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my regrets, God’s redemption

It honestly feels like yesterday. We had only known each other for nine short months. Ours had been a crazy, whirlwind romance. From the day that he walked into my office in my coastal town in South Africa, told me that he was a missionary, needed an apartment, and drove off in my new car (which I was totally crazy enough to loan him), two hours later to go and find that needed apartment…we simply knew.

I knew that on that very day God had taken me, a messed up young woman who looked for love and affirmation in all the wrong places, and given me the absolute desire of my heart–a man whom I could trust with all my heart. I had been so hurt by broken trust and had reached a point where I wondered if I would ever find someone who I could depend on to love me, and only me.

It was soon after that beautiful day that my tall, dark, handsome stranger walked into my life that I began to have such deep regrets for the choices which I had made—the way I had chosen to live my life. I only wished that I could turn back the hands of time and do things differently. Oh, so, differently!

But, I couldn’t.

Yesterday we celebrated fifteen amazing years together. What a journey it has been!

Our wedding day was truly a dream come true. I was finally marrying the man of my dreams–the one I had pleaded with the Lord to bring into my life for years and years. I had finally found the kind of love my heart yearned for–and the kind of love I had almost given up hope of some day finding.

Anthony and I had both done things the wrong way. We had both chosen to live lives where God was most definitely not at the center. We had both walked the painful road of looking for deep fulfilment and meaningful relationships in all the wrong places–and we had paid the price.  We had both chosen to walk the path that leads to broken hearts and tremendous loss. For that reason, when we met, we chose to walk in absolute purity. Many people thought it was quite amusing that we did not even share so much as a kiss before that wonderful day when we stood at the altar and were finally pronounced husband a wife. Some thought we would never be able to hold out until our wedding day. “What’s so wrong with just a kiss?” they would say.

But we both knew that this time was different. This time we needed to do things the right way–God’s way. This time we would wait.  God doesn’t always tell everyone to do it that way, but He did for us.

And so we did.

I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing it was to kiss my husband for the very first time as a married woman. In that very moment heaven came down and God redeemed and restored to us everything which had been stolen–everything which we had so selfishly given away in the first place.

I stood before our friends and family in my pure white wedding dress, washed as white as snow by the ONE who had taken one of my deepest regrets and turned it into something so good, so amazing. By His unfathomable grace I stood next to the man I adored and I felt pure in every sense of the word.

Still, I would be lying if I said that even in the wonder of it all–God’s gracious redeeming love in my life and His forgiveness which I certainly did not deserve–I did not feel any sadness as we left our wedding reception and headed on our honeymoon. I was sad that I could not give my husband the one thing which really should have been his all along–all of me.

Hindsight. How I wished I could have turned back those darn hands of time and done things all over again.

God has used my story of making a complete mess of my life and Him turning it into something for His glory many times over the past fifteen years. Anthony and I have had the absolute privilege of being able to share our testimony with countless young people as we have ministered in many places around the world. It has been pure joy, an honor.

The message is always the same. If there was one thing that I could say to every single young person who reads this little blog of mine, it would be this….


Precious young women, don’t be like me and have deep regrets. I can promise you that it is just not worth it. God intended it for your good when He told you in His Word to save yourself for the man He chooses to be your husband. I have done it the wrong way, and I have done it the right way (God’s way!). I can declare in the loudest possible voice that God’s way is best! God’s way is amazing and beautiful and it is His perfect will for your life, dear young lady who reads this. I would urge every single teenager and young woman to go out and buy a purity ring, put it on your wedding ring finger, and do not take it off until the day it is replaced with an engagement ring! Let it be your constant reminder that you will remain pure until the day you say, “I do.”

Don’t date!  It leads to disaster when you move from one person to the next in search of Mr. Perfect.  Temptation comes so easily—like a thief in the night.  Wait!  Prayerfully ask the Lord to bring the one He has chosen to be yours into your life in His perfect time, not yours.  I truly believe that courting is a much better option for any young person who has taken a vow to keep themselves pure for their husband/wife.

Please, don’t make the same stupid mistakes I made. Don’t choose the path that leads to decisions which you will some day regret (and you absolutely will). Waiting is so worth it! Keep yourself pure for the man God will bring into your life and give him the greatest gift that you can possibly give Him–all of you.

How exceedingly blessed I am to be married to this man the Lord gave me. It has been a wild and adventurous ride, for sure. We have traveled the world and lived in more houses than I can even remember–always following the ONE who leads us on.  Has it always been easy?  Well, is it ever?  But you know…I would not trade the difficult times for anything in the world.  It has been in those seasons where we have been so forced to draw nearer to Christ as our only hope, that we have drawn closer to each other too. 

I can hardly wait to see what God has in store for us in the next fifteen years. One thing’s for sure: God knows that our answer will always be YES…no matter where He leads us or what He ask us to do.  Yes and amen!

Anyone looking for a great resource for their children of courting must read this book.  It is one of the best ones we have read on this subject.