10 years of friendship, 9 years together, 8 years married.
My husband, Phillip, and I met at a bible study in 2010. We were both ending “situationships,” cutting off distractions, diving deeper into our faith and focused on our goals. He was pursuing a career in medicine and technology, and I was a budding entrepreneur, artist and writer. Our connection was undeniable and our friendship blossomed quickly - like within 3 weeks of knowing each other we were some what inseparable - That quick! It was as if we had known each other for years vs. only a few weeks. Still, I RAN from the possibility that this friendship could be something more.
We discovered pretty early that we shared the same values, had similar dreams, and found out that our parents had actually been friends and colleagues for over 30 years. Supposedly, we met as young children but neither of us have any recollection of that. You would think it was all heart emojis and “signs” that this was IT!
I had experienced enough heartbreak by that time to know that sometimes the “resume” doesn’t tell the truth. I had dealt with guys who were everything on paper, but real life proved otherwise. I wasn’t falling for anything prematurely. I wasn’t just guarding my heart with healthy boundaries, there was a full security system and guard dog on the premises lol.
So, how did I know that HE was the one? Simply put - he was the one because I chose to say yes to him. The real question is, WHY did I say yes?
When my heart and brain finally got on the same page, this is how I knew that he was THE ONE I wanted to do life with:
Peace. “Follow the peace” is one of the greatest words of wisdom I've ever received. I don’t mean the butterflies in your stomach that make you blind to red flags lol. I’m talking about a state of tranquility where you always feel at home. Peace that is divine and not contrived. No fluff, no hiding, shrinking, or fronting to impress - just authentic relationship. We became each other's safe space.
Exceeding Abundance. I remember talking to God about my now husband from day one. On one occasion I just asked in prayer, “Is THIS it?!” I was looking for a yes or no response, but God whispered to me, “Is it what you asked for?” And then my spirit recalled this scripture:
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3:20-21
God is Masterful. His word speaks of His ability to leave us dumbfounded by His greatness. Why couldn’t this apply to matters of the heart? God exceeded the abundance of what I asked for and hoped for. In Phillip’s character, heart, and more. My “list” for what I wanted in a spouse wasn’t superficial, but God knew my heart and honored the unspoken things I wished for - like the fact that Phillip is the MOST affectionate man I know and is the undisputed dancehall king (in my opinion lol). If it was just what I asked for, that would’ve been ok with me. God reminded me that He specializes in above and beyond! That added to the peace I already felt about the relationship.
The Fruit. Have you ever been in a relationship that brought the ugly out of you? Jealousy, insecurity, immaturity? Sometimes this happens because we have unresolved issues within that need to be confronted. It's necessary to self reflect and address these things BEFORE entering into serious relationships. One of the ways I knew Phillip was the one for me was the fruit it produced in us individually. We became each other's greatest cheerleaders. We were honest about behaviors that we’re a detriment to our goals (i.e. procrastination, lateness, etc.) There was pure accountability, self control and no competition. I’m not necessarily talking about what we’ve built over the years together. Before marriage, the FRUIT of the spirit grew in us. Our community could attest to how we were growing as a result of being in each other's lives. Patience, gentleness, kindness - I never felt small in his presence or had to second guess his intention for our relationship. It was clear once stated, and has remained consistent.
Major Key. We didn’t get so wrapped up in one another that we neglected other important areas of our lives. You know how sometimes people can get so lost in their relationship that they neglect other areas of their lives (especially when love is new and bubbly lol). This is a clear sign of imbalance. Love should produce the BEST in you.
I don’t necessarily believe in the concept of “the one” - it doesn’t account for death, geographic distance, and the idea of finding one person out of 7 billion is pretty daunting. I believe that there are options for partnership that can serve the purpose of God in your life, or drive you away from it. It takes discernment to know the difference because it can be subtle. After 8 years, I can say with confidence, that I’m partnered to who God ordained for my life. It hasn’t been all sunshine. Can you imagine 8 years with no rain? Nothing can grow without a little dirt and rain.
2020 has been a Year of Revealing. I’m grateful that it revealed a foundation that was built to last.
If you’re married, share why you said yes in the comments. If you’re single, I’d love to hear how you determine whether or not you should commit.
I love you & I’m rooting for you