Sarah & Jeff’s engagement at the Cator Woolford Garden in Atlanta was so much fun! I have loved Sarah’s joy and love for the Lord from the moment she reached out on Instagram, and it was such a beautiful thing to capture her and Jeff’s relationship during this season! It’s so beautiful how God has guided them at each step of their journey, and I can’t wait to share their story with you today!
From Sarah & Jeff – “In March 2017, Jeff was living with his brother studying for his board exam in Greenville, South Carolina and Sarah was only 30 minutes away in Anderson. Sarah’s grad school roommate had convinced her to get a Tinder account. She was definitely not a Tinder person, but she caved. Jeff, who is not a Tinder person either, had also gotten an account. This story is strange for us to tell even now as we both took relationships very seriously and saw dating as a vehicle for finding the one the Lord had for each of us. Of all things, He can even use Tinder for the least two “Tinder-y” people out there to help us find each other.”
“Sarah had not actively swiped for months but, one day, only two days after Jeff activated his account, Sarah got an email from Tinder saying she had been Super Liked. Intrigued by what this meant, she opened the app and connected with Jeff. He immediately sent a message saying, “Hey 🙂 So if you’re wondering why I Super Liked you it’s because I saw you loved Jesus.” A weekend of texting progressed to a week of phone calls and soon meeting up. Sarah was recovering from the flu so we had a very chill date a Starbucks. It was almost sunset so when we got back to a Sarah’s apartment we walked down to the lake and got to know each other better. We were definitely interested in seeing each other again but had walls up as Jeff was going to be moving to New Jersey for a whole year in a matter of weeks.”
“As time progressed, we sought the Lord and His will and He ended up giving Jeff a dream Easter Sunday that confirmed that we would be taking our relationship to the next level and would transition into long distance.”
“Our “I love you” happened a week and a half before Jeff moved. Neither of us had ever been in love but we knew that this was it. Between long distance and shorter distance now from Georgia to South Carolina, it has been incredible, humbling, and beautiful to watch the Lord work to bring us together as future husband and wife.”
Jeff, what is it about Sarah that you love the most? – “I love Sarah’s infectious joy and love for life along with the beautiful smile that goes with them which can brighten up anyone’s day in an instant. The best part is that this joy she has stems from her love of Jesus.”
Sarah, what is it about Jeff that you love the most? – “Jeff is everything I listed as a sixth grader about what qualities I wanted my future husband to have, only in greater and better measures. I so value his intentionality in every area of his life whether it’s loving me through exploring new places and eating amazing food with me, caring for his patients as a future doctor, or pursuing God with his whole being. He challenges me, is patient with me, and is my solid rock as Christ is his solid rock.”
About the Proposal – “The Monday before we were going to Sarah’s hometown for her cousin’s engagement party, Sarah got home from work and had a supernatural and out of character desire to start planning a wedding. She told Jeff this and he said how that reminded him he needed to check with his old landlord about getting his security deposit back. It was a “mutual” understanding that that was the money that would allow for the purchase of an engagement ring. Fast forward to Wednesday and Jeff texted Sarah saying he had had a rough day and he had some news. It turned out the landlord was withholding his security deposit in full.”
“In Sarah’s mind, the situation left Jeff powerless but he assured Sarah with scripture that everything was going to work out with the engagement timeline regardless of the setback better than she could have ever imagined. Untrue thoughts began to enter Sarah’s head like Jeff was too aloof and didn’t care because he was so at peace. By the Lord’s grace, she was able to turn the situation over to Him in taking every thought captive. She woke up the next morning in total peace and knew that it was out of her hands and was going to work out in God’s perfect timing.”
“Going back half a year, Sarah was visiting Jeff’s family over the holidays. Afterwards, he dropped her off at the airport in Indiana and went straight to the store to buy the ring Sarah had just fallen in love with a few days earlier while ring shopping. For six months, Jeff kept the ring in anticipation of being closer to Sarah after his time in New Jersey was over. That time had come and the night Jeff broke the news about not getting his security deposit back, he was looking at the ring in its beautiful lighted box throughout the whole conversation.”
“A week before the proposal, Jeff called Sarah’s parents to ask for their blessing, which they gave wholeheartedly, and plan as Jeff didn’t know the area. He wanted to propose somewhere outside but it was going to be raining off and on all weekend. In addition, though Sarah wouldn’t have been suspecting anything from the week’s events, they didn’t want her to get suspicious. They concluded the best place would be an old historic house called The Crescent with a large wrap around porch in case of rain.”
“Sarah woke up Sunday morning and felt an incredible sense of profound love for Jeff like she’d never felt before while she was getting dressed. The Holy Spirit spoke to her to make her realize she would give her life for him and she agreed wholeheartedly. She was kind of an emotional wreck. Jeff and Sarah went to church with Sarah’s parents and, though Sarah was not a person who ever cried, began ugly crying during worship as God was continuing to prime her for what was coming. We rode separately to church from Sarah’s parents though we usually ride together… Sarah thought nothing of it. Sarah’s dad made later than usual reservations for brunch… Sarah thought nothing of it.”
“It was pouring down rain after church, and Jeff asked Sarah if there were any historical sites they could see before heading to brunch. Sarah was apprehensive about the rain but it was not unusual for Jeff to want to fully experience new things in new places… so Sarah thought nothing of it. He asked her if there were specifically any historical houses nearby and Sarah organically mentioned The Crescent was a block from the church. Sarah had grown up going there for events and it was open to the public but when we got there, there were “No Trespassing” and “We Have Cameras You Will Be Arrested” kind of signs posted everywhere. Sarah is a rule follower, so Jeff then spent 15 minutes convincing her to get out of the car and walk around the gardens. The rain suddenly stopped and Sarah agreed.”
“Back in the fall Sarah had texted Jeff after a long weekend together in New Jersey “Every memory with you is the best memory.” He then texted back and said the day he said those words to her in person was the day he asked her to marry him. Not wanting to be listening for those words, Sarah suppressed them in her memory, and she suppressed them very well.”
“Walking around the beautiful gardens with fountains and a small chapel Jeff said those important words and Sarah just looked at him and smiled. He asked if she remembered what he was going to do after he said those words. Sarah’s face lit up and she began squealing in excitement then crying. Jeff got on one knee and said “Sarah Katherine McTier, will you marry me?” She actually forgot to tell him yes she was so surprised and so ecstatic though she did shortly after. We spent some time dedicating this sweet season to the Lord in prayer and got to celebrate at brunch with Sarah’s whole family.”
Sarah & Jeff – Thank you for sharing your story! I can’t wait for your wedding in Athens next May!