In January of 2006 I was living in Branson, MO happily working as the women's director of the Taney County chapter of K-Life ministries. Nine months later God unexpectedly moved me to Nashville, TN with a temporary place to live and no job.
This move proved to be the beginning of both the most difficult years of my life and the door to one of the greatest joys in my life.
In February 2008, I was blessed to be able to accompany my roommate and one other friend on a Kathy Troccoli cruise. At this time, I was only working part-time, so time off was not a problem, but finances were. God provided the means for me to go by my agreeing to some “work” on the cruise. Trust me the reward was much greater than the work! The seventeen months in Nashville leading up to the cruise were very difficult for me as I was a searching for a full-time job, struggling with my purpose in life, wrestling with my identity and simply trying to keep the bills paid. So when this opportunity literally dropped in my lap, I jumped at the chance to get away. I needed a break from my “real” life.
What I thought would be an escape from my life, turned out to be a week that changed my life…FOREVER.
February 23rd we boared the ship and set sail across the Carribean. All three of us girls were excited to spend some quality time together and work on our tans. The first day, Kipp and I explored the ship while Nicole went to meetings. We met up with her in the early evening and we all headed to dinner together.
As we sat down to our assigned table for dinner the first night, I assessed the situation. I knew we would be dining with this group every night for a week, so I wanted to scope out the situation. Our table included Nicole, Kipp, me, two high school girls, Kathy's guitar player and his wife, Kathy's piano player and his mom. I felt kinda bad for the piano player who was clearly the odd man out. I did know from Nicole that the piano player was supposedly pretty funny, so I cracked a joke trying to break the ice. He politely laughed and engaged in conversation. His mom quickly joined the conversation, too. By the end of dinner the three of us girls had made two new friends. Throughout the week, I spent a fair amount of time with the piano player and his mom. We laughed and danced and talked. I was intrigued by this man. I remember thinking to myself one night at a Selah concert, “I want to marry a man who I am this comfortable around.” I was never nervous around this guy and just enjoyed getting to know him over the course of that week.
He asked for my number when the cruise was over, and since he worked with my roommate I gave it to him. I knew he came to Nashville from time to time so I invited him to come to church with us when he was in town. I really didn't expect to hear from him after the cruise. We had a fun week, but in my experience, guys just don't follow-up, so I just enjoyed getting to know him without expectations.
But thto my surprise, this guy called! In the coming months, we skyped and chatted more and more, but we remained friends for a while. We both wanted to get to know each other outside of the cruise ship. During the months that we were chatting, this piano man ended up moving back to Nashville to be closer to his daughter. After he moved back we enjoyed getting to know each other more, but still waited another three months before we finally decided to start dating.
And a little over a year after we started dating, in October 2009, the piano man, Carl Herrgesell, became my husband. So when people ask us how we met, I say, “We met on “The Love Boat!”
I tell you this story on a Wedding Wednesday! because I know many of you are amazing single women who may be wondering if God can or will ever bring your prince charming into your life. And the truth is: you never know when God is going to take you out of your comfort zone, throw you on a boat in the middle of the ocean and sit you down across the table from the guy HE picked out for you to marry.
No your story won't be the same as mine, but I do want to encourage all of you single girls that God is bigger than your circumstances. He's bigger than your small town or your single's group at church. He's bigger than eHarmony and match.com. He bigger than the lady at your work who is always setting you up with people with whom you have nothing in common. He's bigger than your last love who left you broken-hearted.
God knows when and if marriage is right for you. So today begin to trust Him. Trust His timing. Trust His wisdom. And trust that as your Heavenly Father, He wants the very best for you.
Be encouraged that when and if God has a man for you, He will have no trouble writing your love story.
If you are reading this and you are married, I encourage you to spend sometime thinking back to the days when you were getting to know your spouse. The days when you didn't care if you had to work the next day or go to class, you could stay up all night talking to this wonderful man. Reminisce about the things that attracted you to your husband. What made you fall in love with him? Spend sometime bathing in the love-laden memories that brought you together.
Sometimes in our marriages we get caught up in the day-to-day and forget why we started this journey together. Today remember the love story God wrote for you. And don't forget to tell your husband you love him. Let him know what you still love about him.
Our God is so creative, I can't wait to hear how He is “wowing” you with His love!