(Don’t miss hearing about the men I {almost} married!)

A Rhema:  the Greek word for “the word of God”; a revelation.

I was praying for “a rhema” last summer and God spoke this to me: “Do not doubt My power and do not question My timing.”

(my journals, 2005)

I didn’t recognize him the first few times we met. Not just like, I didn’t recognize him as my future-husband, but I didn’t even remember ever meeting him.

My first memory was in my parent’s kitchen (I’ve been informed this was our fourth meeting). My father invited me over that night and, unbeknownst to me, also invited him.

You could call it anything you want—a blind-date, an arranged courtship—but this is what it was: two strangers being told, “Hey, you guys should get to know each other.”

After I learned his name, I still didn’t really understand who he was. He wasn’t exactly what I had pictured.  He didn’t have the tall, good looks of the first guy I almost married nor did he want to start an orphanage like the second guy. He wasn’t crazy about homeschooling or having more than three kids or moving to Tibet. He attended a semi-conservative church and I liked to dance during worship.

At one point my dad pulled me aside for a chat. “What do you think?” he asked. “Want me to tell him it’s not going to work?”

I was going to say, “Yeah, he’s a great guy but…” I opened my mouth, had the words formed in my mind and I literally could not say them. Instead, I shrugged, stomach in knots, and mumbled, “We’ll see what happens.”

When my dad left I flung myself into my hammock, opened my Bible and said, “Okay, God, what’s going on?”

And I will never forget what He said.

“Tasha, do you really think this all about you?”

I felt conviction to the tips of my toes. I had never once taken into consideration the other stories that intersected with mine. Later I would understand that it wasn’t just about him being the right husband for me (which he was), but it was also about me, with all my gifts, struggles and failures, being the right wife for him.

I whispered, “Okay, God, if this is what you want: help me see.” And the floodgates opened. 

Everywhere I turned, people were telling me that I was dating a good man, full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit (I can’t tell you how many times I heard that phrase!). His sister-in-law, who was a good friend of mine, heard we were together and burst into tears. “I’ve prayed for so long,” she said as saltwater dripped, “and never even thought of you. Of course it’s you.”

We married four months later and at the wedding, those who had frowned at the quickness of our engagement, pulled me aside and said, “You picked good, girl.” I wanted to gently correct them: it really wasn’t me. 

This is embarrassing to say, but if I had been left to choose my own husband I would have picked a lesser man. God, in His mercy, taught me to listen to His voice.

And His goodness? Oh, it leaves me breathless.

He gave me a man who loves my music, who was willing to spend months in another country with me, who had a beautiful farm with apple trees and wild berries, who gives me twirly hugs under a blanket of stars, who willingly dances a waltz with me in freshly mowed grass and encourages me to write my articles and novels and to read the Bible out loud to him every morning.

I can honestly say that I know God better today because of the man I married.

I can honestly say that I know God better today because of the man I married.

My Redeemer walked with me through the relationships that were not to be and led me straight to the one that was.

We didn’t have a perfect story (there was the girl he dated on and off for ten years before me). We don’t have a perfect marriage (we’re still not good at dealing with conflict). But when I look around I see Jesus spilling out. And that, dear ones, is true perfection.

To all of you, married and unmarried alike, may you learn the art of listening to the Father. May the experiences in your life, be they good, bad or ugly, lead you to the foot of the cross. To Him who is faithful and good.

Just like God said in the “rhema” He gave me two years before I met my husband: there was no reason to doubt His power or question His timing. And that applies to more than just finding a husband. 

There was no reason to doubt His power or question His timing. And that applies to more than just finding a husband.

13 Comments

  1. Hi Natasha! I just love your writing. I thank God for your candor and the way the Lord uses your gifts to remind me to wait for his perfect timing. Thank you for sharing your joy, frustractions, struggles and victories with us. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  2. Autumn Shuping says:

    Thank you so much for these posts of encouragement and wisdom. Your story truly helps me. I love this one and the one before about the man you almost married. I literally just broke up with someone because there were too many red flags and I just didn’t feel right about marrying him. I prayed and prayed and felt God was leading me to end that relationship (of 1 1/2 years). I have struggled with if it was right because he was so completely devastated. I hurt him and I hate it… but I couldn’t continue to move forward. I wish I had been more intentional/steadfast with my prayer life during that time of dating him, then maybe I would have ended it sooner. I wish I had listened to God months ago.

    I am praying and seeking God more than ever right now…. and now my friend (known him for 3 years) is pursuing me. It’s just in the beginning stages and I’m not sure what to think. I’m praying for God to calm me and let me not be anxious and just let it happen, if it is His desire – if it honors Him.

    There are things He is revealing to me through this time. As weeks have passed now since the break-up, I have clarity that it was the right decision. God has been speaking to me a lot about serving others, so I’m trying to seek out ways to do that. And there’s a scripture that has been constantly on my mind lately, in Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

    Thanks again for sharing your story. – Autumn

  3. The “it isn’t just about me” lesson is one I’ve been walking through lately 😉 thanks for sharing yours.

    1. Me too. That comment hit me really hard today …

  4. Wow. Your last article (about the man you almost married) hit me right in the gut, and this article hit me as well. Thank you so much! I have never even thought about how marriage “wasn’t just about me”. Thank you. I loved your paragraph about everything he does for you, and how if left to yourself you would have chosen a lot lesser of a man. I have been mourning today the courtship that failed for me. The courtship with the dashing, tall, handsome man who changed greatly from my best friend to someone who lied to me and intentionally hurt me. I have mourned him for a long time, and this article has given me some hope. Thank you.

  5. Samantha R says:

    I also wanted to add that you were certainly wise to listen to your parents and their suggestion! I mean, just think… what if you hadn’t agreed to give him a chance as your Dad was suggesting? I think your story really shows that God does lead our parents and if we are willing to listen… we just never know what God might be trying to tell us and/or show us! 🙂
    Listening is sooo important- whether it’s to our siblings, our friends, our parents or (most importantly), our God!

  6. I loved what you shared! The man I married is certainly not the person I would have picked… but he is sooooooo perfect for me!

  7. This is beautiful, Natasha–and both your post yesterday and this one really spoke to me right now with what the Lord’s been doing in my heart. Thank you, and may He bless you and the man you married. 🙂

  8. I’ve been following your posts and reading each word, seeing God’s master plan as it unfolded for you and my heart is full of joy to read this conclusion…except its not a conclusion as God is still weaving your lives and hearts together for His glory! 🙂

    This paragraph jumped out for me:

    “I felt conviction to the tips of my toes. I had never once taken into consideration the other stories that intersected with mine. Later I would understand that it wasn’t just about him being the right husband for me (which he was), but it was also about me, with all my gifts, struggles and failures, being the right wife for him.”

  9. OOO! This sounds so familiar! The Rhema God gave you about your hubby sounds SOOO similar to the one He gave me about mine! Pure awesomeness! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. Samantha R says:

    That last paragraph echoes my heart. I have no reason to doubt God’s timing or His goodness in my life. He knows best, always; I just need to be willing to listen, always! And I don’t need to “force” anything to happen either 🙂
    Your story has given me hope and not just in finding a husband someday 🙂
    Thank you!

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