I knew I wanted love in my life. More specifically, I had a deep desire to be married, and I would sit with my Bible open, praying God would bring a woman across my path with whom I could share my life.
As I read the Scriptures, I began to wonder if God did ever did that, “walked His daughters into the paths of His sons.” Prompted by the Holy Spirit, I began to search the Bible for examples. I found instances throughout the Bible of God arranging love, but I was most struck by the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis: “and He brought the woman to the man” (Gen 2:22).
It seemed abundantly clear that God did indeed have the power to walk love into my life. But I was also reminded that God wanted me to be on board with His plan for my life, not simply chasing my own desires. There was a revelation to me that I needed to be active, not passively waiting for love.
I had started attending Bridgeway in 2011 after moving back to Columbia from two years away coaching baseball in Kentucky. It was there I had accepted Christ, and when I returned home, I was looking for a church to call home as well. The company where I worked was adjacent to the Bridgeway main campus, so one warm Tuesday night, I walked across the street into a gathering, which was called TNP or “Tuesday Night Prayer” at that time. The Bridgeway mission on the wall and the small, multi-ethnic congregation connected with me. I sat down and became a part of this church.
But loving a church and loving God is also active. And it wasn’t long before I began serving in BridgeKids. My desire for a romantic relationship was real, but I felt God calling me to be in step with His plan and to learn about His love. God was telling me to get off the sidelines and into the game. At the same time, I keep an active eye open to see who God might bring into my path.
While serving, I found great joy being involved in the youth ministry, which I continue to participate in today. I also began attending an early morning Bible Study for men. I wanted to be active in what God was doing at my local church. I was also getting very involved in serving and loving my city and had just moved into downtown Baltimore. One of the men in my study suggested I contact his fiancé, Deb, who ran an after school ministry on Wilkens Ave. He gave me her contact information, and the next Thursday, I was there.
I was putting feet to my love for God, for my church community, and for my city. Love is active. And in the same way, I continued to stay alert to the romantic opportunities God might lead my way.
The second Thursday I went to Wilkens Ave to serve, it was a noisy night as kids banged the screen door coming in and out of the house. But then I heard someone come in followed by the crinkling sound of paper bags hitting up against the narrow row house walls. I looked down the hallway and saw Emily lugging bags of craft supplies towards the kitchen. The moment I saw her, I knew God was answering my prayer.
God walked Emily across my path and into my heart on October 8, 2015. We were both serving through Bridgeway’s Five Loaves Two Fishes outreach ministry. Each of us was seeking to live out God’s love in our lives, and when we met, we both recognized the opportunity to pursue romantic love. She asked if I’d be interested in meeting over ice cream or dinner to “talk about ministry,” which we did on October 15th. The next day, we planned our first date! I knew from the start I wanted to be upfront about my intentions towards marriage. As it turns out, I proposed the following July. And we joyfully celebrated our wedding in December 2016!
I am so thankful to have met Emily and to be able to share our life together. Love is worth waiting for and worth pursuing. And I am so glad I didn’t miss the opportunity to engage God’s plan for my life, but that I got in the game and learned to love through service to God, my church, and my city along the way.