I sat across the table from my sister-in-law, Maureen, at California Pizza Kitchen in Durham. Maureen had flown in for the weekend to visit me while my brother Jordan watched their boys so that we could have some girl time.
Since I don’t have any sisters, my sisters-in-law are my sisters, and I’ve known Maureen for as long as I can remember. We practically grew up together.
Her family owned a farm just a couple miles from our house. My brothers grew up working on the farm and my brother Jordan met Maureen in a strawberry patch. I’m not kidding about that. I think they actually did. And he’s loved her ever since.
“So, when are you and Grant Castleberry going to get married?” Maureen asked as she sipped on her tea.
I smiled. Maureen never beat around the bush. “Well, I don’t know. Not for a long while I suppose. I mean, Grant will be in Japan for another year at least, so I’m thinking sometime after that. Of course, he hasn’t officially asked me yet anyway.
Oh, come on, GraceAnna. You know he wants to marry you!”
I smiled again as I took a sip of my tea this time.
You don’t need to wait another year,” Maureen continued. “Y’all need to get married! He’s awesome and you are perfect for each other and you know as well as I do that God brought him into your life.”

As I listened to Maureen I thought about what she said…God brought him into your life.

My thoughts flashed back to the previous summer when we were vacationing as a family on Fripp Island. A few days before Grant had added me on Facebook, Maureen and I had gone for a run together. Instead of running on the beach, we ran on the asphalt bike trail that weaved all across the island.
We ran slow enough to talk, and just like always, we talked about everything.
 Maureen asked me if it was hard for me that I wasn’t dating anyone.
“Yes, it is sometimes,” I replied, “but God has really given me a peace about where I am right now and I can honestly say that I’m trusting God with that area of my life. I can’t explain how I am so “okay” with it, but I am and I know that’s because of the Lord.”
Even now as I think back on that, I am reminded that when we truly have a desire to follow the Lord with all of our heart, He gives us a peace in certain circumstances that just can’t be explained.
You’ll meet someone this next year,” Maureen said as we ran over a small bridge that crossed over the marsh. “And you’ll be married before you know it!
“I hope you are right Maureen, but who knows, I just don’t see anyone on the horizon.” 

I now looked at Maureen across the table and realized that she had been right and that there had been things on my horizon . . . though I couldn’t see them at the time.

God hadn’t shown them to me yet, He had just called me trust Him with what I could see.

“But Maureen, do you mean you think I should go live in Japan?!” I asked as I looked back across the table at her at CPK.

“It would be such an adventure, GraceAnna! And you know you don’t want to wait another year and a half or more to get married!”

Our pizza arrived and Maureen and I began to talk about other things.
But I kept thinking… maybe Japan wasn’t such a scary thought after all…maybe it would be an adventure…

I heard a noise. It was a ringing sound.

I opened one eye. It was still dark outside. It was really early and I was in bed.

I finally realized it was my phone that was ringing.

Hello?” I didn’t even try to hide the fact that I was practically dead to the world.

Hey GA!” Grant’s voiced exclaimed excitedly.

What time is it?“I said very slowly and sleepily.

It’s really early,” Grant stated unashamedly, “I’m sorry to wake you up but I got off work early and I’ve been dying to call you. I waited and waited and I tried to wait longer but I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“Hiiii……” I said happily as my eyes started falling shut again.

“Hey, GraceAnna, what kind of engagement rings do you like?

My eyes popped open and my entire body shot up in bed.


“You know, rings, what do you like…white gold, yellow gold…”

“Oh…that kind of ring…” my heart was beating with excitement. I knew I needed an answer but it suddenly occurred to me that I had never thought about what kind of engagement ring I liked.

Okay, I thought to myself. This is huge. HUGE. What do I like? WHAT DO I LIKE? Oh, how had I never thought of this before? What was wrong with me? Am I not a female in my early TWENTIES!!! Every female in her twenties has surely decided on this. 

I had been so focused for so long on praying for a husband and not dwelling on things that weren’t meant to be for me yet, that I hadn’t even thought about what I really liked.

I had seen lots of rings that I thought were pretty, but I had never decided on what ring I wanted for myself.

I like gold,” I stated quickly before realizing the stupidity of my answer. I sure hope we were on the same page with that.

“Well, yellow or white?” Grant asked without skipping a beat.

I like yellow gold,” I said as I thought about my mom and Grandma’s rings – they both had yellow gold rings.

“What kind of diamond cut do you like? Do you like square or circular…?”

Is Grant really asking me this right now??? I glanced at the clock. It was around 5am.

“I think I like a round cut.”

“Okay, that’s all I needed to know. You can go back to sleep now. Bye, love you.


Did he just say, “You can GO BACK TO SLEEP NOW!!!” Was he crazy?

I jumped out of bed and ran over to my computer. I went to the only website I knew of that had diamond rings – Tiffany & Co.

I looked up the engagement rings that had round diamonds and yellow gold. I sat there with my mouth hanging open.

Yes, I had made a good choice. A very. good. choice.

I slowly walked back over to my bed and lay quietly down, my heart thumping.

Am I dreaming? I asked aloud, knowing full well that even my subconscious mind would not have dreamed up that conversation.

What in the world was going on? Was Grant going to fly to the states and surprise me? Would it be soon? 

Wow, oh, wow! He really, really loves me!

I laid there on my bed basking in the excitement of thinking about a gold ring with a round diamond on my left finger until the sun began to pour in through the blinds.

And I knew one thing for sure, I was going to get married!


to be continued…

5 thoughts on “Texas Heart – Part 17

  1. You are a great writer. Thanks for the sweet anticipation of the next installment in this exciting love story! I wish this were in book form, so I could read the whole thing all at one time, like so many books that I have read all night because I couldn't put them down. :)I love the reminder with each one to TRUST in HIS timing. Blessings!

  2. I have wanted my daughter to see what marriage can be when God puts it together and is at the center. She is still young, but I want her to know your story. Thank you for making wise choices and sharing what God can do when we surrender to Him.

  3. Hi Grace Anne! I am a friend of Annie Gundy's, and I am loving your story!! I can't stop reading! I just laughed out loud here at work about Grant saying you could go back to sleep after asking you about the ring:)haha I can't wait to read the rest of your story. You are such a great writer! Thank you for posting!In Christ,Michelle

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