*Laura will be sharing her testimony in person at Want to Find your Mate? Bible Study this year!*
After 14 years of being single, I had given up on love, much less marriage. After being hurt and disappointed so many times, I kept my heart guarded and would only consider a man who met my unrealistically high standards morally and spiritually. I had convinced myself, like so many other Christian singles, that my future mate must be at church. So, I diligently kept my eyes open only at church, at Bible studies, and at singles conferences.
After all, wasn’t that where the Godliest men could be found?
One day during a church meeting for upcoming business entrepreneurs, I met Bethany. She told me that she was an author and she had just written a book called, Where’s My Mate? Those words spoken were like an alarm going off for me. I thought, I have got to get my hands on that book immediately! I gravitated to Bethany like a magnet. Could her book possibly have the answer to the questions I had asked God for what seemed to be most of my life? After meeting Bethany, I shared my desperate journey in search of a mate. She seemed so confident when she told me not to give up. She told me that if my heart desired to be married, I would be married. Wow, I thought, how could she be so sure that I would get married since she didn’t even know me? I thought maybe I didn’t explain well enough how long and hard I had searched. How could she have such an easy time believing for me when I had difficulty believing it could really happen myself?
When I finally did get my copy of Where’s My Mate?, I could not put it down. Everything in it that was shared, I could totally agree with. There was only one thing that I had a hard time doing, and that was making a list of the characteristics I wanted in my future mate. How bold, I thought, of the author! I just couldn’t do that especially since my faith was so weak. And, to no surprise, I did not make the list. About one year later, God allowed Bethany’s path to cross with mine again at a church retreat. I truly believe that it was God appointed. We became friends and began to pray together on a weekly basis. She had faith to believe for the husband I had no faith for. She made me write down a list of the characteristics I desired in my mate. She told me that the desires I had were placed in me by God and showed me scripturally why I was to write them down. When I wrote my list, I intentionally was very specific right down to the color of his eyes and hair. I included his profession and even that he was to live by the water. I think I made my list so detailed so I could prove to Bethany and to God that it could not be delivered. How could a man of that criteria be out there when I had waited for 14 years for just a Christian man? Bethany told me to keep the list in a safe place as a keepsake and as a reminder of what God had done after I had met my mate. She also told me that I would meet him in about two weeks. “Yah, sure” I thought.
Two weeks later, I met Joe, my future husband on a dating website. Now normally, I would never be open to dating on the internet. Because do Godly men really surf the internet for marriage partners? Only by God ordained intervention through Bethany was I ever persuaded to put up a profile on a dating website! Bethany insisted a dating website was a good place to look, and I fought her tooth and nail, but she won. And thank God she won, because I would still be single! At first I did not know if Joe was the one because my standards remained so very high. But God was patient with me. Did Joe meet my high expectations of what I thought was a deeply spiritual man? No, however, he had a hunger to know the Lord more than he already did, and God knew what I needed in a husband. I came to admire this man who showed me how to love others unconditionally. Something a deep seated, highly spiritual person, like myself, did not know how to do. God used Joe to show me the impurities in myself that I never realized were there…perhaps hindering me in ways that I was blindly unaware of. I thank the Lord daily for my “Godly” husband who has taught me so much about being a true Christian. Regretfully, due to my lack of faith, I did not keep the list Bethany had me write. Although I threw away the paper, the detailed characteristics I had written down remain vividly in my mind. My list included the following: a man with brown hair, brown eyes, over 6 feet tall, a Christian man who loved the Lord and attended church with me regularly, worked in the homebuilding industry, a man who lived by the water, who had a stable job (15 years or more in the same business), who made a six figure salary, who was successful yet humble, who was affectionate and would hold hands with me in public, who would have a healthy sex drive (oh yes I wrote this!), a man who was a giver not a taker, a man of honesty and integrity, had a good sense of humor and could make me laugh, who had a family who accepted and loved me…..and the list went on. Having gone through a painful divorce, the thought of risking another rejection terrified me and caused me to be overly picky, paranoid and protective. I didn’t know how to make a relationship work. I was so reluctant to try again!
In just a couple of weeks of meeting Joe, it was as if God breathed life into that list and it became a reality for me, every detail included. Joe is a match to exactly everything I had on my list. How can it be explained? Only by calling it what it is… a miracle. Even now, I remain amazed by it all. And I will never take for granted the gift God has given me. More amazing….Joe and I only lived about a mile from each other! Is that not just like God?
If I could give any of you singles out there advice, it would be to keep an open mind as to what God can do. We can limit ourselves and even hinder what God has for us by our strict way of thinking. I will even go to the extent to say that you may have met the mate God had sent for you, but you, like me, may have been unable to receive him/her just because he/she may not meet your unrealistic standards. God knows the best mate for us and it may not be what we have in mind exactly. My mate is all I could have ever asked for and met my criteria but God knew the VERY best man for me. If anything, don’t give up. Find someone who has the faith to believe for you, if you don’t have the faith to believe for yourself. And remember, NOTHING is impossible with God! And God is STILL a God of miracles.
*Joe and Laura married on June 26, 2008*