in ashley's words...
T-mo and I have known each other since 2003 when we entered as freshmen at Washington University in St. Louis. We served alongside one another as student leaders in Harambee (a Black Campus Ministries chapter of IVCF), and in 2007 we both served as ministry interns with IV, where our friendship and love for Jesus continued to grow.
After being friends for almost 8 years, Thomas mustered up the courage to ask me to be his girlfriend (after which I told him I needed 40 days to think and decide – he’s a patient man y’all :)). We talked again about a week later (see, I didn’t make him wait too long!) and began dating in January 2011, and on Oct. 15th he asked me to be his wife (and I said yes!).
I never expected that God would bring us together the way He has, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This was true during our student leadership days as well, but T-mo has a unique way of bringing out the best in me, and helping me feel safe simply being who God has created me to be. We both know that Jesus has called us to something much bigger than ourselves, and we’re excited to follow Him into a lifetime of sacrificial love for each other and for those around us. There’s no one else in the world I’d rather share this adventure with than him.
in tmo's words...Since Ashley talked about how we met, I'll talk about the proposal.
If anybody knows Ashley, surprising her isn't the easiest thing in the world because she's too smart and too organized. It took a community effort involving family and friends hustling behind her back.
As we knew that engagement was an appropriate next step, she would ask cornering questions like "So, do you think we should live in the same city before or after we get engaged?" or "So, would it be helpful if you knew what kind of rings i liked?". There was no way I could answer those questions without sounding too disinterested or giving away my hustling in the background, so I would mumble some kind of response.
The actual surprise involved my wingman Adam Leong as a diversion upon his return flight to St. Louis from Seattle as I too came to St. Louis on an earlier flight on that day. I had Adam have Ashley pick him up from the airport while I went to her house and her roommate Elizabeth let me in. Awaiting her arrival, I was posted on her stairs until she got home. When she finally opened the door and saw me, her response was
"What are you doing here?",marked with a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and a tinge of anger :-)
I grabbed her car keys, and we went for a ride. Our first stop was WashU, where we walked around campus, stopping at a few significant spots from our time in college. Our second stop was at the Art Hill basin in Forest Park, where I did the actual proposal (and, yep, she said yes :-). The last stop (as she started asking even more cornering questions) was my parents' house, where both of our families and some mutual friends were expecting our arrival.
Later that night, we went out to celebrate on our own for a bit, which turned into about an hour of me confessing all the ways I lied and deceived her over the past month to pull it off. Her response this time was
"You did good",marked with a beautiful smile, an honest chuckle, and a shiny ring.