Right after he proposed–If you look closely, you can tell I cried through the whole thing!
Stories are powerful. In fact, I’d argue that stories are God’s preferred method of communication, as we can see in Jesus’s parables and ultimately throughout the whole Bible, the overarching story of humanity. My story with my now-fiance, Alex, has taught me an important lesson about trusting God that applies to many different areas of life. I would love to share that story with you, both to share the lessons I learned and to share the beautiful story God has given Alex and me, for his glory!
Officially, our story began August 4th, 2013. But God began working years before, writing a beautiful story that would become a treasure to Alex and me. Come with me on a journey back in time, to approximately three years before the present day–when our story truly began.
My family and I have gone to the same church for about 7 or 8 years, and for the past 5 or 6, we’ve always sat in the same section. (It’s a big church with 12 sections, so unless you pick one, you really don’t get to see many of the same people every week.) One Sunday (three years ago), my dad pointed out a red-haired young man sitting about 10 rows in front of us. “Hey Christie, I think he’d be a great guy for you,” he whispered during worship. “Pshhh, come on Dad, you’ve never even met him!” He smiled wryly, but said nothing. Apparently, he and my mom both conspired together on the matter, because every Sunday we saw him after that (and I do mean EVERY Sunday), they would both poke me and point. My dad even came up with a nickname for him: “Dr Quest.” (If you’ve ever watched the old show Johnny Quest, you’ll remember that Johnny’s dad had red hair, which was why my dad chose the nickname). “You could be Mrs. Dr. Quest!” he’d tell me.
I wasn’t really interested in this whole thing, for a few reasons. One, my dad had never met him, and I thought it was silly for him to know he’d be good for me just by looking at him. Two, I never thought we’d meet, since I’d never randomly approach him, and he probably didn’t know I existed. Three, he looked quiet and reserved during worship, and I was definitely not into quiet guys.
But I should have known about my dad: he’s ALWAYS right about guys. He does not often air his opinion, but when he does, it’s spot on. What was it about this red-haired man that caught his eye? Most likely, his reverence and calm, humble demeanor. My dad’s highest values in a man are godliness, integrity, and humility, and I think he could see all three in this man. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Fast-forward a year and a half, and I was on my way to school out of state. I spent many hours talking with my mom about my lack of a man and my bleak prospects of finding the right one (bleak, of course, because almost every young Christian girl fears she will never find a godly husband). My mom would talk about it with her friends, because their daughters felt the same way. But four or five separate people, within about a two or three month time span, would tell me or my mom, “I wonder if God is hiding him from her?” I was skeptical. “There’s no one that I know who I’d be interested in, there’s no way he could be hiding!” This was a silly comeback, for obvious reasons.
After the year away at school, I returned home rather sad and defeated. School was not what I hoped it would be, and even more, I despaired of ever finding a good man. Singleness was a real struggle for me, even though I was still very young. I wrestled with it all summer, finally putting my foot down and truly deciding that I would not pursue friendships with guys (since they always led to hurt in the past on one or more sides) and seek out a dear girl friend instead. And I certainly found one! I poured into her, and together we journeyed towards contentment in our singleness and trust in God for however long it would take for him to bring us men. That was the time when I decided I would not date anyone else unless I truly believed I could marry him. It was a pivotal decision for me.
Around the middle of July of 2013, for the first time in my life, I reached a point where I could truly say, “Lord, I trust you. I am content, and I will remain content for however long it takes for you to bring my man. I will not settle–I will trust.”
It was as if God said, “Ah, finally. Now you are ready.”
August 4th, 2013: A normal–but truly extraordinary–Sunday. More than usual, my heart entered into a deeply worshipful and grateful state (as did my mom’s), and I worshiped whole-heartedly that day with a thankful heart. When the time of worship ended, the worship pastor gave his usual admonition to, “Turn around and greet the people behind you!” So I obediently turned around and offered my hand–
–My heart skipped a beat.
There he was. Literally RIGHT behind me, this whole time.
I looked at my mom; we exchanged a quick (but meaningful) glance.
I introduced myself, but honestly, I didn’t remember his name or anything about the brief introduction. I sat down and texted my mom:
“I KNOW RIGHT”
“…. he’s pretty cute.”
