Native Montana-in, Dan Gutschenritter moved to Portland a year prior after he felt God calling him to seminary. His completed degree in Criminal Justice tucked in his back pocket he left all behind and headed to Oregon.
Along comes the fateful day in December and Dan watches as a camera-lugging female in heels enters the room. He had to know her. A bit of detective skills later (insert facebook stalking) uncovered her identity...Bring on the FB communique.
When she first read his rather generic "I think you and your family are cool" facebook message, she was very skeptical. "Um, yea...thanks?" a month later same dude writes again- and confused female is now asking beloved sister "WHO IS THIS GUY? Do you know him? Should I be concerned?"
Well Facebook became very popular that month- He didn't have her phone number, nor was she going to give it easily. It was a cat and mouse game from the start. You never saw two such accomplished flirts in your life.
Shortly thereafter, the relationship went face to face on a group hiking trip to Multnomah Falls. In typical Taylor style, willful girl that she is, she plunged to the front of the line, leaving the poor man in the rear. "If he wants to talk to me, he can come up here". Boy. Talk about stuck-up. It's a miracle he stuck around.
Easter Sunday was next with a sunrise service and traditional feast. He joined in the fray, rubber band wars at the dinner table and ultimate frisbee in the back yard. At this point she's convinced he must be a confirmed lunatic to be sticking around this long. Apparently he wasn't of the same opinion considering he asked her out, 2 days later.
"I'll never forget him sitting across from me, elbows on the table, having donned a button-up shirt "special for the occasion", pouring out his life story. WOW." Whether it was his genuine humility, or passion for the Lord, she knew in her heart, "I'm going to marry this man". In fact, she was so sure, she journaled it down and promptly told the beloved sister.
Months of phone calls, text messages and "getting to know you questions" go by. Studly man comes back from working in Montana over the summer and in September they're offically dating.
Low and behold they find themselves- falling in love. Christmas comes and goes, with the couple drawing ever closer, and happiness is blossoming like popcorn at the theatre.
Unbeknowst to girlfriend, boyfriend is waiting on the ok from Daddio to pop the question. Tranquilly waiting on pins and needles, Christa is determined to stick it out. Needing a day off, she calls up the boyfriend and invites him for a day-trip to the beach. "I just need a bit of a break" she explains. They opted for a few days out and packed up their picnic lunch, beach blanket and handy-dandy water bottles.
While enjoying the 2 hour drive to the coast Dan and Christa spent some time in prayer, thanking God for His specific gifts and for continued guidance and direction. Dan kept dropping phrases like "if this relationship ever goes further..." and "if we ever get to marriage" sending strong signals that it wasn't anytime soon. Good thing Christa wasn't expecting an engagement today. Right? Wrongo.
The weather was overcast but pleasant as they finished lunch and settled into their book on marriage. Reading aloud together on the deserted beach was pure heaven. Christa is in mid-sentance when Dan pulls out the ring and slips it onto the page.
"Will you marry me Christa?"
Shocked, she managed to respond
"Dan...Nothing would make me happier than to be your wife"
Boom. The sun erupts through the clouds, the choir starts singing and happy couple is no longer paying attention to anything else except their beloved.
Yes, we're getting married.
I'll love you Dan till the day I die.
Photo Credit: Bianca Jade