Today marks exactly 6 months since I said ‘Yes’! This ‘yes’ was a yes to a proposal. Not a proposal for marriage, but a proposal nonetheless. God proposed something just as important and life changing as marriage. For in a marriage you give up your former life in order to start a brand new life with someone you love unconditionally. Well that is certainly what I did 6 months ago when I said goodbye to all of my friends and family and boarded a plane for Grahamstown, South Africa. I said YES to God’s “marriage” proposal. No He did not present me with a huge diamond ring, but He gave me a promise to make me into the flawless, beautiful, rare, and perfect diamond. Now I have never received a huge diamond ring before, but in my opinion this was just as good (if not better)!
So here I sit, 6 months into this marriage and commitment to God still in awe of His amazing love towards me. I still have to pinch myself because it is still hard to believe I am actually living, working, studying, teaching, learning, and growing in South Africa! This still amazes me.
In every marriage, everyday has not been roses and chocolate cake. There have been some good days, really great days, and some bad, horrible, frustrating, sad days. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many, many moments when God has swept me off my feet and left me breathless. I still feel the butterflies from His touch on my soul. We have had some truly amazing and beautiful moments. God has shown me the beauty of His creation and His people. But it has also been a lot of hard work! God has required more from me than ever in my life, but He has also blessed me in ways I have never experienced in my life before now.
So what have I learned in the last 6 months of marriage??? So many, many lessons but I will sum up the three biggest lessons.
- God’s provision is REAL! (God is mindful of me.)
All of my life I have heard seasoned saints speak about God’s provision. But I have not fully grasped this concept until God placed me in a position where I had to rely on His provision alone. I finally understand what the big deal is about God’s provision! It means that my God is mindful of me! Little ole me, my God thinks about me and my needs. My God cares about my needs, wants, desires, worries, fears, problems, likes and dislikes, and even things I haven’t even thought of.
My loving God has gone before me every day. Walked the path I will walk. Paved the way for me. He has ordered my steps, thoughts, words, and moves to be in line with His will. He has placed people into my path to help me along the way. He has provided for me in every way. God has even surprised me with blessings I didn’t even ask for. There has not been one thing He has not taken care of during this time.
I remember one morning sitting in my room preparing myself for the day ahead and my old friends worry and fear came knocking. Just as I was going to let them in once again, God came and slammed the door shut. He whispered into my spirit if I can think of one time, day, moment, situation that He did not provide for me. So I sat and pondered this question for several moments. Each time I thought I remembered that time when God was a few minutes too late, I quickly realized that even then He was right on time. Not one time or situation I could think of where my God did not provide all I needed.
- I must be hungry for God! (I need a real, CONSISTENT, quality, daily quiet time with God)
There have been many distractions that wanted to cross over the Atlantic with me into this marriage. In fact, some of those distractions succeeded. I didn’t even realize I had packed them into my bags but they showed up anyways. These distractions, hindrances, and sin that so easily tripped me up in the past…sin I have been trying to justify for far too long has tried to block me from becoming more like God. But God called out to me to come sit at His feet. He called me to be really in tune with His voice. To have a meaningful quiet time every day He blessed me to see. Of course, for any good relationship/marriage to be successful communication is key!
During that process God showed me ‘me’. The real me. Not the dressed up, made up, covered up me that I used to present to the world. But the ‘me’ with flaws and faults and weaknesses and thorns. The incomplete me that tried so long to become complete with empty things and people. God revealed to me the things that continued to break His heart. He checked me in the gentlest yet firm way that only He can.
But God just didn’t show me what I lacked, but He began to rebuild, renew, revive, and refresh me. He made me into a brand new creation! He took my weaknesses and made them beautiful. God started
to show me Him. God showed me His true nature and invited me to become like Him. Even when I became discouraged and started to slip back into the old ‘Sarah’, God reached down into my mess and picked me up. He continuously pursued me even when I didn’t pursue Him. He won’t allow me to give up because the calling is just too great…
- Be consistent, committed, and constant!
Last Sunday, God blessed me with another wedding present. He gave me the gift of His Holy Spirit! He baptized me in His Spirit so now my spirit is in communion with His Spirit. Our spirits are one! My God joined His Word and His Spirit in me so I can grow up even more!
Not only did I receive the Holy Spirit, but there were some other precious gifts in that box. With the Holy Spirit came boldness. A boldness to do His will despite everything that may want to stop me. I also received power to do the impossible. Power to defeat the enemy. The same power that filled Jesus while He walked this earth. Then of course every couple in love seem to speak their own special language. I also received that gift. My spirit can communicate with God in a language no one can understand including Satan!
With the Holy Spirit came a thirst and hunger for more and more of God’s presence in my life. But it also required me to become more consistent in my prayer life, meditation, and devotion to God. The more we seek God the more constant we must be. God never changes! We can’t be half way with God. We can’t have one foot at home and another foot still out there in our old single life. We must choose each day to seek God even when we can’t feel His presence. That is hard! Sometimes the flame burns a little low, but we must find ways to fan the flame and reignite the passion for God’s presence.
So what is in store for the next 6 months??? I honestly don’t know what is in store. But I know God’s provision will still be evident in my life. I pray our intimacy grows and grows, and I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit heavy on my life! I know there is much more work to be done, more growing, training, discipline, more faith, more trust, and much more love!