Tracie McCary sits on the couch in the Lakeland lobby. She’s sporting red sneakers and a shirt that reads “Happy,” a suitable adjective for a woman with bouncy curls and a quick smile. Next to her sits Steve Thompson, a fellow Lakelander and Tracie’s fiancé. His manner conveys confidence, but like Tracie he has an easy smile that spreads across his face under his salt-and-pepper goatee.

Tracie and Steve have both been attending Lakeland for almost 20 years. Both have experienced hardship, ranging from an arrest of a spouse to the loss of parents. But now there is joy in both their expressions as they talk about the path that led them to their upcoming marriage, a path that started at Lakeland.

When asked about how he proposed, Steve chuckles.


“She didn’t say yes immediately.” He reaches over to grab Tracie’s hand as she laughs, a light blush coloring her cheeks. “She just sat there and I wanted to have her parents involved so I asked her in front of her parents. I ask her and she seriously sat there quiet for 10 seconds and it was the longest 10 seconds. It got so bad and so unnerving that her mom went ‘Well?’ And then she started speaking again.”

“I was shocked!” Tracie says with a grin.

“I was shocked!” Steve replies, his smile growing as he remembers the proposal. “Ten seconds is a long time; for a guy in that spot it was an eternity. If it hadn’t been for your mom I don’t think you would have spoken at all.”

The two share another laugh, their fingers intertwined.


“Three things will last forever: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

About My Stories

Every month Pastor Marta Gillilan and members of the Lakeland Social Media Team interview an individual, couple or family. From struggles in faith to joyful events, Lakelanders are sharing their stories through the “Humans of Lakeland” blog series. Get to know the people who call Lakeland home.