Date: Late August through early September, 2004
*One year was almost over. I never would have admitted it to anyone, but I was counting down the days. I still had no idea if Wouter would ask me for “SP” (social permission granted to those on board seeking a relationship) but I hoped unceasingly. I wrote this on August 30th.
The time is drawing near. One year is complete in just two days. There were months that felt like eternity and days that seemed like mere moments. But altogether this time has passed us by like lightning and it is such an awesome reminder to me that this life is but a vapor. What are our lives in the face of God? They are here one moment and gone the next and because of that very fact I am fully persuaded that our lives need to be lived to the glory of God; ultimately desiring heaven and the full presence of the Lord much more than we desire anything here on this earth…even each other. Wouter, you will be my most important relationship, you will be the one most intimately acquainted with all my ways. You will see my sinfulness and my beauty. To you…I will lay it all bare. I pray that God would use me to bring you closer to Him than ever before.
I am waiting.
September 2, 2004
A few hours ago, you asked if you could talk to me later! You told me to meet you in the dining room. Did I appear calm when I said ‘yes?’ because inside I was bursting! I have no clue what you will say. I have no expectations; only hopes. Lord, may your response and your words proceed from my mouth, only what you have placed in my heart for this time. May what I say be pleasing to you and pleasant to him. Lord, open my heart to feel what I want to, long to and desire to feel toward this man you are giving me! Be present and hold nothing supernatural back from us! Amen
*As you can imagine, I was playing out potential conversations in my head all day long. I was sick with anticipation. Could this be it? Later that day I met Wouter in the dining room and we sat across from one another at the staff table. We were both quiet; pacified by overworked nerves. Suddenly, his wordlessness became so irritating that I decided to leave. Sensing my restlessness, he began talking. What he said to me at that table changed my life forever…
Jennifer, I’ve been thinking of you so much lately; about you and I getting to know each other better. When I became a Christian, I decided that the next relationship I pursue will be with the girl I’m going to marry and so it’s been four years since I last dated anyone. So many people told me that I would meet my wife on the ship, but I refused to believe it because I promised the Lord that this two years was just for Him. But since I got here a year ago, everything has been speaking to me about you. I’ve been struggling with my pride and not wanting to let you get in the way of my “service” to the Lord…but everything keeps coming back to you. The thing is though, Jennifer, if you say yes and decide that you want to get to know me in that way, I consider it to be very serious. If we start a relationship, I’m not in it half way to test the waters, I’m fully committed and it will lead to marriage (not that I’m proposing to you right now). I’m all or nothing with this. It has been such a hard year… such struggles. But over the past month God has given me such an assurance in my spirit that this is right! If you say yes, that you will commit to me, than you have me 500%. Think about it, pray about it (as if I hadn’t been for the last year)…If you say yes, then I am yours…
and you are mine….
*That night I went back to my cabin and wrote this,
God, I give you all the glory and honor for every single word spoken between us tonight. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your testimony to me. Thank you for your awesome gifts. Lord let us live out this relationship Coram Deo (in the face of God) solely for your pleasure, for your honor alone. Thank you once again for doing far beyond what I ever ask or imagine! God you don’t just give me the mediocre, Lord you give me the extraordinary…the far surpassing greatness of yourself and the blessings of you hand are beyond what I conceive as awesome! You are more than I can contain. Let me hold on to you! May you always be the center of it all!
*Watching this promise come to fruition has been one of my life’s greatest blessings. Somehow, in a time when Wouter could have taken center stage in my world, God remained in the spotlight because what He did was so captivating that I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off of Him. Somehow it wasn’t really about Wouter and I. It was about God. And I pray it always stays that way.
I hope our story blesses you. I hope you will share it with others.