Date: Late April, 2004
* Holland…it was a crazy port. I was due to go out on another land team. The day that the leadership posted our assignments, I saw that Wouter and I were both leaving the ship on separate teams during the same week. He was headed to Rotterdam to minister at a drug rehab and I was going to Amsterdam to stay at a youth hostel in the red light district. I was excited to see that we would both share similar experiences. However, right before I left the ship, my friend approached me and asked if she could talk to me…never a good sign. By the way this friend had a certain hunch about my feelings toward Wouter. Her and I had a very vague conversation about the situation while in Austria. She was a good friend and had my best interest in mind. This is how the conversation went (more or less):
“Jen, I know this might hurt you but I feel like I need to tell you so that your feelings don’t get even more hurt later on. It’s better to know now and work through it… I had a conversation with Wouter and he told me that there is no one here on the ship that he is interested in…in other words, Jen, he doesn’t believe he’ll find his wife here.”
There it was. I saw exactly where Wouter’s mind was at; something I had been speculating about for months.
I can’t really remember how I reacted while sitting across from my friend. But I wrote this when I left her:
Is this true Lord? Did you reveal to him that it is NOT me? Why would he say that? Are you showing me the fear that resides within him? His inability to make a commitment of the heart? His lack of interest in me?
Is it possible that I am wrong, and have been wrong for all these months? Is this your answer to my own prayer for a heart change? Open my ears to hear your true voice. Through all the noise, let me hear only you…reveal the truth. Is it just doubt in his heart? If it is, I pray that you would cast it out.
He believes You have shown him that I am not the one in his future. That I have no role to play in his life. Are you simply testing my faith? Are you asking if I will still believe in spite of this?
I will Lord…I’m choosing to trust in You and not in him…
*That day was difficult. My pride was hurt and my hope was injured. Apparently, Wouter had no interest in me at all. In fact, he believed that I was not the one for him. This information hit me like a punch in the stomach. I had hoped that there would be at least some little flame inside his heart… but whatever flame there once was had been suffocated by Wouter’s stubborn doubt. However, that day in my cabin I came to understand that even if Wouter had no feelings for me, God could still cause them to grow. I had to trust. That same day, I wrote this: (It was the first time I bounced back from doubt almost instantly…a sure sign of growth.)
Lord today, I am taking hold of your promise. No doubt, no fear and no intimidation will hinder your work in my life. I will submit fully to your leading. Let me relax in the boundaries you have set. Let me hear your voice and trust that you are working. Sustain me. Let my confidence be in you.
James 1:6: Ask in faith without doubting. For the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
I often wonder if my thoughts toward you are wasted; if the time I spend thinking of you, praying for you and preparing myself for you are in vain. I guess I will not know the answer until the Lord vindicates His promise; the day that faith will meet sight. I have high hopes for you…hopes that have no foundation in you but rather in the one who has created you. I know and understand that if we are to be fruitful together, my great plea and my most valuable requests will be made beseeching the One who molds you and I every day…I pray that He will bring you to the place you need to be.
It’s so hard to watch you and know in my heart what you are going through concerning us. It is painful to sense your doubts about us and our future and yet at times, I catch you glancing at me and your eyes seem hopeful…full of expectation that I could be the one God has for you. I believe in my heart that you already know deep inside…but you will not take hold of it . You doubt. I understand. It has not been easy for me either. But I know, we will be together.
When you are around, I long to talk with you and yet I am so intimidated. How can I feel like sharing my world with you when I don’t even know you? Then again, there are times when I see you interacting with others and I wonder how a relationship between you and I will ever even work? Will you be the sensitive man that I need? Will you be tender and soft to me or will you be rash and difficult like I see you being so much of the time? I can only pray that along with the vulnerability of being in a relationship will come the sensitivity that we need to have toward each other as well.
I believe God has given me a unique vision for us. I believe that He has called me to you! That He has brought me to a person rather than a place. God has said, “Jennifer, love him. Commit to loving him through it all. I will give you what you need.” If God has given you to me as a calling, then I can easily commit to you because I know that He who has called me will also equip me.
For you and I to be the best we can be together, I know I need to understand who I am in Him. I am a complete, loved individual chosen by God and redeemed! I lack no good thing I will ever need to get through life and my marriage. I will draw from Him in our hard times and I know God is more to me than you can ever be.
I hope He will use me as an instrument of His love toward you.
I will love you,
Then I left the ship for two weeks…
*When I returned, there were new dragons to slay…doctrine dragons.