Like all the other stories I love to tell, this is [Part 1 of] a story of redemption, fulfilled hope, and an amazing God, who knows and hears His people.
On January 12th, 2016 I wrote a post about/to my future husband (you can read all of it here).
I said these words:
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know where you are. I don’t know if you’re near (in proximity and timing) or far. If I’m honest, some days I don’t even know if you exist.”
It turns out he did indeed exist, that I did, in fact, know him, that he was 22-25 miles away in proximity, and that he was way closer than I ever could have imagined in timing. On January 14th, 2016 (two days later, what?!) I started falling in love with my future husband.
If you read my last blog post, you know a little about William: we met in college, he was one of the 35 guys I had a crush on at MC, he thought I was weird, I thought he was snobby. We didn’t stay in touch, but his wonderful sister and I (former camp friends) stayed friends on Facebook.
circa 2006 at a college formal
For at least a year, Emily (my amazing soon-to-be sister-in-law) kept telling William to read my blog. She thought/knew that he would like me, my words, and my heart. Everytime Emily would mention it, William remembered the college version of me – bright, colorful, determined to show the world she was different and unique through her fashion choices. In a word, I was weird, PROUD to be so, but weird and hadn’t quite realized yet that my weirdness could be expressed through my personality and not through my wardrobe. My mantra was that if I dressed “normal” and trendy, then I was a sellout and not true to myself (silly!). According to William and Emily, the conversations went something like this.
Emily: Did you read Kasia’s new blog post? I really think you’d like her! I think you’re going to marry her.
William: Rainbow Brite?? The girl that wore wristbands and pigtails? That’s weird Emily.
Emily: From what I can see on Facebook, she dresses pretty normal now. And that doesn’t matter anyway! The heart is what matters and I really think you’d like her heart.
In December, I wrote the Christmas Pep-Talk post. Emily delivered a final plea to get William to listen to her. She told him she’d never mention it again, but asked him just to read it. He did and realized she was at the very least on to something about him liking my heart. He added me on Facebook, we did the normal catching up thing, then stopped talking.
Meanwhile, I was visiting my best friend and her family for Christmas. We were sitting at the kitchen table playing Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit.
Me: William Twiner just added me on Facebook??
Micki: Is he single?!
Me: I don’t know. He was one of the 35 crushes though and he likes Harry Potter.
We’ve been having conversations like this for 13 years. Nothing out of the ordinary. We went right back to being impressed with our Harry Potter knowledge and drinking our wine. But I did decide at that moment that I’d pray about him later.
2015 was a year of learning to hope against hope that God was going to give me a husband IF He wanted to (I had given up on that many times before), and IF NOT, He was going to continue to be GOOD in my life and give me an abundantly full life with or without a husband. I felt many things prior to that year in regards to a future husband, entitled and hopeless being the reoccurring themes. But 2015 was a year of being driven to consistent prayer for the first time about this area of life. I kept finding out over and over again that other people in my life regularly prayed for MY future husband, and that one existed. I didn’t even pray those prayers for myself. Here and there sure, but with no sort of consistency.
When a girl that I barely knew for a few months over ten years ago told me that for TWO years she had been praying for me, it pushed me to pray those prayers for myself consistently for the first time in my life. I made a habit out of praying about and for any single guy who was in my life or crossed my path in a significant way. My prayer was always the same, “I love my life! It is abundant and full and beautiful. If this guy, or any, could be someone who would bring me closer to you and not further away, work out the details. If I could be better used in ministry and for Your glory with him than without, work it out. If not, let me forget about him.”
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
When William and I had a short fleeting conversation on Facebook, I prayed that prayer about him a few times, then moved on. Meanwhile…
Emily: Have you talked to her again? Did you read her future husband post? I think it’s about you.
William: What am I supposed to say? ‘My sister thinks I should marry you. Want to hang out?’ That’s weird Emily.
And then Alan Rickman (Professor Snape on Harry Potter) died. Within minutes, we each posted similarly sentimental things about being sad about his death. I messaged him on Facebook and told him I had been in my office sobbing for an hour about Alan Rickman and how watching Harry Potter would never be the same. That lead to nerdy conversations about what houses we were in and how at some point everyone thought or hoped they’d be Gryffindor, but most of us weren’t (I’m a Hufflepuff, he’s a Slytherin ). That perfectly lead to us talking about the Gospel and sin and really deep and beautiful things about Jesus and His love and redemption in our lives. (And we pretty much haven’t stopped talking since that moment.)
