Prologue (WHAT YOU MUST KNOW)
Before I begin, there are a couple things you must know about our dating relationship that will make sense about the proposal story. Get ready to read the most epic/romantic/thoughtful engagement story of your life. (I'm slightly biased…. but it's REAL GOOD)
Part 1 (A MOUNTAIN)
After about 2 months into our dating relationship, Levi took me to a mountain called Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii. It's a very strange occurrence to be bundled up in coats and mittens on a snowy mountain, when just a few hours before you were on a hot sunny Hawaiian beach. That's even more of the beauty of this mountain. It's like God just thought "this island is too sweaty and sunny… put a snowy mountain on top of it". Anyhow, Levi and I spent the evening with good friends in the back of a truck, above the clouds on the mountaintop. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. We watched a sunset of many colors, above the clouds, and then watched the starry sky without any interruption. It's like you are literally IN the sky watching the universe operate around you. I felt so close to the Lord.
That was the night Levi told me he was in love with me; on a beautiful mountaintop watching the sunset.
Part 2 (A RING)
Levi and I were apart for a good chunk of the summer. Before I left for L.A., I wanted to give him something special. I asked the Lord, and felt like I should write him a letter for every week, including things I felt the Lord was going to do in his heart for that specific week. So, I went to Target, bought some stationary, and began writing. I had 12 envelopes, each one labeled with "Week 1", "Week 2", etc.
The morning I left, Levi picked me up and took me to a cute breakfast cafe up the mountain (or island, whichever you prefer). We ate eggs benedict and talked about how much we would miss each other over the summer. Mushy gushy stuff… I'm sure the waiter was gagging. After breakfast, I was ready to give my well-thought through present. (Here's where it gets weird). Levi pulls out 12 of the SAME envelope stationary, each one labeled with the week number. He then says, "the Lord told me to write you a letter for each week you were gone, with what He would do in your heart that week). You heard it, same freaking present. I cried.
After I stopped crying, he gave me one of the most thoughtful presents I have ever received. (I say this hesitantly, because I have an amazing father who tends to outdo himself with presents and surprises). Levi gave me a ring he had been wearing on his left hand for almost 2 years now. He wore it as a "covenant ring" to the Lord, and said he felt to give it to me as a "promise ring". This was so dear to him, because he wore it during a year long Nazarite vow he took for all of 2009. It was a very intense and life changing season he had with Lord. Attached to the ring, was a string from his tallit. This is the proper name for the Jewish prayer garment he bought in Israel while doing ministry there. It was just so special to me, because it spoke to my heart about his commitment to the Lord first and foremost, and then to my heart.
Part 3 (LOSING THE RING).
I put Levi's ring on a necklace my dad had given me after high school once I was in L.A. I actually put the necklace in a box about the second week in, because I didn't want to lose it doing ministry. By the time I got home in September, I went to put my necklace on for the first time, and found the ring missing. I was hysterical. For those of you who have experience my dramatics, you will know. I called April Cossey, my mom, Kaytlyn Johnson, and finally Levi...FREAKING OUT. The necklace was closed, but the ring was gone. I felt terrible. The most precious thing Levi gave me, I lost. I awarded myself the "worst girlfriend" award.
Part 4 (SEATTLE)
Last Friday, I arrived in Seattle. I knew I wasn't seeing Levi until Saturday evening, because he was 2 hours away and his car was in the shop. (I know now, this was a total lie). My mom and I were going to be driving around on Saturday looking at property (she's buying a house in Seattle), and Levi mentioned something earlier in the week about showing us some mountain. The plan was to meet him at the base of the mountain resort Saturday evening, and we would ride the gondola up together as a family and see the sunset. About an hour before we got there, Levi texted me saying he was going to be late. He said to go up the gondola without him, and he would meet us at the top of the mountain. He didn't want us to miss the sunset. We finally got to the mountain, and I stalled like crazy. I didn't want to go up without him. I was doing everything to procrastinate. My mom FINALLY convinced me to get on the gondola. After my diva fit wore off, I decided to listen to my mom and boyfriend.
