Why In Its Time

Ten years ago Ryan and I were searching, reading and praying about a marriage verse. We wanted to choose a verse that reflected our relationship journey...a long, wonderful, painful journey that eventually led us to commit our lives to one another.

One day Ryan came to me and excitedly said, "Listen to this: Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything beautiful in its time."

We both knew that was the passage we had been searching for. It expressed exactly what we felt about our dating relationship.

Ryan and I met when we were 17, in our junior year of high school. I was dating another guy. We worked at the same pizza joint. By the end of the school year I was single and on June 22, 1993, Ryan picked me up for our first official date.

That night was the beginning of an eight-year dating journey. We had many fun, wonderful years together followed by many rocky months. We eventually broke up for a year because we spent more time hurting one another than loving each other.

But on August 19, 2000, Ryan dropped to one knee...on a street corner late at night...and asked me to be his wife.

Good or bad. Better or worse. Forever and ever.

As I say in my personal testimony, God took us apart for a time so we could see our need for Him. Then, He brought us back together...in His time.

When I look back on our years of dating, much of it was filled with heartache. We were not living for Jesus...we loved the world and we made self-centered decisions that caused us each much pain.

But we serve a God of love and grace and unending forgiveness. He not only restored Ryan and I to Him, but he allowed our relationship with one another to be restored.

We still bare the scars of our dating years, but our mistakes have made us wiser and more committed.

Having dated for eight years prior to marriage, we knew it was God - and only God - who could have taken our broken, messed up relationship and made it beautiful.

Through our dating relationship, and again on our journey to parenthood, we experienced in a very personal, very real way God's promise in Eccelsiastes 3:11.

And we believe even more strongly today that God, does indeed, make everything beautiful in its time.