Today I officially kick off my REAL Love Series with Mallory's story. Hers is one of trusting the Lord, following her parents leading and ultimately complete surrender.
I can hardly believe I've been married for 6 months and some days now... time really has flown by. I remember, about 2 years ago when the days felt forever long and every minute felt like a fight with my flesh. When I reflect back on those days now, my soul quiets within me and all I can say is "God you were faithful, you never leave, and now I can see your goodness in every tear i cried"
I met Ricky at the Christian nonprofit I worked for and within 2 months I found myself wanting to be around him. Ricky, another coworker and I started jogging after work, I hate jogging, but I jogged because he was there... I thought he was funny, passionate and really cute. As Ricky and I started talking more, and jogging more, we really began getting close and I really felt there was something different about him. But even from the beginning of our friendship, I realized how complicated it would be to be friends or to even begin a courtship.
Our churches were different but most importantly our foundations were different. There were doctrinal differences in our two churches, issues that defined what we both believed about God and about ourselves as sinners and that hung in my heart every time we spoke. I knew nothing could happen with the both of us if God did not address the issues in one of our hearts.
Ricky spoke to my dad and asked if we could begin a courtship to get to know each other better to which he agreed. We had a blast together, but there was also that dark cloud over our heads that reminded us that we had a huge issue that needed to change. With my parents wisdom we decided to set a date to pray about our relationship and the church God was calling each other to serve in. I knew this might not end up the way I wanted it to but I knew what they were saying was wise and I had to do it.
I dreaded meeting with Ricky to talk about what God revealed to us. Ricky felt the Lord call him to stay at his church, and that if I were the one for him I would follow him and that was the end of it. We said our goodbyes and drove away from the Starbucks. I cried for days... I really felt like he was the one, but I knew I wasn't the one to change his mind or his heart.
I truly felt the Lords love and comfort through my parents words and care for me during that season. My dad kept reassuring me that if I delighted myself in the Lord he would give me the desires of my heart and if my heart were seeking Gods will I would want to obey Gods word. I had to surrender my heart to God and trust he would perfectly care for it and look after it. Every day I saw Ricky at work, and I had to make the decision to lay my desires at the Lords altar and trust in him.
One night i remember crying to my mom, why is this so hard? I'm so sad, and I'm upset that it couldn't work out, because I wanted him to be the one." And my mom gently placed her hand on mine, and reminded me that God is good... He is faithful. That impacted me so much because she reminded me that in all things... in the things I have to surrender and lay at God's feet, God is good.
Fifteen months went by and my heart was still praying and crying out to God for strength and joy for all that happened with Ricky but with each day there was new grace and new joy and my soul longed for God more than anything or anyone else.
At the same time, God had been speaking to Ricky and giving him faith for a new church. He began visiting the church I attended and God began convicting his heart on the issues that we use to discuss. I didn't have to convince him of anything, the Lord did the work... for His glory. I've always loved Ricky's faith but now we were on the same foundations. I'm amazed at how God faithfully worked all things and I'm convinced that in the midst of joy or pain God is always at work and when we surrender all our desires, hurts, prayers to God, he is never far from us."
Thank you Mallory for sharing your story!
And friends, there's more to come. And don't forget to enter my giveaway here.