Step Into The Unknown – How My Radical Obedience To God Brought Me To My Husband
Step Into The Unknown – How My Radical Obedience To God Brought Me To My Husband
A handful of you have contacted me earlier, telling me that you are interested to know how I got here. That is, how I found my true love. Well, I’m not going to keep you in suspense any longer. Here it is, the beginning at least. I’ll write our story chapter by chapter so you don’t have to read a really long narrative. And to keep you coming back for more. Of course.
Way back in 2014, I felt in my heart that it was time for me to leave Dubai. I had no idea what God had in store for me next. I just felt in my spirit that it was time for me to go. But I had no idea where. A week later, I got my 10-year multiple tourist visa to the United States, and I quickly thought to myself, “Oh. I’m going to America. I’m going to live in America.” Now, remember that what I had in hand was a tourist visa, not a permanent residence or immigration card. Yet I knew in my heart I was going to ‘live’ in America. But I didn’t know how. Yes, I had two sisters in America. Yet, neither was in a position to petition me. Yet I was certain I was going to live ‘permanently’ there.
I went home to my apartment that night troubled in my spirit. I tossed and turned in bed. I did not want to live in America. Yes, I wanted to visit but not to live there. I kept asking God why. But I received no answer. In the end, like I always did when I felt God was wanting me to do something I did not want to, I prayed, “Let your kingdom come, your will be done. Please change my heart towards living in America.” Long story short, I first landed in the US in June, 2014. Everything was a shock. First, when I landed in the JFK Airport, I was greeted by mostly Blacks. Practically 90% of the airport staff (I could be wrong but that’s what I noticed at the time) were black. I almost wondered whether I was in the USA or Africa. Perhaps, God was already showing me something then but I just didn’t know.
Then, almost everything in America seemed old (remember, I was coming from Dubai where everything was new (almost)) – the airport was old, the buildings and houses were old, and roads were covered with dust. Garbage was strewn everywhere in New York. Times Square reeked of a burnt tire while street vendors sold fake LV and Gucci bags from China. My heart sank. I was disappointed. People often raved about New York but I could not understand why. I started wondering why God brought me to America. I did eventually have a blast with my siblings, whom I had not seen in years. But days quickly turned into weeks. And weeks into months. On my third month, I felt that God was telling me to extend my stay for another three months. I did not want to. I kept resisting until the last minute. But when I did, that was when things started to unfold.
I found a church in Orlando where I felt so welcome and at home. I made new friends and that’s when I saw the ‘potential’ in America. Potential to be a mission field, potential to be a place I can call home. Still, I wasn’t so convinced. Until it was time for me to go three months later. I first arrived in America dreading my arrival but I left America kicking my legs in protest. I did not want to leave anymore. I knew then that I was leaving my heart in Orlando.
One and a half years later, the ache remained. Although I flew back to America at least twice after I left in 2014, the longing to stay permanently remained. I knew that God was calling me to the land of the free as my mission field. So I finally asked God that if that desire were truly from Him, it was up to Him to make it happen. The answer seemed to come in the form of an opportunity to serve God at StoryRunners, a ministry of Cru. But just when I thought everything was finally falling into place, I encountered one setback after another. I faced insults, was accused of having malicious intent, I endured public humiliation, and was told hurtful words by people I respected and trusted in my own church. I thought I was talking to Christians who should have been excited that I was willing to risk it all for Christ. Instead, I got the exact opposite. It was an emotionally and spiritually turbulent time for me. But I knew in my heart I had to go. It took at least one more year before I finally managed to fly.
Armed with only a few thousand dollars, a handful of friends (it seemed like many of the ones I used to call friends suddenly disappeared), who were willing to trust me, and three (one large, one medium, one small) suitcases, I left Dubai for the second time. But this time I knew it was for good. I left everything that was familiar, the place I once called my second home, my few trusted friends, my old church and stepped into the unknown. I may have had family in America but I wasn’t going to stay with them. I was joining a new organization, live in a new apartment with two girls I hardly knew, in a land that was still, in many ways, unfamiliar to me. A land that was at least 7,000 miles away. Not knowing how I was going to thrive, let alone survive. I just knew that I had to go, regardless of what others had to say, even if they were people of ‘spiritual authority’. I knew the why was bigger than StoryRunners, even bigger than Orlando. I just didn’t know what.
It took another three months after arriving in Orlando before God would reveal it to me. You see, on my third month after arriving in Orlando, a good-looking, seemingly godly Black/African-American man contacted me on the dating site that I was on for at least three years. And the rest is history. Yes, I know I’m cutting it short, but if you haven’t read my blog yet How I Found True Love Online, please do so now. You can find the gist of our story there. But I will share more in the succeeding posts so stay tuned.
My main point in sharing this today is, if you know in your heart that God is calling you to do something today, do it. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if the timing doesn’t seem right. If God is telling you to go somewhere, go. Remember Abraham? Can you imagine him telling his wife Sarah, “My dear wife, I have exciting news. God told me to pack up because He will take us to the promised land.” And Sarah replied, “Oh dear husband, I am so excited. Where do you think this land will be?” And Abraham said, “Oh dear wife, I have no idea.” Can you picture how ridiculous if not outrageous that may have sounded? Yet, did you see anywhere in the Bible where Abraham hesitated and waited for God to make things clear first? Nope. He and Sarah packed up all their possessions and left. That is what you call radical faith. That is radical obedience. And that’s how Abraham was tremendously blessed and became a blessing to many nations. Through His resilient faith and obedience.
You see, if I didn’t obey God at the time, I probably would have never met my husband. I would still be single in Dubai, wondering when God would ever bring my future husband and I together. I would still probably be crying at night, feeling forgotten and alone although I was actively serving God in Dubai. And had a rich social life. Because, if I were not in Orlando at the time, my husband would have simply skipped my online profile. His preference was only within a two-state radius of Louisiana. He was only willing to consider women who were living in Texas, Arkansas or Mississippi. Not someone from Georgia, Florida, or not even from Oklahoma. But because he saw something in my profile, he ignored the fact that I was beyond his safe zone. In short, it didn’t deter him from flying to Orlando multiple times just to see me. But it would not have happened if I disobeyed God and stayed in Dubai.
When I was still single, I often prayed to God to always put me in the right place at the right time. Whether it was for a divine opportunity to share the gospel or possibly to meet a potential mate/husband. Although it took more than a decade to happen, I realize now that He did answer that simple prayer. Because I obeyed. With one giant leap of faith, I saw my life change ‘overnight’. One and a half years ago, I came to America as a single woman with three suitcases. Today, I’m a very happy (the happiest I’ve ever been in my life), married woman, living in a 3,000-square foot beautiful home with a long driveway, my dream. Although not for long. Because God is calling us yet again to a new land…But that will be for another post.
And my multiple tourist visa? God quickly turned it into a permanent visa in no time, with no hassles at all. His ways are truly higher than our ways. So next time you feel the strong promptings of the Holy Spirit, please heed. Do not be afraid to step into the unknown. Who knows, maybe that’s where you’ll find your husband (or wife) too. Because it’s in the unknown where you will fulfill your destiny and achieve your purpose. So next time God calls you, please answer. Step into the unknown and you will surely be blessed. And your life will never be the same again.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)
(Up next, how I knew that I was going to marry an African-American guy way back in 2008. Even if I didn’t know a single African-American at the time.)
Step into the unknown – How my radical obedience to God brought me to my husband