Dakota Hudson and his girlfriend, Lauren Patterson, have found a reason to smile after disaster struck.
According to news station KXII, the couple's house was destroyed when a tornado ripped through Lamar County last week.
To make matters worse, Hudson had hidden an engagement ring in the home while waiting for the perfect time to propose to Patterson. After the storm, Hudson didn't think he would see the ring again.
"Needle in a haystack doesn't come close to what we were looking for," Hudson told NBC affiliate KXAS.
But Patterson didn't mind, she was just happy they survived the tornado. "We just held onto each other and we prayed," Patterson said of the frightening experience, according to FOX 4 News. "The house began to lift. You could hear the creaking of the house as it pulled up off the slab."
After the storm passed, Hudson had to break the news about the ring to his girlfriend. "I told her, I was like, 'I lost your engagement ring and your wedding band,' and she told me it was alright," he recalled to KXII. "All she needed was me."
When the Paris Junior College softball team arrived at the debris-filled area where the house once stood, they players offered to help the couple clean up and search for the ring.
"When you tell 20 girls someone is going to get engaged if they find a ring, they are going to find it," Hudson told KXII.
Despite the odds, softball player Kate Rainey found the jewelry buried two inches underground.
"I was just kind of digging through the mud in this certain particular spot, and I kept digging there," Rainey told the outlet. "I don't know why — I felt led to dig right there, and I found a little piece of a metal circle, and it was not metal. It was gold."
She added: "I didn't believe it. When I found it, I was like, 'there's no way I just found it.'"
The team had searched for hours before Rainey's discovery.
With the ring back in his possession, Hudson wasted no time proposing to his sweetheart, with the softball team there to see.
"Making it through a tornado, what else am I going to wait for," Hudson joked, FOX 4 News reported.
"Finally, you had a moment to smile, and it was a real smile," Patterson told KXII. "It was a very surreal moment. I couldn't have asked for a better proposal."
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According to KXAS, the couple is staying in a hotel and is planning to rebuild their home on the same property.
"This was the light in a very dark moment," Patterson said of finding their ring in the rubble. "And it is still a dark moment, but this has given us reason to breathe and smile a little."