I left nearly 3 months ago to cross 3 oceans in order to serve God in the Mission Field. Before I left on my amazing adventure (New York, Iceland, London, Dubai, Kenya) I prayed a nearly 20 year old prayer.
Lord, help me find my wife…draw her close to me and me closer to her
I embarked on a crazy tale of orphans, witch-doctors, snakes, indifference, demons, tangible Holy Spirit presence and a flat-out breaking of my heart for the things that happen far from our United shores. But the greatest mission field did not find me in the U.K. or tramping around through Dubai, or even in the red dirt of Kenya…it was in an answer to a prayer I had refused to stop chasing long ago.
On one of my first nights in the U.K. I was sitting with my travel companion and fellow missionary, tucked away in a rather cozy and entirely hospitable English home in Leeds. We were doing nothing out of the ordinary…chatting about life and where we respectively might go next. I make it a habit to really lean in and listen to what people are saying when they are talking…always wanted to someone to do that for me growing up and no one did…so I Love them as I would like to be. As I sat there listening to my friend, she randomly started talking about her friend back home who she had recently had somewhat of a falling out with for various reasons.
As I continued to listen I noticed something deep inside of welling up. It didn’t build up slow, it was just there and it kept thrashing about in my heart as though it was making itself at home because it was more than welcome. I actually had the instinctive thought…”This is her, I am hearing about my wife.” I am not one to jump after anyone…ask anyone…I have waited. But when you pray about something incredibly long, you run the risk of beginning to develop a thick-skin along with a resilient heart. I discounted the truth behind that thought, but nevertheless, something was happening.
On the surface, our conversation continued and was nothing seemingly to extraordinary, but what was happening on the inside of me was brilliant…complete with all the trapping of romance, Civil War, and Faith. I remember having to douse those feeling/thoughts so I could focus because they were altogether distracting. After my friend had gone to bed I realized I could not sleep if my life depended on it. I was a bit pissed to tell you the truth. I did not come all the way across the world to start to get distracted by some random girl. But there I sat, clear as day, wide-eyed, unable to deny that whatever this was it was powerful and felt perfectly from God.
The funny part about this back and forth between God and I was that as I sat there in the throes of night, I returned to that same thought…I heard about my wife today. I never asked myself a question, like, I wonder if I heard about my wife today…or…I wonder if that was really her. I felt, knew it was her. Funny how even when you know and feel something, belief still has to be cultivated around it. I repeated my plea to God, “Lord, I only want to be distracted by you and my wife.” I repeated that sentiment in my heart over and over again. I then said it out loud because there’s power in the spoken word. And then clear as Truth, God responded…You are right. You will only think this way about your wife.
My heart didn’t drop, and my knees didn’t become weak (I was lying in bed), but I felt my heart go. It raced and jolted like someone was tugging on it. It sprinted through me like some kind of magic…leaving traces of the Holy Spirit that had waited to come to life for years, coursing through at every turn. The best emotion that found me that night though was how confident I was in this Truth…I had found her. God had finally done it. It felt exceptionally natural…like breathing.
And thus began my new adventure within my already-adventure. I quickly took stock of where I was, and how I would honor my time to both court her from afar as well as be whole-heartedly chasing vision while on the Mission Field. I was determined to let her and Missions both work in concert before God…never competing with one another, but always enabling the other. After setting up boundaries, I quickly began to realize that this was going to be one wild ride because there were a few things that were impossible for me at the outset.
What I mean by impossible is that Teale, who at this time was someone whose name I still did not know, did not like the idea of me because she wanted to honor her friend’s request for help only one moth earlier. Teale’s friend asked her to hold her accountable to not date or “crush” on anyone but God for 9 months. Teale, ever the invester in people’s lives, went all in and pledged to hold her accountable to this. So, since I was on a mission’s trip with her friend (an intimate and sacred setting no matter how intentional you are) it didn’t take much thought to know what I represented to Teale: Her friend’s potential sin.
I was thinking Teale was going to be my wife…while she thought she wanted nothing to do with me.
So, as you can see, things were a bit lop-sided in my direction. I knew for this tryst and relationship to come to pass, Teale would have to be wooed and pulled into a Love that she had no intention of giving me. And so, I prayed. Then I prayed again. I prayed for a whole week about what to do. I finally emailed her. I sent her a word of encouragement, a quick hello and waited to see what happened. She responded back and accepted my friend request because she didn’t want to hear a mouthful from her friend about why she would not accept me as a friend. So, right off the bat, God did me a favor, by commandeering her thinking, which was to do me a favor. We’ll call that in the door!
After I was in the door, I used my wit and commented as humorously on just about everything she posted on facebook. From that God began to quicken her heart and create an interest on her end which I matched with as best-I-could-muster Romance when chasing someone 3 oceans away. God moved quickly in our hearts after we had our first Skype, which found her in San Diego and me in Scotland, she was “all in” as she would put it. I would like to blame her forever-affection on the fact that once she saw me, it was all over…but…it was clearly a God thing. Her heart had been moved on by the Almighty God and when she sat across from me through Skype, that was simply a Holy preparation that had long gone on before.
And so, fast forward to the end of Mission’s trip, which was six weeks ago. I flew straight into San Diego from Africa and spent 3 weeks with Teale. I had waited all my life for her and I wanted to show her how much I meant that by spending holidays with her right off the bat. I spent Thanksgiving with her family and we split Christmas between our families. I asked for her Father’s blessing to ask her to marry me the 2nd time I met him. I have not proposed yet, but all in good time. Letting everyone in her family have the chance to catch up somewhat to where our hearts already are is in every way part of my heart. That said, the proposal is coming. I Love Teale. I am excited to continue to court her and marry this girl! I am excited to start doing ministry with her down in San Diego and eventually head to where we feel the Lord leading us in Missions: The U.K. (Ireland) More about that in the posts to come.
I left for the mission field 3 months ago and found out that falling in Love with Christ and Teale is the greatest mission field of all time. I am more inspired now to wrangle and wrap myself in my vision for the future with missions…AND I now have a teammate to go with. God was good long before I met Teale, but dang He gives the very best of gifts.
We will be having a website soon where you can follow the proposal, the wedding updates, the mission field journey as well as the daily musing and ministry that God entreats us with while down in San Diego. Thank you so much for being part of my journey. My desire for teammates and more supporters as I move toward the Field is ever on my heart. If you have ever thought about saving Ireland from darkness or that thought rouses something in you, then find me, chat with me, and I will share with you the vision that will change your life.
“I pray now for men and women to begin the journey in their heart to be sent into the Harvest that is long been ripe and awaiting them in Ireland.”
I have meant this prayer every time I have prayed it because ever since I considered with my heart what it would mean to give yourself whole-heartedly to another person, I was thoroughly enamored. The thought of being brave enough to serve one person with all you have, be held accountable to that end by God Himself and reap the Joy that must come from waiting and then taking hold of the right person in that Love… let’s just say I was won over by the thought to wait, make war, and call out for a wife.
But God has been stirring another passion in my heart, nearly just as vintage as my longings for a wife: Missions!
And so…I do believe God has given me the girl, and it is now my Hope and privilege to pursue her now more than ever. It’s not easy, especially on as an accelerated track of affection as ours…but it is entirely with the right person. Pray for us that the euphoria of finding each other is met with blood, sweat and tears before God, given freely, laboring in Love to help grow this epic relationship.
I found her. I want her. I am learning her. I am entirely imperfect. God is good. Joy and Rest make Godly warfare.
This is indeed my Epic Lovestory
because this is indeed the girls of God’s dreams for me.
I Love God. I Love Teale. I make Romance and Warfare for both.