God in His great wisdom and with His great artistic ability, painted a beautiful portrait that is Brian’s and my relationship 7 years ago. Before I go into how we met, let me just share how without the working of God, Brian and I wouldn’t have met or be married today. Brian, grew up on a dairy farm in the Upstate of New York state, the oldest of seven children, he’s a gentleman, when he tans, it fades after a few days, he’s very down-to-earth/laid-back and didn’t grow up in a home were God was much of a factor. I was raised by a single mother in a suburb of Upstate of South Carolina, an only child, am a lady, have a permanent tan that never has to be worked on, tend to be very organized and religion was a major factor in my family. With so many differences, how could the two of us ever meet?
Seven years ago, I was in a Christian chat room, just hanging out. I don’t recommend them these days though with their being so full of spam and perversion. I received a private message from this guy. As was my protocol to weed out the perverts, I asked him Who Jesus Christ is to him. He blew me away with his response but included was the most important answer, that Jesus is His Lord and Savior. We chatted for a while, my impression of him was that he was too goofy for my taste but I decided he’d be an acquaintance and didn’t totally write him off. I didn’t find out until later that his impression of me was that I was stuck up. We kept in touch online over the years until 2005, then some dramatic things happened to take our friendship up a few levels! At the beginning of 2005, I found myself recovering from allowing myself to be in a relationship with a wolf that was in sheep’s clothing. Still freshly wounded, I remember praying that God would just give me a good male friend. In March, I was chatting with Brian and he, in the great gift of discernment he has, knew I was down and gave me his phone numbers with the admonishment that I was to call him anytime that I needed him, no matter what. Me, being the organized person that I am, I put his number in my cellular phone and Palm all the while thinking, “Not gonna happen!” Boy, was I wrong! May found me traveling to my mother’s on the weekends and vacation days due to her needing my help as the result of an illness that wracked her body in severe pain and left her pretty much immobile and which had not been diagnosed yet. Late one night she was in so much pain that an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital. As I followed the ambulance in my vehicle, I knew I needed a brother or sister in Christ to pray with me about my mother so I scrolled through my cellular phonebook and Brian’s was the first name that appeared. Mind you, I hadn’t taken him up on his offer to call him before but extreme times call for extreme measures. Mind you, it was about 3:00 a.m. but I didn’t hesitate to call. He answered with the nicest, but sleepy, voice I’d heard. When I told him what’d happened to my mother and what was going on, he didn’t hesitate to pray right then. His prayer helped give me the peace I needed as I went to the Emergency Room to be with my mother. Days later, Mom was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome and after much prayer and treatment, she’s living an active life well on her way to full recovery! After first speaking to Brian that night, he contacted me every day via phone, text, IM or e-mail. Seeing how faithful and loving he was to me, it was inevitable that we became best friends. One day in July after a deep yet funny conversation with him on the phone, I was walking to my room and was smacked with the realization that I was in love with him! Not good!! For days, I fought it with prayer and all my might, loving him more as we communicated each day and fighting it harder afterward. Finally at a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore, I told him that I loved him. He surprised me with his response, it was a good thing I was sitting down at the time! First, he shared how he was always the one that told others that first and that that meant a lot to him. Second, he told me that I could do better than him! Talk about shocking! We didn’t discuss it again for quite a while but my feelings for him didn’t subside but grew more the more I got to know him. Early in 2007, I was given the revelation that he was going to move to my town not just visit as I’d once assumed. “Conveniently”, he called me not long after this revelation and as we talked, I fought not telling him until I knew I had to. Again, he shocked me with his response! He shared that he’d been searching for jobs here for a while not being sure why but my revelation sure put things in perspective. Around April or May, events took place that practically put him on the bus to SC. The apartment building he lived in was condemned and the bank where he worked significantly cut his hours. June 29, 2007 he was on a bus to SC. June 30, 2007, he and I met face-to-face for the first time. He had on a floppy hat, beautiful blue eyes and round, rosy cheeks that I wanted to kiss so badly! We both went through a lot of maturing and changing until God gave His blessing and Brian asked to court me on December 22, 2008 and to marry him on September 12, 2009. It culminated in a simple, elegant wedding ceremony on April 17, 2010. Can you see it? The beautiful portrait that God painted that is Brian’s and my life together? The wonderful thing is that it’s not done yet and it gets more beautiful with time!