My family went ballistic and so did my Pastor according to the looks that my Pastor's wife kept shooting my way during the following Wednesday night church service. Either she texted me or I texted her during church, I do not recall. Regardless, ONE of us contacted the other inappropriately during the preaching and asked to speak with the other as soon as church was over.
If this had been a movie, the soundtrack to JAWS would have accompanied me as Sis. Keyes escorted me to Pastor's office. I sat on the sofa shaking on the inside preparing myself for what she had to say. "So, I understand you're engaged Shawnacee?" It was more of a statement than a question. I should be on the olympic swim team for how quickly I backstroked against the tide of her disapproval. "Well, yes.......but." There it was, the backstroke. "Anonymous" did ask me to marry him and I said yes.......tentatively." I didn't tell her that the word "tentative" had never factored into mine and "anonymous" conversation regarding marriage. I stammered, "It was so sudden and even as I was saying yes I knew there was a lot to think about and talk about, and there is no way I would ever marry ANYONE without Pastor's approval...... and I know I don't really know "anonymous." ( I was rambling miserably) She just looked at me in that way that only she can, and said, "Ya think?"
My goose was cooked and I knew it. She lectured me for a while on not moving too fast, waiting on the Lord and such. But we were in love!! Couldn't anybody see that? I listened and nodded, my heart nearly pounding out of my chest, deep down, I knew the answer, although I didn't want to accept it. She assured me that she would pass our conversation along to Pastor and that he would get back to me as soon as possible to set up a meeting, I breathed easier, confident that the Lord would speak to Pastor Keyes that "anonymous" was the will of God for me.
I went home and started packing. I had left one little tidbit of information out of my conversation with Sis. Keyes......that I would be leaving the following week to go and visit my "fiance." Even now it sounds absolutely, ridiculously hilarious.
I counted the minutes until I could board that airplane. I had made arrangements for Haley's care, taken a leave of absence from school ( dumb, I know) and was ready to go. The day finally came and off I went, excited to meet "anonymous" family and friends. He picked me up from the airport and took me to the place where I would lodge during my time there. The next day he showed me around his hometown, his home, his place of business, etc. I was falling deeper and deeper in love but I had an unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can remember one instance in particular when God chose to speak to me in a very direct and powerful way. Please do not get the impression that I consider myself to be super spiritual or take the voice of God lightly. I had never before, nor have I since experienced communication with God the way I did in the months prior to Tim's death and then, in the days that ensued.
As I was walking down the hall of "anonymous" home God spoke to me in such a powerful way and said "Shawnacee, the devil is trying to destroy you." I literally closed my eyes and shook my head to rid my mind of the voice of God. I mentally pushed Him out.
I had a lovely time in spite of my misgivings and genuinely loved "anonymous" family. When I boarded the plane to fly back to California, I fully intended to marry "anonymous" on June the 5th of 2010.