This is the beginning of our love story, written in February of 2011. Since this was written, our courtship continued, he proposed, and we were married in August of 2011. The rest of our story will come later as we finish writing it!
In January of 2010, a young man named Adam Woodiwiss moved to Pendleton to become the youth pastor at the church I attended and worked at. At the time, I was very excited for the gift of working with Adam to bless the youth, but as the year went on, I discovered that God had something even bigger and better in mind.
My life goal has always been and continues to be to ultimately bring God honor and glory in everything I do, reflecting His life and love in all my actions. I have always been committed to living a life of purity and integrity to the best of my ability, and part of that commitment has been lived out through intentionally not dating anyone until such a time as God saw fit to bring someone extraordinary into my life and made it very clear that person was part of God’s perfect plan for my imperfect future. Sometime during the summer of 2010, I began to suspect that Adam might be that special someone. However, I continued to live my life as I always have, trusting God that if it was His will, he would work it out in His timing and His way. During this time, I focused on putting God first and followed that with a strong commitment to my family, ministry, and education.
Adam consistently supported this focus and commitment and we both chose to keep healthy boundaries as coworkers. Little did I know at the time that God had been working in Adam’s heart throughout the summer to grow and develop a love for me that is now in full bloom in his heart. It was late that summer that Adam began to realize and receive all that God was working in his heart. Over the next few months, we worked together as a ministry team focused on impacting the youth of Pendleton for God. God used that focus and dedication for His glory and we both believe He touched and impacted many of the youth of this community. In December, we both stepped away from the church due to some internal conflict. During the process of leaving, and Adam and I no longer being coworkers, God began to work in both of our lives. We both sought Him first, seeking His healing and His guidance for both of us as individuals.
It is often through hard times that we really learn to see the people who matter to us the most. And it was through this hard time that God began to especially work in Adam’s heart. During the first few weeks of January 2011, through several conversations with pastors, Adam’s family, my family, and fasting and prayer, he believed that God was directing him to take action in communicating his feelings and intentions with me. On January 21st, Adam and I met for breakfast at Dennys and we had “The Talk.” From that talk, we both decided to publicly declare what God has done and is doing in our lives. We have both maintained healthy boundaries in our lives…waiting for God to move in this area of our lives and to provide the blessing of a lifelong spouse worth waiting for. We both believe that God is pouring out this blessing to us in each other.
Adam and I both have 3 to 4 months of intense education before us (I am finishing up my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies, and he is completing Level 1 of the Berean School of Ministry), and finishing that education is a big priority, to both of us and to our families and friends. Although we have chosen to make our commitment to each other public, we are not entering into a traditional “dating” relationship. This means that the majority of the time we spend together is in group settings. We are committed to keeping time alone together at a minimum and at times and in situations where maintaining physical purity is not a major challenge.
A lot of people may question this and wonder how we are going to get to know each other. My answer: We already know each other!! We’ve spent a full year as friends and working together in ministry. We’ve laughed together, played together, prayed together, and cried together as friends and as ministry partners. Through these experiences, we’ve learned a great deal about each other, how we think and how we react both in stressful situations and in times of just enjoying life and having fun. We have discussed our values in relation to God, to ministry, and to life; we have shared frustrations and joys, disappointments and victories. I firmly believe that the past year has been a precious gift from God to us so that we could get to know one another as friends before romantic feelings ever entered the picture.
Although the love that I have for Adam is growing deeper each day, it is not based out of shallow, worldly attraction. It is founded in the deep appreciation I have for him as a dear friend, and out of the amazing character he has consistently displayed in all the time that I have known him. He is a great man of God whose first and foremost concern is to live all out for his Lord.
As Adam and I move forward together through the next several months, we ask that you, our friends and family, cover us in prayer: first for strength and provision as we finish school; second for strength to continue to maintain our strong boundaries; and third for clear direction from God and wisdom regarding our future together. Please join us in being a part of our story in these ways. As always, we pray that this year will hold abundant blessings for us as we move forward in God’s will, and the same for each and every one of you. Thank you for being a part of our lives. God bless you and keep you always!