Walk towards love (part two)
A relationship where you can pray, worship, and passionately pursue Christ together, is always worth the wait.
Experiencing Jesus’ victory over the giant of rejection comes only when you see yourself the way that your heavenly father sees you --- as his dearly loved child. It means being willing to walk in a direction that doesn’t feel familiar. It means understanding that what matters most is moving forward with God’s strength instead of your own. To love, and to be loved in return, is to be vulnerable.
Eight months ago, I met a man that honors and adores me the way that a daughter of God deserves. I knew from the moment I met Ben that he was special. That he was, in fact, sent to me.
The night after our first date I started reaching out to all my prayer warriors. I had been single for so long and learning to be in a relationship again was hard work. I needed help. All the ladies in my small group and I spent so many hours asking God to bless this relationship and to let it be one that is truly Glorified by Him. And my goodness, it has been so beautiful allowing HIM to write this love story.
Ben says he knew right away that he was going to marry me. I, on the other hand, wasn’t as confident. He told me he loved me early in our relationship and I responded by saying, "When I tell you that I love you, I will say it without regret and I will want to spend forever with only you."
In one of the first conversations I had with Ben, I bluntly told him where I stood with regards to my morals and values. I made it clear that he knew that these are things I take great pride in and wasn’t going to waver in any way. The amazing thing is, he hasn't wavered either. Not once. I knew this man was the real deal when he would travel nearly 3,000 miles --- from California to Kentucky --- only to sleep in my guest bedroom. I had never felt so respected in all my life. Who knew that a man would bend over backwards for me and shower me with love and kindness and expect NOTHING in return?
We have prayed with each other from day one. We have felt God in every decision and every moment we have shared.
On our first date, last October, he asked if I would be his date to a wedding that he needed to attend in May... in Europe. I can remember laughing and saying to myself yeah, right. Sure! Little did I know that this was the first piece to a larger puzzle that Ben had already started putting together.
Ben is the type of man that goes ALL in with everything he has. When he wants something, he’s not going to give up and by no means is he going to do it half way. He has pursued me every single day since we first talked and it is no surprise that when he decided to propose, he was going to do it true Ben form. And it's only a small glimpse into his love for me.
As for the proposal itself, my heart still flutters when I think of how perfect the day was. I have stopped to remind myself MANY times that it’s OKAY to be happy and to rejoice in the JOY my heart feels.
The day started in a beautiful coastal fishing village in Cinque Terre, Italy. We decided to go on a gorgeous hike through the hills that over looked the Mediterranean. At lunch, Ben asked if we could end our night with dinner at a nice restaurant. I agreed. Little did I know that was the night he would ask a question that would change my life forever.
Before dinner we walked through the town towards the sea taking a few photos as the sun began to set. We rounded a corner and he pointed to a little spot that jutted out over the water and said he wanted to go explore. I happily followed. It was in that spot that my most favorite part of the whole day and moment occurred. He simply asked if I would pray with him. It was beautiful. As soon as he finished praying, Ben got down on one knee and asked me to do the honor of being his wife. I of course screamed "Yes!" and then asked if he would return the favor and pray with me. I prayed and thanked God for Ben, for the moment, for the courtship, and for our future marriage. As you can likely imagine, I was floating throughout the rest of our trip and have continued to do so ever since.
Benjamin Swails, I love you. I can’t wait to spend forever with you. You have brought so much JOY to my heart and life. You have been my answered prayer. You are the example of Gods grace. Thank you for loving me the way every father wants their daughter to be loved. Thank you for always pursuing me, even when I wasn't receptive. Most of all, thank you for reminding me every single day that I AM WORTHY.
PS. Photo credit: @laraemme // www.laraemme.it