God’s story for humanity starts with the words IN THE BEGINNING… The magnitude of these aptly comes to mind as Matthew and I share the story of US.
It all started with a prophecy…
A gracious Aunt of mine who has regularly hosted missionaries, ministers, and the like was asked to host a newly-traveling Matthew more than a few years ago. As he prepared for his first visit to Southern California and my Aunt prayed, the Lord told her the bridegroom was coming…in regard to me!
Shortly thereafter I met a married, ambitious Matthew from North Carolina when I was visiting my cousin in the San Francisco area. I didn’t give the prophecy or him much thought as I was in the throes of longstanding, serious health challenges and…of course…he was married. I observed his simple countenance as a new “friend of the family” and found him to be pleasant enough. I came away from our first meeting unphased.
Just before we met, I had just come out of an engagement relationship, was reconnecting with family, and really asking questions about God. In the midst of a major life transition is where Matthew and I really met. After our meeting in San Francisco, my cousin and Matthew headed right back down to the Southern part of the state. On their way, they insisted on visiting me. Though it was out of their way and I only had a minute to spare, we met.
It was in a God-designed moment that, by faith, our relationship began with an unexpected hug. During the three-minute visit, with my cousin present, Matthew obeyed the Holy Spirit and hugged me. Becoming the arms of the Father, something in my spirit shifted and my life has never been the same since.
In that moment the purest friendship I would ever experience was born. As I discovered more about Matthew through emails, text, and phone calls I began to refer to him as a friend and mentor. God was moving quickly in my life and Matthew was a great encouragement and teacher. As I went through healing and my spiritual gifts began to take shape, I realized we had a special connection. There was something about our time together that gave us both great access to peace and acceleration in the Spirit.
As time went on, I deeply cherished each exchange with Matthew over the years. God did much with us as individuals during our time together. From the start, our friendship was marked by authenticity, caring, and gratitude. It was under these banners that Matthew and I walked with each other through the most difficult and joyful moments of our lives. Sincere prayers for each other’s relationships, health, and life with God have been the hallmark of us always.
So…what changed, you may ask?
God’s graciousness and mercy for Matthew and me has been beyond measure. In His wisdom, He veiled us from one another until the perfect time. At the beginning of this year, however, it seemed as if a door for us was opening.
Having a strong friendship foundation and a great trust between each other, Matthew bravely broached the subject of possibly discovering something romantic between us. For me, this was all I needed to hear. While we both knew a door was open to us, about six months prior, I had experienced an open window in my heart. I found that when Matthew was departing from one of his visits, I wanted him to stay. I swiftly confided this heart flutter to my trusted cousin and she helped me close the window just as quickly as it had opened.
This trace of affection was the only clue I had to the hiddenness of what has now become a tender reality. When Matthew essentially asked if I was interested I was overjoyed. My spirit sang and I spent the immediate time after encouraging and comforting him in all that he was newly experiencing.
Since then, the miraculous has occurred. In each other, Matthew and I are discovering the true depths of loving friendship, how identity and unity are the framework of God’s kingdom, and what impact abiding in all aspects of marriage may have on us and the body of Christ.
Thank you for sharing in this journey with us as we DISCOVER God in ALL things!