At 2a.m, 25th of August, 2012, a man in Michigan, USA, began his courtship.
At 4p.m, 25th of August, 2012, a young woman in New South Wales, Australia, began her courtship.
Neither of them had met each other in person, only seen what was put on Facebook for photos, and had conversed via Skype video chat for a few weeks prior. Many people looked at this situation with mild disdain. It seemed like a wild dream that could never become reality – the uniting of two souls from continents across. But they made it. We made it.
Six months ago, I became Chris’ girlfriend. And in six and a half weeks I become Chris’ wifey. When you meet the person that you are sure, through prayer, about being the good gift from the Lord to you, then little else much matters. He provides the way, one step at a time (for the rest is still in darkness, awaiting to be revealed), and all that is required is the faith, for it is impossible to please Him otherwise. We knew from the start that this was serious, that this could quite possibly lead towards marriage, as marvelous and impossible as it sounds. But here I sit in the USA, taking a break from our wedding plans, iced cappuccino in hand that my future mother-in-law kindly bought me.
I know that our relationship has been anything but easy at times. The distance proved to be difficult, and I hold many memories of overwhelming sobs racking my frame as I missed him, though naive to his presence. (After the first time we met in person in December, I slept with the pillow he used for a week after he had left, absorbing the faint scent of him).
And then there is the fact that we are two redeemed sinners, saved by the grace provided by Christ. We’ve had our arguments, our disagreements, our silly disputes. Many times either of us has had to remind the other that we are, in fact, on each others team and side. We are for one another, because we are firstly and most importantly, united in Christ: heirs of grace.
Every day I do grow in love for Chris. I think I can speak for the both of us and say that we are not ignorant to the fact that we will let each other down. We’ve done so in the past more than once. And we are not blind to each others flaws, weaknesses, habits that irritate one to another. However, we are neither blind to the Cross. It can be so difficult to keep it firmly erected center in relationships (this is not limited to a spouse, fiance, or partner – it can extend to family members, friends, acquaintances). But it is what we are called to do, commanded to do. And the reality of this is when we do keep our relationship built around Him, peace, love, unity, goodness flows. The relationship bears the fruit of righteousness.
When Jesus said that, “Truly… unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,” (John 12:24) He was clearly not specifically addressing relationships of the romantic kind. Yet, such a verse can ripple into effect within relationships. When we listen to the call of Christ, which is the death to self, and the life of Christ, our relationships bear much fruit. When we deny self, and choose to serve the other as Christ served His Bride, fruit is produced; even when it goes ignored or unappreciated, something wonderfully beautiful happens – the nature of the Cross, and the following of true Christlike servanthood are displayed for others to see.
Love demands that we believe the best in one another, and that is the direct opposite to what society preaches. “Never trust, never compromise your feelings, desires, wants, always have eyes in the back of your head.” – what a contrast that is to the Word of God! Though discernment is needed, love does make itself vulnerable, particularly to pain and disregard. Yet, God often uses those particular moments to mold us into His likeness; for Who knew pain and disregard as much as Christ did with His closest?
I will not have you so ignorant, dear reader, in believing that relationships and love are easy blessings that require no sacrifice or compromise. Truthfully, they do. They demand it daily. The best blessings always do. But know this: if you choose to trust the Lord, throw yourself wholly and completely upon Him, He will fight for you. He will help you, and comfort you. He will change you, mold you, like clay upon the Potter’s wheel between the Potter’s hands. This is not to say that relationships are not sweet delights, good gifts given by Him. They are. I’ve truthfully grown more in these six months with Chris by my figurative side than in my 18 months of singleness, in Him. He knows what we need and when we need it by so we can progress in growth and flourish within Him.
I am utterly and entirely thankful for this man. I asked him what he was most excited about in marriage with me. His response? Waking up to his best friend every morning for the rest of his life. But right before it, and more importantly before it, glorifying God alongside me. I am a blessed woman. And I love him dearly.
Chris, I am enthralled about the prospects of us. Thank you for your love, your friendship, your kindness, your humility.
Thank You, Lord, for him.