Stories of Faith # 1

Back when I was a college student, I wrestled with the decision of whether to spend my summer on a missions project to Africa. My initial feelings were not to go. Africa seemed like a dangerous, difficult, place. However my campus director encouraged me to pray about it. As the time neared for a decision, I asked God to clearly show me if I should go. That morning, during my quiet time, God spoke to me through Acts 7:3. 3"Leave your country and your people, God said, and go to the land I will show you."1 Right then and there I felt God saying to me, go and trust Him for the summer. So I went with several other college students to the summer missions' interviews and sailed right through some very tough interviews. I had a supernatural confidence as I met with each of the interviewers that came from the fact that I believed this was God's will for me. This was unusual, for back when I was a college student, I struggled with shyness and insecurity. That summer our missions' trip was amazing. I had an incredible time of seeing Him at work. We saw over 1,500 people commit their lives to Christ and I saw the Holy Spirit work in powerful ways. Years later a missionary from that area told us that the local Christians had started 150 new churches as a result of our inspiration and efforts that summer.

Shortly after becoming a Christian I developed certain convictions about dating and who I wanted to marry. I felt the woman I was to marry should have these three qualities: 1) she needed to be a fanatic for Jesus, 2) she had to be willing to go anywhere and do anything for the cause of Christ, and 3) she should be a woman of noble character. As I thought about all the marriageable women I knew at the time, I could only think of five that met those criteria. So I began to pursue each of them to discover if any of them might be "the one." One of them was Emily. As I got to know her I could see she was a woman who had all three of these qualities as well as many more. I also found her quite attractive! Before knowing for certain if I should ask her to marry me, I prayed and asked God to show me His will. A passage of scripture came to mind, Proverbs 31:10, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."2 Right then and there I knew Emily was the one. She was a woman of noble character and the one God had for me. Now after 24 years of marriage I can say with confidence, she is God's best for me and far better than I could have ever thought of or hoped for.

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1 Acts 7:3, NIV.
2 Proverbs 31:10, NIV.