During one of my journal exchange with J, he wrote the below which made my hubby and I burst out laughing….
During our chat time he also asked how we got married. Here’s my letter in reply.
Dearest A, J and E,
To answer J’s question, I must first share how I met your papa.
‘Hello, this is YJ I’m going to NIE (National Institute of Education), can you remember me?’
‘Sorry, who is this again?’ I fought hard to recall how this strange guy has my number until he mentioned D our mutual friend’s name. ‘Remember, we met at City Hall I was with D and he introduced me to you?’ Only then did it ring a bell. I forgot whether I apologised anyway, we met up and as promised, I gave him a tour of NIE.
Seriously, I can’t recall much how our friendship blossomed from there and he became one of my close male buddy friends. He was coined by my classmates ‘Funny man’. As he was well- very funny. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed his company despite having no mutual group of friends, we would meet up for meals and chit chat away. As he (and I) was no head turner with his thin frame and thick glasses (I must qualify – then ; p ), I was not self conscious so we joked like mad and clicked like buddies. During those times there was an internet chatline ICQ. That was the messaging system then. During a ‘conversation’, I sensed your pa expressed and hinted about our relationship, whether it can be taken a step further. I quickly explained how great it is now, with our great buddy-ship and hinted I treated him like a good brother. Phew, close shave. That was that.
Interestingly the below photo was his special attempt to attend my baptism in church!
Even after our graduation, since we had a good 5yrs of friendship, we still made a point to meet up when we started teaching. Along the way, I had crushes and suitors in between all whom he was aware of. I was even considering if a crush was suitable to begin a relationship until God intervened. My spiritual mentor (who is your Godgranny) was greatly concerned over my singlehood. ‘Who is your best male friend?’ she inquired quietly one day. Then she encouraged me to seriously think through and pray about your pa. As in her opinion, the best partner would be one’s best friend indeed. My reaction – ‘huh? you must be joking, how to date someone whom I have no ‘special’ feelings for?’
One day, I was praying over this heart boggling matter and was directed to relook into my ‘criteria’ list for my husband to be. After 2 unsuccessful relationships in the past, I had a clearer idea of what I seek in my future soulmate.
- God loving : Loves God and me but places God before me.
- Humble at heart and attitude: The courage to be transparent in front of me.
- Good communication between us
- Appreciates and respects my artistic side
- Accept my need for a listening ear and shoulder to cry on and understand I will be fine thereafter
- Accept my untidiness and naggings
- Has healthy relationship with people and loves children
- Good steward of $ and is financially stable
- A Gentleman
- Mature Spiritual Leader in the relationship – A disciple maker who is disciplined
- Looks pleasant / clean cut, and must not be shorter than me.
Bonus: Plays tennis and appreciates art exhibitions
As I scanned through the list, my jaw dropped, my heart weighed down a second before bouncing back. Your Papa fits the bill! Except for Art appreciation, even playing tennis was hit right on. In my ideal world, I would’ve married my first boyfriend. In retrospect, it’s through the failed ones that I began to understand myself deeper and came up with a list closer to my heart’s desires, values and lifestyle. That night, I cast my longings to the Lord and begged Him to guide me and please minimum is to grant me that ‘special feeling’ for him if he is the one. From then, your papa also started to make his moves with stepped up dates much to my relief. That ‘lovey feeling’ started to bubble much to my surprise! It was in June 2004 when we progressed to being more than friends, trying to ascertain if we are mutually interested in each other romantically as well. Throughout, I gave enough hints but not too much as I did not want to come across as desperate (even though I felt so!). The confirmation came only when we had this amazing encounter of how God arranged for both of us to finally view a Play called ‘Woman in Black’ in the last hour. The tickets were all sold and I was supposed to go with my ‘crush’ and his friends. Somehow, he offered to sell the tickets to papa instead and we finally managed to attend the play together with Godgranny.
I waited (though impatiently) for your papa to initiate and finally he asked me to be his girlfriend just the day before my birthday in 2004. It was worth the wait as I was very much old-school thinking- the guy must make the move, not the lady.
We both agreed that this was by faith.
As we became more serious, I grew fearful that things may not work out again. I had second thoughts about entering into this courtship. Nontheless, God reassured me through my daily devotions and ‘spoke’ to me in a timely manner.
1John 4: 11-21
‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.’
John 14: 27
‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.’
‘You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eye.’
Ps 86: 11
‘Teach me your way, O Lord, I will walk in your truth, unite my heart to fear your name.’
Finally, what sealed the deal was during the study of Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.
I had misgivings and insecurities due to certain background of papa and my own. I sought the Lord and He answered me. On 1st Aug, Godgranny invited your papa for a party with some friends. I was sharing how the Lord has helped me to grow. What counts is a teachable heart, the willingness to allow God to transform us from glory to glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18
18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory,are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
On the following Bible Study session, this exact verse resurfaced in the Purpose Driven Life BS discussion! Godgranny commented that it is not merely in the Doing or even Being, but the BECOMING that we often miss out. I’m reminded that we’re all work in progress. To love means to allow the BECOMING to take place and our focus should be on becoming like Christ. I should not mark people down just because of their past. Actively concentrating on the present and learning to become should be my focus. By this, it enabled me and liberated me to love more wholeheartedly towards individuals. Of course, in this case to my new boyfriend, now your papa. : )
‘As the spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.’
With that great conviction, our courtship soared to a higher level of confidence. By the way, this post is only possible because I keep records of my prayer journals from young.My e-mails and letters are stapled in between as precious keepsakes. When I hopped onto this blog train, I am overjoyed to find my records a gem to resurrecting my memories! I strongly encourage you all to take time to journal down your thoughts whenever you can.
Dear children, I hope this letter will serve as a reminder of how God will be your guide in your future love relationship with the special someone when you seek His purposes in your life. Be patient, choose your life partner carefully and prayerfully. Once you commit to him or her in marriage both of you will have to work hard and keep the covenant of love under His Lordship.
Ok, now my proposal post will answer J’s question.
This is part of a blog train on ‘How I met your father’ by Michelle from The Chill Mom. Do click on the below button to check out other exciting courtship stories!
Next up on this blog train is Dawn from Daprayer Blog.
Hi I’m Dawn, the voice behind Daprayer Blog. I am a dreamer, a peace lover and an introvert with a busy mind. I enjoy seeking out beauty, or creating it, in my everyday life and beyond living in the moment of beauty, I am often compelled to capture and share it through words and photos.