“I told you he was!”
I don’t remember anything about the sermon, either.
When it ended, I turned around again and re-introduced myself, intent on remembering his name this time. I experienced an inner face-palm moment when I watched my mom grab his hand and pull him in, TOO intent on getting his name. “Mom, you’re gonna blow my cover! Stop being so obvious!” I screamed in my mind.
He was sitting with a lady named Michelle, whose daughter had taken one of my mom’s discipleship classes. She nudged Alex and said, “Christie just went sand boarding at the dunes, isn’t that cool? I saw pictures on her blog.”
I knew at that exact moment, it was a setup.
Those pictures were on my Facebook, not my blog. Stalking had obviously occurred.
We had an instant connection–I knew immediately that he was something special. We began conversing, and I found out he was a personal trainer at LifeTime Fitness, the luxury resort of gyms. My segue into extended contact with him was that I had recently gotten my group exercise fitness certification and was looking for a teaching position–what a coincidence! I obviously had to keep in contact with him, since he had connections at LifeTime. We continued conversing, and I mentioned that me and my friend Macey (who was there at church with me) played ultimate frisbee. He lit up and said that he loved ultimate frisbee. I offered, “Awesome! I can text you when the next game is, and then after that you can give your number to Mike and he’ll let you know when the games are.” “Wait, Mike who?” He asked. “MacIntire?” “Whaaaat? I’ve been going to that frisbee group for almost two years! When did you start?”
We found out that he stopped going to the group LITERALLY the time before I started. Macey had been to the group one time before me, and she had met him. Great timing on God’s part, since I still had work in my heart to be done.
A week and a half later, I texted my friend Macey and said, “I’m totally going to marry this guy.”
I found out a few months later that one of his friends texted him the very day we met, saying, “I have a friend who I’d like you to meet, I think you and she would really hit it off together.” Alex replied, “Thanks for the offer, but I’m currently pursuing someone from church.” Obviously, he saw something special about me, too.
A month later, on his birthday (September 6th, the day before mine), at 12:00 between our birthdays, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, of course.
Then, 9 months later, he asked me to be his wife. I said yes, of course.
Alex is unlike any man I’ve ever met–everything I could have asked for. He can understand and engage with me on every level of my soul: the God-loving, the intellectual, the musical, the humorous, the adventurer. He loves the Lord with his whole being, and out of that devotion flows his love for me. My family adores him, as do I. We laugh together, play together, pray together, and do ministry together. Everything I barely dared to hope and dream for–everything I thought would be impossible to find in a single person–has come together in a beautiful gift from heaven at exactly the right time.
What’s the point of the story? Well, other than the fact that I love sharing it (haha), I feel like it has a very significant moral. I was worried, afraid, sad, lonely, and despairing of finding a man all the way until two weeks before I found him. I know, it’s silly. I’m only 20. Why was I so worried? I feel like I’ve always desired to be married, and especially to be married young. Sometimes I think God puts that into people’s hearts. He certainly has fulfilled it in mine, anyway.
There are many areas of life where we worry and despair of our circumstances, thinking God won’t provide or that we will be sad, lonely, or lacking until he gives us the thing we need. But what if I had chosen to trust him that whole time? If I’d known I’d meet Alex when I was 20, I would have spent the time before that in a state of joy and contentment, knowing God would provide in his timing. The two weeks before I met Alex were the most happy and content times that I had experienced up until that point. I could have existed in that state for years before, had I let go of my fear and trusted that God would provide over and above what I could have asked for. I’ve learned sooooo much through my story with Alex, and many more blogs are stirring in my heart. But I wanted to tell the whole story first.
Is there an area of your life where you feel resentful or fearful towards God, wondering if he will ever provide? Wondering if he sees, wondering if he knows your needs or deep desires? What if you took this time and trusted him, as though you could see into the future the time where you would receive what you long for? Then you could spend the interim in joy and peace, trusting God as your loving, generous Father instead of a withholding, distant God. The purest, deepest desires of your heart are from the Lord–what if he’s waiting to bless you until you let go and trust him?