I grew up as an only child, loving school, dancing, waiting for the summers just to sink my toes into the sand, and going to church, too. I accepted Christ with my head pressed up against the side of my grandma’s fridge when I was four years old… Not the loftiest of places, but God didn’t mind.
When I was eleven years old, I was baptized. By fifteen, I was helping lead in the worship band, and by sixteen, I was helping lead Children’s Church. Of course, I made my fair share of mistakes. Undoubtedly, my journey with Christ had peaks and valleys.
Looking back now, I understand that what I was missing in my relationship with him was full trust. I knew my need for him in my life, but I didn’t know the magnitude of the role he wanted or was capable of having. Before realizing that I had to trust in the Lord, I searched on my own for the things that I thought would make my life whole.
The search I’m going to focus on to best convey my story is the one that impacted me the greatest: the search to find my husband. I think I had this internal checklist of sorts for what my husband might be like—and I know a lot of us are like that! Maybe he would be funny, attractive, smart, caring…the list goes on and on. While that sounds excusable, the thing I didn’t understand is that I could limit my thoughts to one element: he would have a relationship with God. While there are a plethora of men who would “meet” this criterion, I soon found that I wasn’t in charge of the selection process anyway.
There was one man in particular whose heart matched mine, who stayed up late praying for the same things as I did, and who God was preparing me specifically for. It’s that last element that still blows me away to this day.
My crushes, like many of us, started in elementary school, and lasted me through the first days of my sophomore year of college. I feel lucky for how God protected me. I dated very few guys and don’t have a shopping list of regretful actions. Largely, I regret dating the ones who didn’t know Christ. Still, it seemed like many became a candidate for undergoing this thoughtful process in my mind. What if he’s the one?
During the second weekend of my sophomore year, I was talking to one of my friends on the phone. That’s when I came to my conclusion: I told her that I was tired of looking, tired of being let down, and tired of praying but not truly giving up the reigns. I told her that I wouldn’t be on the search anymore, and that I was finally just surrendering it up to God. If it was meant to be, something would happen. Plus, the creator of the universe should be better equipped than me just doing any job alone. Surely he had a plan for me, right?
While God doesn’t always work this quickly, I think he was patiently waiting for the moment when I would finally let him take charge. I come to that conclusion by fast-forwarding a whole TWO HOURS after speaking these words, when a great man serving in the campus ministry that I was involved with asked me to play corn hole with him. I don’t think we’ve gone a day since without talking. He proposed just a little over a year after he and I embarrassingly lost that first corn hole game (I wasn’t the strongest teammate!), and we plan to get married this year. I still can’t believe I’m saying it! With Christ at the center of our relationship, each day is nothing short of pure joy.
While my full story entails much more than a love story, the awesome thing is that this earthly love has taught me more about the love that my Father has for me than I’ve ever been close to understanding. God saw me pressing my head up against that fridge, the loss of my grandma, moving into my dorm as a scared freshman girl, allowing men to pursue me who didn’t know Christ, and finally starting the involvement with the campus ministry where I would be blessed with meeting my future husband.
God knew that all these things were steps to a larger plan he had for me. In Psalm 32:10, we see that many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. I’m so thankful for this step in my relationship with Christ and can’t wait to continue seeing more blessings flow through leaning not on my own understanding, but by instead placing my trust in him.
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