My side doesn’t quite share the same back-story as Jared's does. For all I knew, I was simply obeying the still, small voice nudging me to attend CCU & join the worship team. Heck, I was already so passionate about it… God didn’t have to ask me twice! I was all for it. Leading sets, developing teams, and finding a sense of deep community at CCU occupied most of my time & I absolutely loved it.
From my point of view, our story began at a beautiful wedding in Lakewood. I was singing a worship song for the ceremony with a good friend of mine. The time of worship was so sweet. The acoustics in the room allowed everyone’s voice to ring out, as the room erupted with the sounds of voices singing “What can was me white as snow/ Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Everything in the ceremony went very smoothly & I enjoyed the time with a couple of friends that I knew, though I wasn’t familiar with the majority of those who attended.
The reception was held at a nearby park that had a priceless view of the Denver skyline, accompanied by the warmth of the full moon’s light. As the dancing began, a random guy named Jared approached me & asked me to dance…that easily became one of the more awkward dances I’ve ever been a part of. Jared later asked for my number, but I responded with providing my contact information for Facebook with no intentions of moving forward to the extent that he had hoped.
In my attempts to avoid him for the rest of the evening, I was approached by another Jared (I know, two Jareds? Weird.) who struck up conversation about school and worship leading. He was handsome, kind, good at asking questions, & seemed to have his ducks in a row. Upon finishing our conversation, I didn’t think much of it; but prior to my departure, he offered his opened contact app on his iPhone, so that I could respond with providing my number. As you can probably guess, he got it. ;)
I was rarely interested in giving out my number to guys that I had just met, plus I had just - days before - prayed the typical “Lord, I’m done with boys for a long time - you have my fullest attention for worship, school, & anything else you call me to.” Enter Jared. Another boy. I wasn’t really interested in the potential of another date - I had been on a number of them & was getting tired of first dates that rarely went anywhere. But I will admit, he struck me curious. He invited me to get ice cream later that night, but I asked to postpone, due to an early call time at church the next morning.
I still have flower petals from that evening, as we both stood next to each other during the “send off” for our newly wedded friends.
Three weeks later, I arrived at the first CCU men’s volleyball practice of the season. I was asked to coach the guys & revisit the glory days (kind of) from when I played a couple years prior. I had no idea that Jared was a part of the team, but he showed up & quickly impressed me with his abilities on the court, reigniting a small hope that he would follow through with his previous request to get ice cream… & he did! Ice cream turned into dinner at Cafe Rio. Before he picked me up, I was incredibly nervous - moreso than I had ever been to go out with any other guy. It technically wasn’t even a date (I wasn’t thoroughly convinced of this at the time - I’ve heard the classic “I just want to get to know you/hear your testimony/ask you about worship” a number of times before). I drove myself crazy because this was completely irrational! I barely new the guy! What the heck!
Little did I know, this was just the beginning…our Cafe Rio [non]date lasted for 3 hours, including testimonies, passions, & stories of how God had moved in our lives. The ways that he explained his experiences with God, his personal relationship with him, his personal drive to accomplish great things, the calling he felt on his life, the things he enjoyed…could ya get anymore perfect? As our conversation continued, I became more & more intrigued.
He dropped me off at home & I couldn’t hold back my excitement about him. For the first time, I wanted to go out with a guy again!! This never happened! I journaled about him a ton, hoping that things would continue & that, just maybe, he felt some kind of excitement like I did. It took a whole [agonizing] three weeks for him to reach out to me again about hanging out. In my attempts to not get my hopes up too high, I texted him a “last-ditch-attempt” invite to do some homework at a coffee shop; he wasn’t able to join me, but he did invite me to a movie & a sweet surprise trip to St. Mary’s Glacier where we talked & gazed at the beautiful sky of stars. Maybe he was interested, after all…
Fast forward a whole year - he turned from the “guy I met at a wedding” into the man that I love & want to spend forever with. The proposal began on the 30th of November & lasted through the entire month of December. Every single day, I was visited by a new person (mutual friends of ours) who approached me with a beautiful rose & a piece of paper with a single letter. Over time, these single letters began to spell out words. The final phrase read: YOU ARE SO VERY PRECIOUS TO … ME. At the end of the month, on Jared’s 23rd birthday, he proposed to me in the same place that he practiced building a home as a little boy, right next to the beautiful Shaver Lake in California. I would love to share every little detail, but figured it may be easier to show you the whole documentation of it, all organized by Jared: www.jaredanddaesha.com. Warning: I cried reading this (a rarity), so you might, too.
I have never felt so loved, so valued, so treasured. He is everything that I want in a man & I am so excited to share the rest of my life with him!