Hello all, I know It’s been a looooong time since I have written anything on here but I wanted to update everyone on the happenings in my life. On July 3, 2015 I married my best friend, partner in Christ, love of my life, and the most beautiful woman in my world all wrapped up in one person. Truly it was God and His love who drew us together and I wanted to share our testimony with you as it may encourage some who are wondering “when is my turn?” and or doubting God’s love for you. Also I believe that this would be a good segway back into my series “A More Excellent Way.”
For those who are curious about our testimony and even attended our wedding without knowing our backstory. Here it goes….
So on June 8, 2009 I received a random Facebook friend request from my future wife (although of course I did not know it at the time). I thought she may be part of the christian fraternity/sorority, Alpha Nu Omega Inc., that I am a part of so I added her back. When I asked her how I knew her, she said that she added me after reading a series of notes that I posted about courtship off a mutual friend’s page (I wrote a series of notes about courtship on Facebook at that, time having recently entered into a courtship myself, which ultimately was not God’s will but for which God still used for His glory… see my blog post “Sweetly Broken by a Broken Courtship). After that initial conversation, we began to periodically converse on Facebook and through our conversations I had discovered that she had not accepted the gospel of Christ. I began sharing with her about Jesus over the course of a 3 year period. Whenever we would talk, I would ask her how she was doing but then immediately jump into sharing the gospel with her. Finally, on July 7, 2012, while she was living in Colombia (South America) after a recent conversation we had about the gospel and God’s grace and after sending her material about the meaning of salvation, she received the gospel and accepted Christ as Savior that evening and told me the good news that next day. I was amazed at God’s goodness and ecstatic to hear about her decision for Christ. Later on she informed me that she planned to move back to the area in August. I invited her out to my church, which she began attending in late August.
We quickly formed a friendship and had several discussions about the gospel, God’s love, Christ’s deity, the bible, etc. We later realized that we had grown too closely because of our deep conversations about Christ. We backed off from each other for a time… and then did so again. I was concerned about not wanting to be a distraction to her and her walk with Christ, however I could not deny my attraction to her. After several months of praying and seeking accountability (thanks Eric, Paul, and John!!), I decided to pursue a courtship (A courtship can be defined as an intentional accountable inclusive relationship with the goal of determining God’s will for marriage in each other’s lives) with her on October 29, 2012. So I asked to speak with her before bible study that evening and, in my nervous fashion, told her about my interest in her and desire to pursue a courtship with her and asked her to pray about her decision. She said that she would pray about it and get back to me. A week later she came back to me with a couple questions before considering entering a courtship with me but still would not give her reply and left me sitting on the edge of my seat. lol. Finally, one more week passes and we are again at bible study and I am getting ready to leave and she gives me a “homework assignment.” She knows that I desire to learn Spanish and she gives me a handwritten note in Spanish to translate. I glance at the note and can immediately tell from the few Spanish words that I do know that it was pertaining to her response to be in a courtship with me, however I did not know immediately what the answer was because it wasn’t a simple “Si o No.” Once I get home, I translated the note and discovered that her answer was yes. We talk the next day and officially begin our courtship.
The courtship process was a beautiful time of learning about each other while still maintaining boundaries and seeking accountability. A couple from our church, Eric and Marjorie, took us under their wings and helped guide us in this process and keep us accountability. One of the things that we liked to do when we spent time together, along with prayer and devotional time, was to ask questions to each other to learn more about one another. She developed a creative way of doing this by having us write down questions on slips of index paper, folding them up and putting them in a cup, and then drawing the questions out and asking them to each other. So around the middle of February, prayerfully decided that I knew enough about her (her strengths and weaknesses, any potential red flags, and how she complemented me) to make the decision to marry her. I talked to both my accountability and my pastor about my decision and they were in agreement, so then I decided to order the ring and make plans for the engagement. I had difficulty determining her ring size, so I basically had to ask her for it and simply phrased it to her as, “I have a random question to ask you…” I wanted to propose on a Saturday so I could have time for a private proposal and then an engagement dinner/party however she had a class on every Saturday except for one each month. So I asked her when her next Saturday off would be almost a month in advance and asked if we could get breakfast that day and she agreed to it. I then contacted a few of her close friends to ask for their help in planning a surprise engagement party. I then decided that a good way to propose would be to write the question down on an index paper and fold it and place it in “the cup.” Since we were down to just a couple questions left in”the cup” then I thought that it would work. However, a week before I planned to propose we went out to eat and she told me that she had a surprise. That surprise ended up being about 10 more questions to add to the cup. So I thought oh boy, this really puts a monkey wrench in my plans. However, not willing to deviate from my course of action, as it was my time to take the cup home, I simply decided to take out her questions and rewrite the same question “will you marry me?” 10 times, half of them in English and half of them in Spanish. When the say finally arrived, I went to the restaurant early and asked the staff their to take pictures of us as I proposed. When she arrived, after waiting to be seated and then praying over the food I asked her to take a question out of the cup. As she did that, I got on bended knee and proposed to her. I had memorized part of my proposal which was in Spanish, but even though I had practiced the proposal several times I got really nervous and was forgetting the words so I had to whip out my cheat sheet and read the lines I had in Spanish. Long story short, and after some tears were shed (mine, not hers), she said yes or rather “Si.” We then went out to the store because she had to pick out an outfit for a get together that she was having a get together with a few sisters at church (which she did not know was actually her surprise engagement party). However the surprise did not last as later on in the evening she became suspicious about the surprise and she actually saw my car near the house where the party was taking place. That is my story and I am sticking to it!
At the point of writing this blog, me and Danielle are now 77 days into our marriage and I am so thankful for the testimony of grace and redemption that God has given us. That God would even use a relationship that was not ultimately His will to write about courtship and connect with my future wife, share His gospel to her and 6 years later draw us together as one.