Part 5 (GONDOLA RIDE).
I handed the attendant my ticket, and he smiled back at me in the creepiest way. Literally, grinning ear to ear, nearly giggling. I gave him a confused look back, and started walking towards the gondola. The next attendant stopped me and said "wait, this is for you." She handed me an iPhone with headphones and a card that read "put the earphones in, and press play when the gondola departs". I was SO CONFUSED. I recognized Levi's handwriting, so I knew it was from him. I kept looking back and forth at my mom saying "wait… what? what? what? what?". (Now, I bet you are thinking "you totally knew he was going to propose by now!". Not at all. My boyfriend does epic dates ALL THE STINKING TIME, so in my mind, he is just being his sweet Levi self; tricking me that he isn't there yet, giving me cute cards).
I sit down in the gondola and put my headphones in. I press play, and this movie on YouTube starts playing. "Realize" by Colbie Caillat is playing in the background (a song Levi and I always sing together) and there are a slideshow of pictures of us. Occasionally, the music would die down, and a voiceover of Levi talking would come on. He recorded conversations he had about me, and then used them in the movie. Things he loved about me, things that he wanted for me, anything and everything romantic you could think of. I was a sobbing, snotting mess.
The movie quit right as our gondola came to a stop.
Part 6 (MOUNTAIN SUMMIT)
I stepped out to see another attendant holding a sign that said "Kellye Rae Vetter". He handed me another card, and then directed me down a hill…. and said someone was waiting for me. As I walked down the hill, and turned the corner, I saw a huge platform at the summit of the mountain. In the middle, was a table with candles, rose bouquets, rose petals, wine, bread, and a box. The weather was super foggy and almost rainy, and it made it look like that was the only thing on the whole mountain. I literally couldn't see anything else but the candlelight. As I approached the platform, Levi came around the corner. I lost it again.
After we embraced, Levi grabbed my hand and led me towards the table. He then began a romantic monologue of how much he loved me, how he wanted to spend his life with me, and many other great things that I honestly don't remember due to the complete shock, confusion, and craziness running through my brain. I have always told myself I would remember every tiny detail of my engagement. Good thing my mom was there snapping photos.
Part 7 (DOWN ON ONE KNEE)
Next thing I knew, Levi was down on one knee. I couldn't breathe. My heart was racing a million miles a second. "Kellye Rae Vetter…will you marry me?". AHHHHHHHHHH. I couldn't gather my thoughts enough to say "yes", so I left him down there for quite some time. I finally spit out the words, and he put the ring on my RIGHT hand. Cutest thing you have ever seen. I died laughing (the whole mountain heard) and he got bright red.
He then said, "that's your covenant ring". As if I wasn't confused/shocked/and emotional enough. I looked at him like he was crazy and he said "I had April steal it for me". I punched him in the shoulder, and then cursed my best friend under my breath for putting me through so much heartache thinking I had lost the thing. :)
Levi only does things from the heart. He could get me any ring, but knew that one would move my heart in greater ways because of the symbolism in it. It represents covenant, and faithfulness, and promises fulfilled. Again, he outdid himself with heartfelt, prayed-through details. My heart was undone.
Part 8 (PRAISE THE LORD)
Levi brought wine and bread up to the mountaintop for the proposal. As soon as he put the ring on my hand, he said "I want to take communion and honor Jesus". He held me in his arms, and thanked the Lord for every good thing He has given us, to bless our union, and just praised Jesus for a super hot fiance (jokes… but I did).
We remembered His suffering, and thanked Him for giving us righteousness. It was the same feeling as that night on Mauna Kea when Levi told me He loved me. I felt so close to the Lord, as if I could reach out and touch him. Mountaintops help with that feeling.
If I am certain of anything to this point, is that when I am with Levi, I experience the Lord in great ways, and feel loved in ways I never thought imaginable.