I met my husband on Facebook. And that’s just the beginning of our wild romance. I can
remember the day he asked to be my friend on the popular social media site. His good looks prompted me to immediately accept him as my new cyber friend. His first message to me simply asked how my weekend was and that is when the online flirting began. He was
witty, funny and charming. So when he asked for my number I didn’t blink an eye before typing it. Our first date was in Hermosa Beach, California and it lasted nearly 12 hours. We talked like old friends. I told him things I had never even told my best friends
and he shared stories from his past, some crazy, some wild and some very interesting. We laughed. A lot! We strolled in the sand and swung on the swings. Enjoyed lunch, dinner, dessert and a bottle of wine. He never kissed me that night, although I was praying he
would! I know you must be thinking now I’m crazy or wondering how the heck I didn’t know he was a Facebook stalker. But I wasn’t certain about anything in those first moments. However I did believe with all my heart that he was God sent. And yes, I am ponding my actions onto God and attesting that He is the one who set this whole thing up via social media. Silly God.
Andrew and I didn’t waste any time. We started enjoying every minute of life together with no reigns; going on international trips, flying state to state to see friends, eating dinners that cost more than a car payment, and drinking wine until the sun came up. We lived lavishly thanks to business being fantastic at the restaurant him and his brother owned in Anaheim. We would be somewhere fabulous and I remember thinking how the heck did I get so lucky? I grew up in a very small town, I worked pay check to pay check and here I was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for the second time in 4 months, for pure pleasure with my new love.
The lifestyle we were living together was easy to get accustomed to. Fast forward 2 years into our passionate filled relationship >> We are in Europe, having explored Tuscany, Italy with his family, Rome, Cannes, Corsica, Majorca and now we are in Barcelona. Andrew leads me to the beach to watch the beauty of the sun dip into the Mediterranean water. His brother follows behind, documenting it all, when all of a sudden my reality became better than any dream, as Andrew dropped down to one knee, with tears in his eyes, and asked me to be his wife. I of course, said yes!! The inscription in my engagement ring reads:
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a
seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy
unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty
flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would
be utterly scorned.” Solomon 8:6-7
I remember thinking what profound words he had chosen to lay at the foundation of our courtship. Keeping God central in our blossoming romance was essential. And we knew it. But did I really? I can say that God is good when life is great, but could I praise Him also in times of bad, in times of worry or uncertainty? God wanted an answer out of me immediately.
For one of the first times in mine and Andrew’s relationship we were faced with a life changing event. 5 months into our engagement Andrew and his brother lost their restaurant to a large developer. They were stripped of everything they had worked so hard for. Life,
as I had always known it with Andrew, had drastically changed over night. Everything he owned, that had his name on it ,was taken or lost. When it came down to selling his last possession, his car, we both cried. He had nothing to show for the past 7 years of hard
work. Nothing to call his own. Odd jobs here and there kept us both afloat. And the generosity friends and family showed us during these time literally saved our lives and helped us still keep our wedding date.
The grace that God is, ensured we always had just enough to pay our bills and keep food in our fridge. I can giggle about it now and I remember giggling then, when I’d pay our
electric bill and my account would have all but 12 cents left in it after. But I praised God for giving us more than we needed. I remember going to our pre-martial counseling session with our Pastor who was to marry us. He asked us what we thought was the
number one reason for divorce. Infidelity? No. Lack of passion? No. Finances/ Debt/ Dollars? Yes. My goodness the thoughts that raced through my head. Our love was already being tested (and it probably will again) before we even said “I do”. We were being set up for failure by the devil. The devil hates love. Because God IS Love. Andrew and I were up for the test. “Bring it on” we said.
We rested in this truth: “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12 I know you’ve heard these popular
lyrics sung by Bon Jovi before, “livin’ on a prayer, take my hand and we’ll make it – I swear, whooah livin’ on a prayer” that was our theme song. God had literally and figuratively stripped us of everything we ever known together. Were we sad? Yes. Were we
exhausted? Yes. Were we frustrated? Absofreakinglutely! But when I said “yes” to Andrew’s proposal, I was saying “yes” to whatever God had planned for our lives together. And if you know me well, I don’t go back on my word. God was ensuring that I didn’t go back on
my word with Him either. When I declared Him as my Savior, my Counselor, my Father, my Provider, He reminded me that I declared that it was enough.
Nothing was ever of certainty during these times and still nothing is. You see, God planted a new seed of love and faith in us that is now so deeply rooted “many waters cannot quench; rivers cannot wash away”. He ensured that we knew “love cannot be bought or sold – cannot be found in the marketplace” (MSG translation) and created in us new hearts, new dependency, a new way of living. And for that I can praise Him all the more.