One morning we spoke on the phone and he began to read a Proverb to me. He had previously been increasingly critical of the way I ate and dressed. So, as he read these verses to me, I began to feel under attack. It angered me that he wasn't satisfied with me as me. And so I let him have it. I yelled. I hung up on him. I expected him to call back to apologize. He didn't call. I called him back. Told him he'd better call me back (ok, stop laughing). Hung up the phone again. The phone rang. He apologized. I was late for work. I ended the call and got in my car.
It was an hour-and-a-half drive to work (from San Diego to Anaheim), so I had a lot of time to think. I can not remember a time in my life when I felt I actually HEARD God speak audibly to me. And I can't say that this instance was actually audible but it was such a clear word that I knew without a doubt was from Him. As I drove up the 5 freeway, the Pacific Ocean to my left... "He is not it." "What?" I said aloud. Again, "He is not it." "Ok," again aloud. It was that simple.
Ladies, if you're dating: just because he's a Christian doesn't mean he's the one. Yes, we must be equally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14-18), but don't stop there. Make sure you are well-matched in other areas. This guy was dear. Very kind and truly had a heart for Jesus. But he was mildly critical of me in a way that was not mild in my eyes. He was horrifically late and sucked at time-management. (We had to tell him that Easter dinner was 3 hours earlier than it actually was...and he was still late. No, I am NOT kidding.) I was young, anxious, eager to marry, immature, and apparently had terrible eating habits and bad fashion-sense.
As I drove to work that day, I knew I had been given a clear directive from the Lord. I was not to marry this man. It was plain and simple, cut and dry. A few days later, I drove back down to San Diego, picked him up and told him that we had to talk after the event we were attending. At the end of the evening, I pulled him aside and told him that I was very sorry but believed the Lord told me we were not supposed to be married. He clung to me for only a moment, and then composed himself. There were a few instances of him meeting me at work and following me (non stalker-like) from here to there, but ultimately there was an amicable end. One day, I wrote him a letter. I wish I could remember what I said, but I don't. I shared it with a pastor and friend and he told me that my fiance had just shown him a letter (written to me) that was nearly a carbon copy of mine. Later, when the two of us were together and he read to me his letter. Then, I pulled out mine and read it to him. It was so clearly from the Lord that we both hugged, I gave him the engagement ring, and we walked away. Knowing it was the right thing to do. No anger. No spite. No ill-will. Just love, peace, and hope for what God had in store for each of us.
Though it was a parting time, it was an exhilarating experience having resonated with the Holy Spirit and thus gaining confidence in the certainty of making a correct and major move.
This man would have always been kind. He would have always been seeking the Lord. He would have been a good husband and father. But little things coupled with my lack of maturity at that point in my life would have rubbed my personality the wrong way and driven me to incredible frustration and probably resentment.
Fast forward 15 years.
The same girl, married to a treasured husband with 2 dear boys. Jamie and I are so well-matched. We enjoy each other's sarcasm and humor. We share passions in faith and politics. No, we are not the same in many things but still fit so well together.
Why do I share this? I don't know. Just another page of my life. A chapter, really. A short chapter when I almost audibly heard the voice of God...and OBEYED IT. Confident. Peaceful. Unafraid. Right. Not every decision in life is like that, though I wish it was and I imagine it could be if I was faithful to remain unwaveringly in tune with the Holy Spirit. How different life would be if I had plowed on ahead with what I thought I wanted.
I have always been one that when I wander off the path God has put me on, a time comes when I know I must return to it. Sometimes it is like this: a gentle command and my obedience. Sometimes it is devastation and I must crawl back on my hands and knees. But there is always a return and I am always glad for the return, though often frustrated with my selfish will and desires that took me from the path to begin with. A girl of passions and dreams is easily lured away....but only for a time. Because there is a Love greater than the lures and it beckons me back.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore, with lovingkindness have I drawn you."
Yes, He has drawn me with His lovingkindness. He has covered me with His forgiveness. How those times I am unfaithful must break His heart. But like the father of the Prodigal, He runs to me, puts His ring on my finger, and throws a party in honor of my return (Luke 15:11-32). Never again considering the offense. (Psalm 103)