A Broken Engagement and a God Who Changes Hearts

 

boat in a storm

Today’s post gave me chills. How good our God is who never gives up on us and relentlessly pursues our hearts! Felicia is our guest writer for today. She is currently pursuing a PhD in cancer research. Her story reminds me that we can never change mens hearts, only He can. God is always faithful and truly gives us the desires of our hearts. Listen to her story and please comment!

We were high school sweethearts and dated for seven years before we parted ways.

He was my best friend and we shared everything, except our faiths. Although I tried to introduce him to our faith many times, he didn’t respond well and I knew that I couldn’t force him into something as personal as a relationship with Christ. I also knew that I couldn’t share a life with someone who didn’t share what I hold most dear. We fought and struggled over it for many months before finally breaking up in what must have been one of the most painful conversations of my life.

I spent months getting over him.

I nursed my wounds in private, because I was unemployed at the time, I rarely got out. I lived in pajamas and read the Bible feverishly daily, desperately grasping for every word of solace, which I received. Though it didn’t numb the pain in my heart, it did make me feel loved and reminded that I wasn’t alone.

I began dating someone else on what I realised later, was a rebound. He was a Christian this time and we had a whirlwind romance where he promised me marriage almost immediately and I unhesitatingly accepted. I was on a perpetual cloud nine, we rarely fought which I thought was because we were so compatible -

until 6 months before the wedding, when he sat me down on my couch and told me that he was breaking off our engagement.

Again I felt like my world was crumbling down around me but as I began to pick the pieces I realized that I had only begun dating him because he was Christian, and ignored all the other red flags in our relationship. It was like I had blinders on, oblivious to everything else, simply because this time I was searching desperately for someone who had a baptism certificate.

It was a grave reminder that even Christian men are human and the rules of a healthy relationship do not go out of the window simply because of where (and Who) he worships.

So I was back to being single and I was more broken and alone than I had been in a long time. I felt stupid, confused and humiliated. Thankfully God was still a stark presence in the disaster I believed my life had become. Having Him and my family in my life kept me afloat at a time when it would have been so easy just to let go and let life overwhelm me. It took time, but I began going out again. I joined a prayer circle and surrounded myself with strong faith-driven people, individuals who formed a strong network of support under and around me until I had the strength to find my feet again. Strangely, I remember feeling like I had been on a long exhausting journey through a desert and was now finally at a checkpoint, waiting for God’s next move.
 
Over time, my first ex and I started talking and it was like finding my best friend again. It was amazing but I was wary, I didn’t want to end up where I started only for it to end so horribly all over again. I felt all of those old feelings rushing back and found myself crying to him over the phone telling him that we couldn’t go down this road again, neither of us could handle a repeat of the last time. Nothing had changed, and we would just be hurting each other again.
 
Until he told me that lately he had been experiencing a longing to find out more about Christ, he spoke to me about a prompting in his heart that he couldn’t explain – only that he needed to find out more about Him.
 
I listened with raised eyebrows, a pounding heart and my shivering hand held the telephone when I heard him saying those words. Oh, how many times have I taken him to church and prayer meets hoping against hope to hear those words!

Ten years later, and here he was, saying the words I had completely given up on hearing. It was like the Lord was giving me a nudge saying, the good sower always waters the seeds that have been planted in faith. It may take weeks, months, or even years but what is good, bears fruit in good time. 

I prayed about it for many days before I decided to commit to journeying with him to help him discover his own relationship with the Lord of life. Finally I realised that this was not, in fact it never was, our journey of faith to take, but his. I was simply going to accompany him and let him fall in love with the Lord all on his own. No pushing, no nagging. It’s clear Christ had achieved amazing results without me, how silly was I to think that I had anything to do with it now?
 
A year later, he was baptised and we are now engaged to be married. As I sit before my computer screen and write this, I am deeply aware of how blessed I am but also that this was ten years in the making.

If my fiance and I hadn’t broken up that first time, he may never have experienced Christ’s whispered prompting in the stillness of his heart, with me constantly pushing Christ on him. Even worse, I almost married the wrong man but the Lord prevented it ; at the cost of great heartache, yes, but one well worth it. In hindsight, I am so grateful for all that pain; for the fact that the Lord held on me at times when I wanted to give up myself. Good comes to those who wait; the best comes to those who wait on the Lord.

I know that the hard part is far from over, but I also know that whatever storms are due to come, we will be okay.
 
We are finally in the same boat, captained by the Creator and Commander of all seas.

Please leave your comments for Felicia below!

