But what has been clear to me since I met Andrew is that God has been intimately involved in this process. It is crazy when we look back on our lives — choices, experiences, joys, difficulties, other relationships, jobs — so many things led us to that Easter dinner in that exact spot. So many things have prepared us for one another and have shaped our unique perspectives and abilities so that we are a really good team.
Stories of Love
To my surprise, Mr. Dickey actually considered me as a possible candidate for his daughter after we met together! For a couple of months, we kept up active discussions about my beliefs, goals, and purpose. During this time Christina did not know of our activities. When Mr. Dickey gave me permission to begin a relationship with Christina, I was scared to death because I had never done this kind of thing before!
But things had changed when we started talking, and when she realized I wasn’t a missions major and was quite a kindred spirit, well, you could say something stirred in both of our hearts.
I remember one day we were all having a discussion and I walked away afterwards impressed with Abi’s walk with the Lord. I could tell it was real, and it was her own. About that time God put the thought in my mind, “She would make a good wife and mother.” “Yep!” I thought, “for some lucky guy.” Went right over my head. However, God kept bringing it back and laying her on my heart for the remainder of camp — and by the time camp was over I realized God was saying that to me!
Man, did I have it all wrong. I was looking for a girl who met my requirements. I was looking for a girl who could measure up to my list of desired qualities. I was looking for a wife for me, stated plainly. God revealed to me that marriage paints a bigger picture — a picture that reflects God himself. A picture that is self-giving, self-sacrificing, and outward-focused. Boy, did I need some work to rearrange my heart.
I started “coincidentally” running into a guy named Tien from my church — everywhere: at church, the post office, prayer meetings at other churches, on the soccer field, on campus (we both did international student ministry), at youth group outings. He was definitely on my “friend” radar.