Ps 103:2 ”Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
Continued from Part I.
August 11, 2018
The first thing that struck me about the tall dark gentleman who I had never met was that he kept losing in a particular game. The game was a competition that required us to run and grab some limited things such as seats. Those without a seat, for example, would be eliminated from the game. This tall gentleman seemed to be eliminated each time. He later explained to me that his height made it awkward for him to run around with the rest of us shorties.
We hardly interacted during the picnic, but in the evening, everyone had a chance to share their testimony and their journey in life. Eddy shared something to do with being in a wrong relationship based on a prophetic word. When he said that, my ears piqued because I was at that time trying to discern what appeared like a prophetic relationship in my life. A prophetic relationship is where you base a relationship on “God has told me.” I will be writing a post about that in the future.
Late in the evening as we were all walking to the parking lot, I caught up with him and decided to ask him a few questions about how God speaks, based on his prophetic relationship experience. It was a short conversation but I remember him pointing me to scriptures to show me the way.
Eddy was from another church, but he joined the singles ministry at our church. The following week, we started exchanging articles on WhatsApp. One thing that impressed me about him was that he actually would read even the lengthy ones. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a voracious reader! I especially read a lot on relationships, and so when he would read the material I shared, I was thoroughly impressed!
Eddy and I moved from discussing articles to chatting about our lives. Another thing that stood out about him – he knew the Word of God, and he was a good listener. WhatsApp chats turned to phone calls. I loved that he initiated most of the chats and calls. I think it is important for the man to take the lead. Our phone calls would last up to three hours. And then we met for the first coffee date. It was then that I noticed how tall and handsome he was. I was very distracted by his looks. I used to downplay physical attraction. Not anymore!
Spiritual, Soul and Physical Connection
A few weeks before, a good friend had shared with me a sermon by Pastor Jon Courson. Addressing the unmarried, Pastor Courson explains that when God brings the right person, He connects you on all three levels – spiritual, physical, and the soul. You can find the sermon here.
Eddy and I seemed to connect on all three levels. We could talk about God at length. He had a deep personal relationship with God. On the soul level, I loved his authenticity. He had a sense of humor. He would listen and ask questions. I found myself looking forward to our conversations. On the physical, the chemistry between us was obvious.
After the coffee date, my heart was in turmoil. I was overwhelmed, excited, and full of butterflies in my tummy. I knew he liked me as much as I liked him. We kept talking… I kept falling for him. Finally, we decided to go on a fast to discern if this was Spirit or flesh, and to decide on the way forward. Eddy had made it clear he was not dating for fun, or having a friendlaship. (See our friend Ernest’s post on friendlaships and situationships here). There is something about prayer and fasting that helps to clear your head.
During the fast, I knew God was calling me to trust him (God). I remember having a peace and freedom to see if God would lead us to marriage. I realized that God would lead me, step by step. I didn’t have to know the whole picture, but I could test my convictions by walking step by step. After the fast, Eddy officially asked me out and I said yes. We agreed to take one step at a time. We also agreed that if one of us at any one time felt the relationship was not right, then they could back off. This gave me so much freedom to know Eddy, at the same time test to see if it was truly God bringing us together.
I knew if God was in it, peace would increase not decrease.
As we walked the steps of knowing each other, I fell deeply in love with Eddy.
There was such a sense of peace about our intentional friendship. One thing that stood out about Eddy was his keen sense of purpose. He kept bringing up the topic of purpose. I was very impressed because I had purposed that if I was going to get married, it had to be because God had a purpose for me and the man. The other thing that stood out, there was such a joy in my life. Friends who knew me well kept commenting that I was glowing. Eddy and I loved each other’s company. Our dates were spent drinking tea and talking, visiting friends and family, going to church and just being in each other’s life. At one time, Eddy was admitted in hospital for surgery. I took days off to be with him.
We simply did life together. I had dated before, but my relationship with Eddy was so different from other relationships in the past. Everything that seemed to be missing from my past relationships was now in abundance. Peace. Joy. Chemistry. Laughter. Friendship. Companionship. Intentionality. Something else that impressed me about Eddy was that he had godly men (older and peers) who held him accountable. My pastors had frequently told me that a man without accountability is dangerous because nobody questions him. Even now in marriage, it’s a blessing to me to see my husband surrounded by solid godly men.
All along our journey, I kept praying and surrendering our young relationship to God. I also asked my close friends and my Mom to pray with me. Eddy was very intentional all along.
He started us on doing devotions together, he introduced me to his family and friends, he always kept his word and he made sure we attended church and other gatherings together. It’s not that we did not conflict. We are both very strong cholerics and we sometimes had heated ‘fellowship’.
