July 19, 2008

Boylessness Alumna

I've found that people shy away from the idea of God speaking to us humans. I'm sure I used to be one of them. The ideas of visions or dreams or even just prophetic words being spoken into someone's life are all new to me. I can't say that I've been operating under the assumption that these things were active and valid in my own life for more than a year and a half. It is amazing, however, to see these words, dreams, and visions being confirmed in my own life.

I figured I would write about this now, so that the next time you hear about me, it won't be an engagement announcement. See, about a year ago, God told me that He was going to prepare me for marriage. It's strange... when you receive a word like that so clearly and so directly, it's almost as though you feel like you have to question it-- like you have to throw a fleece out just to make sure you heard Him right. I threw the fleece out a lot. I spent a lot of time asking who my future husband was, rather than becoming the future wife he would need. Finally, just before classes started in January, I realized that God was not going to oblige me in answering my question of "Who is he?" so I decided to change my prayers that sought my future husband's identity into prayers that sought out my future ministry. It was at that moment (yes.. moment, not time, but at that very moment) that God told me that I would know who my future husband was through my future ministry.

So I took hold of that promise and set out to explore the possibilities of my ministry. I was co-leading a small church with my brother at the time, and my campus was weighing heavy on my heart. All I could do was pray and seek. After about a month and a half, I knew there were only two options for my future husband and I was praying fervently that it was NOT one of the specific men placed before me, and I was very open to the other option. In my heart, I think I knew who it was. God was giving me confirmation. I received a vision, my sister had received a dream concerning one of these two men, my family was confirming things through their discernment, but still I was hesitant. I began to pray that God would show me three things: His timing, confirmation from this man, and my part in the situation. I fell into the habit of submitting the situation to God daily. My faith was strong in God's promises, and I could feel myself being prepared for a Godly marriage.

Still, there were a lot of things that held me in bondage. Because of past experiences with guys, Satan was able to feed me the magnificent lie that I would never actually be able to 1) correctly interpret signals from guys or 2) correctly discern words from God. Even when he would wait for me after class everyday, or when he started coming over every Tuesday and bringing me ice cream (my favorite!-- no chocolate... don't want a migraine), or when he randomly picked me a flower, or when he started calling me everyday, I still couldn't quite accept the fact that maybe this guy was falling for me. Maybe, just maybe, God was taking His time so that He could romance me along side this man.

Let me set up a time line for you:

May 2007: I thought I was going to be a nun. Seriously. My face is photo shopped into a habit.

June 2007: God spoke to me about preparation for marriage.

September 2007: My brother tells me his buddy, Mark is coming to church that evening. I jokingly ask "Is he my future husband?" Christopher responds with "He could be." I meet Mark. He's cute. I'm impressed. He's out of my league... like whoah. Out of my league = Off limits.

January 2008: I decide to pursue my future ministry instead of my future husband.

February 2008: My first real conversation with Mark. I find a kindred spirit. He's still cute, and still out of my league.

March 2008: He starts waiting for me after class. We start to contemplate a ministry together on our campus. I found someone with the same heartbeat as my own. God confirms my desires and discernment with a shooting star and a dentist appointment. I want to guard my heart, but find myself asking "What if he doesn't like meeeeeee?!"

April 2008: I spend a week in Kansas with the boy. I am tormented by this. Our marriage is prophesied over. That's all, really. I'm still asking "What if he doesn't like meeeeeee?!"

May 2008: He starts praying with me twice a week and bringing me ice cream. He picks me a flower and sends me an e-mail about my character being that of a noble wife. What on earth do I do with that?! I'm still asking "What if he doesn't like meeeeeee?!"

June 2008: It all comes out in the open. One Thursday morning in my living room, he admitted his affection for me.

July 2008: A week and a half later, he told me that he had made a commitment to God to pursue marriage with me. The next day, I found out that God had spoken to him at the beginning of the year to tell him that I am his future wife. We press onward toward marriage and our future ministry together.

What else is there to say? A LOT. I'm going to write a book.


G.N. said...

You know...
You should probably write a book or something.

Jessica R. Goodwin said...

I started one last night. I decided to use the name "Reluctantly Beloved" for it... instead of using it for my other project.

Yes... that is what I have always been, and what I currently find myself trying NOT to be--
Reluctantly Beloved.

On Aprils

Ten years ago, I sat in the dining hall of a Christian camp. A man my father's age sat with me. It was April, and I had no idea... I had...