Once Upon a Modern Love Story
Once upon a time….
We all love a good old-fashioned fairy-tale. We grow up watching Disney movies about a boy and a girl who have unusual and different personalities. The closing scene ends with a kiss – the two have fallen in love and live ” happily ever after”.
This is our “happily ever after” story. Where love found in Disney movies may seem a little far-fetched, it’s actually not as unobtainable as we might think.
One chilly September evening, we both made a simple decision that changed the course of our lives completely: to go swing dancing. I, Alicia, had started this swing dancing hobby two years prior to this particular night. Trying to escape the grueling week of working two jobs, I decided to go out one night and enjoy some east-coast swing dance with some of my close girl friends. Just like every time before, I got asked to dance by a random stranger. Just like many previous strangers before him, he was a “newbie” and looked really attractive, but awfully young. My first thought when he came up to me was, “Aww! This little high-school kid wants to dance with me.” Surprisingly, despite his amateur dance skills, he was quite a charmer and had exceptional conversation skills. One of the first things we began talking about was where he went to school. I was absolutely SHOCKED to find out that he was a senior in college and was a year older than me; I instantly became more attracted to him. We danced for three consecutive songs and continued to get to know one another. When the songs were done, we parted ways and I didn’t end up seeing him for almost the whole evening.
As the night came to an end, Jackson grabbed my attention at the door and said, “It was nice meeting you.” That’s when I decided that I wanted this sweet guy in my life. I eagerly went to one of my best friends’ houses that evening and told her all about this young man while I tried to look up every possible way of finding him on Facebook, and I did! Within only minutes he not only accepted the friend request, but he messaged almost me instantly! We began talking non-stop every day and never ran out of anything to talk about. It felt like I had known him for a lifetime.
From that day on, our lives were completely changed. God changed our plans more than either of us expected. You see, Jackson majored in linguistics with the desire to go teach English in Japan. He had been wanting to do this since he was a freshman in high-school. It was his lifelong goal. I, on the other hand, had planned on staying single for at least a year; but, as we talked, we found out how much we had in common. This led to us spending time together at least three or four times a week. This might not seem like a big deal, but I lived thirty minutes away and he didn’t have a car; so, I drove to his university just to spend even a couple of hours with him.
Now, I won’t deny that I chased Jackson for quite some time. I would say things like, “We both know we have feelings for each other, so why don’t we just date?” To this he always responded, “I am not going to date anyone until I know that she is the woman who God intends for me to marry.” Truthfully, every time he said this I would internally roll my eyes because I was impatient to share with the world the affection and connection that I had developed for him. So, on December 16th, 2015 when he FINALLY asked me out , I knew that he seriously considered me as someone he could see himself marrying.
Even though we were dating, his plan was still to teach English in Japan. I didn’t know how I felt about this because I loved Jackson, but was extremely nervous about going to a foreign country that I had never been to before and whose language I didn’t know. I was also terrified because I didn’t know what kind of work I would do there, and I felt like I would be really isolated from everyone.
In the beginning of January, Jackson received an email from the JET program that he did not receive the job that he had applied for in Japan. I could tell as soon as it happened that his entire world came crashing down around him and that his heart broke. It honestly took quite some time for God to mend his heart, but he didn’t give up. He accepted that it wasn’t God’s plan for him at the time, and he started seeking God for understanding and wisdom on what he should do. The most terrifying part for him was that he had applied to a few places in Japan, and each one had turned him down with no explanation whatsoever about why he didn’t get the job; so, he didn’t have any sort of back-up plan. Through months of praying on his knees, alone and with me, God clearly and indisputably revealed through a very specific prayer being answered that Jackson’s life purpose was to become an overseas missionary. Since then, God has been softening Jackson’s heart and molding him more in his image
Through this devastating occurrence in Jackson’s life, God allowed for our relationship to grow closer in Him and with each other. On December 16th, 2016, on our one-year anniversary, Jackson popped the big question.
Through the growth of our relationship with each other and with Christ, we know that God has called us to mission work. We still don’t know what that looks like in terms of where He has called us to go and what we will do; but, that’s where we would like you to come in. We ask for your prayers. Ask God to reveal to us both where he wants us to be, in order to further His kingdom. For now, we are answering God’s call to walk daily with Him and serve Him through our jobs and through opening up our lives for others to see the healing, loving hand of God that works so intimately in our hearts. Grace and peace to you all.