A Difficult Step of Faith

On February 11, 2012 in the small college town of Oxford, Ohio I was asked the most important
question of my life.

"Will you marry me?" Nate asked from blended knee.

I didn't even have to think about it. The words "yes please" spilled from my mouth.

It was a no brainer, I loved Nate and Nate loved me. It was never a matter of "if" but rather
"when". But when I said yes to Nate I said yes to Akron.

Taking a step of faith, acting in boldness, for Jesus is never the wrong decision.

The previous November, Nate felt God call him into ministry. By January, he was accepted into
the Navigators collegiate EDGE Corp program. Not long after that, the decision was made to
follow a Miami Navigator's staff couple and plant a ministry at the University of Akron.

At first, the idea of moving to Akron was exciting, an adventure of sorts. But eventually, my
excitement mellowed.

"You've never been to Akron, have you?" my friend Elizabeth asked mischievously. Apparently, Akron had a bit of a rough reputation and my excitement was a bit naive.

The excitement further mellowed after Nate moved up, leaving me in Oxford to finish my
degree. For the final four months of our engagement we were nearly five hours apart. I think I
held my breath the whole time.

By time we got to our wedding day, I was a mess. Crippling anxiety had taken its toll. I barely
finished my final semester, feeling like an utter failure, I just did what I could to pass my classes. I had lost fifteen pounds from being unable to eat due to anxiety.

"I can't do this." That thought haunted me. I had constant nightmares that I would never get
married, stress dreams made me not want to sleep, I was a mess.

The weight of my decision was heavy on my heart. Getting married meant moving away from
my family, my friends, my church, and my home. I loved Nate but this was much harder than I
had thought it would be. I needed some superhuman courage.

Thankfully, there's a God with superhuman strength who never left my side. I wish I could say I
trusted God perfectly through this darkness. But I had never felt more hopeless and alone in my life. I felt like God had forsaken me. But as they do so often, my feelings were not in line with reality.

God put specific people in my life to pull me through. He showed himself faithful my giving me a mom who dealt with anxiety and could encourage me, a pastor who told it was okay to be mad at God if I needed to, a dad would spoke scripture to me at just the right time, a fiancé who was brave enough to tell me to "shut up and listen" and a best friend to listen patiently to my ramblings.

But best of all, He gave me Jesus and His Scriptures.

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
— Philippians 4 : 13
For His compassions never fail, they are new every morning.
Great is Your faithfulness!
— Lamentations 3 : 22, 23

I married Nate December 29, 2012 in the college town of Oxford, Ohio.

I didn't wake up that day with earth shattering bravery, but God gave me every confidence that my decision was the right one. He gave me several promises to claim in His name.

Matthew 19:29
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake
|will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life."

I wasn't just giving up nearness to my loved ones for my husband, I was doing it for Jesus. God
promises to give back what we've given up and I have seen Him do that in moving to Akron.
God has given me a family here, where I never thought I'd find it.

Taking a step of faith, acting in boldness, for Jesus is never the wrong decision.

1 Corinthians 15 : 58, NIV
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."