The challenge of walking with the God who knows me  

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Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.

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Copyright © 2012 by Derek Leaf . Not to be copied for commercial purposes.  Permission is granted to copy the unaltered, attributed page for non commercial purposes.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Ecclesiastes 9:9

“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life ..”

Proverbs 31:10

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.”

The end of my time in the States had been planned many months in advance.  It was to come with a month long training program led by Jim and Mary Williams in the wooded mountains of Arizona.  I was going as a team leader.  The idea of it was that living in close confines – an army tent, and having strenuous work each day would bring out character issues that could then be dealt with in a relatively safe environment.  It worked as well.  After about a week all the ‘niceness’ of being Christians that one could sustain at a distance came unglued and the reality began to appear.  So, we had some good times and we all grew through it.

There was however one other person who had come to this camp, and with whom I was now in a considerable amount of contact, Eva.  After about two weeks I began to think that I had shown too much interest and that I was giving too many signals.  I mentioned this to Jim as we went for a walk one evening.  He thought it might be best if we talked.  

Well, I talked to Eva.  My idea had been to apologise for wrong implications.  She had not seen any.  But then, I went beyond and suggested what I thought was a low level relationship.  I miscommunicated and Eva understood that I liked her and would like to be ‘friends’.  This then came back to me, and I was stuck.  I got cold feet and tried to pull back, again thinking of a transatlantic relationship.  That really hurt Eva, and we both independently spent a few hours walking around the woods weeping and praying.  In the end we borrowed a car and drove off.  I was really cut up about it, and my heart was reacting in ways that I did not know that it could.  Half way into town I had to pull over as I broke down in tears.

At the restaurant in town we both concluded that we liked each other but did not want to get involved in a relationship that would not end in marriage.  It would just be too hard to maintain such a relationship across the Atlantic.  We also concluded that it would be unfair for me to dive into this sort of relationship as a team leader.  There were others on my team who had come to grow, and they were looking for help. We decided that we would separate to pray for the two weeks.  Pray that God would make it so plane that it would be clear sin to go ahead if he had said ‘no’, or to not go ahead to marriage if he said ‘yes’.

It was a time of great agony.  I was completely struck down by love and my emotions were in turmoil.  I found that even to think that maybe there was hope was too much, I could not pray or meet with God.  I had to be utterly ruthless, in declaring the relationship dead, or else I would be hunting frantically for the verse from God that said that we should go for it.  No, I had to read the Bible looking for wisdom from him and avoiding passages that might say the right thing.

Suffice to say, God made it plain and we are now married.  The journey to marriage however was not going to be an easy one.