Walking into a new church that day, I had on idea that I would meet someone that would change my life forever. I new I needed to find a new church and I new that I wanted to experience God in a whole new way. But I had no idea that all I needed, all that I had ever prayed for would be inside that church. My prayer time with the Lord had become powerful. I was experiencing God in amazing ways. He was revealing himself to me in ways I had never experienced. Even now when I am feeling disconnected, I go back to that time and try to figure out what I was doing that caused me to walk so closely to Him. It's really simple. I was chasing Him. I was doing everything I knew to serve Him and honor Him. I was truly falling in love with my Lord. I was saved when I was five years old and I have never had a time in my life when I walked away from Him. But there are distinct times in my life that made for huge spiritual markers. This was one of those times. I was on a mission and no one was going to get in my way.
After that night on January 1st, I journaled constantly. In the midst of writing in one particular journal, I felt like the Lord was showing me that I needed to buy a new journal and hold on to it. So one night in Wal Mart, I picked up a little spiral notebook and carried it in my purse. I was still unsure what I was supposed to do with the journal because I already had one that I was currently writing in. A few days after buying it, I was driving in my car praying. It was then that I heard the spirit of the Lord say, "Write to your husband. Write about this time in your life. Write what I am doing in your life. Be faithful to writing. Share your worries, your fears, your dreams, your desires. Share your heart." Back then I did not tell anyone about the things that the Lord was revealing to me. I was afraid to say things like, "The Lord told me to do this or I heard the Lord telling me.." But now, I can write and say these things with boldness. We all experience God differently and while some have a hard time understanding that the Lord can actually speak to us, I know that He has spoken to me. Through the years I have learned when it's Him and what He's saying.
So I began writing to my husband on January 31st. On February 11th, just a few days later, I met Jeremy. My Mom and Step-Dad (I hate using the word step but I have to for all of you because I have written about my real dad a lot) were in town from Houston and decided to go to church with me. The church I was visiting was actually the church that my Mom had grown up in. For all of you Christian Music lovers out there, the Pastor of this church was Dan Dean from Phillips, Craig and Dean. His wife was my Mom's best friend growing up so that was kind of the reason I had decided to visit. I had heard the music was incredible so I was excited to visit. When my parents and I walked through the door, we sat down in a pew. In fact, this pew was a pew pre-destined for ME. There are many more details to this story but the most important detail to share was who was sitting behind me. It was Jeremy. He was smiling, of course. He always has a smile on his face. People comment to me all the time how Jeremy always has a smile on his face. It's a contagious smile and one that I was not about to forget.
(I did not know Jeremy in this picture. This is the church where we met. Also this is the church where he was saved before I knew him. This is my favorite picture of Jeremy's smile because even as he was coming out of the water from baptism, he was smiling. That is the true Jeremy, always smiling.)
Pastor Dan preached a sermon about how we need replenishers in our life. He said that we all need people to come into our lives that will replenish us instead of draining us. His focus was Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 . I have a mark in bible on those verses with the date February 11th, 2001. While I was listening to his message, it was another moment when I heard the spirit of the Lord speak to me, "Your husband is behind you." Right away I felt like maybe I was crazy. Many thoughts were racing inside my head. " Why on earth would God bring my husband to me so fast? Wasn't I going to have to wait and learn something else? Surely after praying that prayer on January 1st, my prayer would not be answered so soon. Or did God really mean that my husband was behind me physically?? Or did he mean my husband was in my past, an old boyfriend that would come back into my life? Could it mean that gorgeous guy sitting behind me with that wonderful smile? There's no way that guy would like me! He's too cute!" Seriously, that's the exact though pattern that went through my head. After the service was over, my parents wanted to go down and say hi to Pastor Dan and his wife. While it was a reunion for my Mom, it was a tough day for me but exciting too. The message was powerful, the guy behind me was really goodlooking and I was still thrown off by what I felt like the Lord had revealed to me. And then, it got better.
Pastor Dan asked if he could pray for me. He said that while he was speaking during his message, the Lord showed him that the message he was giving was for me. Before that day I had never spoken to Dan Dean. He didn't even know my name and he really did not know anything about me or what I was currently going through. I was just in shock that the guy I had heard sing on the radio for many years was concerned with praying over me! Again, God revealed himself to me in a whole new way. Pastor Dan prayed for me and afterwards he looked at me and said these words. "Amanda, God has got something big for you. I don't know what it is but I feel it. I don't know what you have been praying for but He's getting ready to answer your prayer! You need a replenisher! I don't know if it's a friend you have been praying God would send you or a husband but this person is about to come into your life and love you like you have never humanly been loved. This person will bring about healing that you have needed. When it happens, BOTH of you will instantly know (then he snapped his fingers) that this is from God! So sit back and let God do it!" Okay, so now I am speechless and let me tell you I'm a believer too! God was definitely moving and I was excited!
Did I mention that the guy sitting behind me, Jeremy, overheard me talking to someone, realized I was single and invited me to his lifegroup that week? Again, an act of God because this guy, now my husband, is a very shy person. That was not like him at all. So my parents and I left and grabbed something quick to eat so they could head back to Houston. My Mom has a whole story of her own about that day. She knew Jeremy was the one but she did not tell me that day. That night I pulled out that journal I had been using and wrote to my husband. I was still doubtful, I was not convinced that the man I met that day was my husband. From his looks, I sure hoped he was. But, I just couldn't imagine the Lord answering my prayer for a husband so soon.
Tuesday night came, February 13th and I went to the Bible Study at Jeremy's apartment. And the story begins!
(Tomorrow is our five year Wedding Anniversary. Of course I will finish the story! I have been trying to post a picture to this but blogger is not letting me.)