Chapter 2

In September, before the engagement, she rented a room from someone in Maryland, settled in, and continued working. Meanwhile, he finished his last year of college. During their late-night phone calls, he began asking questions about why she hadn’t gone to college. She explained that college had seemed beyond her grasp for a few reasons. She worked directly out of high school and believed her poor grades would keep her from being accepted (she was more interested in her social life). And then there were her bills. Her sweet boyfriend encouraged her to apply to Abilene Christian University (ACU), where he was attending and felt confident it would work out. So…she decided to give it a try. The application went out, and the information the school needed (to make their decision) started coming in. The ACT was the test that would decide her fate. Well, ACU was giving the ACT the Saturday before the spring semester began in January. After many conversations, she decided she would pack up and go. Packing up and leaving without a clear answer seemed ridiculous, but she decided she didn’t have any particular reason to stay where she was. Little did she know at the time that she would be engaged as well when she went down to Abilene. So, the studying began. She would work during the day and go through ACT study books at night. In the last four years, she had grown up a little and was more motivated to do well on this exam. Thanksgiving, the proposal, and Christmas came and went. So, off to ACU she went. She and he pulled into the ACU parking lot about an hour before the exam was to start. Talk about cutting it close! She took some time to pray and relax. He continued to tell her she would be just fine and she would pass.

The next part was the craziest thing, and only God could have worked this out. She passed the ACT! Then there was more. School was going to start in two days. The next series of events took place within three hours after the exam. She walked from the exam across campus, completed her admission, got her financial aid in order, received a key to her dorm room, got her class schedule, and picked up her books. Talk about a whirlwind! That night as she lay in bed in her private dorm room, she wept over how blessed she had been and how God had provided for her. Here she was with an amazing Christian fiance who believed in her more than she believed in herself and a glorious God who protected her and allowed her to pursue her dream.

Now, all she had to do was complete 18 credit hours and plan a wedding in 5 months…a wedding that was going to be in Maryland, not Texas!

Chapter 1

She had been through a bad breakup a few months prior, and today, it seemed to be bothering her. So, she decided to drive to the Christian camp she attended as a teenager in Virginia. It was a breezy summer day, and with her sunroof open, she traveled the dusty dirt road to the camp. When she got there, she got out of her car and headed to a pond when she passed a group of camp counselors in a circle giving shoulder rubs (it was pretty neat). “Hey, I know you!” said a male voice that caught her attention. She looked to see a guy whose name she couldn’t remember and said “Hello.” He immediately got up from the group and started walking with her. They talked for a good hour, then watched him perform skits for the campers, and he sat with her during devotional. Afterward, as she was getting ready to leave, he asked her, “can I see you tomorrow after the campers leave?” The following day, the two met at her home and watched “A Few Good Men” together. They spent the evening talking and enjoyed every minute.

A week later, he returned to Abilene Christian University to finish his senior year of college. He gave her a card before driving away in his car and told her not to read it until he was gone. Unsure if she’d ever see him again, she opened the card. The card stated, “I’m falling for you.” Much to her surprise, he began calling her every night (this was before the ever necessary cell phone, and he paid for every minute of every phone call). He flew her from Virginia to Texas for Thanksgiving, where she stayed in one of the girls’ dorms. He planned to make her a Thanksgiving dinner, but he thought he could buy a turkey that morning. Of course, he found out all the stores in town were closed. So, he took her to Denny’s for a turkey dinner. They enjoyed the few days they had together going on walks, going to parks, the zoo, and watching movies. When she got on the plane to leave, he told her he would see her when he got home for Christmas.

His family had taken her in while he was away at school, and she had come to enjoy spending time with them. The night before he was coming home, his sister asked if she’d like to spend the night there and “hang out” with them until he got in. She agreed to do so.

At six o’clock in the morning on December 21st, 1993 (now you know my age), she was woken up by him! Shocked and embarrassed that she was in pajamas, he asked her to go down to the living room with him. She was SO GLAD to see him. As she walked into the living room (again in her pajamas), a fire was going in the fireplace. He had her sit down and gave her a gift. Two boxes were wrapped and tied with a beautiful bow. When she opened the first box, he had her read it out loud. It was a poem he had written as a teenager about what he wanted in a wife one day. The second box was a beautiful letter about what he loved about her, and at the bottom of the letter was the question, “So Treneé Lynn Grow, will you MARRY ME.”