TSAW Love Story: A Story of Patience

jez-timms-207948.jpg

At The Set Apart Women, we love LOVE. But, one thing we noticed is that the "picture" of love that we get day in and day out from this world is represented more as lust: sex scenes in movies, friends with benefits and hook-ups, and stories of women needing to download every single dating app available in hopes of getting "picked." So, we figured we'd give currently engaged and married women the opportunity to encourage single women - God's way. In our "love stories" section, we share real life love stories that were centered on God's love. It is our hope that after you read some of these stories, you will be encouraged and uplifted to wait for the best - God's best, as these other women have. These are their stories. Enjoy ;)

 

A Story of Patience - Kjerstin Wepking

My husband, Brian, and I first met in the summer of 2010. I was out for a girls' night; he was out with his boys. And as it so happens, we both found ourselves at one of the greatest dance bars known to man or woman in the DC area. (Ok…maaaaybe "greatest" is a slight exaggeration, but it's all about perspective!)

I'm not sure who spotted who first, but let's say he did. In any case, eye contact played a significant role in the initial minutes of courtship. He looked…I looked; I caught him looking…he caught me looking; he looked around to confirm I was looking…my eyes confirmed. Then, after what seemed like forever—or maybe just a couple of minutes ticking in slow motion—he got the courage to make the approach. (It might have been liquid courage, but who's judging?!) So, we chatted and danced, danced and chatted, and somewhere in the middle of all that chatting and dancing, he got my number.

For the rest of that summer, Brian and I dated, taking advantage of the opportunities Washington, D.C. had to offer. This included one of our best dates ever: watching 4th of July fireworks at the Washington Monument, then going barhopping for the rest of the night. They weren't just good times, they were great times! And we knew right then and there, they would last forever!

Until they didn't! Unfortunately (and this truly was very unfortunate; so unfortunate, that the word unfortunate doesn't do this justice), as summer drew to an end, we decided that we'd be better off as friends.

FRIENDS!!!

Honestly, I was pretty sad about the decision. So naturally, I called my mom to talk about it (because that's what you do when you're pretty sad about something). And thank God, I did, because the wisdom she conveyed on that day guided me and has stuck with me since. "Be patient," she said. "I have a feeling yours and Brian's story isn't over."

So, since momma knows best, we gave the friendship a shot. Over the ensuing 4 years, as we dated other people, pursued our careers, and grew in ourselves, we built on that budding friendship. That journey led us to January 2014, where, during one of our triannual friendship dinners, we discovered for the first time just how much we'd each grown since our first encounter. The biggest growth of all: our faith. Unbeknownst to us, a couple of months earlier, we'd each decided to take our lives in a different direction and work on our own personal relationships with God. 

Let me back up for a moment and share a little more about my faith journey. At one point during those 4 years, I had come to believe maybe marriage just wasn’t in the cards for me. I shared this thought with a dear friend of mine and her response took me by surprise. She asked if she could pray with me. This simple act of a friend asking to pray with me opened my eyes and my heart to a new idea of what faith and prayer looked like. At this time in my life, I had been attending church again after a bit of a “hiatus” as a 20 something.  After that experience, I decided I needed to seek out more friendships that would be “openly Christian.” I didn’t have friendships where I openly spoke about God, or my faith. Around this same time, the church I was attending announced they were forming new community groups. I wasn’t even really sure what a “community group” was, so with some hesitation, I decided to sign up to join a young woman’s group. For the next few months, I met with a group of women once a week. We discussed that week’s sermon or a Bible passage we opted to all read. This experience lead me down a path of actively pursuing a relationship with God and learning what it meant to have faith as an adult. It also brought me a group of women who began to help me be accountable for my faith. These women challenged me to actively learn about Christ and seek a relationship with Him. This decision to seek out more “openly Christian” friendships lead me to living “openly Christian” in all areas of my life.

