I feel like this should start with "Once upon a time..." because it really feels like the story of how Jess and I met is a story out of a fantasy book. It's not unbelievable in the fact that it is some overly fake, flowery fairytale but in that fact that God worked in every aspect of our lives to bring us together in quite the unusual way. It was way to "coincidental" to be coincidental. It all started back about two years ago. I was at a dead end in my life's path. I wasn't going anywhere. I was working a difficult and poorly paying job. I was tired of accomplishing nothing. The idea to join the Army was a far shot and I didn't think it would work. I was sure that something would not allow it to work out but nevertheless it did. As I made it through basic training and AIT, I found myself in Ft. Bragg, NC. Not sure why but I figured God had me here for a reason and I would just have to go with it. Being here wasn't bad at first. My daily routine was pretty straight forward and easy to get into. As I got into the late summer though, my schedule started to get quite busy. I found myself in one thing after another from field exercises to weird shifts. I didn't care though because I was single and didn't have anything better to do. Although I really wanted someone special in my life, I was content to remain single and make a career out of the Army. Or I thought so until a certain Sunday in August. I was pulling night shifts at the time for a field exercise. I got back that Sunday morning and was very tired. I wanted to sleep so bad but the pull to be back in church won out. I fought to wake myself up, get ready and I went to church anyway. I walked in to our Sunday school room and my heart skipped a beat when I saw a new young lady sitting there off by herself. I did pretty good about remaining collected, but the whole class, I was wondering who she was and if I would see her again. During the class, a special guest was there and he even addressed relationships and said that if you leave the decision for your spouse in God's hands, you wouldn't have to try very hard. God would work it out. Well after going the rest of the day not talking to her but finding out who she was, I wasn't sure it was going to work. I wanted a sign that she was the one to pursue a relationship with but I thought it was over by that night. I spent quite some time on her Facebook page considering whether or not I should try to contact her when to my surprise, I got a friend request. It was from her! My heart skipped another beat. I messaged her the following morning and the rest is history. looking back on the whole thing, all I see is God's guiding hand Putting us both right where we needed to be at the right time. There are so many instances where a slight change would have never allowed us to cross paths. It's been challenging being in a long distance relationship but God continues to take care of us and help us through it. Waiting on God's plan for my future has been the best thing I ever did. Our relationship is strong and I hope and pray the "Once upon a time..." will end in a "and they lived happily ever after."
This is kind of one of those stories that as you tell you are reminded by how amazing God is, and many times His will sneaks up on you when you least expect it. :)
When I graduated high school in 2008, unlike many other people, I felt the Lord wanted me to stay exactly where I was and just keep serving in the church my Dad pastored. I had prayed about it and just didn't feel any leading anywhere else, so that's what I did. Like every young girl I desired to find and have the someone that God had created for me, but wasn't sure how this was going to come about. It was a constant learning experience to learn to be thankful and content to just wait on the Lord's timing to bring that relationship about in His time. I would get the question a lot why was I still here and not going to college. Many times when I would get questioned I would have to go back and pray and make sure this was what God wanted of me.....then I would get the overwhelming peace yes this was exactly what He wanted me to do. Countless people tried to pair me with certain guys they thought were "just perfect" for me, and even my sweet teen girls who I worked with tried their best to help me. I just got burnt out with everyone's well meaning efforts to "help". I wanted God's will for me, and knew that He would have to be the One to do it. So I threw myself into teaching piano lessons, and serving to my fullest capacity in church. My goal was to make myself so busy doing for others that I had no time to complain for very long. I loved being so heavily involved in so many aspects of the ministry. I would still get discouraged quite often, but my parents were my greatest encouragers. My Mom would always say, "Jess, it's going to be beautiful." Many times it was hard to believe, but the Lord made it absolutely beautiful!!
In August of 2014 we went on our yearly vacation. We usually vacationed in Tennessee for a good while, then to NC for a couple of days to visit family; but this time my Dad decided we'd go to Georgia for a few days, head to NC then back through Georgia. So our timeline of where we would go to church was affected a bit. While we were in Georgia one of my married sisters had some medical issues come up, and I thought for sure we would cancel our vacation, but my parents decided to press on. Sunday we went to the church we previously attended when we lived in NC, I went to the singles/military class and waited for it to start. Shortly after I sat down a tall, very handsome guy came in and sat behind me on the opposite side of the row. Class began and there was a guy who came in, sang and gave a testimony about how he met his wife, and how it was so important to leave the decision of your future spouse to God. Class ended and I headed to the auditorium for church to begin. When I saw my Dad he asked me if there was anybody who was nice looking in class, this was his usual question that he has asked me for years to which I usually replied no, but this time I said yes and pointed him out. Soon after, a lady from church came up and said she had someone she wanted me to meet, I didn't know it was the same guy from class until later. Sunday night came and I saw him again and thought there was somewhat of a connection, but he never came and talked to me. I thought it was over when I left; but that night I just kept thinking about him and decided to find him on Facebook. My Dad had seen his last name on his uniform, and after some searching I found him. I sat there for a while debating if I should send him a friend request, then finally I did something I had never done before or after and sent a guy I didn't even know a friend request. I thought if nothing comes of it I will just unfriend him later. The next morning I had a mini heart attack when I saw a Facebook message from him telling me he didn't think seeing each other was a coincidence and wanted us to get to know each other. We were supposed to be leaving that following day, but we really wanted to meet. The Lord worked it out in spite of his busy schedule and he came over and spent 4 hours that night with us. We even stayed an extra day so we were able to see each other again at church Wednesday night.
Since then it has been a roller coaster of events with different things in the army, but it has truly been the best time of my life. Long distance relationships can be tough, but like the miraculous way God brought us together He has also sustained our relationship and made it grow so much stronger. Who else but my Heavenly Father could orchestrate a guy from Ohio and a girl from Florida to meet in North Carolina on vacation, on a Sunday that we could've easily have missed each other. The timing of everything had to be absolutely perfect. It truly does feel like a fairytale, and I can't wait to see and more importantly live how this beautiful story unfolds! :)
Here's me and my guy! He was able to come down a little bit ago; we got to take some pics and spend an amazing couple of days together. :)
I hope that this in someway was a help to someone, or maybe even just a neat story to read about how wonderful our God is. It is always so much better to just wait on God regardless of your stage in life! In just this little story it is amazing to see all the traces of Gods hand directing our paths so that we would one day meet. To all my followers who are single, please wait on God and allow Him to reveal the beautiful relationship He has for you in HIS time. It is definitely worth the wait!!