"I want this story of redemption and new chapter, to be seen as yet another testament to how great our God is, and His great love in detail."
I feel it is important to not just share my story as it unfolds, but to share through my story the intricate ways God cares for us. I am deeply humbled at His care for me--that He chose to show His love for me through what I expressed to Him in pain, hurt, distrust, and hope. I shared things that would mean a lot to me, after the abusive relationship and marriage I went through. Though this is a story of how Josh and I came together, it's more than about falling in love. It is about the people involved, and it is also about the story of love between God and me. Two love stories! Isn't that great though, God is supposed to be the center of our relationships, and through our story, I am touched by His love and care in thoughtful detail.
I said a lot prayers about the man God had for me. I have this in two parts: Details of the Prayers; Details of the Story.
Details of the Prayers:
First, I had been praying a general prayer, "Lord, if this is blessed by you I would love it; if this is asking too much for confirmation for me, I am open to other ways You may orchestrate it". These are just a few prayers in my multiple conversations with God:
I wouldn't find the guy; that the guy also wouldn't directly pursue me as some man out of nowhere, and if he did, that other people would know who he was so there'd be no room for deception.
That people could speak good of him and his core character.
Even though many great Christian men come from broken homes, I prayed for this man's family to be a family that my parents could mesh with, be close with, and visit with just as they were able to with our own Christian relatives who are in ministry.
After seeing how my past was, and how my parents went through so much anguish, I prayed for them to be able to have joy in my future marriage, not just relief and happiness for me and the decision being a good one, but also enjoying it themselves!
That this man would somehow be connected to people in my life or my parents' life, etc.
Our First Date
It was early in the year of 2013, and I was talking with God in my car. I was talking about having a relationship with a potential, future husband, and asking His thoughts and will on it. He said in my spirit (non-audible), "I am already working on him; he is not ready yet". I said, "Okay God, I will be patient, and I will pray for Him, since You already have one picked". Though I was pretty much told, "Not yet", I was a little excited, because God was working on one! I wanted to take a good approach and think on what God had in front of me, rather than on that too much; you never know how long that's gonna be! Sometimes it's sooner, sometimes later. Unbeknownst to me, when I "came home" in September 2011, my dad had gone into prayer, went to Mom, and said that he felt in his spirit I'd be with them for about two years. It had already been over a year (I did not find this out until I was getting ready to move out of the house and everything was in motion--ring on my finger and the date set). When I got married and moved to Colorado Springs, it had been about two years. Yes, my parents are good at keeping secrets and watching God's plan unfold--they are wise, I admire them for all the examples they have set.
Details of the Story:
In Jan/Feb (2013), a close family member of my mom's died, so she made plans to make a trip to Oregon to be with family and attend the funeral. I prayed two specific prayers over this one: that my mom would have a time of joy being with family, more than a time of sorrow, and that when she was over there, if it were God's will, that she'd somehow find the man for me. I kept both of those prayers to myself. Most of the prayers, I did keep to myself. It wasn't even a week yet, that she called me saying, "Robyn! I am sitting here with my good friend, Cindy, and she said that you and her son, Josh, are a lot alike! You should add him on Facebook! [...]" I was so excited and yet thinking, "No way!!!" I played it super cool though, I didn't want to 'count my chickens before they hatched'! God brought us together about 1.5 months after the time God said, "[...] I am already working on him", and when He did, it was through our mothers. Okay, pay attention closely: my mom taught Sunday School with his mom when his mom was a teen, and have been friends ever since. My dad, was a friend and mentored his dad. My parents, together, were friends/mentors to his parents when they started dating. Then, the missionaries, Wes and Ruby West, who brought me to my parents (who used to be my parents' pastors, before they were missionaries) performed his parents' marriage with MY dad (yes, my dad, married Josh's parents). Josh was raised not far from my relatives, and grew up calling my Aunt Delores, Aunt Dodo as well (because all of us kids/cousins called her "Aunt DoDo" -- I still do to this day). They all know him, and I hear nothing but good things. Now, the progression of Josh and mine's relationship was not pushed; it flourished. It continued to get blessed by our family members on both sides (as well as our church ladies from both our home churches) on how our relationship was, and how it was forming; this was something else I prayed over. Coming from all those people, it was huge for me. It was humbling and a blessing all at once. Josh and I got married in Oregon, in the church both our dads helped build with their bare hands, and Ruby (she survived her husband) said the opening blessing prayer of our wedding! She was involved in his parents' wedding, my parents' wedding, and our wedding!! As I've grown, I've come to have more and more respect for this woman who is so close us, and how her and her husband were the reason I am here (along with my aunt from my birth family, Aunt Juliet). Nana Ruby is quite the woman of God, and so in tune to the Holy Spirit. Also, my dad and Josh's mom performed the ceremony. His mom is the children's pastor at that Assembly of God church.
Needless to say, it was orchestrated in an amazing way with answers to so many prayers! However, I went before God and met with Him in conversation. I allowed myself to be broken before Him, so He could make me and a situation whole. I gave up a couple other avenues that I knew weren't right for me, but at the time, I wanted them to be right!! Instead, I gave it to Him. I want this story of redemption and new chapter, to be seen as yet another testament to how great our God is, and His great love in detail. As exciting and awesome this is to me and for me, I am greatly humbled. I don't deserve it, at all. I had messed up...big time...and He did more than give me a second chance--and it's just beginning! But I want to tell you (any reader)...we know what God did for us, when His Son died that wretched death that day; He did so much for us, why would He stop at doing so for our own individual stories in life? A life He created us to live for Him and with Him. This is mine, He is writing yours as well. He is thoughtful of you. Always.
Donations strictly go toward ministerial uses such as website costs, promotional material, fuel, travel, or free/assisted speaking engagements for organizations & ministries who cannot afford to fly me out.
"But as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also." II Corinthians 8:7