Even now my love story is hard to write about without great emotion.
It’s been 8 years since the majority of my story takes place. 11 since I met my husband.
We became friends in Bible college, and he immediately impressed me with his love for doctrine and the Bible. I quickly viewed him as a great spiritual leader.
After almost 3 years, we hoped to be engaged, but my dad had reservations. Although we had stayed pure in our relationship, my dad was unsure if we were well-matched and mature enough for marriage.
We said we’d wait as long as necessary, but my father asked us to end the relationship and break off all contact.
With incredible sorrow (and a couple days of trying to persuade my parents otherwise), we agreed to honor my parents and submit to their counsel.
There were many spiritual struggles I had to deal with during the coming months -
- Bitterness toward my father and those who spoke for the break-up
- Fear of man’s opinion. What if people thought we were broken up because we sinned?
- Jealousy toward my twin sister who, with my parents’ blessing was planning a wedding to a mature and godly man she’d dated for 6 weeks before becoming engaged
- Deep, deep grief. I actually went through the 5 stages of grief as if my boyfriend had died.
But the greatest struggle by far was wondering if I was ‘missing’ God’s will for my life – I feared that if I obeyed God, honored my parents, and broke up with my ‘soul mate’ I’d miss all that God had planned for me.
I feared that my dad (who never talked about the Bible and theology as eloquently as my boy friend) was not ‘in tune,’ to God’s leading.
Finally though, I had to realize that my struggle was NOT whether or not I trusted my dad.
My struggle was whether or not I trusted GOD.
During those deeply lonely months, I had to wrestle with my view of God.
Was He good to allow this?
Was He powerful enough to work this out for good?
Was He going to work it out for MY good or only His good?
I remember driving alone early on a cold February morning sobbing about Romans 8:28.
(Romans 8: 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.)
“Lord!” I cried. “Is the ‘good’ MY good or YOUR good? Can it be good for me too!?”
Slowly and mercifully, God grew my faith in Him and my love for Him.
He would work out good for me – despite imperfect leadership, loss and failure.
One thing that stands out in my mind from that time was when I held a Bible study and special dinner for a couple of newly saved teenagers and chose to use the special dishes bought for the home I planned to make with my lost love.
I stood there looking at the beautifully patterned place settings and seeing a clear physical picture of God taking my lost dreams and working them out for good.
God was both good and powerful, and even if He did not allow me to marry the man I loved, He would have something even better for me.
5 months later, at the right time and in the right way, my parents gave their consent for Jeremiah and I to reestablish contact, and the next year we were married with their blessing on 8-2-08, a fluke coincidence that always makes me smile when I think of my wrestle with Romans 8:28.
But the deeper love for God and greater trust in His omnipotent hand that grew in my new husband and I during our separation came with us into our marriage.
In almost 7 years, we’ve endured miscarriage, unemployment, a premature baby, 4 children, a fixer-upper house, ministry and family struggles and so much more, but our marriage has stayed strong.
And I contribute this greatly to the faith God grew in us during our break-up. When confronted with great loss, we learned that God will always work things out for good.
As a wife, I’ve found it easier to follow my husband’s leadership because I’ve grown to recognize that I’m not trusting him – an imperfect sinner (albeit cute as can be ).
I’m trusting God. He promises GOOD. He will do GOOD.
So while I’ve been telling you about my love story with my husband, the love story that has saved my marriage – and any marriage – is the love story of God’s love.
We are His beloved children, and His perfect way for us will prevail despite imperfect leaders, and financial or other life struggles.
If God be for us, who can stand against us?