Only three dates had gone by when I heard it.
This is the man you will marry.
I cannot say I have heard an audible voice from God any time in my entire life, except for this.
You see, I had been praying for the six months prior that God would not let me date – not even kiss – a single man I was not going to marry. I was ready to be single for however long that took, simply because I was tired of dating around and wanted to only date and marry the one.
I met Chris on a Thursday, and he took me out for the first time on Wednesday. In the next seven days,
he took me out five times. You read that right. From 45 minutes away, he drove in to treat me like I had never been treated before: Symphonies, fancy restaurants and surprise gifts suddenly made regular appearances in my life.
The guy thought I hung the moon.
I had so much fun being treated like this, and though I really liked him, I wasn’t sure yet that he was the one. I know, I had known him for a total of nine days, and I wasn’t sure?
I kept telling God, “Ok, it’s getting harder and harder to dodge this guy’s kisses, can you please let me know one way or another?”
He picked me up after my Tuesday night class and took me for ice cream.
That’s when I heard it.
This is the man you will marry.
Three seconds later, Chris leaned in to kiss me. And I didn’t dodge it.
In the following days, I continued to wrestle. I knew I heard that voice. It was clear, decided and direct.
But really? That’s kind of a big deal to ‘hear a voice’ – Would if he’s not the one I will marry?
I really liked Chris: he was good looking, a solid Christian, was educated, had a great job and we had a blast when we were together.
But I doubted and wavered – a lot.
A few weeks later, Chris’s whole family drove 4 hours to come meet me. I stayed in the hotel with Chris’s sister, Heather, during their visit – and one night, we each sat on our beds reading. I prayed for God to really give me wisdom whether it was his voice I heard, and let me know once more if Chris was the one.
I opened my journal on October 19, 2004 and wrote:
“Lord, if Chris is the one I have prayed for all my life, bless our relationship and let me realize your will. But if not, show me and do not let hearts be unwrapped.
I opened my Bible and starting reading James 1. I read through it, copying James 1:17 into my journal.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
And that’s all I wrote down out of James One.
…Until about five minutes later, when Chris’s sister chimed in from across the room.
“I’m reading James 1 right now,” she said.
I smiled out of surprise – out of the whole Bible, we both had just read the exact same chapter. She continued:
The verses that stuck out to me the most were James 1:5-8. But especially verse six. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt…
I was utterly speechless. I had prayed – even wrote down – just minutes before to hear clearly if Chris really was the one. I opened my Bible and read James 1 – completely reading over verses 5-8. And in my denseness, the Lord spoke up once again – through Heather – to answer me in another clear, decided and direct message.
I journaled once again, “Lord I read right passed these verses just minutes ago, but you had Heather sit right next to me – reading the same chapter of the Bible – and read aloud the very verses that answered the prayer I wrote just minutes ago. You are good.”
I didn’t come out and tell Chris – or anyone besides my journal, for that matter – that I was going to marry Chris. I didn’t want to be that crazy girlfriend.
But I knew.
Four months later, he knew too.
And we got engaged.
In the past, James 1 solidified God’s plan for my future.
He’s used it since them to remind me of his faithfulness and my own wavering.
And this week, when faced with criticism regarding my July 4th post, it reminded me to be slow to get angry…slow to speak.
I cannot think of a chapter in the Bible that would have been more applicable for me this week. I’m so glad you ladies voted James as our book to study. Like I said, it wasn’t even my choice, but God knew I’d need it.
What has he taught you? Which verses meant the most? Did you memorize one? Love you all!
(Due Thursday, July 14, 2011)
Read: James 2
- Read the chapter through each day
- Each day, pick a few different verses to focus on:
1. Use your cross-reference guide (usually in the margins of your Bible) to look up different verses that speak on the same subject. 2. Ask yourself how these verses apply to you? What do they mean in your life? How can you use these verses TODAY?
Memorize one verse:
|I’m choosing to memorize|
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Questions to ponder throughout the chapter (in order of appearance):
- How are we to view others?
- Personal: Do I show favoritism toward the wealthy over the poor? Clean over the dirty?
- How are we to treat others?
- How are we to speak and act?
- Where is the balance between faith and works?