History Continued...

Yesterday I wrote a bit about where I was in my life right before I met my husband. Fortunately, God didn't leave me there. For just over a year, my life was a whirlwind. I have no other way to describe it, really. From studying His Word, praying, serving...I grew and grew. Like I said, God lit me up. He set me on fire and I soaked up everything He gave me. It was the most joyful time I had ever had in my life to that point. What I could not imagine was how He could make it any better. Yet - He continues to amaze and surprise me.

In October, 2003, our church started a singles' ministry. I was one of the original members, I started its second week (week one I missed because I was in a class preparing for my baptism) and was a leader within a few weeks of that. That group opened doors for me, too. I met so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ who sat in boats similar to mine. We grew, we bonded and then we ran into trouble. After all - when God is doing something, when doesn't the enemy worm his way in and try to wreak havoc on God's work?

Fortunately, despite personality differences and opinions on how to handle the issues before us, our group continued and it thrives today. Of course, those who were in the group originally are no longer a part of it - it has new members which is the way it should be.

There were so many joys from that group, too. Between June and August, 2005, four couples were married and those four couples met one another in that group. My husband and I are one of those couples.

In early June, 2004, I headed out to Westport. It is one of my most favorite places in Washington State. I love the beaches and I love heading to the ocean by myself. Nothing - absolutely nothing - speaks to me of God's power like the ocean. The roar, the waves, the sheer volume of it - and the fact that it stops at the shore - God contains all of that water. He tells it where it can and cannot go. I am always in awe of Him while I am there.

Well... for whatever reason, this particular trip, God had me thinking about my opinion of men, how I talked about them and how I treated them. He had been convicting me quite a bit because, to be honest, after that last break up I was SO anti-men even I didn't realize how much I didn't want them to be a part of my life, how much anger had crept into my heart. As I walked the beach, I chatted with God and finally gave it up - my anger at men, my low opinion of them. I handed back to Him every bad thing that a man had ever done to me (of course, it's been a learning experience - I still have to hand stuff off to Him in regard to men on occasion...). I also told Him that I was ok if He intended to keep me single for the rest of my life but I was also ok if He intended to bring someone into my life. Then I jokingly said "...and Lord? If you're going to give me a guy... could ya' make him about 6'3" tall, brown hair, blue eyes and if he owns a beach house... bonus!"

That was Saturday. Just shy of one week later - the following Friday - my husband comes, with his best friend, to my front door. One week. To my door. His best friend was part of our singles' group. He was borrowing a cooler from me for a guys' bbq and Aaron was with him because they were hanging out for the night.

My husband will tell you I was rude to him when we met. That I turned my back on him three times. My side of the story? The entryway into my apartment was not very big and I couldn't figure out where to go. Truth? As soon as I saw Aaron, I knew who he was - I knew who he was going to be - and I became SO flustered, SO shy I didn't KNOW what to do. We laugh about it. I deny being rude every time he tells the story but oh... that night. He might not have had any idea about me but I KNEW he was the man God intended for me.

By the way? Aaron isn't 6'3" tall (which was actually for giggles) but he does have brown hair and blue eyes (my most favorite combination since I was about 5, I think). No beach house yet but we intend to retire to one someday, God willing...

That was June 18, 2004. We were married June 18, 2005. Our first anniversary gift to one another? Our home. We were handed the keys June 17, 2006. While it hasn't been totally and utterly "magical" every moment of every day, it has been wonderful. God hasn't kept us from struggle (our septic system failed about 6 months after we moved into our house - we've had our share of stress) but He has walked with us every step through it. My husband loves God, me and our sons. Our sons have bonded like true brothers - you'd never know (except that they share the same first name) they aren't biologically related. God has blessed us and continues to do so.

This house, when we bought it, we gave back to Him and He has used it. He has used it to entertain missionaries, to offer them a time of rest as they come off the mission field for brief periods of time. He has used it to show His provision (the septic repairs weren't anywhere near the expense we were told they'd be!) and He has used it to show His love.

I wake up every morning more certain than the day before that God chose my husband for me, He chose my children for me. My choice every day is whether or not to obey and trust Him with my life. Don't get me wrong - I still run headlong into decisions without even checking in with Him. On a daily basis. They all, however, come back to honor Him - at some point, in some way, in His time. I don't surprise Him with anything I do, say or think.

There isn't any way I am His puppet. I am His willing subject. He is Sovereign in my life. I am His daughter through Christ, Christ's sister through His sacrifice, an heir in His kingdom. What I know is He has a will, a plan, a purpose for my life and it is what is best for me. He chose it before I was born and my name is written on the palm of His hand (Psalm 139:12-14; Isaiah 49:15-16). I wake up every day and choose Him again.

And thank Him for chosing my husband for me.

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