Hi guys! This is David, delivering the website itself and the first blog post, as Suzi doesn’t yet know that this site has been built. She’s off on her first mission trip in Nicaragua with our college church group and I’m stuck in Seattle, Washington, some 4000 miles away.
Most of this is pretty surreal for me, to be honest. Suzi and I had been dating for 3 years when I proposed, and things were pretty admittedly amazing - there were times of edifying each other and extending grace and patience and understanding and companionship - but things weren’t always like we were walking on rainbows. We had even broken up in the midst of that second year - and went nearly 4 months without any contact or communication. We broke up because we disagreed about marriage. I felt like we weren’t ready on a few different levels - mostly spiritually and financially. Suzi felt like we were ready - we were past ready - and that marriage shouldn’t be delayed simply on the basis of financial circumstances. I definitely give her credit for that - she was content to be with me, even if things were going to be rough, if we would be living paycheck to paycheck.
I didn’t share the same mentality though. I figured I should be in a position to provide and be financially independent and have my act together spiritually - and until I checked these off of a checklist, I wasn’t really qualified to move forward. I didn’t have a job coming out of college. I honestly didn’t feel like a man and didn’t feel very independent, like I could actually provide for someone and lead them in relationship with God. I simply didn’t know if I could do it. I could identify areas in my life that weren’t what they were supposed to be spiritually - I was pretty unstable in my relationship with God. I wasn’t in the Word or in prayer like I had been in the past, I didn’t feel like I was seeing a lot of fruit or stepping out in faith. So I postponed marriage in my mind as some distant, abstract thing… whenever I get my act together, then marriage will be an option.
In that second year, in the course of less than two weeks, Suzi and I broke up, I learned that I had been rejected from a graduate program I had almost already finished, I forfeited my college job at the K20 Center, moved out of my apartment in Norman and back home to Tulsa, gotten on a plane to California, and then to Southeast Asia for a mission trip with Epic. Though I was on a mission trip with a team I now consider family, it was about a month into the trip until I was able to unload my emotional baggage. In that process, though - a lot changed. My confidence, composure, demeanor seemed to change - I felt God’s proximity. Though I had been freaking out about my job situation, I had a job offer just 5 or 6 weeks later at a startup, and so I flew out soon afterward with a one-way ticket to San Francisco.
There, I think I realized that I could get married if I wanted to. I realized that I could provide and lead - and I simply didn’t know this. I knew it abstractly, in my head, that God had designed me to be strong and courageous and masculine - but moving away, living on my own, working 60 to 70 hours a week - I realized I was strong, courageous, masculine. I could do it. I saw God’s provision - in an intensely cheap apartment that was within walking distance, an apartment that gave me completely private roof access with an unparalleled view of the city. I found all of my furniture for free through Craigslist. God was opening doors, showing Himself active in my life.
Two months later and I was burning out. I distinctly remember my last day of work, since I had only actually signed on for a two month contract, though I think we were both expecting it to be extended. There was uncertainty and panic, wondering if I had made a terrible mistake. That next week, I flew to Seattle for an interview with Amazon - I remember pacing my Bellevue hotel room, praying that God would open or close the door. About a week later, I had an offer in my inbox - and two weeks later, I was in transit to Washington with a one-way ticket in hand.
Now… everything I had against marriage had been eliminated. Additionally, I had a distinct desire for marriage - I believed I would be able to stand and lead spiritually, and I’d be making more than I could have dreamed of. I really felt like… this wasn’t a mistake. Suzi and I had started talking again, and I had expressed my feelings for marriage.
And so, about three months later, I was back in Tulsa for the weekend and on one knee to propose.
Those have been my past 9 months. Now, in 5 months (and 1 day), I’ll be watching Suzi walk down the aisle, and I’ll be able to kiss the bride. Afterwards, we’ll live in a condo in Redmond, Washington and attend church at Chinese Southern Baptist Church in the Chinatown of Seattle. As for me - what can I really say? God has given me beauty for ashes, life instead of death - just as my life has been redeemed by Him, my relationship with Suzi has been redeemed and breathed into by His mercy and grace. May I be more like Him and desire more of Him each day.