This guest post was a blessing to me from the moment I received it. Jennifer Roos, the author of this article, shares about how she met her husband as she was passionately pursing God as a missionary. Her story resonates with me because my husband and I both served in a few African countries and Central American countries when we served together as missionaries. She explains how God brought them together and how Christ is the foundation for their marriage! Enjoy!
He stood in the doorway with one hand in his pocket. He brushed his blonde hair away from his face and peered directly at me. His reassuring confidence grasped my attention. I wanted to fall into it and experience security. I knew nothing about this stranger and yet his eyes sunk into my soul and beckoned my deepest secrets to come forth. His young, handsome face displayed a manner of perception that I had not seen before. Who was he and why was I so drawn to him?
Growing up, I lived a cushioned life. I had everything I needed. A native of New York, raised by a police officer and taught to hold fast to the securities this world has to offer; become educated, secure a career, plan for a financially comfortable future, marry, buy a home, have children and, somewhere in this rigid structure, plan for a little fun.
My mind was trained to experience the ordinary.
On the other side of the globe in Pretoria, South Africa was a young man who knew nothing of my kind of security. Placed in a boarding school at 5 years old, required to live apart from his mommy and daddy, never enjoying the protection of a stable home and learning that survival was about making it through to tomorrow because tomorrow was the future. For him, there was no life program to follow, or rigid structure to conform to; just a need to be in the moment and waiting for the next opportunity to present itself.
His mind was trained to experience the extraordinary.
In the year 2000, on separate continents and unknown to one another, God interrupted our charted courses, saved us, and called us both to the mission field.
My initial encounter with my husband, Wouter, took place in Istanbul, Turkey on the first day of our two-year commitment to the mission organization Operation Mobilization. Together, with 200 other people from around the globe, we would be serving on a ship called The Doulos and sailing around Europe, Africa and the Middle East sharing the gospel and bringing aid to people in coastal 3rd world countries. We were both far away from our homes pursuing our mutual passion: Christ.
After two short months on board, the Lord showed me that, one day, Wouter would be my husband, and in His time, He would bring it to pass. I simply needed to wait patiently. I was excited at the prospect of marrying this handsome stranger but perplexed as to how it would all work out. After months of observing his life from a distance, I had concluded that we were too different to ever have any meaningful bond. He was direct and, at times, abrasive. I was reserved and diplomatic. He was outspoken and unafraid of confrontation. I was quiet and amicable. He accomplished things and I procrastinated. He lived whimsically and I, predictably. How would these ingredients combine to make something palatable much less, complimentary?
In the midst of my doubts, the Lord was providing assurance and confirming, through his word, that my life’s calling was to be Wouter’s wife.
Jennifer, love him, serve him, uncover what his exterior hides and cover his vulnerability. Be his shield against this world. Commit your life to helping make his what I want it to be and in that you will find Christ-likeness for yourself.
I was to be his helper and we were to build our lives not on the ground of common interests, but on the common ground of Christ.
After a year of waiting and praying, God stirred our hearts for each other and we began falling in love with the intent to get married. We had so much to learn about one another. We spent hours watching sunsets and talking. In the safety and confidence of God’s calling, we shared our stories, our values, pasts and futures, hurts and joys. Our walls began to fall down and, through our vulnerability God began to build a solid foundation for our marriage.
Our wedding day finally came. We said our vows and shared our first kiss. Our hearts were full and we were completely secure in our relationship.
We have been married for six years now and when the hard times come, as they often do, we both recall that God Himself is the author of our covenant and there are no differences too big to withstand, no hurts too deep to forgive, and no risks too great to take; for He who called us is also faithful to bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:24