The Tough Decision That Changed My Life

wedding

I was that girl.

The one that had more friends of the opposite sex than of my own.

Even as a twenty something, some of my closest friends were guys, and honestly I didn’t see this as a problem…..until one night at a single’s retreat. The teacher spoke of unhealthy relationships between men and women, and he wasn’t talking physical. It went something like this:

If you are in a “friendship” relationship with someone of the opposite sex where you share your hopes, dreams, details of your day, etc. a “best friend” per se….and this friendship isn’t leading towards marriage, then it is not a good idea.  You see male/female “friendships” that are this close only last for one reason. One person is more invested in the other. So either you are leading someone else along, or you are being led on. Neither of which is a good situation.

Ouch. Immediately I thought of a few names. Well, we are in different states, I thought. It doesn’t matter. Surely this pastor isn’t talking about me.

But he was.

When I got home I made a few phone calls. One was easy. He agreed.

The second phone call wasn’t so easy. He didn’t agree. Thought it was silly. So I caved and left things as they were. He was still on my speed dial, and I was on his. And I let things drag on.

A few months later an old roommate from college and I decided to approach the dreaded Valentines Day with a spiritual focus.  With me in Florida and her in New York, we both had that urge to fast and pray for two weeks!   I decided to pray about marriage, ministry, and missions. I was very single, but these were three desires of my heart on which I hoped to hear God speak.

As Valentines Day and the end of our fast drew near, I kind of hoped for some grand display from God, some reward. But it didn’t come. Just like every other Valentines Day, this one passed by without a single declaration from an admirer.

What I didn’t realize was that this time with God, in prayer and intense Bible study, gave me the strength to be obedient. Strength that I didn’t have 5 months before.

The next month that aforementioned guy friend came down for a visit. And this time I swallowed my pride and shared my heart. This relationship wasn’t healthy. It was confusing. And I knew there needed to be a big change. This time, seeing my face, he understood. And it was over.

Losing a friend is never easy. And this situation was no different. I was sad, but trusted that God knew best.

And boy did he ever. There is so much more to the story, but the cliff notes version is this:

God put a different man in my life who was more than I could have asked for, thought of, or imagined. We fell in love, got married and had lots of babies.

But here’s the clincher.  You see, ten years or so into our marriage I was looking over past journals and found something that completely blew my mind. And even typing this gives me chills. As I thumbed through the pages I couldn’t help but notice the dates.

The first one that jumped out to me was the day I heard from the pulpit that I needed to end that relationship

9/9/99

But that’s not even the best part. The day that I finally obeyed the Lord and gave up– letting go of what I thought I needed was:

March 22, 2001.

Exactly one year to the day before I would say  “I do” to the man He had for me on March 22, 2002

Here’s the thing. My God knows that I love numbers (especially the number 22) 🙂 And He was trying to write a story in my life that would glorify His name. But I was holding on to less than His best for me. It wasn’t until I let go and stepped out in faith, after seeking Him more intensely than I ever had, that I received that miracle.

This is not a formula for a miracle. But it is a reminder that there is no greater plan, no greater decision, and sometimes no scarier step than saying yes to God.

Because what He has for you, it is so good.

Today, as I celebrate my anniversary with the man of my dreams, I am so thankful that I said yes to God and I pray that you would too!!

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7 thoughts on “The Tough Decision That Changed My Life

  1. I am pretty sure I send u an admiring Valentine’s Day card.. And if I didn’t send I probably still have it around here lol. Xo

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  2. […] God told me to do something that I recorded in my journal on 9-9-99. I didn’t do it. (Topic for another day) He told me again 2 years later. I finally obeyed. It wasn’t until many years later when […]

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  3. I was led to this article because of Facebook. The sentence about being “that girl” drew me in. I’m still not certain what “that girl” means after reading this article, however, I have to speak up for women that participate in strong friendships with the opposite sex that are strictly platonic.

    I am a woman who has been blessed with many beautiful friendships. Some of these are with men. I tell these men my dreams, goals, insights and day to day adventures. According to this article, “You see male/female “friendships” that are this close only last for one reason.” Well, if the one reason is not that they build each other to become better versions of themselves, than I whole-heartedly disagree with this statement. Why is it so important in the Catholic faith to force men in one corner and women in another? It is an outdated ideal that dates back to the days when women were sold for marriage. It’s 2015. Let’s accept gender equality and acknowledge the fact that men and women can co-exist as humans and least of all, friends.

    Where I am not trying to downplay the path your life took to find your (key words being “your”) ultimate happiness in marriage, I cannot agree with the basis of this article that tells women their friendships with men only last for romantic reasons. As women, it is important we don’t pigeon hole ourselves. We are not one thing, we are many things. We are as capable of having friendships with males as we are having friendships with females. Let’s be more open-minded and accepting and give ourselves some more credit. Marriage and the path to marriage is beautiful and important, but it is not barred by friendships that just happen to be of the opposite sex.

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    • Thank you for your comment! I wholeheartedly agree that their are many paths to happiness in marriage. Also, I am not Catholic.

      However, I have observed that in addition to the physical differences that define the majority of men and women (I say majority because there are rare cases of scientific anomalies) , I have also observed many common differences between men and women both emotionally and spiritually. (again there are anomalies) I don’t think it’s helpful or accurate to push an agenda that men and women are virtually the same. I am not sure what you mean by “gender equality.” Having a discussion is only profitable when the vocabulary used is universally defined. Therein lies the problem in our culture. Words like “tolerance” “equality” “open-minded” are thrown around usually in attempt to belittle and quiet anyone who holds to traditional beliefs that have been held for thousands of years proven by our own anatomy.

      But I digress….. the issue at hand is an observation.

      You claim that you “have to speak up for women that participate in strong friendships with the opposite sex that are strictly platonic.” But how can you speak for the men in those relationships? I was once under the naive assumption that this was possible, and sadly found out later that some of these friends had feelings for me that surpassed friendship, and I had unknowingly been leading them on. Not to mention how we deceive our own selves when it comes to the true intentions and feelings of our own hearts.

      I also have many beautiful friendships with men and women. However just like there is a physical line that I will not cross with the male friends in my life, there is also and equally important, an emotional line.

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      • I was that girl, too….too many guys that I innocently and naively thought were as innocent and naive as me. Lord have mercy! Great article. Great testimony! I find myself, even now, as a married mother of two, having to remind myself that not everyone is as happy and devoted in their lives as I am to my husband and children. I also find myself having conversations with my husband about how much he wants to be my best friend. I’m like “Duh, you are.” but then I realize I need to invest more there and less elsewhere. You know what I mean, jellybean?

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      • How can we be living the exact same life? 🙂

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