After having two failed marriages, I had finally decided that relationships were not for me. I devoted my time to my new church. I felt like I was perfectly happy with just me, my cats and Jesus. My goal was to go into full-time ministry. I was drawn to people who were not the “usual” church goers. I went out on the streets and to bars praying and just hanging out with people. People would ask to buy me a drink and I would tell them I only drank water, an occasional diet coke if I really wanted to get loopy. :-) There was a group of us from church who would meet at a local bar and discuss current events. I liked to discuss spiritual matters, not convince people of things.
The more I got involved in church leadership, the more I was convinced that I was destined to be single.
I was really settled on the matter, except I still felt this urge to pray for my future husband. There was the possibility of being reconciled with my ex, very slim but possible. I did feel like someone was missing. I would feel led to pray and would even start out my prayer journals with “Lord I do not know why I am even praying about this but I feel like I should pray for my future husband.” My life was full of work, leadership classes, serving, small group, small group training, prayer ministry, outreach, and my cats. I was pretty content mentally with my church life but my work life was sucking life right out of me. I think with all of the social situations between work and church it was just too much. But I would get energized by helping people. I got wired and excited from learning and training. I was exhausted and excited. I truly thought I could be a single woman pastor. Though my leaders said that it may be quite a challenge, they never hindered me.
By the time I was getting pretty settled with being alone and felt fully recovered from my failed marriages, David appeared.
The first time I saw him, I had no idea who he was but he was at his car, it was a cold winter night and I caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye. I could only see him from a distance and I felt like I was supposed to pray for him to go inside. Where? I had no idea just to go inside and so I prayed. I then went on my way to small group, within a few minutes there was a knock on the door and it was him. I didn’t like that at all, what was that all about? He was new to the group and I was not expecting anyone new. One of the girls invited him and everyone was interested in what he had to say. I didn’t have a bad feeling about him I was just confused by the whole thing and thrown because he was new. As he talked he shared about being in graduate school and how he was going to work in The Netherlands after his dissertation and I don’t know it all went “wah wah wah wah wah” in my head because I felt like I was supposed to ask him “Is that the plan God has for you?”.
There was no way I was going to ask this stranger a question like that.
Instead I rudely blurted out “What brought you to this church anyway?” Everyone looked at me funny and he just stared for a moment and then said “Well, I felt like I was supposed to go there and just wait.” He shared his story which was scarily similar to mine. By this time I was confused by him and he thought I was too aggressive I guess is a good word, he didn’t know what to think of me. But he has referred to me as “the interrogator” and tells people how I interrogated him the first night I met him. The next week the group was supposed to meet at my apartment, he called to tell me that he was going out-of-town and wouldn’t make it. We were having a good conversation and I realized that I was still talking to him, then abruptly said “Ok, I have to go, hope you have a good trip.” and I got off the phone.
While he was away I felt that I was supposed to pray for him several times.
He was visiting his mom and he had been around several different Christian places and people. It was more of a charismatic kind of feel and he was what is called “prophesied over“. One of the men prophesied about his wife to be. He gave some pretty detailed information and then later said “I think you know her already”. David didn’t have a clue to what he was talking about, I didn’t even cross his mind. When he came back I felt like I was supposed to talk to him, so after service one evening I went over, very reluctantly to talk to him. He ended up asking me to go for coffee and I said yes because I knew that I was supposed to ask him the original question that I DID NOT want to ask. I didn’t think it was a date or anything and either did he, but it was funny that I got a water instead of coffee. I had to work the next morning so I couldn’t have coffee, I confused him.
Finally, we were talking and I knew that first I had to tell him that I was still married so he would not get the wrong impression.
I told him and he was confused. I had been separated for over a year but I still did not feel like I was supposed to date anyone, until the divorce was final. If I was to date at all. I never really “dated” anyway, I found someone and stuck with them. During the year of my separation, my ex had said that he was filing for divorce, then he dragged it on and messed with me, then he had no contact with me for several months. I didn’t pursue anything because I had no desire to, it didn’t matter. Anyway David was understanding and said he didn’t know what to think so we could just be friends and see what this is all about. I finally blurted out the question “So is it God’s plan for you to go to The Netherlands?”. He facepalmed and said “I don’t know.” Apparently he had been contemplating a lot the last few months before I met him.
We continued to be friends and hang out.
Neither of us knew what “we” were all about but we just felt right together. I prayed for God to do something if David and I were truly meant to be together. I was seriously going to stop seeing him, even as friends. After several months of no contact with my ex, he left me a message on my phone and said “Yeah, it’s been long enough let’s get this taken care of, what do we need to do?” By the end of the next week we were divorced. David and I felt like we were supposed to be together. We discovered that we only lived three minutes away from each, in the same apartment complex. We would both stare up at the sky at night talking to God and asking about the phantom space in our heart that we wanted to go away. (Not even knowing that we were right around the corner from each other.) If we were not meant to be with anyone then please take it away, was our prayer.
David finally had to make a decision about The Netherlands.
I would have gone with him but he did not feel like that was what he was supposed to do. He gave up a pretty incredible research position with a top scientist in The Netherlands. Both of us have had our moments of questioning whether or not that was the right thing to do. We always conclude that it was for him. We felt led to pack up our stuff and move to another state to start a coffee shop ministry. With in a few months we packed up, moved out across country and were married. It started us on a journey that has been exciting, scary, challenging, complete bliss, joyful, and full of all kinds of adventures ever since. We are always growing and ever learning from each other and about each other.
We really enjoy the fact that we are together all the time but we also have our own space.
There was a lot that we dealt with in the beginning of our marriage but we have always laughed. We make each other laugh and we are just plain silly a lot of the times which saves us from taking ourselves seriously. For me the biggest thing is that I genuinely enjoy David’s company. There are very rare moments when I just want to be left alone now and that says a lot for him. In past relationships I just would get to a point of wanting them to go away. The way they would eat, talk, smell, act whatever would just make me so upset but I have not had that with David. We have been honest with each other from the beginning. David is David and if there is one thing I can say about him it is that he will be brutally honest with you. You never have to question his integrity. Those are some pretty important factors to me in a relationship. We were also both in a place in our lives where we didn’t place priority on a relationship. David is divorced too and we both were not wanting to go through a bad relationship again.
I am very thankful that we found each other and I do thank God for orchestrating the events.
Next I will be writing about our ministry life the good, the not so good, but mainly the good! (I have all of these posts in chronological order in my head and I have to write them because it is like a movie playing over and over that I need to get out.)