The next day, after literally talking non-stop for 24 hours with a short break to sleep, he asked me out on our first date. It was perfect. It was different. I tried to be calm and pretend that what was happening wasn’t happening even literally saying to my roommates and friends who were joking about us getting married the day after our first date, “I CAN NOT start a new job, get a new car, and get married in the same year!” Well, I was wrong.
I knew I might marry him on our first date.
I knew I could probably marry him on our second date after we both shared our stories, the good, bad, ugly, beautiful, and redeemed parts.
I knew I was supposed to marry him the morning after our second date when before 8 am God’s response to my late night and early morning prayers for direction was the most beautiful sunrise I’d ever seen, a perfect and beautiful rainbow as a reminder of His promises, and hearing the lyrics to a worship song that had previously only made me think about MY story, but was very clearly speaking to my heart about HIS story:
“My [his] past embraced. My [his] sin forgiven. I’m [he’s] blameless in Your sight. My [his] history rewritten. You delight in showing mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Oh Love, great Love. Fear cannot be found in You. There will never be a day You’re uncertain of the ones You chose.”
I knew at that moment that if God chose to give me this man, if he was calling me to him, that despite the mess in both of our redeemed pasts, our future would be breathtakingly more beautiful than I could ever imagine.
I knew I wanted to marry him when he told me I was the epitome of Molly Weasley, when he held my hand for the first time, when he told me he loved me, when he noticed my favorite freckle on my lip and so many other little quirky things about me, when he prayed for me before I told him about hard stuff from my past, when he prayed for us when we had our first disagreement, when I saw him teach God’s word, when I saw over and over the passion he has for Jesus and His word and ministry, when I really saw the way he looked at me, when I realized my prayers and hopes for a man who could lead me spiritually were being met in him, when I saw him serve his branch of the body of Christ so beautifully, when I saw how much he loved his niece, sister, mom, grandparents, etc., and a million other times.
I knew I was going to marry him because of all the moments that didn’t even actually involve him. Moments between a Heavenly Father and a terrified girl when overwhelming peace that surpasses all understanding was delivered over and over again in abundance. This peace was something that I couldn’t have mustered up on my own. Have you met me? I’m probably one of the least calm and most easily frazzled people you have ever met (just change something I have planned out to see for yourself). Every big and baby step along the way was filled with supernatural peace and affirmation.
I knew he wanted to marry me when we had the “are we on the same page” talk not too far into dating.
I admittedly wanted to roll my eyes more than once when other married couples said those words in my previous years of life. “We just knew.” “When you know, you know.”
It’s a different kind of knowing than I imagined, but for us it was true. I expected the “knowing” to feel like magic (I think we can blame movies for that). This love for sure is full of magical feelings, butterflies, and sparkles, but more than anything else it just feels like home. It feels normal. It feels like forever. But this kind of knowing isn’t based on a feeling for me. It’s a know I felt deep inside my soul. It was a knowing that came with the aforementioned supernatural peace that only the Creator of love can deliver. I knew it as sure as I knew God called me to Himself, saved me, and would love and pursue me forever. It felt like a calling just as much as being called to ministry or a job or to move or to do anything else I had previously done in life that the Lord called me to.
When we had that conversation and realized we both knew, that we both wanted to spend forever together, and that we wanted to be obedient to the calling to sacrificially love each other and be covenant committed to one another for eternity, more peace and affirmation continued to be delivered! We were scared. Scared of ourselves, scared of enemy attacks, and scared of what other people would think. But the good thing about allowing God to lead you to the person He has for you is that He is more than able to squash every fear. William told me that he adamantly believed we should get married on my favorite day (all the heart eyes and tears!). We considered our fears and our “knowing” and decided if the only reason we wanted to wait until 2017 was because of what other people would think, it wasn’t a good enough reason! God continued to give us abundant peace about 2016 and affirm that decision in beautiful ways and through the support of family and friends.
To be continued…
Part 2: The Proposal
Part 3: The Perpetual Blessing