Here’s to Forever

Today is the most beautiful day I’ve seen in awhile. There is something so special about today and I think there always will be. I’m going to let you guys in on my journey to engagement because I fully believe that God has given me a story to tell. It’s not my love story, but His story of faithfulness that makes me fall more in love with Him and more in love with Kevin every single day.

Backstory:
I was single for about 3 years before Kevin and I started dating. I was most often the girl of all my pals who was not dating. I never dated a lot growing up, but I always longed for my person. Which made the waiting for Him difficult at times. I became a believer when I was 14, but never knew what it meant to live out my faith until I was about 21. I came off of a relationship that I tried making fit the desires of my heart. Guys, you know when you’re in something that isn’t right. Deep down, you have an unsettling feeling in your stomach. Listen to it. It saves you so much unnecessary pain later. After that relationship, I looked at singleness in a whole different way. I told the Lord that I would rather be single for the rest of my days than to ever get in an unhealthy relationship again. I never wanted to be outside the will of God again, even if that meant the “harder, lonelier,” path.
During my years of singleness and following Jesus, I made a “Husband list” very prayerfully. It wasn’t finished in a day, but over a span of a few years. It was so exciting to dream with God about this man. I learned what my desires were and what were God’s desires. I wrote things down with the whisper, but if not you’re still good. Because I wanted to not be completed, but complimented by a man. And if it was God’s desire to keep me single forever or until I’m older than the average person getting married, I wanted to be okay with that.
My deepest desire was His desires for my life. 
My husband list was very specific and I prayed for things that only God knew about. He’s the best wingman.
My top two prayers were that I’d marry a man who loves God way more than he loves me.
And that my future husband wouldn’t say I love you until he was down on one knee. I wanted I love you to be backed up with the promise of forever. By the way, Kevin did not know these desires or prayers of my heart. I wanted to keep them safe with the Lord.

I felt the tug on my heart to go on a dating fast in the Fall of 2013. On November 1st, I sat down with my discipler and told her this was something I was wanting to do and wanted her accountability. She was totally for it and encouraged me to ask God for an end date. I prayed for a few weeks and randomly felt like May 2014 was when it should end, but remained open to the fact that God could make it longer.
Let me explain what my dating fast was for those who may not have ever heard of it.
So like I said, I was never huge on dating, but I did spend ample amount of time thinking and dreaming about my future husband, engagement and wedding. I felt like I had made the gifts the primary focus of my heart, not the Giver. So my fast was that anytime I felt the urge to get on pinterest and dream (which I did often), complain to God about Him not giving me what I wanted, or envied my friends that were moving in the direction of marriage before me, I would pray, dig into the word and do things that were glorifying to the Lord. It was so hard! I totally had the fear that I’d meet someone and break the fast or I’d worry that I’d be missing out on something during it. I had to completely surrender those lies at the foot of the cross and TRUST that God wouldn’t let me miss the things He had for me.
Trust is huge, you guys.
Trust is everything.
If you don’t trust God with your love life you’ll either settle for a mediocre relationship or fall into sin out of fear that He doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
I think every person wanting to get married should surrender their love lives to God. What do you have to lose? I’ll gladly lose heartache and insecurity!
I feel like I need to say that my goal at the end of this fast was not a husband, but a deeper love for Jesus and a trust in Him that I had never known. I knew if I had that, I could conquer anything life throws at me!

Kevin came into the picture June 2014. I didn’t really know him that well, but God repeatedly told me to invite him to be a leader at a camp my church was hosting that summer. We were in the same life group in Waco, but we were just kind of pals at that time. I finally obeyed God and I’m so glad I did! We were great friends after camp and started dating October of that year.

This day changed everything.

Kevin and I never spoke about marriage, like ever. I know that could be weird to some, but I never wanted to thwart the Lord’s plans for my life again. My compulsive planning had hurt me over and over again and I didn’t want to go with my plans anymore. I wanted to see where God could take Kevin and I if I just let Him move. So you can imagine how hard and sometimes awkward it was dating someone and not talking about the future together. We had people ask us to our faces, “are y’all in love?” or “When are y’all getting married?!” Yea, totally awkward.

I woke up on this day last year with an unexplained joy in my heart. For the last few months I had found a peace with where Kevin and I were at. Of course I wanted to marry him in a heartbeat, but I once again had to let go of what I wanted and trust God and His timing.
Kevin was picking me up for a fancy date to celebrate our year and a half anniversary and brought me back to his beautiful apartment that overlooks downtown Houston.
He had cleared out his entire living room and made a (fake) candle pathway to the balcony. It had been raining and flooding all week, but this day was beautiful. It felt Holy. This day was special. Kevin showered me with the sweetest gifts and a yummy dinner. He brought out the perfect white mug with “Ty” written on it and we drank coffee together and watched the sun set over the city. (I’m a slow drinker and I know Kev had to have been nervous about it for quite sometime. Oops.) I was at the bottom of my mug when I noticed words written inside of it. I immediately said, “wait what? what does it say?!” Kevin seriously made me finish the coffee. He then set the mug down and brought out the most beautiful ring I had ever laid eyes on and said the long awaited words I’ve been dying to hear for the longest time. “Ty, I love you. I love you so much.” He then asked me to marry him. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. He had a go pro hidden to film the whole thing, but it actually died right before Kevin proposed. Bummer, but also sweet knowing only we will forever live in that moment together.

I am in tears writing this right now. You guys that are reading this and are wondering if God has your best interest in mind, He does. He is faithful. He cares deeply about your desires. He is so in love with you and longs to walk with you and be your first love. I did not always wait well, even after surrendering it all to Jesus. I had so many days filled with worry and questions as to what God was doing, but I always held on to the hope that He knew what was best for me.
I long for my story to inspire you to wait. Wait for the man that will love God first. Wait for the man that will respect you, respect your body and respect your heart and not draw it out. Wait for God’s best. You can trust Him with it all and you can believe that He comes through for you. He is so committed to you and your heart’s desires.  Take that first step of trust today and then take another one tomorrow. It won’t be a perfect journey, but it will be beautiful because He makes beautiful things.

 

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