A Holy Matrimony Story That Started in the Holy Land
Regardless of how we grow up, I think everyone ends up with wounds they don’t know how to deal with. Mine came from a rebellious spirit that developed after my parent’s divorce. I was raised in a Christian home by a Bolivian mom and an American dad. But when our happy family split up, I blamed God for my hurt and confusion rather than trusting Him to carry me through it. The high school and college years that followed were full of unhappiness, drinking, and unfulfilling relationships. Put simply, I stopped seeking God.
But He didn’t stop pursuing me. As college graduation approached, everyday things seemed to carry deeper meaning. Songs, billboards, people, situations…everything seemed to cry out “Come back to me. I love you. I never left you. I forgive you.” Did He really have a plan for me?
I began making little changes. I began praying, listening to Christian music, and trying to refocus my mind. In the middle of this time of spiritual renewal, I felt a desire to go to Israel. In fact, I came close to buying a ticket to travel there when I felt a soft voice say, “You will go soon…but not yet.” Was God really helping me make travel plans? I closed the ticketing website, disappointed and confused but still trusting in His timing.
Several months later, I encountered the work of author and filmmaker Joel Rosenberg. When I discovered he was leading an Israel tour around the 2011 Epicenter Conference, I got chills. “Now you can go,” the voice told me. “Now is the time.” I called Inspiration Cruises & Tours but the tour was full.
I didn’t understand, because I knew the Lord was guiding me there. I prayed, “Father, if it is your will that I go on this trip, make space for me on the tour.” I left to visit my family for a few weeks and forgot about the prayer…until I returned home to a voicemail from Inspiration. There was one open space to tour Israel with Joel Rosenberg and attend the conference. Wow.
Israel was a dream come true. I arrived late on the first day of the conference and found just one open seat in the whole auditorium. When I sat down, I spoke to the two nice young men in the chairs next to mine, who introduced themselves as Lucas and Price. Lucas worked for Joel Rosenberg, and was married to Price’s cousin, who had just stepped out to feed her baby—leaving that available seat.
Something clicked between us. Price and I hung out at the conference together. We went shopping. During breaks, we explored Jerusalem. We had so many little things in common! I had just broken up with a guy so dating was the last thing on my radar, but the more we talked to each other and prayed together, the more I realized there was something so special about Price—I just wasn’t ready to admit it. (Plus, he had buzzed hair. I don’t like guys with buzzed hair.)
We went our separate ways after the trip but kept in contact as friends. But God was working in my heart, and I couldn’t stop thinking about him! One day, months later, I convinced Price to Skype with me in a video call. This way we could see each other again, and hopefully I would know once and for all if what I was feeling was true. When the screen opened up, there he was…with hair! I was enchanted. He looked so handsome! (God does have a sense of humor.) Anyway, I was smitten.
Price had been interning at a church in Arlington, Texas, and asked me if I’d be interested in working there with him. It was a great opportunity but meant a big move away from my home in Virginia. I didn’t want to act on my feelings before God’s time. Was the internship God’s plan? I asked Him to pave the way, and told my dad about the opportunity. Before I knew what was happening, my dad had bought me a ticket to check it out. I flew to Texas, had an amazing time with Price’s family, and got the internship.
As I returned home and planned to move to Texas for the summer, God’s voice came into my heart and said, “Pack as if you’re never coming back.”
What?!? I was in shock, but the Lord had done so much to pave the way for this, I was not going to doubt Him now. I packed everything I could into my car. You wouldn’t believe how full it was.
This is a long story already, so I’ll wrap it up. Twenty hours later, I arrived in Texas at 3 in the morning to find Price sitting on the sidewalk at his parents’ house, waiting. We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Both of us had experienced bad relationships in the past and many hard trials. We both had that same rebellious spirit when we were young, because we didn’t know how to make sense of those past hurts. We both had been praying for healing. Way before we met in Israel, we’d been praying to meet the person God had for us—the person He’d use to help us trust and love again.
He had been preparing us for each other. There had been one space left on the Israel tour, one seat available between Price and Lucas, one summer opportunity to intern in Texas. Somehow, God’s one plus one plus one resulted in our two broken hearts being united in the Holy Land. Today we are engaged and so happy together, and are currently planning our wedding. Today and forever, our relationship is proof of God’s mercy and love.