One day, as I was talking to Peter, he said some words that were pivotal in our relationship. Pivotal, because they confirmed to me that God had truly been working behind the scenes in our story.
In the middle of a conversation, almost out of nowhere, Peter said, Rachel, I just want you to know that I’d be willing to go wherever God led me to go – even if that meant going to live or work in another country. If God told me to go work in an orphanage somewhere, I’d be happy to go do that. I want to be where God wants me to be.
Ok, I replied nonchalantly, as though he had just told me the temperature outside. Nice to know.
While I was as cool as a cucumber on the outside, I was saying, what the heck! This can’t be true! on the inside. Not because I wasn’t of the same mindset, but because only months before I had been advised that asking God for a man like this was narrowing my options.
Months before, I remember having a conversation with my mother and with another woman who has great significance in my life. I expressed to them that I loved my time of service in Lebanon. I had seen how God had led me to that place, and I was open to serving Him again somewhere else. I stated that I wanted to marry someone who was also open to serving God in a foreign country, not to say that that’s what we’d be doing, but I wanted to marry someone with that openness and willingness.
With a loving spirit, both my mother and this other woman said, you shouldn’t narrow your options like that. You should remain open minded and let God lead you to the right person. Though it sounded good in theory, it didn’t feel right within my personal walk with God. I knew God asked me to be specific in my requests. So, I just let their advice sit in the back of my mind. I turned it over, but it never quite felt right.
A couple of months later, I found myself setting across the room from a Christian counselor. In all of my years of life, she is one of the strongest and most spiritual people I’ve ever met. During one of our sessions, she asked me what type of man I wanted to marry. I listed all of the qualities and characteristics that were important to me. Then, with a bit of timidity, at the end, I added that I wanted to find a man with a heart for service, who was willing to serve God wherever He called Him, even if out of the country. I followed it up with, but I know that’s probably too much to ask.
In that moment, she flared up with a bit of righteous indignation. Who told you you can’t ask for that? I relayed my previous experience to her. She shook her head.
I know they meant well, she said, but God wants you to be specific in your requests, especially when asking for something as important as your spouse. Of course you’re going to narrow the field of candidates. You don’t want lots of people to be able to fit your requirements. And, what you are asking for is not selfish at all. You have every right to ask God for something like that. In fact, that kind of request pleases Him.
So when those words came out of Peter’s mouth, words that I had never spoken to him, words that seemed to have been taken directly from my mouth, I knew with certainty that God was in the situation. I reviewed the meaning captured in Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning, God…”
This indicates that God is in the beginning of all good things.
“In the beginning, God created…”
This indicates that He creates and is responsible for all good things.
In that moment, I knew that I could only credit God for the direction my life was taking.