August 20, 2006 was officially our 612th day together or 1 year, 8 months, and 4 days–after we officially began our relationship at a small Greek restaurant in Chattanooga, TN. You will have to forgive me for the lack of details before I get started. However, there is a good explanation such, 1) I am a guy, 2) It’s never good to remember something different than your fiancé and 3) I’ll keep mine short and Tiffany’s can go long 😉
We became acquainted through a mutual friend, being a bit rusty on the details 😉 I forget their names. But it was not until one evening during mid term break that I took notice of Tiffany. I had been invited to hang out with a group of Tiffany’s friends and participate in a small Friday night vespers. During vespers, I had the opportunity to listen to Tiffany give a small testimony. I can’t remember much of what she said, but I do remember that she seemed to have a relationship with God and desired to know Him more each day. In my opinion this why we are together today and why our relationship has continued to flourish.
After that evening I proceeded to come up with “Casual” and “Unsuspecting” ways to get to know Tiffany. We played some basket ball together, critiqued some website designs, talked on the phone and went to the cafeteria a time or two. Once I had evaluated our relationship, sought some wise counsel from friends, and ask the Lord for guidance; I decided to take a chance.
To make a long story short, Since December 6, 2004, it has been pure joy. The chance has turned into a calculated decision and now into a wise choice. Because I feel that we complete each other in many ways and that together we will help each other into the kingdom of heaven. From my perspective this is the first chapter in a book filled with memories, which we get to write together for the rest of our lives.
Ronald and I came together under very unique circumstances at Southern Adventist University. It has been commonly known as SMC (Southern Matrimonial College) where girls can earn their MRS degrees. I was determined not to let that happen to me. Then I met Ronald.
During a mid-semester break, my friend Melissa’s mom and another family friend came to town to visit. Now, it just so happened that Ronald is from the same town as Melissa. When Melissa’s mom came, Ronald wasn’t about to miss out on some good Kelowna-style food, so he made himself at home with the ladies that weekend.
Friday night we all decided to have a group vespers in a park not far from Southern. We sang a few worship songs, and right before we finished, Jackie (Melissa’s mom) leaned back and asked me to say a few words. I was a little flustered and scrambled to think of something to say that made sense. The songs came to an end, and I started to talk. I wasn’t even quite sure what was coming out of my mouth, but I knew it was coming from the heart. As I was talking, I looked over and noticed this guy – Ronald – looking in my direction. At the time, I wouldn’t have guessed it was a look that said “one day I’ll marry you!”
So the next day was Saturday. In the evening some of my friends decided they wanted to go bowling. I was up for that. When I got back, Jaque had baked some fresh apple pies in the basement of our dorm. You’ll never guess who was there to snag some. Ronald. We devoured the pie and played some games. Ronald squeezed his way beside me to teach me how to play. I kept wondering why he was doing this. The evening fun ended, and I spent the night chatting with my sister about why this guy was looking at me that way. Who would have known?
Monday morning I had a very uneasy feeling, as if something was about to happen. Then he called. He said he wanted to see my art work. SNEAKY! He took a look at my art work and complimented me a lot!
We spent the next two months hanging out at random times, doing things like playing basketball, and going to church. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, on a rainy Monday evening, I got a phone call at work. He asked me if I wanted to go out to eat. I agreed and immediately knew what was coming. At the restaurant we made conversation that seemed to be headed right towards the subject of dating. Finally he said, “Well, actually that was something I wanted to ask you about. I was wondering if you wanted to start a relationship with me.” Before I knew it, I was dating the most handsome guy at Southern and the nicest man I’d ever met. Wow.
One year passed, and all was well. Then we started talking about the future. We thought we had it all planned out, and then an unexpected event came tumbling into our world. Ronald was offered a job in Orlando, Florida. This was no ordinary job. Everything that happened with this job seemed almost providential. How could I argue with that? We talked about all the possibilities that seemed feasible. After talking with our family and friends, Ronald and I thought it would be best for me to stay at SAU one more year, get married, and then transfer to Florida for my last year.
In May, Ronald asked for my parents’ blessing to marry me. Then I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know when. So a week after my birthday in August, I had a week-long break that I spent in Florida, of course. We spent some time in Ft. Lauderdale and then drove back to Orlando. To make a long story shorter, he totally surprised me with a beautiful, perfect dinner in a park where he asked me to be his wife.
Ronald has been one of the most influential people in my life. He is my hero. I have never known someone with such high standards and such a wonderful character. I am so blessed. God has been the center of our relationship thus far, and we hope to keep it that way. He has guided us through some hard questions and issues. Through them all, He has kept us together and helped our love to grow deeper.
I am proud to say that I look forward to spending the rest of my life with the only man that I have ever loved and ever will love, Ronald Kisten Odiyar.
You’re welcome to look at the pictures of our engagement weekend. They tell most of the story.