So, I went to prom with someone I barely knew (click here to read about it). And that night was the beginning of a relationship that lasted a few years and eventually started steering toward marriage. Not as romantic as it sounds. Those years were the most spiritually confusing years of my life. I knew I was out of God’s will; I knew I could not marry this boy as I had promised, but I loved the way he seemed to love me. I had trusted friends speak hard truth to me about the relationship, and I refused to listen. My heart grew further and further away from the Lord as my relationship with this young man grew more intense emotionally and physically. Through it all, I was a wreck. I was convicted at every turn but too afraid to give up and give in to God.
Saundra (left, the bride) and me (right) on a life-changing day for both of us
Finally, at my best friend’s wedding, I had a miraculous intervention by the Holy Spirit. As I watched the bride and groom pledge their lives to each other for the King and the Kingdom, I realized this type of celebrated and Godly relationship was not in my future because I was disobeying God. I went from that wedding ceremony with the resolve to not throw away God’s destiny for me, and to not be part of helping someone else do the same.
In the months that followed, my heart changed radically. I broke off the relationship, as brutal as that felt, and began to hear God speak to me again. I finally felt clear direction from the Lord about things I had been very confused about earlier. God led me to work for a ministry in Oklahoma for my last summer before college graduation, and it was there I eventually met my Jesse (my soul mate and husband).
I knew God had delivered me (and him!) from a disastrous future.
I remember being in a post office in Tulsa and writing the date at the top of a check—May 4, 1996. Instantly I realized it was the date I had set to marry my previous boyfriend. I burst into tears, right there in the line for my stamps. I knew God had delivered me (and him!) from a disastrous future. Instead of being in a white dress, about to pledge my life to the wrong man…on May 4, 1996, I bought stamps, had an uneventful afternoon, watched a movie, and fell asleep in the apartment I rented by myself with a very clear conscience and a sense of destiny. Continue reading…