I’ve got to be honest, I am writing this very late the night before it it supposed to go live. I usually spend the whole week preparing these but we’ve had a lot going on this week. I just haven’t even had a second to really think about what to write this week. Today is my sweetheart’s birthday, so I thought I would just be lovie dovie on his day. The way that God brought us together was pretty miraculous. Jon-Michael would pursue me, I would run away, and then God would do something miraculous, and I had to stop running. He is my editor in chief 😉 so if this post has 19 typos it, it’s his fault for enjoying his bday and going to a late night movie!
I met my man in Bible college. He was this skinny boy that had the bluest eyes I had ever seen and the sweetest, kindest smile. There was a night that my roommate and I went and watched our school’s choir perform. There were probably 50 students in the choir singing a worship song. Everyone in the choir was watching their instructor lead them through the song… except for one person. Jon-Michael was right in the middle with his skinny little arms raised to Jesus, worshipping his heart out. My roommate and I went up to him after the concert because, even in Bible college, to see a man who is sold out to Jesus and doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him is rare. I was so nervous to meet him that I literally hid behind my roommate. She told him something about how great it was to watch him go after Jesus by himself and I awkwardly waved at him and then ran away. True story. I ran away from him a lot. He worshipped with a passion that I had never seen. He was one of the drummers for our school’s chapel service. Every now and then the drums would go silent and it was because he had slipped out of his chair and had gotten on his face before the Lord. Beautiful.
One night he was up talking with two of my girl friends and I had gone to bed. They were dreaming about their futures and Jon-Michael said something like, “For all I know, my wife could be in Bowie (dorm) right now praying for me.” The girls got done talking with him, came up to my room, and found me awake. They had seen me sleeping earlier so they asked me why I was up. I told them that the Lord had just woken me up and told me to pray for my husband. I lived in Bowie hall. They spent a good amount of time crying in the bathroom before they could tell me what JM had just said. There are so many little things like that have happened with us.
We met in the cafeteria at dinner one night. I had told my friend that I wanted to get to know JM because he seemed so genuine. We shook hands and the Lord immediately told JM that I was his wife. I did not have that same experience. I felt like I was in no way good enough for that man and ran (again)!
I had one boyfriend before Jon-Michael and it wasn’t a healthy situation. After that, I was determined to wait for my husband because I knew he was a promise from the Lord to me. When I was 16, I asked God to tell me who I was waiting for and He gave me two pages of very detailed things: wears glasses, has a sister, is close with his mom, has brown hair… on and on for two pages. Every time I was lonely while my friends were dating, I would journal to my future husband and write out prayers to him. When JM started to pursue me, it was right before summer break of my freshman year. We spent the whole summer getting to know each other over the phone. I never told him until later, but I would have my list open on my lap while we were talking and would just check it off as he would say things that confirmed what I was supposed to be waiting for. I gave him the journal on our wedding night.
If you are reading this and have a desire to be married or for your marriage to become more healthy, I am praying that God will answer that desire for you. All you’re responsible to do is keep your heart right before the Lord and seek Him. He will give you the desires of your heart.
“Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life,
and he will provide for you what you desire the most,” (Psalm 37:4 TPT).
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” (Matt 6:33 NIV).
On our very first date, our friends came to the restaurant where we were eating and chalked “Just married!” all over JM’s car. It was humiliating but everyone just knew we were supposed to be together. He is absolutely my favorite gift from the Lord, other than salvation. I love going back and remembering all that God did to form such a unique foundation for us. The rest of our story is not quite as perfect. We’ve been through some storms but we’ve gone through them together.
Happy birthday, my beloved. Thank you for spending the last third of your life with me (so far!). You’ve truly laid down your life for me and our girls. You just get better and better and more and more handsome. I so appreciate who you are. You make us all want more of Jesus.