Thursday, April 22, 2010

How We Met...

Since this is mine and Brad's anniversary month, I thought it would be fun to join Kelly today and share how Brad and I met.

Our story is a complete example of how God so intricately works out His amazing plan for our lives! I know this is a little lengthy, but you must read all the way through to see what I mean!!

So, roll the clock back to summer 2001...

I was in my 2nd year at Auburn, and glad to come home for the summer and have fun with my high school buddies, do a little babysitting, and get ready for my sister's wedding in July. Just a couple of days after I had officially came home, I got a call from a girl I had worked with at a company I had worked for my junior and senior years in high school. She was wondering if I would be interested in working for the summer...and, I was COMPLETELY NOT, but told her to let me think about it. I prayed about it that afternoon and evening, and just really felt the Lord telling me that I needed to do this. So, almost begrudgingly, I called her and said, SURE!! My first day of work, she and I went to lunch and bumped into her husband...the next morning when I came in she said, "Are you dating anyone?" Well, I knew what that meant - "I have this cousin, brother, nephew, son, best friend's God-child's next door neighbor that is just SOOO SWEET that I want you to meet"...you know the drill! I told her no I was not dating anyone, but insisted that I was not interested in being set up with anyone - thanks anyhow.

Okay, put that on hold, and let me tell you a little background info. Two years prior to this, I was 17 years old and at a Disciple Now weekend (which was always held in March) at my church. I felt a strong sense from the Lord that I was being called in to the ministry, but to do what I had no idea. I shared with my leader for the weekend and my youth minister that the Lord was calling me into the ministry and that I was going to marry someone in the ministry.

Okay, back to 2001...

My co-worker shared with me that she was wondering if I was dating someone because her husband thought I would just be PERFECT for his best friend, Brad. She would come in day after day and tell me how I just had to meet him - how sweet he was, how good he was with her children, how funny he was, what a great guy he was. I would think, "Yeah, but God has big plans for me - I'm supposed to marry someone in the ministry. So, as good as this guy may be, God has another plan." Don't we always thinkg WE KNOW as much as God does? Well, after much prodding, I finally said I would meet him - even though I knew NOTHING would come out of it. A few days before I was to meet him, my co-worker and I were talking about him and she said, "You know, I haven't even mentioned one of the most important things about Brad. A few years ago he was called in to the ministry. He's actually serving as our Children and Youth Director at our church right now." I was STUNNED!!

Well we finally met. Brad fell in love at first sight - he said that the first moment he laid eyes on me the Lord told him I was who he would spend the rest of his life with!! I was a different story - even though everything felt right, "falling" for someone was just hard for me and I fought it...how incredibly crazy, I KNOW! We had went out 4 or 5 times, and I told one of my dearest friends I was going to end it with Brad. Thankfully the Lord intervened. Brad was preaching at his church on a Sunday night, and asked me to come to the service. And, do you know what he preached about?? LOVE. The perfect love of Christ. The God given ability we have to genuinely share Him with others by simply loving. It was one of those divine moments in my life when God said, THIS IS RIGHT, HAYLEY!! STOP ACTING CRAZY, AND TRUST ME! From that point on, I was head over heels in LOVE!!!

Well, it didn't take very long for Brad and I to realize we loved each other and we would definitely marry. I had shared with him how the Lord had told me I would marry someone in the ministry, and we had discussed how amazing God was to reveal that to me before we even met. But, we didn't realize HOW AMAZING until a few months after we had been dating, I was looking through Brad's Bible. On one of the first few pages, he had some dates written down of important milestones in his walk with the Lord. I stared in disbelief at what I saw as I read down the list:

Announced calling - March 24, 1999
Preached first message - March 28, 1999

Thinking back to that Disciple Now weekend that the Lord told me I would marry someone in the ministry, I realized that Brad announced his calling into the ministry less than a week later! HOLY COW!!!!!!!!!!! At a time in our lives when we didn't know each other even existed, God was already preparing our hearts for His plan with us together. Isn't God AMAZING??

Less than 2 years later, we were married and poor Brad never knew what amount of craziness was possible to have in his life until I became his wife!!!! HA!

So, guys and girls know that God DOES have a plan for your life - even though it may not make any sense right now. He is lacing together your journey so intricately, and when you look back you'll be able to see His mighty hand directing you the entire time!

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