Just before I started dating, I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what I wanted my future to look like. I never doubted God because I had written him letters as a child, and he answered every one of them! As a youth then, I vowed to God that I would never marry a non-Adventist Christian but my journey to marriage was a test of that vow – my faith, trust and allegiance to God. It started with a popular narrative, well known to many young ladies but with varying outcomes.
When I met my husband, Charles, he was not a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. It was my final year of university in Jamaica. I left campus late one night and sat on a bus, exhausted and unbothered by everything around me. I did notice something though. The bus was almost full but no one sat beside me. Then came this charming, handsome guy who took his seat and struck up a conversation with me immediately. Not really in the best mood, I responded to his constant questioning a little, and soon it was time for me to get off the bus. He quickly jotted down his telephone number and gave it to me. I put it in my purse and forgot about it. About three months later, I was clearing out my purse and came across the number and decided to call him. I told him where I was on campus and from there on, he started visiting me. I invited him to church and bought him a Bible. He started attending church regularly and attended Bible studies. Soon thereafter, he was baptized.
When Charles asked me to be his girlfriend, it was not an automatic yes, as he was expecting. I told him I was studying for my final exams, which I was, but the truth was, I needed time to seek God’s direction. Additionally, our church’s pathfinder director at the time (let’s call him John) had asked me to be his girlfriend months earlier. A “yes” to any one of these gentlemen would have resulted in marriage and I knew it. Like I did many times before, I wrote a letter to God. I earnestly sought his direction on which way to go.
Both men waited but I was in no rush, I needed to get this right. I told God, this is your test, you need to show me which way to go! A few months after my exams ended, Charles confronted me about my delayed response to him. I tried to buy more time, but he wasn’t having it. The more he pressured me, the more intensely I prayed. I was not prepared to cave in without God’s approval. In the months after, he was annoyed by my lack of response. He confronted me again, this time with an ultimatum – “Either you want me or you don’t want me. Tell me mek me go ’bout me business”! I told him I was also considering someone else too. At that moment, he stopped asking and started assuming the role of my boyfriend. He started sitting beside me in church, taking me home, coming to my home to meet my parents, have family worship with us and visiting me regularly. John noticed what was going on but never said a word to me about it and I never volunteered to explain.
Soon thereafter, the friendship between Charles and me as well as our relationship with God grew. He became very active in many departments of our church. In fact, he was the most vibrant Bible Bowl leader our church had ever had! My dad noticed the way he treated me, the way he cared, our love for each other, our bond and the affection he developed with our family. My dad grew very fond of Charles and encouraged us to think about marriage. A few weeks later, on a beautiful, seemingly cloudless night, after family devotion, with no ring in hand, Charles professed his love to me, asked me to marry him and be his wife. I said, “Yes” and as they say, the rest is history.
Our love has grown and matured over the years. This Sabbath, February 12, we celebrate 27 years of marriage! We have learnt how to pray, play and work synergistically to achieve many extraordinary things. We deal with disagreements quickly and get back in sync, which is an important step to being happy, staying in love and fostering a home of contentment. God has truly blessed our marriage, our love and our family as we work in partnership with him. We model our love and commitment to our children as an example; a true testament of God’s faithfulness.
God has truly gifted me with a husband like no other; one that every girl dreams of! He’s not only super handsome and charming, but he’s also resilient, industrious and fiercely protective of his family. He inspires me to dream big, seek after higher education, and builds my confidence to go after things out of my comfort zone. Charles is a high achiever, a big picture thinker and is relentless in his pursuit of knowledge. He works hard with our children, teaches them how to teach themselves, disciplines them and sets high standards for our family. I love and respect him for the love, care and devotion he has shown me and our family. He’s the priest and king of our home, my life and my heart. My love and devotion to him have never wavered, never faltered. He goes above and beyond to satisfy my every need!
As a young female then, my decision to trust God first, over men, is a powerful testimony of what God can do when our allegiance is first and foremost to Him!
I praise God every day for the true love I have found in my husband. I’m glad I sought God’s help to make the right decision, to seek him first, and in so doing, all other things have been abundantly added to my life!
By Celia Jackson