My 21st birthday dawned like any other birthday in my history of being. But little did I know that this birthday would change my life forever and be the start of something new and exciting.
Justin Ryken asked me to marry him while on one knee on the back porch of my house. I (of course) answered with my whole heart, "yes!" Here is the story I wrote out for everyone to read. Enjoy! :)
August 30th 2011- Melinda’s 21st birthday
The day started out with Melinda waking up at 5:00am because her iPhone kept going off with birthday wishes from her friends on Facebook. She rolled over in bed and grabbed her phone looking to see who on earth would comment at that hour besides the guy she is courting; Justin Ryken. Turns out it wasn’t him... instead it was a couple of girl friends that must have been up that early for one reason or another. Melinda spent the next hour trying to fall back asleep because she knew today would be a long, but fabulous, day and she would need rest. But sleep eluded her all morning long. She finally got up around 6:45 getting ready to head out to do some quick errands with her Mom. After getting her license and her new glasses she and her mom headed back home to get things ready before the Ryken family came. Now the Ryken family was coming over to help Melinda celebrate her birthday and also so Melinda, Mrs. Ryken, Melinda’s Mother, and Gramma could all head out to La-Tea-Da for lunch together. So they left the kids to play and went off to Clinton. The ladies all had a lovely time together talking and also going shopping after eating. It made Melinda’s birthday extra special to have her Mother, soon-to-be-Mother-in-law, and Gramma all with her to celebrate. Once they had their fill of shopping they headed back to Melinda’s house to wait for Justin to get off of work so he could could come over and eat dinner with everyone.
In Melinda’s mind it took forever for Justin to arrive that evening. But once he did, he surprised everyone with a huge gorgeous bouquet of pink roses for Melinda’s birthday! Everyone said “aww” as Melinda took them from him and lifted them to her face to inhale the lovely scent. After talking for a few minutes and getting the roses situated in a vase, Justin showered and then it was time to eat. Now Justin had asked special permission to sit alone with Melinda on the back porch which meant they would be separated from the family by a sliding glass door. And Melinda’s parents decided to put up a sort of white and black screen on the door for some privacy. Melinda started to wonder what on earth was going on, meaning, “We’re just courting, we are not allowed to be by ourselves...?” She told her parents this but they said to just enjoy it cause it’s a special night. So Melinda did enjoy herself immensely! Sitting there, talking, and eating across from Justin was plenty for her. Then Justin started to shift in his seat and talk more serious. From then on the conversation went something like this:
Justin started by saying, “You remember back during Family Camp when Kevin Swanson was telling all the single guys that they shouldn’t be having adventures by themselves? Like to Alaska and places like that? And that they should be doing it with someone?” Melinda nods with a sort of confused smile and Justin continues, “Well I was thinking about that and I want you to be the one to go with me where ever I go and I don’t want to go on any adventures without you, Melinda.” While talking Justin was looking to his right, but when he said those last few words he stared straight at Melinda which made her heart start pounding faster and her mind start racing as to what this all meant. Justin continued, “I want you with me when I go places because I love having you around, I love talking to you, and...” He pauses and then continues, “...I love you, Meli. And I guess what I’m trying to say is...” As Justin said this last sentence he got up out of his chair and came around the table to bend on one knee in front of Melinda. At the same time he lifted up a little black box and opened it while saying, “...will you marry me, Meli?” Melinda gasped and ran her finger over the ring and nodded breathlessly saying, “Yes! Yes! It's beautiful, will you put it on me?” all the while grinning from ear to ear. Justin said, “Absolutely!” And pulled the beautiful silver ring out of it’s case and placed it over Melinda’s finger. Melinda grinned at him and stood up wanting to hug him! As their arms encircled one another Justin whispered, “I love you Meli!” To which Melinda replied, “And I love you, Justin!” After that they let go and took a few steps back. Melinda smiled at Justin then looked down at the ring again when Justin said, “You wanna go tell everyone?” With a huge grins on both their faces, Melinda nodded and moved the screen to open the door. Once inside she loudly squealed with delight and announced, “I’M ENGAGED!” and held up her hand with to reveal the ring to both their families who were sitting at the kitchen table eating their dinner. There was clapping, smiles, hugs, and laughter all around the table. Congratulations rang out for the next five minutes and everyone wanted to see the engagement ring. Pictures were taken and then it was time to call all the relatives and let them know the joyous news! Justin called his grandparents first and then Melinda called hers. They could not stop smiling as they told the story over and over again.
And thus ends the romantic story of Melinda Sanford and Justin Ryken’s engagement.
I feel more than blessed to be engaged to such a godly and strong man. I just cannot stop praising the Lord that such a man would actually, willingly choose, and not to mention want to spend the rest of his life with little ol' me. *smiles* It's a very humbling and joyous thought.
Thanks for reading and God bless!