I love being able to answer people when they ask me, “How did you know he was the one?” There’s something magical, almost surreal, about the feeling I get when I think back…
5 years ago, I still had no idea who he was – who my “True Love” was – or when I would meet him. Turns out I didn’t have to go looking or even wait long (God moved him into my care group right after I joined it myself).
As our friendship grew, so did my desire to be his helper. That was something new for me. Never had I ever held that desire; I knew that those feelings had not originated with me and immediately realized there was Someone else at work. I asked God to strengthen my love for and desire to help Daniel if His will was for us to be together. Little by little, day by day, joy by joy, trial by trial, His answer was growing clearer.
If you don’t know Daniel, you should get to know him. I have been nothing but blessed since I became his friend (best friend/girlfriend/betrothed/wife in 20 days). Daniel understands me better than anyone. He is introverted like me so he understands my need for personal “recharging” time. He is not critical of me and he does not demand my attention; he values my input and seeks it out, even if it means waiting patiently for me to find my voice; he’s sensitive and considerate of my needs and desires; he prays over & for me when I tell him I need it, and also when I don't; he reassures me when I doubt and reminds me of God’s truth when I forget it; he’s the most comforting shoulder to cry on, and the safest arms to hide in; he shares my burdens, fights off my fears, and bandages my hurts; he checks on my diabetes care; he vows to always love me and stand by me, to cherish & honor me, to protect me with his dying breath. He’s the most genuine, sincere, loyal, affectionate, and determined young man I know.
I say loyal & determined because I’ve walked alongside Daniel through a variety of trials – particularly financial difficulties – and though job after job fell through, and giving up seemed to ever loom on the horizon, we pushed through together and Daniel never gave me the impression that staying with me wasn’t worth it. Rather, he expressed the exact opposite. I was (and still am) his motivation. If I wasn’t in the picture, chasing a career or job wouldn’t be on his radar; he’d continue to live at home and not rush forward into making something of his career life.
Anyway, last winter, before Christmas of 2011, the weight of the job losses and the length of time it was taking for us to move forward into marriage pushed me into a dark depression – probably the darkest since high school. I felt myself giving into fear and doubt about whether we were ever going to be together. Satan took that moment of weakness to slowly feed me lies.
“Give up; marry someone richer.”
He was so deceitful that, at times, it felt like I was arguing with myself.
“No, I couldn’t do that to him.”
“He’s never going to get anywhere.”
“Why should I leave him?”
“He’ll never find a job. He’ll never be able to support you…you’re too much of a financial burden.”
I cringed. Truthfully, I’ve always felt like a financial burden, even in spite of Daniel’s reassurances that I’m not one. Satan pounded away until, all at once, another voice broke through.
The lies were literally silenced.
A gentle, firm answer resounded in my soul.
“Satan does not want you together because I DO.”
I paused, letting those words rush over me.
The basic truth that what God loves, Satan hates flooded into my mind and it all made sense. Of course Satan didn’t want us together! He didn’t want us to fulfill what God had planned for us! And God wanted us together!
What relief! Confidence and peace filled my soul! The lies were gone; Satan’s plot was foiled. He slunk away with his forked tail between his legs. His lies were nothing to fear after hearing and understanding even that one little part of God’s plan. I was so amazed that He would make His purpose so clear – and (during that mental bout) I hadn’t even asked Him to do that! How good and kind of God to speak so clearly and comfort my troubled soul in that moment of need!
That one whisper has changed my life. I know for certain that moving forward in life as Daniel's wife is what God has planned for me, that marriage is what God has planned for us, and that it is a good plan because it is God's plan...it's not Rachel's plan, or Daniel's plan, but God's. It has been from before there was time and God deserves all the praise for bringing us together.
I might also add that my financial fears no longer plague me. Daniel’s job will be provided when and where God best sees fit. My job will be provided the same way – and in fact, God has graciously given me one and allowed me to hold another small job on the side. I have faith for our future provisions because God will always do what is best for us.
A bad economy won’t stop Him.
A corrupt government won’t stop Him.
Satan won’t stop Him.
And in 20 days I will be
Mrs. Daniel Payne.