Why I said "YES" after only 1 month

One year ago yesterday Joel picked me up to take me on a date in celebration of 1 month of dating (yes, we were that couple haha). He had taken off early to take me down the beach. I found this a little strange but all of this was new to me so hey why not? Once we got there we went to this hole in the wall Italian place that was SUPER yummy and then Joel took me to walk on the beach. Looking back I see the signs but in the moment I wouldn't let myself think that I could possibly be getting engaged.... but Joel did have something in his pocket (very unusual for him) and his hands had been awfully sweaty at dinner. Not to mention how distracted he had been all evening. So we're walking along the beach and a conversation starts about how nervous I was when we first started dating, which led to him asking how I felt about him then a month later, and next thing I knew Joel says, "I adore you and I want to spend the rest of my life serving Jesus with you. Will you marry me?"
I remember dropping my purse in the sand (which Joel finds hilarious), screaming OF COURSE and practically tackling him... which really wasn't the best idea considering he was holding this precious, valuable ring in his hand.... which of course I knocked in the sand. Yep.... story of my klutzy life. After what he describes as the longest minute of his life, he found the ring place it on my finger and bent down to share our first kiss. People on the beach cheered and took pictures for us. It was a perfect moment (ring loss and all).
We left there to get ice cream, where Joel pulled out his work calendar and we set the date for October 26, 2013... 2.5 months away. We left there thrilled to call our friends and family and share the news. Most people were so excited but completely shocked. We knew we were crazy... and definitely not the norm but we also knew it was right. Neither of us needed or desired the traditional 2 years of dating, 1 year engagement.
I LOVE our story and honestly it all happened so fast that many don't really realize the timeline of it all. I especially hesitate when I talk about it with young girls because I no means think that engagement after a month is appropriate in every situation. I don't care if adults think we are crazy but I would never want a young girl to rush into something she isn't ready for thinking that it's the best way.
All that being said, here are a few reasons why I said YES after only 1 month:
1. We had waited, prayed, and prepared.
When we started "dating" I was 22 and Joel was 25. At that point neither of us had ever been in a serious relationship and I had never even been on a date. Not that there had never been interests along the way that either didn't work out or eventually became non-interests... but God had laid on both of our hearts at an early age that dating was for finding a spouse. In those years before Joel I hadn't spent my Friday nights on date after date and I wasn't continually hopping from boyfriend to boyfriend trying to find the right one. I was praying, and so was he. I had a specific list based off of Scripture of characteristics I wanted in a husband and I prayed over it believing God for the godly man I desired. We had also prepared. Joel's preparation looked different than mine. He had settled down, bought a house, and made sure he was prepared to provide. I had been reading and studying godly dating, courtship, Christian marriage, and Biblical femininity for 3 years when Joel had come along.
We also became friends first. Joel and I met in February. While we didn't become close right away, by April he had started hanging out in our friend group and we had observed each other in friendship. Joel prayed very specifically about asking to date me for a month without showing me any signs until the couple days before.
2. We had clear intentions in dating.
Joel says that God confirmed for him that I was his wife before he ever asked to date me. Thank goodness he didn't reveal that to me because I would have totally freaked out haha. He did hint at it though. When Joel met me at Starbucks to have "the talk." He didn't ask to "date me" or call me his "girlfriend." After listing all the reasons why (traits he saw in me, prayers he had been praying, and counsel he had approached), he asked if he could pursue me with the hope of making me his wife. Bold much?
So from day 1 we had a common goal... determine if we were supposed to get married. Not that we didn't have fun! Dating was so much fun... but that wasn't our goal. We tried to be very intentional in spending our time together to make it less about the physical (not kissing helped here a lot) and more about asking the right questions. Within the first 3 weeks of dating we had discussed all of the things everyone says you shouldn't talk about right away. We talked about what we wanted a family to look like, how we felt about birth control, what our views on tithing were, our doctrinal beliefs, homeschooling, household roles, family history, and more. We quickly realized that all of the things that seemed crazy to most, we had in common. The vision for our lives was headed on the same path... so why not do it together?
3. We truly wanted God's will and asked Him for it.
The day Joel approached me and asked if we could get together and talk I remember writing in my prayer journal Proverbs 2.
"My son if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (v.1-6)
I prayed that constantly... "God I am making my ear attentive to Your wisdom and inclining my heart to Your understanding. I am seeking You like silver and searching for Your wisdom as hidden treasures." I had prayed for years that God wouldn't allow me to be in a relationship with anyone that wasn't my husband. I had two days in between when Joel asked to talk and when we finally got to so I spent lots of time praying. After we started dating I wasn't just praying, "God, please let this be my husband." I wanted to pray against my flesh and any part of my human nature that would make me be out of God's will. I daily prayed, "God if this is not my husband, if this is not who You want me to marry, show me, show him, show someone who will speak into our lives. God, I only want what you want. Nothing else." I think in general in our lives when we pray for what our flesh wants it's hard to discern what we want from what God wants. After seeking the Lord and finding much peace and confirmation and also seeking the counsel of strong spiritual leaders in our church, we both knew what came next. So when Joel got down on 1 knee and asked me to be his wife, there was no hesitation on what my answer would be.
Joel and I didn't date perfectly. We are both very imperfect people. But God being so rich in love and powerful in His sovereignty wrote for us a beautiful love story. One that I'm proud to share. What I love about God is no 2 look the same. I had two close friends that got married this summer both with BEAUTIFUL love stories that look nothing like ours. Don't be afraid to step out of the normalcy of the American way and hand the pen to the best Author in history.
You can see the full story of our relationship here at The Miller Love Story!



  1. Awww! :) We courted for 2 years (but I was 17 when we started, he was 21) but our engagement only lasted 4 months- we didn't have any physical contact before we were engaged, then after we were engaged we only held hands and hugged sometimes. I am so thankful for that!


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