Once upon a time, a 15 year old girl and 16 year old boy met at their high school musical auditions. They briefly chatted, flirted, and parted quickly. A few months later, the girl watched the same boy take a deliberate dramatic dive off the auditorium stage in the middle of the Christmas show and her heart skipped a beat. She didn't even know his name, but for some reason she felt a sense of ownership. After spending the rest of the day together sparks flew. There was no denying it, she was hooked.
Twelve years ago, I met my now husband of over five years. We had a rocky relationship in high school to say the least. Partly because I wasn't allowed to date and I blatantly defied my parents and two, we were insanely immature. Both of us are passionate people who can be impulsive and I especially can get swept away by my emotions. We became very committed to each other, very quickly. It was an intense and quite unhealthy relationship for two teenagers who weren't emotionally ready for that kind of commitment. We fought constantly and I had major jealousy and control issues. While also jumping into inappropriate intimacy, we were left with the consequences of all our poor choices. Yet somehow through all the drama, we remained together. We grew up together and, although making more mistakes than I care to admit, God used it all and brought us into true relationships with Him.
Although I professed to be a Christian from a young age, in my world that just meant repeating the "sinner's prayer", going to church, following the rules and then getting to go to heaven after death. I didn't realize for many years that I had missed the mark. Yes Jesus died so I could go to heaven and yes I needed to repent and believe in Him but I never realized that God didn't just want my words and obedience to rules, He wants my heart, my devotion, my life. When I started to realize the depth of what Jesus did for me on that cross, to give me complete freedom in this life and a unending depth of relationship with the creator of the universe, I knew Jesus couldn't just be a bumper sticker anymore. I wanted Him, all of Him and in return, I wanted Him to have all of me. I may have been a "Christian" but around the age of 20, I truly became a Christ follower. Jesus was no longer a historical figure, He was my King and Lord of my life.
After the drama of high school, we unofficially broke up for several months so we could both "do our own thing." It was basically a time where both of us rebelled and made a lot of sinful choices.. Yet God was there, working in both of us and in His time, revealing to us that if we truly wanted an intimate relationship with Jesus, one thriving and honouring to Him, things needed to change.
Bit by bit, God called us back to Him. We started going to church again, actually reading our Bibles, and pursuing Jesus passionately. We were truly HUNGRY for God. During this time we got engaged. We recommitted ourselves to a God honouring relationship with each other and each a deeper personal relationship with God. Looking back, I find it amazing to see how much God worked in both of us during such a short time. When we finally relinquished our lives to Him, God did not hold back. He stripped our pride, showed us our sins, challenged our faith and drove us deeper and deeper into His awesome power and love. Every day seemed to hold something new in the Word that God wanted to say specifically to us. It was amazing to see His Word come alive and we welcomed it more and more. Convictions on things that once never bothered us, grabbed our hearts and the more we pushed into Jesus, the more we started to see changes. We suddenly had genuine love for others, even people we struggled with. We got a distaste for any TV show or movie with explicit or vulgar material and our attitudes and perspectives on material wealth and priorities were being flipped upside down. It seemed to be that every area of our life was being touched by God and although some changes were painful and (in all honesty) sometimes unwanted, we embraced it, knowing and trusting that God knew best. Our hearts were genuinely changing and our love for Jesus began to be the absolute most important thing in our lives. We allowed God to be the potter, and us the clay.
In the several months leading up to our wedding, doing our premarital counselling, God molded us more than ever before. While God was working powerfully in our hearts, we experienced more intimacy in that short time than in 6 years of dating. Our wedding day became so much more than just repeating vows of love, it became a true symbol of God's grace and redemption, making it more special than I could ever have imagined.
Since that day, our walks with Jesus are constantly changing and deepening. One of the best days of my life was when Adrian came home, kissed me and said "I love you, but I love Jesus more". To the rest of the world, that may sound crazy. To love a god more than your spouse, but Adrian and I were blessed to learn young that when Jesus is our first love, all other love is perfect and complete. The closer we are to God the closer we draw to each other.
We do not have a perfect marriage by any means, but we cant say we've had the typical tough first few years of wedded life. We give all glory to God for taking us through harsh refinement before we became man and wife, and we praise Him for what that has done for our marriage.
I am not proud of the choices we made as young adults and we both carry scars and strongholds which still rise to the surface, but I can look back in amazement at how God masterfully used all of it for good and His glory.
Our love story is His love story and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for all of us.
Author - Erin
Follower of Jesus, on a journey to glorify God and to advance His Kingdom while battling Chronic Illness in the everyday life. Diagnoses include Lupus, CVID, POTS, IBS, Hemiplegic Migraines and other Autoimmune conditions.