On my 30th birthday, my mom and stepdad, Bob, threw a surprise party for me with family and friends. When I was sitting there, getting ready to blow out the candles, I looked around at everyone and thought, Ok God, I’m 30. It seems that it is Your will that I serve You as a single women. I’m ready. That was August, 2010.
Little did I know, God had other plans.
One Sunday, it was announced that a historical moment in the church was being made–First Baptist was having their 1st service in Spanish downstairs. What? When did we start a Hispanic ministry? Everyone was surprised. There hadn’t been any previous announcements or introduction of a pastor. Simply one Sunday, there was worship happening in another language.
After service, I went to talk to Bro. Rich (who made the announcement). You see, I had been to Venezuela 3 times on mission trips and had a heart for the Hispanic culture. I asked what time the service was because I wanted to attend the following Sunday to meet them. My intentions were not to be with them every week. At that same hour I was in a Sunday school class that I enjoyed and had no plans to leave. Even further from my mind was that I’d meet my future husband in less than a week. I simply thought that maybe I could help them with outreach on the weekends.
Then the day arrived when my life began to change, October 31st, 2010. I was escorted to the room by a wonderful man, David Pillar, who was like a grandfather to us and has since gone to be with the Lord. He grew up in Texas, spoke Spanish and had a heart for the Hispanic culture. I still remember walking down the stairs and my excitement growing. When I walked in, Jonathan’s parents were standing by the door and greeted me first. [They were church planters with the North American Mission Board and their job was to begin Spanish-speaking churches in Western Kentucky.] Jonathan was further away, tuning his guitar. Without even realizing it, I looked at his ring finger to see if he was married. His mother told me, “Oh that’s our son, Jonathan..”, then she looked me right in the eyes, “he’s single”. Mom on a mission, I thought to myself. Thank you Lord that Jonathan wasn’t close enough to hear.
She had given me her phone number. I called her, I don’t remember why now, and Jonathan answered. A little confused, I asked in my broken Spanish if I had called the correct number. That was the beginning of us getting to know one another.
They lived 2 1/2 hours away, so I only saw them on the weekends. They came Saturdays to have Bible study with a family, the four ladies seated on the front left. They spent the night at their home and were at First Baptist for service at 9am. When it was over, they left immediately for Mayfield, KY for the 2nd service and then traveled to Paducah for the last one and then back home. Three worship services in three different cities in one day. (I went once with them. It was exhausting!)
I began spending Saturdays with them. Then one Sunday I asked Jonathan innocently if he would give me guitar lessons. Promise I wanted to learn, honest! I even had my own guitar! He agreed. Our time together consisted of 5-minute guitar lessons and the rest we spent talking with our guitars in our lap. Never did learn how to play the guitar any better. Ended up selling it a few months after we were married.
Come to find out, my mother and father-in-law have the same story. She asked him for lessons, still doesn’t know how to play the guitar, but has been married for more than 40 years. I’m thankful he taught Jonathan how to play!
Whenever we were together, no matter how many people were in the room, no matter with whom we started a conversation, we always seemed to end up talking to each other. It was almost like we were magnets. I thought to myself, I need to try not to spend so much time with him, he might get the wrong impression and then it would be awkward. But it was inevitable, out of my hands. Now I know I was trying to catch up on 30 years of missed conversations.
Phone conversations and Facebook messages became more and more frequent and longer and longer. Still, we never expressed feelings for one another. Simply friendship. In spite of this, I had asked various people to pray about if possibly he was ‘the one’. After 30 years, I didn’t want to end up in a marriage with the wrong person.
About 6 years earlier, I had learned that if it was God’s desire that I marry, He had the perfect person for me. And since He created marriage, I could trust Him to know who was the best for me and wait until that moment. So I began to pray.
People told me that in order to find a husband I couldn’t just stay in the church all the time. I needed to go out. In previous years, I had asked the Lord that if marriage was His plan for me one day, that it would happen in a way that people would know only He could’ve done it. Also, that we would marry soon after meeting. In His goodness, God granted both of these requests.
Oh, and I also felt if I were to marry, it would be to a pastor.
But Jonathan had no desire to be a pastor. After a lifetime of seeing the difficulties that ministry brought, he desired to serve the Lord in another way. But I soon realized that Jonathan was whom I wanted to marry.
December 25th, 2010.
Jonathan planned on visiting because he wanted to ask me something. Although we had never went on a single date, my thought was He better not ask me to marry him. He hasn’t even met my dad yet!
The plan was for him to come to my apartment at 3pm because at lunch I celebrated Christmas at my dad’s house. Although my body was with my daddy and family, my thoughts were on what was going to happen at 3:00.
When he arrived, he thought it would be better to talk about the weather first, instead of being so direct. So he began to talk about the weather. I, on the other hand thought, why are you talking about snow? Get to the point!
He pulled out a box, I opened it, and it was a necklace and earrings. No engagement ring. Good, he’s respectful. He asked in Spanish if I would be his girlfriend. He explained that he had prayed many years and believed that I was the woman God had chosen for him, but if I answered no, he would understand that it wasn’t the case. Without hesistation, I said yes. Then, unsure if I understood correctly, he asked me again in English. Again I said yes. For both of us, it wasn’t a ‘Let’s see if this works out’, but it was going to end in marriage. He told me that he loved me. Then we went to meet my parents.
On February 14th, 2011, Jonathan officially proposed.
My reply, of course, was ‘yes’… 5 times.
Exactly three months later, we were married and two families became one. Oh, and that was also the day that Jonathan became the pastor of the Hispanic congregation.
God has been abundantly good to us and permitted us to travel, both mission trips and vacations, to many places. And He has allowed us to serve Him in amazing ways. We don’t deserve the grace He’s shown to us (especially me), but everyday we are thankful that we have a Father who is interested in our lives and has a perfect plan for us.
So, this is our love story in a nutshell. I would love to know yours! Please share it with me in the comment section!
You are loved by the Most High God!