On this last day of September I am feeling a bit reflective. Maybe also because my husband and I just passed the 5 month mark of being married. This may not seem like a lot but when you know our story you may see why each month I am more and more surprised and excited at how God works things for our good. I felt impressed to share this story as I hope it will encourage many and I know it will give glory to God and that is reason enough to share! 🙂
I have always loved to travel and see new places. Growing up as a pastor’s kid (PK) I was very familiar with missions and felt that someday I would love to go on a mission trip but wasn’t sure when or where. When missionaries would come to our church and speak, I was always fascinated by their stories and excited to see how God worked in and through them. I was always praying that God would show me what He wanted me to do with my life and how I could best serve Him. It wasn’t until 2010 that I had my first opportunity to go overseas on a mission trip. Beirut, Lebanon was my first trip and as I prepared to go with my team from church I was excited and a little nervous as I was going into the unknown. When we landed in Lebanon I actually felt at home and at ease. The people we met, the scenery, the language, everything fascinated me! I was so excited to just soak everything in learn as much as I could in the very short time I was there. We were all really busy while visiting and as we came for a children’s camp, it took most of our time and energy.
On the last day we were there I met a man that would forever change my life, though at that time I did not know this.
Let me back up a little. I have been a hopeless romantic since I can remember. Even as a little girl I remember being so excited to grow up, marry and have children. As I grew older, I felt there must be something wrong with me that I didn’t desire a career and couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I went back and forth with several things in college, trying to decide what to study. I ended up with a Business degree because I felt it would be practical once I finally decided what to be when I grew up. 🙂 All I really felt I wanted to do was be married and have children and this kept coming up as each year went by and I wasn’t married. The Lord brought several men into my life that I had the opportunity to get to know and at times I felt that maybe this time it would be “the one”. But each time there was something that kept me from moving any further and the Lord’s voice seemed to say, “not yet, keep waiting”. Well, for those of you who know me, waiting is not easy for me. I am very impatient and want things to move forward and work out right away. But I find that with the Lord things are different and I know my ways are not His ways, and I am very thankful for that! So, the years went by and I kept working, going to school and waiting.
In 2010 when I went on the mission trip to Lebanon on the last night our team went out to eat as a group with the coordinator from Lebanon and she invited her brother to come as an extra driver for our group. He agreed and a friend of mine and I were the ones that happened to ride with him. When I got in the car I was kind of quiet as I wasn’t sure what to say to this stranger. After dinner I felt this guy was looking at me but I wasn’t positive….so on the ride home I thought maybe I should at least make small talk. Well, the small talk turned to a getting to know you time and we chatted about family and how he liked Lebanon, if he had ever been to the states, what he liked to do for fun, what his job entailed, etc…. After my friend and I were back to the hotel and getting ready to head with our group to the airport I felt the conversation I had with this man keep rolling in my head. When I got home, I friended several people on Facebook from the trip that I had met and this guy was one of them. He wrote me a message and this surprised me but we started corresponding. The relationship that developed was unlike any I had ever had before with a guy. Usually, a relationship with a guy entailed dating and then if it didn’t work out I just didn’t see them again. But this relationship started as a really wonderful friendship and we talked about any and everything. Life, church, relationships with family and friends, how we grew up, questions about the Bible and just life stuff. I found myself being excited when I would get a message from him and waiting each day just see what he would say. This was so foreign to me that my family immediately noticed and would ask if I was sure there was not more to this relationship than friendship. I would laugh and say “of course not, we are just friends, he lives on the other side of the world!” After almost 2 years of this I was on vacation at Christmas with my family and I received a message from this man saying he would like to get to know me as more than friends. I literally almost dropped my phone and my heart started pounding and I didn’t know what to say. I wrote back that I would think and pray about it. He agreed and after a day or so I told him that I would like to get to know him better as well. We started talking every day and I really was excited but still apprehensive because I just didn’t see how this could work out long term. As we continued to talk over the next few months, that summer, he asked me if I could come to Lebanon for a couple of months. I thought, seriously! two months? What is he thinking? And what if I get there and we don’t click and then what happens, I have to stay anyway? This seemed like a bad idea….yet I was still curious, what if? So, I prayed about it and decided I didn’t always want to wonder what if and so I agreed to come but just for one month. I packed my bags and headed to Lebanon. My trip was an adventure as I had some plane delays and a detour. Finally, after traveling for 24 hours, I arrived and when I stepped off the plane and saw him face to face for the first time in two years, I just felt comfortable right away. After meeting his parents and family I felt so at ease and welcomed that I was excited to spend the month there. We began sightseeing and spending time together and with his family and friends. I fell in love with the people and the area and loved spending time there. After a few days we began talking seriously about marriage and what it would entail if we decided to embark on this adventure. 🙂 I was excited and apprehensive at the same time, but knew that this was what the Lord wanted for me after much prayer and the time I spent with this wonderful man. We were engaged after three weeks of my being there and I went home with a ring on my finger! My family was very supportive and excited for me but there were so many details to still discuss and decide. Before we got engaged we did talk about the fact that I would probably need to move to Lebanon and this was a big decision, however, I knew that if I agreed to marry this man, God would work things out for our good. It might not always be easy, but it would be good. To make a very long, detailed story a bit shorter, when I went home it was so hard for me to leave this man I now knew I loved and so it was with a heavy heart that I came home and tried to stay busy planning a wedding. We decided to wait 9 months to give ourselves time to plan a wedding and continue planning for a place to live in Lebanon and the details of his visa to work themselves out. We were engaged in July 2012, married on April 28, 2013 and I arrived in Lebanon to live as a new wife the first week of May 2013. Much has happened in the 5 months that we have been married. But I see God’s sovereign hand in every aspect of our lives and know He will continue to be in control. I am so grateful that I waited for God’s best for me as this man is everything I could have ever wanted and more. He challenges me to grow, encourages my talents and loves me even with all my faults. We laugh together and have so much fun just being together. We are excited to see what the future holds for us and know that we are living proof that if you will wait on the Lord He has things for you beyond what you could ever have imagined. This is true not just in relationships but in any area of your life. He is faithful and can ALWAYS be trusted. May He encourage your heart today as you rest in Him.