"That night helped seal the deal for me, I could really see myself with this sweet man!"
How did the two of you meet?
Christina: "Benjamin and I met the fall of 2013 at Grace Bible Church in College Station, TX when we were freshmen attending Texas A&M University. I unknowingly sat in the row in front of him at our college church service. When the pastor told us to shake hands with our neighbors and greet each other, I turned around to the most handsome man in the room. We said hello and took our seats again, not saying another word. We had some mutual friends and would say a quick hello to each other whenever we passed by on campus but no other interaction. Neither of us had cars our freshman year so low and behold, we began to run into each other while waiting for a bus that shuttled us to Grace Bible on Sunday mornings. Soon after, with his roommate Harrison, we would occasionally grab lunch together at the college cafeteria hall.
"Around January of 2014, I was attending Breakaway Ministries, a student bible study held at Texas A&M's Reed Arena which up to 15,000 people attend. My phone was about to die so I placed it on airplane mode to try and save some battery. The lights were dark and as worship music started, Benjamin walked up the exact set of stairs (there's about 100 to choose from) that were right in front of the seat I'd chosen. I waived a friendly hello and he climbed up to my seat, asking if I received his text. I was confused as to how he even got my phone number (he sneakily got it from our mutual friend) and I had no clue he had sent me a text asking if I'd like to attend Breakaway together and sit with him.
"After that, we regularly attended Breakaway together, walking from our next door college dorms to the arena, rode the bus to church together weekly and started having more regular lunches after church with his roommate (thanks for always being up for them Harrison). We began to always end our Breakaway nights at a bench between our dorms, where we talked for hours about the sermon and whatever else the conversation led to. One day, Benjamin asked me to a baseball game. We met outside our dorms and Ben, myself, and his always loyal roommate Harrison hiked out to the fields for the game. We went to a few more together, the three of us, and had a great time getting to know each other more.
"Toward the end of April 2014, I had an Aggie Sisters for Christ barn dance event and I asked Benjamin if he would like to join me. He had to decline my offer in place of an engineering group project. So off I went to the dance hall alone, still texting him the entire time. When I got home from the event, I was starving and it came up in our conversation. Benjamin offered to stop by a snack store on campus and grab me some Oreos. I felt bad (and slightly awkward) and didn't know if I should go meet him or even let him purchase the Oreos. I wasn't sure if we were just good friends or pushing more towards dating. At the insistence of my roommate (Thanks Pooks) I agreed and ran out to meet him, where we again had another wonderful conversation near our bench. That night helped seal the deal for me, I could really see myself with this sweet man!
"A few days later, right before the start of summer vacation, Benjamin asked me to another baseball game. This time though, he was alone, waiting for me outside my dorm. We had a great time at the game (including Benjamin striking up conversation with several strangers) and we walked back to our dorms. We sat again at our bench to talk and this time, began to meander around. While we were walking over some broken sprinkler puddles in front of my dorm, Benjamin asked me to be his girlfriend, to which I gladly squealed out a yes."
What was it like early in your relationship?
Benjamin: "Baseball, Breakaway, and the Bible. Perhaps I should say: the Bible, Breakaway, and Baseball… but I’m not sure I was that mature back then. We spent a lot of time studying – the Bible, academics, and Texas A&M baseball – academics being the clear loser of the bunch. Christina was always a good sport (hehe) and I, well, I didn’t care. It was a test. Baseball is a necessity. We also spent a whole lot of time at church and at Breakaway, an on-campus ministry. I’d say it was really by God’s grace that we had Him as the foundation to our relationship. Looking back, we certainly weren’t responsible for all the good things that happened. It’s hard to imagine how things could have been had God not guided us and pulled us in. We would go to Breakaway on Tuesday nights and then walk back and sit on a bench between our dorms and talk for hours about the sermon - probably our favorite memories from college."
How long have you been together?
Christina: "We have been together for just over 4 years and 3 months. Dating for 4 years and 1 month and engaged for 2 months! We did not really want to wait much longer after we got engaged… and medical school is very inconvenient for scheduling."
"Add that with begin 5 feet tall and smokin' and you just get adorable."
Name one thing you love about each other.
Benjamin: "My favorite thing about Christina has always been how happy and cheerful and smiley she is. It just makes her fun to be around. She is very optimistic and encouraging, which complements my ball-of-stress natural state very well. Add that with being 5 feet tall and smokin' and you just get adorable."
Christina: "One thing I love about Benjamin is his thoughtfulness. He considers all things, thinks hard about all decisions, always considers others and always ensures there is a plan. He has given wonderful, thoughtful letters throughout our relationship and we always had conversations that would encourage lots of discussion and reflection. But I may cheat and add a second thing I love equally as much…his silliness!! He is a goofy, lovable teddy bear with me. He loves to dance around and sing with me, make funny faces, tell hilarious jokes, play like kids, and make every situation a thousand times more fun. He is the greatest best friend for me!!!"
Who popped the question and how did they do it?
Christina and Ben have been long distance for the past year, with Christina attending medical school in College Station, TX, and Benjamin working as an electrical engineer for Boeing in St Louis, MO. Benjamin would fly down about once every 3 weeks to visit regularly.
On Friday, June 15th, Christina went out to brunch with a friend, Lisa, before Ben flew in that evening for the weekend. Christina attends medical school with Lisa's husband, Austin, and they have grown to be great friends this past year, with both them and their two precious twin girls (our flower girls!). While Christina and Lisa enjoyed a wonderful brunch together, Austin quickly packed up the girls and went to the College Station airport to secretly pick up Benjamin, who flew in about 12 hours earlier than Christina expected. Ben, Austin, and the girls ran a few errands and quickly went to hide out at John Crompton Park in town, a beautiful park that Christina and Ben had visited together while dating. Christina and Lisa had just finished brunch when Austin called to "ask for help with the girls" at the park. The two of course went, and when they arrived, walked to the back of the park where Austin and the girls were apparently playing nearby the lake. Evidently, some diapers needed to be changed, so Christina was asked to grab the diaper bag from under the pavilion.
She went to grab the bag, and as she turned around to head back, Lisa and Austin told her to just stay put and that they'd come to her. Terribly confused, Christina realized Lisa had a camera (we cannot thank them enough) and turned around to try and figure out what was so interesting to take pictures of. And then, from behind a pavilion pillar, out walked Benjamin, holding his bible and wearing a shirt Christina bought him the first year they dated. In total shock and joy, Christina hugged Ben and together they went to sit on the bench next to the lake. Ben read some favorite pieces on their desires for a God centered marriage and life together. He took her hand, got down on one knee, and asked Christina to be his wife, to which she ecstatically answered of course.
What’s next for the two of you?
Ben: "We both graduated from Texas A&M University for undergrad. I took a job as an electrical engineer in St. Louis, MO and Christina went off, rather stayed put, in College Station, TX with Texas A&M’s medical school. I’m working to get a job/transfer to Dallas, TX now which is where Christina will be for the next 3 years for medical school. I might try to get my Master’s degree while Christina is still in school – that way neither of us will have any free time. After that, 3-5 years of residency… somewhere?... and start rolling out some kiddos, God willing. I’m not sure when we plan to relax, but hopefully we can be finished with school by that point at least. After that, we can grow old and kick the bucket(s)."