My Favorite Love Story

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I have been so graciously blessed by God to be a part of my favorite love story. It's long but it will be worth it. Here it goes!

I was 14 years old walking home from school with my older brother and his new friend, Nathaniel. My brother really wanted to have him over to play video games but he was in trouble and wasn't suppose to have friends over, so we snuck him in. Of course we got caught and got in even more trouble! From that moment on Nathaniel was my older brother's best friend. It just so happened that his older sister and I were friends, and our younger brothers who were in school across the street were friends. Destiny right! Anyways, as years went on we grew as better friends. Sleep overs all the time, hanging out at the park together every evening, walking home from school together everyday. We were practically siblings! I definitely always viewed him as a brother and vice versa. His mom and sister always joked that we liked each other but we definitely had no type of attraction to each other. I mean come on he was like a brother to me! We were the best of friends though. I was always trying to get my brother to have him sleep over because he was my favorite friend and  if I asked for him to sleep over my parents would absolutely jump to the conclusion we liked each other. As the years went on we had a lot of high school crushes but it never affected how good of friends we were.

Summer of 2009, right after he and my older brother graduated, I fell in love with Christ. Nathaniel was in a relationship and in a completely different world than myself. As I started day dreaming about my husband I would always ask God to bring me someone exactly like Nathaniel, but not him. Yea I literally prayed that, a lot. Some months later Nathaniel gave his whole life to The Lord and was headed off to basic training. I cried for days when he left which made me consider if I liked him more than a friend or not. Nah not possible. His time in basic training and tech school was such an intimate time with Christ for him. Each time we talked he was amazing me with his growth and maturity and I was constantly learning from him. He went from practically my brother to "oh he is fine" real fast. Haha, I mean it. I just knew he would never be into his best friend's little sister so I kept those thoughts to myself. I even tried setting him up with my best friend and they definitely went on a date, despite how much they deny it. Love you Amber ;-)

One night in our typical Skype conversation, Nathaniel was being really weird. He hung up and text me this, "God has showed me that I will marry you one day. You will be my wife." 
Um what? I remember being overwhelmed with fear and joy. Fear that if this failed we would never be friends, and joy because I hoped this was for real. I prayed about it all night, no sleep! I just knew in my heart and with everything in me, that he was the only man I could spend my life with. 
The next morning he told me he could never trust another man to take care of me so he might as well take care of me himself. From that moment on we practically pursued marriage. We never became boyfriend and girlfriend we just pursued marriage. Oh and let me not leave out that after he told me this, he got orders to Germany. 

The typical thing to do would be get married so I could go with him and we wouldn't have to face the challenges of long distance. That was not what we felt led by God to do. I always heard from people that he would not be able to stay true to purity over there because the military way is go overseas, have lots of sex and lots of alcohol. Thank God Nathaniel knew God! He left to Germany and I left to spend that year in the church being heavily discipled. This was wonderful for our relationship. We talked maybe 10 times that whole year and came out of the year more in love than we could have ever imagined. God pricked and pried us as individuals and our individual faith in Him was not shakeable. Seeing this love for God in one another was the reason we were so in love with each other. I share this because without that year apart we would have not had the privilege of growing in Christ as individuals before becoming one. This still plays a huge role in our relationship because when one of us is struggling, the other is right there, earnestly praying and encouraging. 

So we thought after that year we would get married but once it was up and we were reunited it was evident God was not done with us as individuals. So we got engaged and decided he would go back to Germany alone and I would see what God wanted to do with me back home. Another wonderful year for our relationship. Every day we skyped and that was the full extent of our engagement, Skype. We prayed, worshipped, and studied The Word together. God was using him to make a difference with single airman overseas and he was using me to help out my younger brother and work in the community. Our individual work was shaping us and helping us see what God had for us in marriage. As we planned a wedding, we planned for marriage even more. We both had lists of expectations we had on ourselves and for each other and we vowed before The Lord to not enter into a covenant until those lists were fulfilled. It was hard! We missed each other desperately! We were anxious! We also would not have done it any other way.

June 3, 2012 I married my very own gift from God. That is the meaning of the name Nathaniel, got from God, and I believe it literally true for my life. Nathaniel has blessed my life in so many ways. He is my #1 fan, encourager, best friend, favorite person, greatest teacher, and the best pastor I have ever had. It is a privilege to be led by him. What a gift!

 Spending so much time apart, like across the world type of apart, was such a blessing. Allowing God to shape us individually had such an incredible impact on our oneness. I was blessed to marry a man who feared God, loved Him wholeheartedly, and served Him passionately. He did not need me to know God and vice versa. I am reaping the fruit of Nathaniel's decision to love Christ above all, even above me. He is an incredible husband and an indescribable father to our son. It has not been flawless, but it has been pretty darn close. Even through the flaws it has been wonderful.  I know throughout the years the trials will come and go, but I assure you, we are constantly preparing to face them and come out on top. We have found each other worth it and we fall more and more in love each and every day, no joke, no exaggeration.

I know this is really long but I just want to end it by urging each and every person, single or dating someone, to be led by Christ completely. I am convinced God has given us a wonderful marriage and friendship as a result of trusting His guidance and timing completely. I have seen, more often that not, other young marriages failing instead striving. It always seems to be a case of people taking it into their own hands and out of God's. He has better plans for your marriage and intentions on what to do through it than you ever could. Trust Him. Take that relationship, put it in your hand, and leave your hand wide open giving God room to do with it what He pleases. If He wants to take it, don't clench a fist, let it go. If He wants to shape it, don't clench a fist, let Him shape. Then your love story could be your favorite and you will never have to look at someone else and wish you had theirs.
Thank you God for such a wonderful gift!


  1. Hey Jalyssa! Girl, you are amazing, thank you so much for sharing! God is using you, so keep writing you have a gift! While I was reading this, I got tears in my eyes just think how perfect God's timing had been and I realized how important it is to trust him and his timing. You also made me realize to look for the Christ in people, because that's what we should be attracted to. As you know, I'm a very impatient person and I want things done MY way and in MY time. But if that happened, life would be miserable. Thank you for sharing your love story, because you showed me good things come out of waiting. You've convicted me of waiting for the right guy and not to push things. It's so hard and when you're waiting it seems like FOREVER but it's only a second for God and when I find the right man it will be totally worth it. Sorry, I'm ranting out of emotion because it was so beautiful, I don't even know what I'm saying anymore! :) Anyways, thank you so much and I thank God that he's allowed you to be a part of my life :D
    - Joey :)

    1. Aw sweet girl! I am so blessed by this comment! Super grateful to have been able to share this story, even more now that I know the impact it had on you! You are absolutely right about God. He knows when and how to take care of our needs. I love you hun and I am excited to see your future marriage glorify God!