I want to record something that happened years ago, in the summer of 2003, I think, before we were married, that was part of the story leading to our marriage.
I don’t talk about this a lot.
The first time Vitaliy asked me to marry him, I said no. Becuase I was too scared to say yes. Though I wanted to say yes, actually. But yes meant risking a lot of things and I’m not a risk lover.
So, we were into our second time around, me having to decide if I was going to say yes. I really wanted to say yes.
But, someone had mentioned before about how God usually uses patterns in how He leads us. And I had seen a pattern in my life– when it was a huge decision that only I could discern right or wrong, that if it was right, a moment of absolute surety would come. I mean, some gift from the Holy Spirit that I knew without a single doubt that if I did or didn’t do this thing (as God’s personal will for my life), it would be sin.
It was usually preceeded by a long, intense desire to do it, an intense desire that God would not fulfill for quite a while.
I remember this happening as I tried so many times to come to Ukraine as a missionary. God would always communicate somehow– never through circumstances, which usually communicated the opposite–He would communicate to my soul that I WAS. NOT. to pursue that opportunity and that if I did, I would be sinning against His will.
But then one time I got an email asking for an English teacher for a little Bible institute in Ukraine– and at that moment I knew, from the Holy Spirit, that this was my call– Well, it was a very distinct type of knowing.
So, summer of 2003, Vitaliy. I have to decide this. And I told God that this was such a serious step that I would not commmit to it unless He gave me that sure, distinct knowing that this was His will.
And I fasted. For about 3 weeks, it was only liquids or something like that–water. I spent hours walking, listening to praise music, and praying about any number of things.
And then, that moment came when God ministered to me, through His Holy Spiirt, that distinct knowing that I HAD to do this something (which was marry Vitaliy). I was living in a basic oh-so-Ukrainian house, (There was no washing machine even.) I was sitting in the kitchen reading Francine River’s book Leota’s Garden, and it was during all these days of fasting, and suddenly I KNEW. I knew I had to marry Vitaliy.
I got down on my knees by my chair and prayed … something, I don’t remember what.
I am relating all this because last night, I was very, very thankful for that knowing, for that sure direction from God. For knowing that this life and all it’s repercussions in my life, my childrens’ lives, that all of it is not some fluke or mistake or coming out of a casual or fleshly decision.
God works just was well in those cases, too. But last night I was comforting and strengthening myself with this past experience of experiencing the surety of His will. Thank you, God.