Chad and I had both been living in Helena for the past 4-5 years, knowing and hanging around the same people but never even seeing each other in what seems like a very small town. Chad had moved here from Washington, D.C., on what was meant to be a temporary detail with the government as a prosecutor, but had felt that God wanted him to stay in Montana, so he searched for a home that could potentially be where he and his future wife could begin their life together. He found and purchased a charming little house on Rodney Street. He stayed faithful in serving his new church and began to explore Helena, hiking and biking the many trails surrounding the area.
Meanwhile, I had moved home from Missoula, where I felt I’d made every wrong decision there is to make. I was a new Christian and by God’s grace, was ready to allow Him to change and direct my life as He saw fit, and I had a peace I’d never known. Little did I know God was beginning to prepare my heart to meet my husband in 2016.
I’d grown up as a musician and always knew I was meant to pursue music, but after dropping out of school in Missoula, I wasn’t sure what capacity God would want that gift to be used. In the fall of 2015, I had been given an opportunity to lead worship at my church. I knew that’s what God was calling me to. Finally, I was passionate again. I had a clear purpose and wanted nothing less than to pour my life into doing what I was meant to do. But there was certainly nowhere in Montana that offered further education and training on how to be a worship leader.
I began researching online and came across a program called Arise. Arise was a 2-month intensive training program for worship leaders at a church in Florida. “Wow,” I thought. “I know I am supposed to do this, but it feels like a huge leap of faith.” In February of 2016, I got the phone call saying I had been accepted into the program! It didn’t feel real. It was the biggest thing I had ever done in my entire life. It required quite a bit of money in a relatively short amount of time, so I began fundraising online, and my mom suggested I put on a fundraising recital, comprised of some popular worship songs and songs I had written myself. I hung up posters at local places around Helena, one of them being Starbucks.
On April 10, a very handsome man walked into my church to listen to my music. I literally said to my mom, “Who’s that guy?!” I knew right away I wanted to know who he was and where in the world he’d come from?! He was the only one in the audience who wasn’t family or from my church; and the ONLY one who came as a result of the posters I'd hung up! Not even an entire minute had passed after the recital got over and a lady from my church rushed him up to the front to meet me. We only got to talk for a couple minutes as I had to tend to all the other guests, but I kept looking over and noticing how he was hitting it off with my parents. I went to send out Thank You notes for the donations and made sure to invite him to my second recital, strategically welcoming “anyone else” he’d like to bring along, hoping he wouldn’t have a gorgeous woman in tow.
Sure enough, two weeks later, he walked in with his buddy, Matt. Phew!!! We smiled at each other through the whole thing and he asked me out afterward. I realized Chad was exactly the man I was praying for; kind, wise, tender, responsible, patient, humble, selfless, AND he has a million-dollar smile. We officially started dating May 18, just a few days before I had to leave for my internship program in Florida. It was difficult to start out our relationship long distance, but he prayed with me over the phone every night and was extremely supportive. It was halfway through the program when I’d come home for my brother’s wedding that Chad told me he loved me.
Soon Arise was over and we spent the rest of the summer getting to know each other and making memories. And on October 2nd, Chad, being a lawyer, put a suit on and grabbed his briefcase (and a bouquet for mom) and headed out to my parents’ house to “give his best argument” to marry me. The next night, I was surprisingly taken to my church. He said he’d left his sweatshirt there from church the day before and that I needed to meet him there to grab it. I unlocked the door and we went in to grab his sweatshirt when he said he had something for me and asked me to have a seat near the piano. He proceeded to play and sing a song that he had written and in one of the last lines of the song, his lyrics read, “be my wife”.
My stomach turned! He went to play the last note of the song on the piano and the key wouldn’t sound. He played dumb like something was wrong with the piano and lifted the top and pulled out a ring box. I was shocked but so excited! He’d brought me to the place we first met to propose to me. He even had my family waiting outside to congratulate us after I said “YES.”
I walked into Linda’s shop the very next day, not really expecting to find “the” dress, but just to look for fun with my mom and sister. I tried a beautiful Casablanca gown named “Beloved” and knew I didn’t need to try on any more dresses. It had a beautiful, intricately beaded top with a sweetheart neckline and layer upon layer of organza made the bottom flow out like beautiful flower petals. Simple, but extravagant. I felt like a princess.
We got married June 24th, and chose to get married at my parents’ house out in the north valley. It was quiet, private, and after many hours of work to perfect their already spectacular yard, it looked truly enchanted. The weather was perfect and so was the ceremony, as the sun shined on us through the beautiful cross we used as the focal point. Chad even surprised me with a personalized and professional fireworks show as we departed for the night!!! That day was TOTAL bliss and TOTALLY blessed!"