Heidi's mom. He told me of his unending love for her, and of how she makes him a better person. He made promises to me to love her, honor her, cherish her, protect her, provide for her, and encourage her. He promised me that he would never, ever hurt her and that he would never, ever leave her. He promised that he would protect her from alcohol and the devastating effects it has had on our families. He promised me that he would be there for Heidi and their future children until his dying breath. And then he asked for my blessing, which I gave wholeheartedly and without reservation. I had prayed for Heidi's future husband from the time she was in the womb - and now I know that I had been praying for this young man, Tim Merkel, every day of his entire life. God orchestrated the steps of Tim and Heidi to miraculously bring them together in Columbia, MO. I trust Tim completely, this young man of God, with my daughter, Heidi. That was a day I'll never forget.
December 19, 2017:
Justice Jewelers, Springfield, MO:  "Is this the ring?"  Tim:  "Yes."
Tim and Heidi had been looking at rings for several months, and he knew exactly what she wanted. And, he knew exactly where she wanted him to purchase the ring. We have emotional connection and long-standing history with Justice Jewelers here in Springfield, MO. So Tim, being the sweet man that he is and wanting to give Heidi everything she had wished for, knew that he would buy her ring there. He made a secret trip to Springfield and invited me along to be with him when he made the biggest, most important purchase of his life. Again, I will treasure that day in my heart for the rest of my life.
December 22, 2017:
Tim:  "Heidi Denise Womelsdorf, will you marry me?"
Tim - Man Of Valor
  Heidi:  "Yes, absolutely!"
Heidi - Woman Of Class
BHLDN, Chicago:  "Is this the dress?"  Heidi:  "Yes!"
The day I had dreamed about forever - the day I would go shopping with my daughter for her wedding dress. What a joy that we were all able to be with Heidi on that special day:  Jason, her brother who has always gone shopping with us, Heidi's 2 sisters-in-law, me, and the 2 youngest babies (they promised they wouldn't tell anyone about her dress!). Again, this was one of the happiest, sweetest days of my life. My little girl, my princess who once played dress up and danced around the house, now a grown woman choosing the dress of her dreams as she marries the man of her dreams. My heart was full. I only get to be "Mother of the Bride" one time, and I am enjoying every minute of it! This was the memory of a lifetime.
The Lalumondiere, St. Louis:  "Is this the venue?"  Tim and Heidi:  "Yes!"
Heidi wanted an outdoor wedding full of flowers, trees, greenery, water - a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere where she and Tim could enjoy committing their lives to one another and celebrate together with their family and closest friends. They found the perfect place! And once again, what an honor it was to be there with them. The joy on their faces was priceless.
Over the next several months, there will be many more things to say "Yes" to: the groom and groomsmen attire, the save-the-dates and invitations, the ceremony, the flowers, the caterer/food, the photographer, the DJ/music, the honeymoon...and the list goes on. But on their path to the wedding - a one-day event - what Tim and Heidi are really preparing for is a life together. Planning a wedding can be stressful - the way they are learning to lean on one another now and work together in making decisions is actually helping prepare them on how to handle all the stressors that life will hold. Tim and Heidi need all the love, support and encouragement they can get from their family and friends - both now and in the future. 
And what Tim and Heidi - and all of us - really need, is God's help...every day, for all our lives
I believe that you can love someone deeply - but you cannot love them fully - until you have experienced the love of Jesus in your heart and His saving grace in your life. Life is hard. How can one truly commit to lifelong love to another person without first experiencing the life-changing love of Jesus personally? Not impossible, but very, very difficult. Jesus paid the ultimate price by laying down His life for us - this is the most beautiful love story ever told. All He wants is for us to love Him in return and live our lives for Him. Jesus wants us to choose to serve Him and to say "Yes" to Him. 
Tim and Heidi understand this completely. They are trusting God with their lives, and their marriage. They are both doing their best to love Him most so that they can love each other best. They have said "Yes" to The Lord first and "Yes" to each other always. It's a beautiful love story - one that will continue to unfold.
Tim, a Man Of Valor, and Heidi, a Woman of Class, are both Children of Hope. They are writing their story for their family - working together to leave a legacy of Godliness, integrity, humility, honesty, responsibility and compassion for their future children. As they are starting their lives as a united couple - trusting God and looking to Him for wisdom, guidance, and direction - nothing will be impossible for them. Just watch and see how God is going to use Tim and Heidi both together and individually to change this world.  
And so, dear friends, thank you for allowing me to share Tim and Heidi's love story with you today. This is a very special day for me. Exactly 5 years ago tonight, Heidi and I had our first grownup, mother/daughter, woman-to-woman talk. That was the night that Heidi called me, 5 months after she met Tim, and told me that she loved him. We were on the phone most of the night. I told her that I loved her, and that I trusted her. I also told her that we were on a very long road, and that God would work out His perfect will for them. And He did. Tim has grown into a wonderful, caring, compassionate young man who I love and admire immensely. He has earned my respect, and I trust him completely. Heidi has grown into a beautiful, loyal, loving, caring, talented young woman whose funny and charming personality not only lights up the world around her, but will brighten and complete Tim's world. I am a proud mom and am so thankful that Tim and Heidi have said "Yes" to The Lord and to each other for life. I can't wait for their wedding day!
Tim and Heidi - #SayYes. May she always look at him like this.
Have a wonderful week, dear ones - you are my treasured friends. "Say Yes" to The Lord every chance you get in the coming days - be a bright light in a dark world. Love as deeply as possible, as often as possible, to as many as possible.
With all my love and a heart full of gratitude,

May The Lord bless you and protect you.
May The Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May The Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.
Say Yes - to life and to love. The makings of beautiful pearls.

1 comment:

  1. Mom, the message of love that you shared in today's post is timeless and is absolutely necessary. Heidi, as well as the rest of us, know how to love best because you made sure we all knew exactly what love looks like. Through your model of loving Jesus you led us to our own personal relationship with the one Man who can be our Savior; the Savior who was and remains the only person that brings about a genuine change and complete difference in our respective lives. Thank you for your obedience in leading us to Jesus! Because of your efforts you have gained so much and we have benefited so much. Heidi, like both David and I, is about to realize a new kind of tangible love that will take her to a new level of understanding the Lord's love for her. The realization of this gift in each of our lives is credited to you. Thank you for your strength! Your resolve! Your unending love! You continue to lead this family so well and we are all very proud of you! Thank you for being a #WomanofClass! We love you, Mom!