On a beautiful afternoon Rob and I, along with a group of friends, headed up to Silver Creek Falls for a day hike. We spent some time as a group, some time with other friends and some time walking together while trying not to draw too much attention to the fact that we were more than friends at this point.
On our way up the final assent we stopped by a viewing spot for the last waterfall we would see that day. We both leaned on the rail as the rest of the group forged ahead.
Seemingly out of nowhere Rob looked over at me and asked what I knew was a very important question. It was a question he told me he’d ask me at some point, when the time was right. It was a question that I didn’t need to answer, he told me, until we were ready to seriously consider marrying one another.
Leaning further on the rail he looked over at me and asked, “How would you feel about being a pastor’s wife?”
It seemed like such a simple question, but I knew how big of a deal it was for him to ask that of me. He knew he was being called into ministry and he’d long prayed for a woman to walk alongside him in that role. He really hoped it would be someone who might actually enjoy—not just endure—the ministry.
It was a question that I had thought about and prayed about an awful lot over the previous month. I still found it crazy to consider that I, of all people, would even be considered as a suitable mate by a man going into ministry.
I told Rob that I honestly thought I’d enjoy being a pastor’s wife, though certainly there were some things that naturally made me nervous about the thought. We talked together about the ups and downs of ministry as we slowly headed back up the trail.
We talked a little bit about the possibility of a serving in a life of ministry together. We talked more about the potential of a future together. And for the first time ever we talked about timing. We pondered what the next year might look like and wondered if it would even be financial conceivable for us to get married. When Rob mentioned the possibility of getting married (if God continued to make it clear that marriage is what he had in store for us) after he graduated next May, I couldn’t help but smile.
Graduation was only a year away. Could we really get married after only dating for just over a year? Was I really talking about getting married as a 20 year old? Was I ready to be a pastor’s wife? Was I ready to give my life in marriage to this man? Yes. Yes. Yes and yes. As a matter of fact I was… nothing in my life ever felt so right.
Just before we got to the top of the trail a deer crossed the path just ahead of us. “I bet there will be two more,” said Rob. “Really?” I asked, wondering why he would assume such a thing.
Then Rob started to tell me how seeing deer, specifically in groups of three, has long been a reminder to him of God’s provision in his life.
Given the nature of our talks that afternoon it was clear that we were leaning heavily on God to provide for us. To provide direction, to provide clarity, to provide a life and ministry partner, and to provide financially for each of us individually, and for us as a couple should we end up getting married.
Sure enough, two more deer pranced by. We looked at each other and smiled. Without saying a word we both knew we needed to trust God, continue along the path he had laid out before us, and trust him to provide when the timing is right.
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