How It All Began

I was thinking recently of Jonathan and I’s story of how God brought us together. Even as I reflect on the very specific details I’m blown away at God and how he meticulously allows everything in our lives to happen for a very specific purpose.

Let’s start at the very beginning. Richmond, VA was never on the radar for either of us. For me as I prepared to graduate from the University of TN I was applying to graduate school for Higher Ed Administration. I applied to UVA, UT Austin, UGA, and Clemson and got accepted to them all so all I needed to do was make a decision. I worked in career services and just happened across a job posting that sounded perfect but it was in sales and I didn’t know how I felt about that. I interviewed for the job just to be able to ask questions and see if it was something I would like. After the initial interview I got offered a second interview down in Tampa, Fl. At this point I was competing with probably 25 people for 8-10 positions so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I left the interview feeling like man if I get the job offer this is definitely something I have to pursue. Within this process I had to rank 10 cities based on my preferences for relocation and Richmond was my top choice. I didn’t know anything about the city but that it was far enough away from home but still close enough without there being a complete culture shock. Now if you ask Jon about his process of ending up in Richmond he’ll tell you that he never even knew Richmond existed although he went to school just a few hours away. Crazy right?

So I relocated to Richmond in August of 2014 and Jon had relocated here just a few months earlier in March. If you’ve been following my blog then you know that soon after relocating to Richmond I was re-baptized and had come to know Christ in a way I never had before. So of course at that point I’m a part of the church that I’d been baptized at and so was Jon. He’d been baptized a few years earlier into the same church but in North Carolina. Up until the point of being baptized Jon and I had limited interactions. We talked when we saw each other at Bible Talk on Friday nights and at church on Sunday’s or Wednesday. Our interactions were just simple conversations that you would have with anyone that you didn’t know that well.

So anyway… soon after being baptized Jon asked me out on a date. Contrary to the world’s view of dating this wasn’t a date in which any expectations were to be formed through, but literally just a time of getting to know one another and sharing parts of our life. I must say though that I was very impressed with the brother. I could tell early on that he had quite the attention to detail and I wasn’t mad about it. From there we began to forge an awesome friendship. We would have really deep conversations about our spiritual walk, our past, and our values amongst a ton of other things. I often asked advice about dealing with guys from my past and even guys who approached me. Thats how you KNOW we were really good friends. Haha.

Jon and I continued to build a friendship over the next few months. As the friendship continued to grow I began to seek God about “what was going on here.” Jon was a great guy to everyone, not just me, so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t overthinking this situation. God does he like me or is he just really nice? God do I like him?! These are all things I put before God. I’d pray very specific prayers for God to show me Jon’s assignment to my life and if there was something to this to just make it crystal clear. God did. Every single time God came through in ways that I knew it had to be him. I prayed a lot for clarity and was trying to be sure that I wasn’t being emotional but was standing in line with God’s purpose for my life. I’d always said that I didn’t want to date multiple times again so I’m thinking God if this is it please just let this be it!

After about 6 months of building our friendship Jon asked me to be his girlfriend on July 13th, 2015. 🙂

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Jon delivering a very thoughtful speech 🙂

 

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Sidenote: A lot of people were blown away at the measures that Jon went to in order to make this happen. He is a super thoughtful individual so amen. Ladies I want you to know though that you all deserve this. Formally being asked to be in a relationship is a statement of respect. Do away with the phases of “talking” and wondering what you all are doing. When Jon had his mind made up about me he pursued me. He made intentions clear in getting to know me and then asking me to be his girlfriend. This isn’t an act of God. It’s simple respect and if a guy has to keep you wondering then trust that his mind isn’t made up about you. Men are hunters. They go after what they want so if he’s not going after you then……

Okay back to the story…

So Jon asked me to be his girlfriend and of course I was shocked (wasn’t expecting it that day of all days) and over joyed. Now we’ve been dating for a little over 6 months and to say its gotten real is probably an understatement. It has been REALLY real! We’ve run into things that we never anticipated and seen things in each other’s character that we never would have guessed. We’ve been hurt sometimes, disappointed at times, and at times have questioned what exactly we’ve gotten ourselves into. Even better though we have been stretched, we have grown, we have laughed, we have experienced, and we continue to learn. This relationship has not been a walk in the park and I’ve finally come to realize that is ok. A good friend of mine reminded me that “success does not equal perfection.” I honestly thought that because we were two people deeply rooted in God that we would behave differently. With some things in mind that is completely true. There are some things I simply do not have to worry about because Jon is a man of God. On the reverse side though we are still flawed humans and our imperfections peek their heads up way more than we would want them to.

This is our story 6 months into dating. There have been some really high high’s and some really low low’s, but the way in which God is drawing me closer to him through this relationship is absolutely remarkable. I’m blown away at how I continue to see God’s love be proven through this relationship. God is teaching me how to find my security in him alone, how to have deep roots in his promises, and how to trust him when it hurts. Because of that I know him as a true Father, friend, and confidant.

To God be the glory

Yours in love,

Shell

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One thought on “How It All Began

  1. Awesome my sweetie as long as you keep God first and lead to his understanding the sky is the limit for the both of you I am so proud of you your mom and dad and the rest of your family and done a awesome job in your life good influence are always good proud great aunt 👍👍👍👍👍

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