I walked around for 21 years of my life not knowing who David Schultz was. Then I sat down on a plane to Istanbul, Turkey and looked over to my left.
What a superstar, right? David and I laughed a lot and then I fell asleep on his tray table. Neither of us were interested in the other romantically. We were randomly assigned to sit next to each other on the 8 hour plane ride home too. But, David and I do not believe in coincidences. Even the most mundane events of a day are perfectly orchestrated by God. For our case, He was beginning the process of bringing us together to be married (oops, spoiler alert!).
A word from David: Rachel’s account of the story is partially inaccurate. The first time we saw each other was at a Fall Retreat organized by the Christian ministry we are involved with at MSU. That was five months before we went to Turkey. I remember walking by her and she smiled at me. I already knew her name, but she had no idea who I was. I can remember the exact spot where she was standing and has no recollection of this at all.
Time passed and we saw each other now and then. I was happy to hear David going on the same summer missions trip as me to Virginia Beach, VA. Our friendship deepened that summer and by the end we were inseparable. Come August, we talked on the phone for hours during the month until classes started. We thought of activities we wanted to do or places we would go together back on campus. Needless to say, my feelings for David were starting to get confusing because we were still “just friends.” (Ugh, those words. Like a dagger to my heart.)
Back at school David and I continued to spend lots of time together. I had a growing prompting from the Holy Spirit that some aspects of my relationship with David were not pleasing to God. David was having similar thoughts. I knew it was not right for me to be so emotionally attached and invested in a man who was not my husband, or even boyfriend. If I was married I would not have a close friendship with another guy. Even then, when I did not know who my husband would be, I wanted to respect him by not having a too emotionally deep relationship with another man. Not to mention that imagining if David would have started dating a different girl would have crushed me.
I was holding on tightly to my friendship with David and did not want to give it up. It was fun. And we cared for each other. I knew I had to obey God, however, and I had been resisting Him. God gave me the strength to meet with David and tell him we could not be friends anymore. Of course guys and girls can have friendships, but ours was too close and I had to take a step back. It was sad; I knew I would miss him.
A word from David: After my conversation with Rachel ended, I felt like I had just lost my favorite person. I understood her decision and respected her for making it, but I missed her. Seeing her around campus was torture. I knew this would not be the end of our story because Rachel was too good to give up. For the next week, I prayed for wisdom and clarity on what I should do next. Like Rachel, my feelings had been confusing. This week of prayer revealed to me how I really felt about her. I knew I had to ask her on a date.
I called Rachel and told her I had something important to talk to her about. We met at Beaner’s Coffee and I was amazed by how nervous I was around someone I knew so well. I told her I wanted to go on a real date with her to be intentional about finding out if we should be in a relationship, and ultimately, if we should be married. She made me wait a day for her answer so she could “think about it.” That day was brutal. But, she called me the next evening and said her answer was yes.
After our first date was over, I knew on our second date I wanted to ask her to be my girlfriend. Let’s face it, I knew I wanted her to be my girlfriend even before the first date. I asked her at the MSU Botanical Gardens. This time she didn’t make me wait a day for the answer.
We kept dating. For two months and three weeks.
Then we got engaged.