On November 10, 2007, Chris took me out on a date that would begin our courtship. I can remember the day so clearly. I can feel the emotions just as if it was yesterday.
Our story actually begins several years before this date...
For several years, I had been dealing with a multitude of struggles. I was enrolled in college, yet struggled with seeing a purpose. I wanted grow to be a Godly and virtuous woman, yet struggled to fit in with my peers. I desired to be a wife and mother, yet struggled to trust in the Lord's perfect timing. Inward battles were fought daily, often ending in emotional defeat.
In the midst of searching, learning, and praying about who and what the Lord was calling me to be, I was dealing with having an interest in a young man. To add to my torment and confusion, this young man also happened to be my pastor. From the time Chris moved to Illinois to pastor the church in which I grew up, we had a brother-sister relationship. Our relationship changed over the years to brothers and sisters in Christ and friends. Having a brother and friend in Christ is a wonderful blessing. But like most blessings in our life, Satan viewed it as an open door.
I had an interest in Chris from early on in our relationship as brothers and sisters in Christ and friends. Knowing I was too young and not nearly close to being ready for marriage, I fought to overcome my feelings. It was incredibly tough, but the Lord was merciful. My daily (and usually hourly) prayer was for the Lord to remove these feelings from my heart and mind. I just knew they weren't honoring or justified. Not only was I young, but Chris wasn't showing any interest in me, so it was pointless!
Dealing with the struggles of my heart brought me to a very low point in the fall of 2007. At the same time, the church was also going through some difficult times. Chris encouraged the members to spend a day fasting and praying for guidance. I spent a better portion of Wednesday, November 7, 2007 fasting and praying. I prayed for the Lord to lead Chris as our pastor and the church to do His will. I prayed for the Lord to guide me in making decisions about school and in my walk with Him. Finally, I begged God to give me a peace of mind and contentment with being single. I cried out to Him to take away my thoughts and interests in Chris and fill me with honoring thoughts. I was cast down, weak, and barely hanging on.
To be continued...