becoming one: our love story

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. 

summer 2013

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.

summer 2015, vacation with Anthony’s family


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.

our engagement day, spring 2016


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. 

our engagement day, spring 2016


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, 

Brittany 

The Recipe for Contentment: 1 Jesus-filled Life

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. -Hebrews 13:5 KJV

I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. -Philippians 4:11-13 Message

Hello friends!

I hope that you’re all doing well. I wanted to write because yesterday while talking to my best friend Jeida (many of my blog ideas come from conversations with her), I realized that I am truly happy with my life. I realized that I don’t feel any voids, holes or discontentment although there are many things in my life that can be better.

Let’s face it. At some point, all of us realize that our life is not what we thought it would be 5 years ago. I am 22 years old but when I was 17, I had life all figured out. I knew that by 22, I would be a college graduate, working as a nurse, married to my high school sweetheart and living the high life. I mean I had school planned out, wedding dates and children’s names. That’s before I realized that I didn’t get to plan my life myself. Also, before I realized that God’s plans are greater than mine and definitely before I read Proverbs 16:9 which says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live.” As of now, I’m not yet a college graduate. I haven’t started my career, but when I do I will be making less money than I ever wanted to. I have no awesome guy friends I’d like to marry, no boyfriend, no prospects and no wedding dates in mind. I have no awesome fancy apartment or car. All of these things sound like the makings of a sad situation but to be completely honest with you, I am completely filled with joy.

What I have come to understand is that my life is not where I thought it would be even 6 months ago, but there is no better place than where I am and that is simply because of Jesus. I don’t have all the things I thought I’d have, but God is working in my life. Doors are opening for me and I see Him leading me along the way. This place can only be described as total dependence, devotion and surrender to Jesus. Not just this, but I am also completely in love with the man and I am pursuing Him like He’s the last man I’ll ever know. I am chasing Him, burning for Him and giving myself to Him. Right now, there is nothing I want more in this life than to please my Jesus. Nothing. No status, job, title, relationship, money, anything. I am completely in love with where we are and with how He is molding me into a woman that He wants me to be.

I am so thankful because I haven’t always been this way. If you read some of my previous blog posts, you know that this is a new thing for me. But it is so amazing that I never want to go back to just being a “church attendee who tries to do things right.” The level of intimacy, love, peace and joy that I have in this relationship is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. Things are so amazing that I am literally rolling out of bed at 6am to have prayer and worship. I NEVER did that before without a struggle. It was hard because I wasn’t excited to do it. Right now, I am elated to get to spend time with this amazing man that I love before my day gets started. It’s a joy!

But enough of my happy talk. Here are some things that I have done/tips to help you get to the point where Jesus is your all and you are completely content in Him. Ready? Let’s go!

1. Spend time with Him and read about His promises

I spend ample amounts of time in prayer every single day. I am also in the process of reading the entire Old Testament and reading several books. There’s no way around this. Many times, we want the benefits of a relationship with God without putting in the work. Pursue Him simply to get to know Him and see how He works in your life and gives you peace. Also, memorize scriptures and promises that He has made. When I have feelings of discontentment despite knowing I’m right where I should be, I have several verses and sayings that remind me that’s God’s got everything under control. I’ll share a few:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28 NIV

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV

2. Count your blessings and answered prayers

When I start to feel that my life isn’t working out right, I begin to count my blessings and my answered prayers. When I realize that I can’t count them all, it usually helps me to understand that I am blessed beyond measure. It is in those moments that my strength, faith and joy are renewed.

3. Remember that God is working everything out for your good and for His glory

When we live for Christ and we know that we are doing what He would have us to do, we can always remind ourselves that Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I love this promise, and the short way that I say this is “God is working everything out for my good and for His glory.” How amazing is that? What an amazing promise! Basically, all we have to do is stay obedient, faithful and focused on God and what He has for us to do and everything will work out for us. This doesn’t mean that we sit around and not take care of our business, do our homework or go to work. It means that God is always on our side making things work for us as long as we love Him and are committed to our purpose.

4. Don’t allow negativity, complaining or bad emotions to fester

Often times, it’s hard for us to be content with our lives and our portion because we are negative and we complain a lot. We point out what God is doing for others, compare our lives to theirs and want what they have. This creates bad feelings which make us depressed and sad. Then we get “stuck in our feelings” as many people would say. We have to fight off negativity all the time. When I feel myself getting ready to complain, I pray. I thank God for my life and where I am right now. I thank Him for this season of transition, growth and change that is making me more like Him. I thank Him for every blessing and trial alike. Shelley Giglio, an amazing woman of God tweeted something so simple yet profound one day when I was online. It simply said “sometimes you have to contend for faith.” On the daily basis, I contend for peace, joy, faith and other things. But the point is, I don’t just let the devil or life’s circumstances take these things from me. I FIGHT for them. I WILL keep my peace, joy and faith. The best way to make this fight easier is to rid as much negativity from your life as possible.

5. Keep your mind stayed on Jesus

I know many people think that this is just a saying, but it is a state of mind. Throughout the day, I try to keep my mind on my Savior. On the amazing man who gave up everything for me. The one who knew I’d sin against Him but still willingly went to the cross and stayed there. The one who has blessed me when I didn’t deserve it. I think about HIs love, grace, compassion and care for me and it makes it a lot easier for me to be thankful, joyful and happy about life everyday. My life isn’t perfect and many situations I deal with are not optimal situations, but I have found that keeping Jesus on the brain helps me to see the beauty in life and not just focus on the bad.

Learning to be content no matter what is amazing. It is something that can only come from God changing us and taking away our anxiety and replacing it with His peace. Try these things and see how your begin to view life differently.

Sincerely,

Brittany

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