Back to 2014, this gradual transformation—this spiritual awakening—brought about rich conversations between Brian and I. This time around, when we met for dinner or brunch or a movie, there was definitely something different. We talked openly about our faith, asked each other questions about our beliefs, turned to the Bible to read passages together to help us answer questions, and began to pray with each other. Making the choice to pray together was, in all honesty, a little uncomfortable for me at first, but it was incredibly powerful! It brought me to a place of openness and vulnerability I had not experienced before in a relationship. The idea of being vulnerable in a relationship was something I had avoided at all costs in relationships before. I was a strong, independent woman! Learning to let myself be vulnerable with God and with this man was, ironically, a freeing experience. Over the next few months, the foundation of friendship we had built, coupled with our growing love for God, blossomed into love for one another. So, as mom wisely predicted, our story wasn't over; and the patience, from the both of us, paid off. 

Now, a little more about the falling in love part, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. There was a point in the Spring of 2014 where we hit a little hiccup in our relationship. At this time, I had fallen in love with Brian. I was overwhelmed with thoughts, questions, and emotions. Does he love me back? Is this the man I am supposed to be with? How do I know? I don’t want to make another mistake in a relationship. I even was afraid that maybe I loved him more than I loved Christ at that time. For the first time, when I hit a hard spot in a relationship, I turned to God for support and guidance. I was in the shower and I began to pray. I prayed for God to speak to me more clearly than He ever had before, that I needed Him. I asked Him to be my friend, my father, and my husband first. I prayed that I would always be devoted and committed to Him before any other. Then I asked Him for Brian. I asked Him to let Brian be my husband on earth. Finally, I prayed one of the most difficult prayers I’ve ever prayed. I gave Brain up to the Lord. I poured out my heart to the Lord. Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” (NIV) I, again, had to be patient. The Lord answers prayers in His time, not ours. 

In February of 2015, to celebrate my birthday, Brian asked me to take the day off work so we could go downtown, walk around the National Mall (one of our favorite pastimes), and have dinner. So, despite the fact that it was VERY cold, grey, and windy, we did just that. Brian drove us to DC and parked near the U.S. Capitol building. Then, he opened the trunk of his car, pulled out a large wrapped item, turned to me and said, "I got you something for your birthday, but I have to give it to you at the right place, otherwise, it won't have the same meaning." I was a bit confused, but I'd learnt earlier on in our relationship that when Brian has a plan, I need to let him be, not ask questions, and trust him. 

So, from our parking spot close to the U.S. Capitol, with very limited information from Brian, we began to walk...and walk...and walk…to what ended up being the Lincoln Memorial (about 2.1 miles from where we parked, just in case you're wondering…because I was). But despite the long walk, I was excited to see this mysterious present he was carrying, which, because of the windy weather, was basically acting like a sail.

Once we got to the Lincoln Memorial, we sat on the steps and attended to the most important task first: blowing our noses (because that's what you do when you're on an outdoor date on a cold winter day; it was very romantic). Then we stood on the lower steps and, after some positioning by Brian (which I later learnt he was doing for the secret photographer he'd hired), I unwrapped the gift. It happened to be a 4-foot wooden board, with a poem composed by Brian and handwritten by an artist from my hometown. I read the poem, and as I was processing the last sentence ("I have something to ask you."), Brian placed the board down and got down on one knee. That's when it really hit me. On top of that, to our great surprise—our absolute astonishment—Brian noticed that the sky had cleared up and the sun was out! He was so shocked, he interrupted his speech to make me look up at the blue sky, which we both took as a sign of God’s presence. Then, after he composed himself, he got out the ring and asked…

Of course, I said YES!

Having Christ at the center of our relationship, as our foundation, has brought us incredible blessings and experiences we never imagined possible. I know, it sounds cheesy to say, but I truly cannot think ofa more accurate way to express the last 3 years of our life together. When I thought marriage wasn’t in the cards, God lead me on a path to experience love and get married. When I thought buying a house in the DC area was always going to be out of my price range, God delivered, Brian and I bought a house. Now, God has blessed us with a healthy baby boy. 

When we hit a rocky spot, we pray together. It helps our communication with each other; it brings us closer together; it helps us realize when we are letting trivial things cloud our minds. It is difficult to stay angry at someone when you humble yourself next to them in prayer. Seek God first. Invite Him into your relationship! It will bring you a love experience only God could imagine and create. It will be a love beyond anything you could hope for.