However, we were quick to resolve conflict and seek a way to stay together, not break up. When he went on one knee and asked me to marry him in January 2019, it was an obvious yes!
We decided to do pre-marital counselling before diving into wedding plans. I highly recommend premarital counseling (PMC). For us, PMC gave us a chance to address a lot of topics such as the marriage covenant, finances, leaving and cleaving etc.
PMC helps you establish if you are on the same page or not on different aspects of marriage and address matters arising. After the classes, we started planning the wedding. From the onset, we purposed that we would not get into debt or overspend for only one day. We wanted more than a beautiful wedding; we wanted a beautiful marriage. We both agreed that the one thing we wanted most on our wedding day was God’s presence, not just beautiful décor and flowers and so on. If He (God) was the one who brought us together, then it had to be about him. We prayed and asked God to lead us to provide for us in every way. We asked God for the right vendors, the right people etc., and we saw God’s faithfulness. Without putting pressure on family and friends, God moved them to generously give towards our wedding. We only held two committee meetings.
As any couple will tell you, wedding planning is not without hitches. However, we learned to go to God even with the smallest issue, and we proved Him faithful. In fact, I remember my colleagues at work mentioning how ‘unstressed’ I seemed during that period.
Well, many brides worry about things that could go wrong on their wedding day. My biggest worry was the Lord not gracing and blessing our occasion. After waiting for 39 years, there is nothing I wanted more than the God who had preserved me to be glorified at our wedding. Also, I could not imagine going into marriage without the blessing of the God who had upheld me during my single days. Like Moses said, if your presence does not go with us, we do not want to leave this place (Exodus 33:15). That was the cry of my heart because I knew that unless the Lord was with us, we were on our own.
Our Wedding Day
My greatest joy on the morning of July 13 2019 was that I was getting married to a man who loved me, had chosen me, had seen my worst side and still fought for me. He had all my heart, without a single doubt.
I always thought I would walk ever so slowly down the aisle to meet my groom. I think most brides plan it that way, but sitting in the car waiting for ‘my song,’ I was restless. I could hardly wait to go and say “I do” to Eddy. I had already caught a glimpse of him from the window. He looked so handsome in his dark suit and sunglasses. And he looked ever confident, one of the things I have always loved about my man.
I don’t remember much of the vows. What I remember is the overwhelming peace and joy as I pledged my life to my husband. There was not the slightest doubt as I said my vows. Not because we are perfect, but because we had a God who had led us in the right way.
Ten Months Later…
Almost ten months into marriage, I am amazed at how faithful God is to me. In my 20s and early 30s, I had a lot of issues that found me stuck in one unhealthy relationship after another. I was so used to pain and crying, and giving my heart where it was not wanted, simply because I wanted to get married. Now that I am married, I have seen these scriptures unfold in my new season.
“The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and He adds no sorrow with it,” Proverbs 10:22
“So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Matthew 7:11
My husband has been a blessing, a good gift to me. Even amidst conflict (every marriage has conflict), I have proven over and over again that God gave me a good gift. I am deeper in love with him than I was 10 months ago when we said “I do”. The most precious thing about my husband is not his good looks, but his character. This is what has kept me in love with him in marriage.
The fact that he apologizes. That he treats me with kindness. That he helps around the house. That he listens to me. That I trust him when he is out there. That he is hardworking. That he is a man who runs to God when things get tough. One of the most beautiful sounds in our house is when I hear him praying. Chemistry may draw you together when you are single, but it is character that will keep you together in marriage. If you are single, choose wisely.
I also thank God that He keeps bringing opportunities for us to encourage single people, having walked that road well into our 30s. This has been a confirmation to both of us that God has a purpose beyond us. Also, we still both read voraciously on various subjects :-).
To the unmarried
Another word to the unmarried. If you are still waiting on God, I empathize. I was there for a long time. My encouragement to you – ask the Lord in sincerity if there is anything hindering you from getting married. Did you know some things open doors for Satan to block our blessings? Maybe it’s a purity issue. Ladies, maybe it’s how you bash men. As a matter of fact, God also cares about his sons, and how we treat them. Maybe you are too proud to admit you need a spouse. Maybe like me, you idolize marriage. Ask the Lord, He will show you a way out. But if He shows you there is nothing wrong, then ask Him for the grace to be joyfully unmarried. Like our friend Ernest Wamboye says – our goal in life is not “I do” but “Well Done”. Even in marriage, we still live for His “Well Done”.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord bestows grace and favor and honor. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly,” Psalm 84:11