Abigail: It all started when Dad posted on a Christian website looking for other families to fellowship with. Shortly after he posted, a certain young man replied to the post and said that he was moving to Fort Smith once he graduated from Arkansas Tech, and that he was looking for other Christians in the area to get together with. So Dad and Taylor emailed back and forth for a while before Taylor moved to Fort Smith. In their emails we found out a lot about Taylor, and what he believed, and we discovered that it was exactly what we believed! It was really neat. When Taylor asked Dad what he thought about courtship, and said that he believed that was the way he would like to go about getting to know a girl for marriage, we started wondering if something might come of this! My sisters were already teasing me about him before we even met him. So, when he moved to Fort Smith, he came out to meet us the beginning of June, 2008. Taylor and Dad had a good time discussing theology, and we had a fun cookout. (I wasn't quite 18 yet, and Taylor had just turned 22).
Taylor: After meeting with the Sawyer family, I continued talking to Mr. Sawyer through e-mail and face-to-face visits. We continued to develop a friendship and learn from one another. After noticing Abigail's love for the Lord and desire to be a keeper at home (Titus 2), I began to consider asking Mr. Sawyer about the possibility of beginning a courtship with her. After mentioning the idea to her Dad, he thought it would be best if we waited for a while. I consented, and agreed to obey his wish that we keep the discussion between us. Many months passed without discussing the courtship, and, honestly, I didn't think it would ever happen. However, in mid April of this year, Mr. Sawyer suggested that we go out to get coffee after a day of loading rail road ties into a truck for a home project. I immediately knew he must have something serious to talk about, because I hate coffee, and, at least for our friendship, it was a very unusual request. My mind immediately started thinking of the courtship and, sure enough, he asked if I was still interested in courting Abigail. I was very excited, however, sobered by the thought of beginning a courtship. I told him I would think over it for a day or two and get back to him. After talking it over with my Dad, I decided to go ahead with the courtship.
Abigail: A couple days before Dad approached Taylor about the possibility of a courtship, God had really impressed on me that Taylor was the one that I was to marry. So I talked to my parents about it, and we prayed about it, and then a few days later, Dad took Taylor out for coffee. I was on pins and needles before Dad talked to Taylor, and when Dad got home from talking to him, I wanted to hear how it went. Dad said that Taylor was still interested, he just needed some time to think and pray about it. Well, we were at a tax-day tea party, on April 15, 2009 and I was holding a sign by the road when Taylor showed up, and Mom called me away from the road. Dad and Mom were standing with Taylor and said that they were sending him and I to Walmart to buy gum....lame excuse, Dad.....
Taylor: So, I'm pretty much a nervous wreck at this point. I'm trying to get Zach Welchman to encourage me on the phone, but it isn't helping much. So, eventually, I get out of the car and walk up to Mr. Sawyer. He tells me that Abigail is coming over, but I'm too nervous to even turn around and look. So, after stuttering out a “hi”, Mr. Sawyer tells me to take Abigail with me to Walmart and buy some gum for him. So, Abigail and I got in my car and started driving to Walmart. I started to explain to her how impressed I was with her as a young woman, and, after parking, told her that I would be honored if she would begin a courtship with me.
Abigail: Well, I said yes, and we talked a few things over. I was just as nervous as he was, so we didn't talk a whole lot...Then it started to really hit me what had just happened...a young man had just asked my permission to court me!!!!!! I was SO excited!
Taylor: I was really excited as well, but still in a daze (needless to say, I didn't buy any gum)! I was actually courting a sweet, godly young woman. I am very thankful to the Lord for bringing us together. We continued to get to know one another in the context of meetings with her family. This allowed us to get to know one another with the accountability of her parents, and protected us from many temptations. We began to read through Proverbs together and encourage one another in our faith. As we continued to get to know one another, we both began to realize that a loving, Christian marriage to one another was something we mutually desired.
Abigail: After he asked me to court him, it took me a while to sleep through the night...I was still somewhat in shock, I was courting the most wonderful young man in the world.... The courtship went really well, we took lots of walks and talked about many things. The more we got to know each other, the more we found we had in common. I started to feel that I was ready to move onto the next step, we were so sure that this was God's mate for me.
Taylor: After I felt that a marriage to Abigail would be a wonderful blessing, and that she fulfilled the characteristics I was to seek in a godly wife, I talked over the possibility of engagement and marriage with Mr. Sawyer and my Dad. After receiving approval from both, I purchased an engagement ring and waited in anticipation of asking Abigail to marry me. On June 13th, at Runestone State Park in Oklahoma, I suggested that Abigail and I go for a walk through a scenic area of the park.
Abigail: I was kind of suspicious of this whole “cookout” thing, so I got there kind of wondering if “it” was going to happen..It made me even more suspicious when Taylor was strangely quiet, and then he suggested a walk, I pretty much knew “it” was going to happen....That was the quietest walk we had ever taken...
Taylor: I was trying to decide on a good time to “pop the question”, and it wasn't going so well. We made it all the way to the bottom of the gorge and I still had not brought it up, actually, I hadn't brought much of anything up. Finally, on the way back up, I began to talk to her about my feelings for her... until a family came around the corner and interrupted the moment. So, I patiently waited for them to get around the corner and continued to tell Abigail that I wanted to spend my life with her and love her for the rest of my life. Then, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me...
Abigail: He started talking to me on this pretty wooden bridge over a waterfall about his feelings for me, and then he said that he had a surprise for me, and he asked me to close my eyes. So I closed my eyes and when he told me to open them, he was down on one knee and he asked me to marry him, when I said yes, he put a beautiful ring on my finger!!!!
Taylor and Abigail: In a day when marriage is viewed flippantly and entered into without thought and care, it's our desire to live together in a way that brings honor to our Lord and displays true love to the world. As David wrote, the Lord is our Shepherd and will guide us in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23). We understand that marriage will bring many new joys, responsibilities, challenges, and a deeper level of love for one another. We eagerly look forward to seeing how the Lord will use our marriage to glorify Himself.
Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. - Matthew 19:6
Taylor is 6'4" and I am 5'2"!
Abigail: Being married has been wonderful. Something that we did, was we waited to kiss and hold hands till our wedding day. Let me tell you when Dad handed my hand to Taylor's on the wedding day, and we held hands for the first time, it was great! And our first kiss was WONDERFUL! It meant SO much to us, we had saved so much for each other and it was so special.