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Comments
7 Responses to “A Broken Engagement and a God Who Changes Hearts”
  1. L says:

    That’s such a cool testimony! Hindsight is always great, it just sucks in the actual moment when it’s hard to see how God will bring good out a bad situation.

    • Felicia says:

      Hi L, I totally agree! If you had told me years ago that it would turn out this way I wouldn’t have believed you, but then again God is the maker of the impossible and He does a fantastic job of takng our messes and turning them into beauty. It would be hard to trust in that when we’re in a mess but if we know what’s coming, we can trust in Him to do it and hold on :)

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Bex Joy says:

    Thank you for writing this, Felicia! What joy to see how, yet again, God is working all things together in a way that is far more marvelous than anything we could have planned on our own. What if you’d married him all those years ago? Or if you’d married the other guy. Or, going the other way, what if you’d resisted the friendship you developed with your fiancée in the first place, because you were “too strong of a Christian.” God would have used all of it, yes, but would you be in the same place you are today? Probably not.

    These recent posts about breakups are so encouraging to read for a few reasons. For one thing, no two stories are the same, and it’s a good reminder for someone like me, who persists in trying to figure out life before it happens (it just doesn’t work like that, but still, I try); that no one but God knows the end from the beginning, and can see where this momentary pain is going to lead me. It does no good to assume that God is going to do the same thing in my life that He did in yours, or in Ashley’s, or in Amanda’s. Constantly trying to measure myself up to someone else’s life is crazy, because none of these lives match!

    The other reason these posts are so encouraging is that they DO have a common thread. In each one, God is carrying out a plan that is better than the one we can see. Your breakups caused pain that helped you grow, and led your fiancée to a relationship with Christ. Ashley’s caused her to grow in who she is without leaning on another human being to determine that. Amanda’s saved her from abuse in the first case, and again taught her about herself and her standards and waiting for the one God has picked out. I think each of you can say (as you’ve said already), that you wouldn’t have changed what you’ve been through, because God has and is working it into something amazing. And while this doesn’t take all MY pain away, it DOES remind me that my pain has a purpose. I’m excited to see what God’s going to do next, and I’m TRYING not to try to figure it all out myself!

    Thanks again for writing, Felicia! Congratulations on your engagement!

    • Felicia says:

      Hi Bex Joy!

      I love what you said – “God is working all things together in a way that is far more marvelous than anything we could have planned on our own.” I think that if I tried to plan my own life the way I thought it would go, it would truly be a different one!

      After all God honours our decisions unless we trust in Him to intervene and lead us instead. I too have a problem with trying to be in control all the time and figuring out what comes next and letting go of that steering hasn’t been easy when all I’ve wanted to do is take the lead and charge ahead but God is teaching me a very sobering (and worthwhile) lesson that He knows what He’s doing and will reveal it to us at the right time and place.

      Knowing that, I agree that your pain has a purpose and one day, you will realise why you had to go through it and it will truly make you a stronger wiser person. But untril then, trust that God is control, no need to worry about the details just yet :) I trust that God will reveal that to you in His time.

      Thank you for your kind words and comments :)

  3. hitomiri says:

    how can i know even if he is a great man of God and all love him. I am such an imperfect human being , and he loves me like Jesus loves me. But i just dont know if he us the right one. but i accepted engagement.
    its a long distance relationship all my family know him. aprove. is it me just not being ready and being too picky?.

  4. Aimee says:

    Thank you for your testimony. I have been up all night because my Christian fiance sent me an email explaining he wan’t spiritually ready to be in a relationship right now. I feel like it’s been my fault because of my struggles with depression and unemloyment. I have no idea what I want to do with my life and I’m in my 30s. This guy was more than I could have dreamed I could be with, so talented and kind. Everyone from family, friends to respected Christian people thought we were a perfect match. It just ends.

    All I see right now is what I’ve lost. It’s a great loss. I don’t see how all my convictions about him being the choice God provided were wrong. I’ve asked him to consider counseling. He has not responded.

    I feel so broken. Your words are hopeful. I pray one day I can write such hope. But as of right now, I can’t even sleep. Waking or sleeping is too painful.

    • Jeannie says:

      Thank you so much for this blog Felicia. What a beautiful testimony. Blessings to you.

      Aimee, I know I am a few months late, but I hope you are doing well in dealing with your recent situation. I pray that you have made it over the mountain and are feeling better. I am currently going through a similar situation. If you need anything we can speak directly. May the Lord continue to be our strength. The blood of Jesus has already overcome anything we may face. Continue to have faith that God has a plan and purpose for this situation.

      Best,

      Jeannie

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