I walked towards him as he was wading his feet on the waters. It was not a perfect weather for a tropical country, but who cares? We waited so long to be together. He beckoned me to move closer to him and he gently held my hand as I inched my way. He then began to pray, as if we were at the altar with a minister performing our wedding rites.
“Lord, I take this woman as my wife …”
I was caught by surprise, but found myself responding …
“Lord, I take this man as my husband …”
On that day, November 26, 2007, I became Lisa Maki in the eyes of God. Because I take my vows to God very seriously, I knew that day sealed my oneness with this man.
This was the beginning of a long process to finally be together in marriage, a process that first started by wanting to be together in person.
I met my husband back in 2005 when he was visiting someone else in the Philippines. I was a single mom then, not really looking to be in a relationship. I had no clue that my life will drastically change by meeting this man.
I saw my husband once that September of 2005, and never saw him again. There was no talk about us hooking up because he was with someone else when I met him … although there was a very strong instant connection between us when we started talking. I blocked him from my thoughts and didn’t even bother to think about him again after that day.
It was after his failed relationship that we began communicating through emails, Yahoo messenger, and phone calls. The friendship turned into something deeper and we both knew that we were meant to be together. However, the long-distance relationship took a toll on us. We broke up and dated other people but remained in contact with each other. After two failed relationships for both of us, he decided to finally fly back to the Philippines to see me. There were no guarantees, no commitments. We just wanted to experience how it’s like to see each other again in person.
Seeing him for the second time at the airport made my heart drop. The sight of him kept me stuck … something that no man has ever done to me. It made me scared, seriously. I guarded my heart so protectively because I knew that this man will be leaving in two weeks.
Well, I guess love was more powerful than my ability to guard my heart.
We both felt like we’ve known each other forever. That trip to the beach and our exchange of vows on the ocean was a step of faith for both of us.
Though we wanted a legit wedding, he only had two weeks to spend with me because nothing was planned. He ended up extending his visit for another week to meet my family and officially ask for my hand in marriage … an official marriage that will take place in the US.
It was more than a year again of waiting for all my papers to be processed before I was able to come and live with him in America … a process that was very challenging. We were officially married in February 10, 2009, a day I consider my second anniversary.
I prayed for one thing about marriage, long before I met my husband.
I prayed to experience marriage the way God designed it: a marriage full of love … a marriage where each day is like a honeymoon.
God is a faithful God. He answered my prayer and gave me what I asked for …
but not without the trials that almost made me quit.
It was our near divorce in 2016 (I will talk about this in another blog) that got both of us back to the drawing board. What I thought was the breaking up of our marriage was simply the beginning of building it up.
Like two teenagers coming together when we met, we had no clear direction and lacked the maturity that we have now. We had deep-seated issues from all our previous relationships that we brought with us to the marriage. Yet, God used all these to heal us.
Twelve years later and I am now reaping the fruits of what I’ve prayed for. We are ready to start another phase of our lives … a much better one that will produce greater results. If you are married and are going through tough times, know that these trials are meant to test and strengthen your commitment to each other, no matter how difficult it is. You can’t do it on your own though. You need God to help you and see you through.
Marriage is the coming together of two different people who come from different backgrounds and experiences. If it takes time to understand ourselves, how much more difficult is it to understand another person? This is why no person in the marriage can expect the other to "simply" understand where he or she is coming from. The 'understanding' comes through time, as you get to know each other more. This is a valuable lesson I've learned these past 12 years. If you are single desiring to be married, pray that God sends you the one He has intended for you. Make sure that he is your soul mate, your best friend. My best friendship with my husband sustained us during that near-divorce experience.
Remember, marriage in itself is not easy. Add the 'incompatibility' factor to that and it will be more difficult. Consider also the emotional and mental condition of the person you are marrying. Unless it is God's perfect will for you to be with that person, dealing with someone very unstable can put a lot of stress in a marriage, which can lead to divorce. Know that no two marriages are the same and for that marriage to succeed, you need to find your own uniqueness first, and then the uniqueness of your marriage. Know as well that marriage is not a bed of roses but of thorns that are necessary to prick you and make you bleed. That blood is the true sign of love … a sacrifice you will make for each other to make your marriage bloom beautifully. Check my other MARRIAGE BLOGS. I promise you that you will be blessed.