Hello there. It seems I’ve been gone for a while now. A lot has happened in the last few years. I graduated from college. I moved out of my parent’s house and into my own place. I’ve worked a few different jobs. But without a doubt, the most extraordinary development has been my relationship with Kayla. Do you remember back when I wrote about how I wanted to do romance God’s way? Today I can tell you it worked. Today I am married to my dream girl and I could not be more joyfully anticipating our future together. God does write love stories, and mine seems to have been ripped straight out of a novel.
Throughout college, I told myself I would not sway in my convictions about romance. I wanted to stay out of frivolous, directionless relationships and wait for God’s perfect timing. I believe that God created romantic love for the purpose of marriage alone. I didn’t want to abuse this gift before I was in a position to enter a truly committed life-long bond with another person. If you’re curious about how my younger self arrived at these conclusions, take a look at my “Love Unawakened” post.
When I first started college, I didn’t fixate too much on the desire for a soulmate. I was able to study, work, and relax without much trouble. Of course, I had my run-ins with girls here and there. Sometimes it was a few casual conversations that turned into friendship. Sometimes it was a bit of outside observation that warned me of some drastically different lifestyles and beliefs compared to my own. Sometimes it was trying to help a person who seemed lost, not wanting to let them find security in me but in Christ. I never saw something that told me with certainty I should pursue a romantic relationship with someone. I was looking out for God’s hints, but never sensed His pull in any particular direction. So I waited.
In early 2017, God worked in my life significantly. He showed me a few things, the first of which was that my desire for a love story of my own was greater than ever before. Another thing He showed me was that I needed to let go of my own selfishness regarding romance. My desire was not wrong. God gave it to me for a reason. It was my fixation on how and when God would lead me that I needed to let go of. I wanted things to unfold in particular ways, but God was asking me to trust Him no matter how He planned to use me for His purposes. These convictions led me to once again give God the pen to my love story. I surrendered my desires and expectations to Him and let go of the anxiety that held me back from trusting Him completely.
This is where the story gets exciting. Shortly after I handed God the pen, He began writing. I got back in touch with a person I remembered from my high school days. I recalled how she seemed to be genuinely interested in my thoughts on whatever topic came up. She was quiet and mature. I thought I might as well message her online and ask how she had been fairing recently. Her name is Kayla.
At first, we discussed old memories and how life had been treating us since the old days. Then we talked about common interests. We exchanged passions and stories, and eventually I realized that our messages were getting longer and longer. I asked her if she wanted to meet up in person to talk. Our first real date was wonderful, even if we didn’t call it a “date.” We were both so cautious at first, and I’m grateful for it. Neither one of us was actively pursuing the other romantically at this point. We simply enjoyed one another’s company. Just talking and walking around town was so refreshing. Then we scheduled another day to meet. Then another. It was so meaningful that we were able to hang out without either one of us becoming drained. For a pair of introverts, this was magical.
The Love Story
As time went on, we both realized that we were fostering something more than friendship. This was a bit strange at first. Ever since I made a commitment to God to wait for His timing, I had never allowed myself to follow through in the pursuit of a long-term relationship with someone. I had always waited. This isn’t to say I disliked romance. I simply cared too much about the perfection of the future to allow any missteps in the present. I wanted the timing to be just right. Perhaps I wanted it to be easy. Some of that desire was wrong. Eventually, God led me to realize that Kalya was a woman worth pursuing now. There was nothing holding us back.
We were pretty awkward in the beginning. I look back now and sigh with relief that those days didn’t last forever. As fun and new as it was, it was also plenty of work. We had to learn each other in a different way. We had to take risks. One person’s step forward sometimes threw the other off balance. It was a delicate process, but I’m so glad we stuck with it. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to God that He helped us build a solid foundation before moving on to external expressions of affection. We were steadfast in our bond as Christians and friends long before we flirted or held hands. It’s something I think everyone should strive for in romance. Start with what will last the ages: trust, communication, common worldviews, and a love for Christ.
As time went on, I began to realize that I loved this girl. I cared for her deeply. I saw that she was a true child of God. I felt that our communication was something we could rely on. There were no red flags. There was only the eager expectation of seeing her again every time she left. She felt the same way. It was so wonderful to know that we were on a path towards something truly worthwhile. Of course, it wasn’t all easy. We both had sins to confess to one another and days that challenged us tremendously. But we faced it together and we were confident in the bond we shared. After talking things over and praying to God about how we felt, we decided to take the next big step. I proposed to the love of my life, and she said yes.
At this point, most people skip to the wedding. After all, it is the fun part. But do not underestimate the wait for the big day. This season brought its own challenges for us. It was painful to wait. We wanted nothing more than to begin life together. But it was healthy for us to navigate all the finances, logistics, and coordination necessary to plan a wedding and find a place to live. Our friends and family helped tremendously, and the spiritual mentors in our life offered us counseling and advice about what to expect. These were the last few months we had living apart from one another to think and pray about our future.
Finally, it happened. The moment we had been waiting for. The wedding day came and it all went so well. As stressful as the planning was, the actual event went off without a hitch. We were so relieved it was all finished. We were married! It was blissful.
Today, we’re learning more and more how to love each other in new ways. Lots of things change when you get married. While not everything has been perfect, I can say without a doubt that we are obsessed with each other. It’s so gratifying to have someone to hold on the bad days and laugh with on the good days. We have had so much fun. Even when obstacles do show up, we’ve been facing them together as a team, and it helps us to succeed.
As a final word, I want to challenge how you view marriage. While there are plenty of awful marriages out there, you don’t have to find yourself in one of them. God did not make marriage to be some unobtainable utopia that only pulls you down into despair. It’s not meant to be a “ball and chain.” It’s not meant to be a cage of resentment and abuse. It’s meant to be a picture of Christ and the church. It’s meant to be a covenant of faith and love between two souls who are ready to give themselves for one another. Kayla and I have found this to be true in our marriage, and we hope we can inspire others to pursue this same kind of romance in their own relationships.