He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:4-6 ESV
As I think about the Bible, unity is one of my favorite reoccurring themes. Before departing this Earth, Jesus himself prayed that his people would be one. He was one not only with His father, God, but the Holy Spirit as well. The desire to be one is not something that Jesus alone possesses, but it is a desire that we have been given, too.
For the last two years, I have had the pleasure of being in relationship with one that my soul loves. His name is Anthony. Although an odd circumstance, I made his acquaintance several years ago while engaging in a disagreement online. The disagreement was very short lived and soon after, he apologized and introduced himself. Toward the end of 2012, we developed a budding friendship. Since we already had many mutual friends, becoming friends was easy. We were both easy going college students who loved God, music, trying new things, Southern life and helping people. Our conversations centered around writing, musical instruments, life experiences, sports and our passions. Talking to each other was always easy and I always felt safe when in his “company.” Something that I immediately noticed was how he kept in contact with me. If I became busy or wrapped up in my work, he would still reach out to me at least once every two weeks just to make sure I was okay. I didn’t take it that these were indicators that he was at all interested in me, but more so displays of genuine Christian friendship. It was nice to get to know someone with no pressure to be in a relationship. He became a confidant and trusted friend.
After I graduated in May 2013 and moved back home for the summer, our conversations continued and we began to learn more about each other. It was then that our mutual friends started to notice our interactions with each other and make mention of them. I was confident that we were purely friends so I ignored their comments. I was certain that there was nothing but friendship between us, so things continued. During the summer, we were actually able to meet in person and interact at a function in North Carolina. Shortly after that summer, I moved to Pennsylvania for work and to be a bit closer to family. Our friendship continued to grow throughout the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.
But in the spring of 2014, there was a shift in our friendship. It started when I took a job as a long-term substitute teacher in West Philadelphia that gave me an hour-long commute very early in the morning. Not only was the commute long, but the job was tough. It was demanding in many ways and it took a lot out of me. It was then that Anthony offered to help in any way he could, and we started talking each morning during my early morning commute. I was impressed that he would want to wake up and talk to me at 6:30 am, but again, I thought he was being a good friend. It was in the midst of that job that the Lord started to open my eyes to the possibility that this incredible man could have feelings for me and vice versa. I prayed, I shared with trusted friends and I continued to observe him. My feelings were confirmed when I realized that he was the only man I wanted to get to know. On May 5th, 2014, we became a couple and have never looked back. He later told me that he had feelings for me well before we began dating. 🙂 Our two long distance years together have been nothing short of amazing. We have learned about patience, grace, forgiveness, generosity, kindness and faith through our relationship. God has used everything we have experienced together to help us become closer to Him and to become better people.
Just a few weeks ago, there was another shift in our relationship. On April 23rd of this year, Anthony gathered some of our closest friends from all over in the most beautiful park in my city and surprised me with a thoughtful proposal where he shared the reasons that he loves me. He got down on one knee, presented me with a lovely ring and asked me to become his wife. With tears, I said “yes.” It is a day that I’ll never forget. I have never felt more special and loved. To know that he worked so hard to put the day together for me was absolutely incredible.
There are so many reasons that I love Anthony. He has a deep love for God and others, integrity, passion, kindness, wisdom, work ethic and he is truly my best friend. He is everything that I asked God for in a husband. I don’t have to ask for his support because he volunteers it. I don’t have to ask for his prayers because he prays for me daily. I don’t have to ask him to honor me because he does it without thinking. I don’t have to wonder if he loves God because his life reflects that he does. Also, he loves my ugly parts and he has shown me that he is here for not only my good days, but my bad ones as well. There are so many things that make him who he is that other people won’t understand, but I thank God that He has given me the ability to understand him and he the ability to understand me. Although I know that we will grow and change as we become older, my prayer for our marriage is that we truly become one, not just with each other, but that we would become one with Christ. Just a few weeks into our engagement, we have already seen how important it will be to cleave to each other as we cleave to Christ. Many things will try to attack, but the God who brought us into each other’s lives will be the same God who holds us together. Our prayer for our marriage is that God would allow others to see the love He has for His church, the beauty in doing things His way through our relationship and that love TRULY wins.
If you have followed my blog for a while, you see that I am experiencing incredible love and joy, but you also know that I have experienced incredible pain. If you don’t think I’m telling the truth, scroll through the archives and check out some of my posts around 2012-2013 like this one or this one. My life is not perfect and I have certainly not been perfect. But God has redeemed my painful situations and so many of my life’s deserts have become rivers of joy. He has changed situations while changing me and helping me become a better woman. My prayer for everyone who hopes to experiences life oneness with someone, is to not allow your past to make you worse. Don’t become jaded and hopeless; find joy in Jesus. Now that I am engaged, I can truly say that it is amazing, but so was being in a relationship and so was singleness. Every season is what you make it. Paul truly hits this on the head when he says, “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” In every situation and season, you can be joyful if you allow Jesus to be the center of your world. I encourage you to seek joy, contend for faith and fight for contentment. They are yours for the taking. 🙂
Thanks for reading,