Today my husband and I are celebrating our two year anniversary. To commemorate the day, I wanted to share a never-been-told story – the moment I knew I wanted to spend forever with Ashiram. For those who aren’t familiar with our love story, let me give you a quick overview. Ashiram, who was living in Nigeria at the time, found my writing online. When he went to my Facebook page, he saw my semi-recent baptism picture and was intrigued. He sent a simple and kind message to me about the power of my writing to draw people to Christ. About a month later I saw the message and we began exchanging messages back and forth. We bonded over Jesus and country music. And, well, now we’ve been married two whole years. Told you it would be a quick overview!
As you can imagine, the world of online dating can make determining if someone could be your significant other a challenge. You can’t really see that person in “all seasons” as the Christian people always recommend for dating. All you have to go on is communication to build a foundation for your relationship, which is one of the strongest foundations in my honest opinion. Instead of getting distracted by dates and temptation (because have you seen my husband?! Yum!), we were forced to focus on really getting to know each other.
Still, without spending a second together in real life how could I possibly decide I wanted to marry this man?
It was a few months into our Facebook courtship when the moment came. Every morning Ashiram sent me acts of kindness to do. I guess he thought I needed some work in that department. One morning specifically, he sent me an act of kindness with a message to give away a box of Girl Scout cookies. A few days later, a woman at work was selling some for her daughter. I bought two. One to keep, because Jesus hasn’t liberated me from selfishness, and one to give away. As I thought about who I would give the box to, he sent me another act of kindness to make cookies for a neighbor. I had recently met my new neighbor and he suggested I bake her cookies and invite her to church. I immediately realized my probability of baking burnt cookies was high and knew I would need to go a different route if I didn’t want to scare my neighbor away – cue the Girl Scout cookies.
For three entire days, I avoided leaving cookies and a note.
Friday arrived and I was heading out of town, but my feet felt like cement. God wasn’t going to let me go until I dropped the cookies off. My neighbors didn’t answer so I left a bag on their doorknob with the cookies and note tucked inside inviting them to church and left for the weekend. On Sunday, when I returned to my apartment, my roommate handed over two notes. One from my neighbor thanking me for the sweet gesture and the next one saying they went to church and loved it. They quickly became involved in ministry by greeting in the morning and serving in childrens’ church. All because of one act of kindness from Ashiram, one great God, and one timid girl willing to risk momentary embarrassment to reach out to her neighbor.
That’s when it hit me.
If we could come together for Kingdom purposes being halfway around the world, imagine what we could do in the same place together? Since giving my life to Christ, I never wanted to get married just for the sake of getting married or because it was what life expected of me. I only wanted to get married if together my husband and I would be more powerful for the Kingdom than apart. And, in that moment, I knew Ashiram was the one man I could fulfill that desire with.
How did you know your spouse was the one? Let me know in the comments below.